After three decades, the National Urban League convention will return to Chicago next week.

After three decades, the National Urban League convention will return to Chicago next week.

Over 4,000 people are expected to attend this year’s conference and National Urban League President Marc Morial said he would like to see as many Chicagoans as possible attend.

Each year when the Urban League holds its national conference, one of its goals is to attract as many local attendees as possible, Morial told the Defender.

“Every conference is an opportunity to talk to people. Families need a wealth building strategy to have a path to power,” he said. “The Urban League conference is for them,” he said.

This year’s conference theme is “The Path to Power,” and Morial said part of its vision is to provide participants with the tools and resources needed to achieve success.

The conference runs from July 29 to Aug. 1 at the McCormick Place Convention Center, 2901 S. Lakeshore Drive. On-site registration is $350.

For Chicagoans who are unable to attend the entire conference or perhaps cannot afford the registration fee, Cheryle Jackson, president and CEO of the Urban League’s Chicago chapter, said there are plenty of free events that are open to the public.


Jackson will moderate a panel discussion July 29 titled “Road to Freedom, Conversations with Civil Rights Leaders” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the DuSable Museum of African-American History, 740 E. 56th Place. Panelists will discuss key moments of the Civil Rights Movement and how it impacted their lives personally.

And later on that day, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Apostolic Church of God, 6320 S. Dorchester Ave., Morial will kick off the conference with a keynote about the “State of the Urban League.”

There will also be a free career fair each day of the convention, open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at McCormick Place. Hundreds of recruiters will be on-site interviewing. Participants will be able to receive free career coaching, resume critiques, financial planning advice and tips on job searching.

“We want conference attendees to come to Chicago and leave with all the resources they need for success in the future,” Morial said. “When we all individually find our path to power, it will uplift us as a community.”

Empowering Black businesses to become leaders within their respected industries has been one of the National Urban League’s trademarks, especially at its Chicago chapter.


In main photo: Marc Morial

Middle photo: It was a night of art as Gallery Guichard opened its doors July 16 for a Chicago Urban League pre-convention event. From left, Stephen Mitchell, gallery co-owner, Dwayne Bass of Private Bank, reception co-sponsor; Cheryle Jackson, Chicago Urban League president; Susan Hughes of AAR Corp., reception co-sponsor; Mr. and Mrs. Andre Guichard (Frances), gallery co-owners and their son, Miles.

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