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2017 Empowerment Dinner

ULP Empowerment Reception Print (106 of 117)

100 Years and Moving Forward…

The Urban League of Philadelphia’s 2017 Empowerment Dinner, “A Centennial Celebration: 100 Years and Moving Forward,” was an evening of celebration, commemoration, and camaraderie, thanks to the support of friends like you!  Nearly 500 people attended the event on Friday, June 9 at the Philadelphia Downtown Marriott as we celebrated a century of empowering communities and changing lives throughout the Greater Philadelphia region. It was a night to recognize excellence in education, leadership and in reaching a major organizational milestone.

We saluted 51 students selected for the 2017 Community Scholars Program, receiving a combined total of $98,000 in scholarships! Prior to the dinner program, Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney shared words of encouragement and congratulations with the students and their families.

Centennial Awards went to past ULP leadership – former board chairs Wanda Paul, Bill Ribble and Otha “Skip” Spriggs and former president & CEO Bob Sorrell – whose time and dedication to the movement has buoyed this special 100-year milestone!  Independence Blue Cross, the corporate partner with the longest history of support to the ULP, was presented a Centennial Award, and the late William T. Coleman, Jr., a Philadelphia native, legal pioneer and civil rights champion who U.S. President Gerald Ford appointed Secretary of Transportation. Coleman, who also received the Medal of Freedom from U.S. President William Clinton, passed away this past March. The award was presented to his son, William T. Coleman, III, who was joined by family members, including his 94-year-old mother, Lovida.

Perhaps the highlight of the evening was the formal introduction of our new president & CEO Andrea Custis. During her remarks, Andrea spoke about the need for everyone to continue supporting the Urban League as it launches its next 100 years. “With the current economic and social climate, all of us will need to pull together in order to maintain and protect the progress urban communities have achieved,” she said.

Thanks to the honorary co-chairs, Wanda Paul and Bill Ribble; NBC10 anchor Jacqueline London, who served as emcee; Joseph Jacovini, Chairman, Dilworth Paxson; and National Urban League President & CEO Marc H. Morial, who participated in the presentation of the Centennial Award to the Coleman family. Thanks to the generous 2017 Empowerment Dinner partners:

Mission Partner – Enterprise Holdings and PECO
Empowerment Partners –Independence Blue Cross
Achievement Partners –AmeriHealth Caritas, Comcast and UPS
Equality Partners – Aramark, Bank of America, Boeing, Cigna, Dilworth Paxson, Geico, Lincoln Financial Group, TIAA and Wells Fargo
Opportunity Partners – PNC and The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
Engagement Partners – Andrea Custis, Ernst & Young, Global Program Partners, Mercy Health, PRWT Services, Inc., PwC, Reed Smith, TD Bank, Temple University
Media Partner – NBC10 and Telemundo 62
Marketing Partner – Neff Associates

Special appreciation to the Donors who reached a little deeper to assist a bright young person in launching a college career. The 2017 Community Scholarship Program Donors were:

American Association of Blacks in Energy
Keith and Nicole Bethel
Lorina Marshall Blake
Family and Friends of Patricia A. Coulter
Enterprise Holdings – Philadelphia Group
Kathy Epps
Hope Foote
Allison Green
Robert and Phyllis Keyes
Thomas and Mikhal Monson
Delores Roulhac Nance
Joseph Neubauer
NExT Philadelphia (Network of Extraordinary Talent)
Wanda Paul
Sherri Pennington
The Philadelphia Chapter of The Links, Inc.
PRWT Services, Inc.
Trizen, Inc.
Urban Leadership Forum Class of 2016
Urban League Guild of Philadelphia

We’d also like to thank all the “Paddles for Programs” donors who gave from $100 to $10,000 for their heartfelt generosity. While the 2017 Empowerment Dinner is over, there’s still plenty of time for you to join in our Centennial Celebration. Please consider becoming a Centennial Member today for just $100! Centennial Members will receive special invitations to Urban League of Philadelphia events and be recognized for their support of the movement. To become a Centennial Member, please click here.

View pictures from the 2017 Empowerment Dinner!