National Urban League Conference Draws 13,000 Attendees and Leaves Notable “Gifts” to Local Community

National Urban League Conference Draws More Than 13,000 Attendees
and Leaves Notable “Gifts” to Local Community

Fort Lauderdale, FL – August 3, 2015 – The Urban League of Broward County, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau and TD Bank played host to top policy-makers, academicians and business leaders during the  2015 National Urban League Conference, July 29 – August 1. The 4-day event drew more than 13,000 attendees at the Broward County Convention Center and featured exhibits, empowerment sessions, a small business summit and several high-profile speakers. Presidential candidates and thought leaders including Hillary Clinton, Ben Carson, Martin O’Malley and Jeb Bush addressed attendees of this year’s conference, which was themed “Save our Cities: Education, Jobs & Justice.”

The Urban League of Broward County served as the affiliate host and brought attention to the local efforts to improve jobs, education, housing and health care. “We knew the conference would be a great success for our community,” said president and CEO, Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh, “We also knew that our attention should be focused on what would be left behind on August 2 for our City, its residents, and our affiliate.”

Celebrating its 40th year in service, the Urban League of Broward County presented the several “anniversary gifts” to the community. For the art community, a new rotating Art Gallery was unveiled at the Urban League of Broward County’s Community Empowerment Center which currently showcases the works of pop-artist, Ed King and Def Jam graffiti artist, Cey Adams. Adams also worked with local art students to a mural titled “Save Our Cities,” that now adorns the lobby of the Center. The celebration of art and culture was extended to the Convention Center during the Conference where PNC presented the works of local artists including George Gadson, Johanne Wilson and Brian Poli-Dixon.

Another community gift included an assortment of 1,250 backpacks, emergency preparedness and hygiene kits assembled by volunteers for distribution to local community organizations. League partner Bank of America sponsored the Small Business Marketplace, which included a variety of offerings from 20 local small business owners. As a result of the Conference, five of the small businesses presented pitches to secure regional supplier contracts with Walmart.

A college-based Youth Leadership Summit called “Raise the Bar: Dream It, Believe It, Achieve It!” was held in conjunction with the Conference on the campus of Nova Southeastern University, bringing more than 600 youth to the Fort Lauderdale area to learn about college preparedness and celebrate their successes. To allow more local youth to attend the summit, the Children’s Services Council of Broward County’s gift to the community provided 100 scholarships (total value of $40,000) for students across Broward County to participate. Smith-Baugh visited the Summit on August 1 to present 12 new laptops to students at the Summit.

In addition to the workshops, plenaries and galas, thousands of attendees participated in a number of free events such as an Expo Hall featuring exhibitors, a college fair and an employment and networking fair.

For more information regarding the National Urban League Conference, visit For information regarding the Urban League of Broward County, contact (954) 584-0777 or visit

About Urban League of Broward County

Celebrating 40 years of service, the Urban League of Broward County is a not for profit organization founded to empower communities and change lives. Our mission is to assist African Americans and other disenfranchised groups in the achievement of social and economic equality.  Our “Breaking the Cycle” programs uplift more than 7,000 people every year through affordable housing initiatives, youth development and diversion, employment and training, community empowerment, and civic engagement.