So my late Uncle introduced me to the Urban League at 10 years old, he had been the chairman of our board of directors here at St Louis. He said it was the most impactful and significant organization in the black community in America in terms of actually getting the job done of helping out people. He told me that when I got old enough that I should join and become a member and get involved and become an Urban Leaguer for life. He told me to wait so I could buy my own membership with my own money and my own job, so I did that and I joined on my 16th birthday and to his credit he was absolutely right. Later on when I was going to college to get a degree in African-American studies, the Urban League Stepped in along with my University and gave me an academic scholarship. Later, from age 24 until 30, I was on the board of directors of the Urban League and the executive committee and chaired the development committee, so it’s a long long history and I became a life member of the agency.
2. I would also think at this particular critical juncture in the course of American history that there’s no better time to become a part of the Urban League movement than now. Because what we see is that the pendulum of justice and equality is that it does not always swing in the directions that we want it to. So it can swing backwards and people will attempt to take us back to a time where equality and justice and advocacy for those in need is not in the forefront of the conversation. I definitely believe that this is the absolute most important time to be a part of the Urban League movement for those of us who want America to be the great democracy that it can be in terms of everyone having an equal seat at the table and being able to participate and enjoy the American dream.
3. No matter what your call is, no matter what your passion or your purpose is, there is a place for you at the Urban League. So whether you are passionate about education, health care, housing, economic development, black owned businesses, job training, GED, etc., there is some place for you at the Urban League. There’s no need to join another organization, there’s no need to create a new organization, you can channel all of your passion and purpose into the Urban League and potentially you could turn it into your profession; which is what i was blessed to be able to do at the agency.
We have made tremendous stride and made tremendous advancements as a people in this country, but the masses of the black community are still suffering from these enormous disparities in healthcare, education, economics, overall net worth and credit scores, financial empowerment, and so many different things that we see again and again and again. We must as a community all be involved in lifting all of us up so that we can one day get to that point where we don’t sit here still as the ethnic minority. We need to work hard so that one day we can get out of that situation and actually realize full equality, and there’s no better position individually to do it other than us as a people.
I would just say keep on keeping on, it’s not very profound, but quite frankly this is a very difficult position and it has a huge amount of stress attached to it. There are so many constant issues that come up between the police, community, electoral, and in the government. Bringing the races together, having better race relations, and helping the least of these is important. Even in a Biblical standpoint when we all stand before God on Judgement Day we will not be asked how big our house was, how much money we had, or how much we lived a life of materialism. But Instead will be asked, when I was hungry did you feed me and when i was naked did you clothe me. That’s what Tonja does and the Urban League does and we must continue that work.
The Lowery’s host the 28th New Year’s Day Prayer Breakfast where elected officials came and spoke on continuing the push for equality in our city and some breaking news was shared from the podium.
In 2019, the Coliseum Coalition plans to continue tours for investors and civic leaders, and is planning another Roundhouse Revival. Roundhouse Revival 1, 2 and 3, previtalizing events which featured the Coliseum’s classic brands of music, wrestling and basketball, were held outside the building.
Kier “Junior” Spates. He’s also a survivor, warrior, humble and one aspiring to greatness! Dec. 21, 2018 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm at the Hattiloo Theatre.
Lessons from chef garyRemembering gary williamsBy JR RobinsonThis article is brought to you by Krewe of DeJavu Check out their menu! Bradley Whitford "Infuse your life with action. Don't wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope....