Andrea Custis, president and CEO of the Urban League of Philadelphia.
Photo by Paul Croaker.
“Continue the fight for justice.”
Each month we highlight a community program that aligns with the values of SoulVision Magazine. We believe engaging with one’s community is critical to fostering positive change in the world.
The Urban League of Philadelphia (ULP) is a nonprofit civil rights organization that “speaks up and speaks out on some of the most critical issues facing African American communities today.” Since its inception over 100 years ago, the Urban League has been at the frontlines advocating for change and fighting to end systemic racism.“We support and empower our clients through five direct services—workforce, housing, entrepreneurship, youth and education, and health & wellness,” President & CEO Andrea Custis says. “We provide them with the tools and resources necessary to secure economic independence and social mobility.”
The National Urban League (NUL) recently partnered with the PepsiCo Foundation to launch a Black Restaurant Accelerator Program with $10 million dollars. The first grant in the Philadelphia area was given to Victoria’s Kitchen, a soul food restaurant owned by chef Victoria Tyson. Victoria’s Kitchen was a past participant of the Urban League’s Entrepreneurship Center. “We were proud to nominate Victoria,” Andrea says.
The ULP Empowering Scholars Summer Camp provides opportunities for youth to learn many of today’s most marketable skills like coding. Photo by Tomas Varela.
In addition to collaborations with NUL for national programs, the Urban League of Philadelphia recently launched three new local programs—Out4Good, Ready2Work, and the ULP Empowering Scholars Summer Camp. Out4Good reintegrates those with criminal records into society. The 4-week program provides social-emotional coaching and cognitive behavioral therapy, financial support, and quality jobs. Ready2Work is a workforce training program specifically catered to those young men from the ages of 18-25 years old who would like to learn the skills needed to be employable in a decent paying job. The ULP Empowering Scholars Summer Camp provides opportunities for youth to learn many of today’s most marketable skills like coding. “We are proud to share that all programs are doing well and exceeding our expectations,” Andrea says. Past or present, The Urban League of Philadelphia is part of a legacy of justice fighters who continue to push for the needs of the community.