URBAN LEAGUE OF BROWARD COUNTY ALL IN INCLUSIVE: AHEAD OF THE REST
February 1, 2013 | WESTSIDE GAZETTE | By Bobby Henry, Sr.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (February 1, 2013) – Recently, the Urban League of Broward County made known to the public that the institute is the beneficiary of a $2 million funding venture from Sunshine State Health Plan that will support urban league’s health and wellness initiatives and capital campaign.
The pronouncement of the study, Closing the Gap: The State of Black Broward Health was made at the Urban League’s Annual Business Meeting. “Let’s be clear the Urban League produce the report inclusively and collaboratively. For many years, we have been concerned about the growing health challenges that impacts Broward County residents. While we realize that the dialogue will be important, we are also compelled to want to put into place programs and initiatives that respond to the health needs and disparities that plague our community”, stated Germaine Smith-Baugh, President and CEO of the Urban League of Broward County.
It has been 19 years since the Urban League has attempted such a feat as this report. “The report that was released today provides a blueprint for understanding these issues on a greater scale and working collaboratively with partners to address these important challenges. With its gift of $2 million, Sunshine Health is allowing us to take this critical step. The Urban League of Broward County is grateful for this significant investment and partnership,” Smith-Baugh continued.
For decades, the Urban League of Broward County has center their attention on changing the lives of African American children and families in the community through education, job, housing and health programs. Serving thousands of families and individuals each year The Urban League of Broward County has made it clear that it cannot serve the entire community by itself.
“This report helps us to leverage collaboration between other agencies to better serve the community,” Smith-Baugh said.
Urban League’s services include educational support, job training, housing assistance and health education. In May 2012, the Community Empowerment Center opened; this allowed the Urban League to increase its services to individuals and families in Broward County. Under Smith-Baugh’s leadership, the Board of the Broward County Urban League is diverse, bringing together the non-profit, business and community-based organizations to develop strategies aimed at improving the quality of life for Broward County residents.
Sunshine Health President and CEO Chris Paterson, looks forwarded to the relationship with the he Urban League of Broward County and believes that it will have long-term benefits. “The report issued by the Urban League of Broward County, “Closing the Gap,” tells us that we need to continue to address health challenges to ensure the viability of families and ultimately the community at large. If we want to eradicate diabetes, hypertension, infant mortality and reduce the mortality rate caused by HIV/AIDS in communities of color, it calls for an investment of resources, collaboration and data sharing. Sunshine Health is committed to a role as one strategic partner with the Urban League of Broward County and other key stakeholders to achieve this goal.”
Civil Rights institute convention comes to Fort Lauderdale in July 2015
Not a stranger to the area the National Urban League has held its mid-winter training conference in Fort Lauderdale for the past 10 years. Yet South Florida was not considered to be a host for its national conference. This change about three years ago with the vision of Albert Tucker. Last Friday, Fort Lauderdale was officially picked for the civil rights organization’s 2015 convention.
“Our conference is only as strong as the host affiliate and its leadership and Germaine is a strong leader… in this community and in our urban league movement as well,” said National Urban League Senior Vice President Rhonda Spears Bell. Spears Bell made the announcement at a press conference in Fort Lauderdale, crediting Germaine Smith-Baugh and local leadership for their preference.
“Dr. Smith-Baugh has been instrumental in establishing the Urban League of Broward County as the community’s leading civic and social services organizations, and one of the most dynamic community outreach networks in the nation,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said in a written statement. “I can think of no better setting for a conference that is focused on effecting community change.
The convention is billed as a national forum for debate and discussion on policy issues and finding solutions for challenges affecting African Americans and urban communities, typically draws many of the nation’s influential leaders and top policy makers, league officials said.
Morial said he expects the league’s national convention to attract about 5,000 of the country’s most influential community leaders, top policy-makers, academicians, business leaders and artists for three days of dynamic dialogue, intellectual exchange and community service.
Tourism officials say that just about 10,000 people normally come to where the event is held, this means a considerable financial contribution to local businesses. Insistent marketing by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Visitors & Convention Bureau also helped Fort Lauderdale beat out nine other U.S cities to secure the event.
Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB President Nicki E. Grossman, who is one heck of a negotiator, said, “It’s about so much more than the $8 million dollar economic impact that the National Urban League Conference brings to Broward County. It’s about strengthening the community by becoming the destination of choice for the country’s largest and most influential Black professional organizations.”
Although four hotels have been contracted, the host hotel will be Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. The 2015 conference will be held during the last week in July, league officials said preparation is anticipated to begin real soon.
“I’m proud and thrilled to welcome the National Urban League Conference to Broward County for 2015,” said Smith-Baugh. “Not only do Fort Lauderdale and Broward County represent an exciting cross-section of cultures, but we feel that our affiliate’s thriving public and private partnerships throughout the region can be a model for the nation.”
The Urban League of Broward County is a not for profit, community based organization founded in 1975. We empower communities and change lives in the areas of education, jobs, housing and health. Our mission is to assist African Americans and other disenfranchised groups in the achievement of social and economic equality. Programs/services include affordable housing development and redevelopment, youth development, diversion, employment and training, education and community empowerment and civic engagement