Tiffany Majors has served as president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Urban League, Inc. (GBUL) for four years. The nonprofit’s mission is “to enable African Americans and other minorities to have a better quality of life as well as economic mobility, parity, education, and support,” according to Majors.
She said that the organization has been around for 98 years. GBUL is based in West Baltimore. Majors remarked that she wants more people to know the impact that the organization has and know more about what is done through it.
“The Urban League Affiliate Movement is the principal liaison between the national organization and the local communities where we have a presence. Currently, there are Urban League affiliates in 90 markets across 36 states and the District of Columbia,” according to the National Urban League’s website.
Youth Empowerment; education; entrepreneurship; workforce professional programs and services are provided through the nonpartisan, multi-ethnic, social service organization. GBUL has “been helping disadvantaged Marylanders gain access to equal opportunity in employment, education, health care, housing and the civic arena,” per GBUL’s website.
Majors noted that the 65th Annual Whitney M. Young, Jr. Gala is GBUL’s upcoming fundraiser. This year’s theme is “Honoring the Evolution of Baltimore’s Black Wall Street.” The semi-formal event will be held on Thursday, November 10, 2022, 6 p.m., at The Assembly Room in downtown Baltimore, Md., located at 316 Guilford Ave. Local leaders and honorees include Larry S. Gibson; Luke Cooper; Shelonda Stokes; and Brooke Lierman.
Gibson is a longtime civil rights advocate who earned his law degree from Columbia University and is the author of “Young Thurgood: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice.” He was the principal advocate for the law passed by the Maryland General Assembly that renamed the BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, according to his bio. Gibson possesses experience working as a law professor and as counsel to a law firm.
Cooper is described as “a serial entrepreneur, growth leader, and merger lawyer,” per his bio. The partner at San Francisco- based Preface Ventures is also founder and CEO of Latimer, which is “a $250 million venture fund with the mission of helping underrepresented founders reach outcomes.” Majors said that he has a solid foundation in growing Black businesses.
Stokes, president of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and the executive director of the Downtown Management Authority, leads both “two multi-million-dollar organizations with the common goal of making Downtown Baltimore a destination of choice,” according to her bio. Stokes has assisted many minority and Black businesses, according to Majors.
Lierman, civil rights and disability rights attorney and State Delegate representing the 46th Legislative District, has provided pro bono activities involving assistance with expungement through the Homeless Persons Representation Project, per information provided in her bio.
Various awards will be presented. Majors pointed out the importance of the annual fundraiser.
“We are fundraising annually to raise funds for our different programs,” Majors said, mentioning that they are free of charge. “We target populations of high disparities in poverty and minorities.”
Education, training, and providing one-on-one technical assistance and coaching to businesses that have interest in developing or scaling their business is another aspect of the entrepreneurship program. A college and career readiness program for youth is integrated into a Saturday leadership program. GBUL’s workforce development programs educate; train; and build a pipeline of employment seekers who want to pursue careers, according to Majors. She also mentioned that she writes grants for funding. It is often annual, not long term.
“So annually, we try to raise funds with this gala to one, promote and honor our community leaders that support individuals in poverty and marginalized communities, as well as have the opportunity to raise funds so that we can continue on with our programs,” Majors said.
The Business Summit, which will also be held on November 10, 2022, at The Assembly Room, is participatory. Cooper will be the guest speaker. Networking and an entrepreneur panel will be held, in addition to a pitch contest. Grant funding can be won.
Majors noted GBUL’s overall impact.
“We’ve definitely changed the trajectory of many lives of Black individuals in Baltimore that had no hope and that had no belief that they could succeed in anything. We’ve definitely changed the life patterns for them, and not just supported them in being able to take care of their families, but significantly increasing their capacity and their sustainability into middle income and careers,” she said.
Visit https://www.gbul.org/ for ticket information about the gala and business summit.