Urban League’s 2009 national conference to be held here in Chica

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National Urban League President Marc Morial was in town June 25 to announce that the nearly century-old organization selected Chicago to hosts its 2009 national convention. It has been nearly 30 years since the Urban League held its confab here.

Still Morial said he expects next year’s convention to be “the biggest, best and badest conference in the history” of the civil rights organization. Flanked by Chicago Urban League President, Cheryle Jackson, and members of the national and local boards of directors, along with Mayor Richard M. Daley and other state officials, Morial said at last Wednesday’s press conference that he expects some 10,000 people to attend next year’s convention, bringing an estimated $10 million to the city.

“This convention is really important to the City of Chicago and the African American community,” Daley said at the press conference. Soon after the Urban League’s July 2009 annual event, the city will find out whether it is selected to host the 2016 Olympic Games. Morial likened his organization to the spirit and diversity of the Games.

“(Urban League is) the Olympics of political and social networking,” he said. Next year’s convention will also serve as the kickoff for the organization’s 2010 centennial celebration. The Urban League, with its 100 affiliate chapters in 35 states nationwide, provides programs and resources throughout the communities it serves.

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