GW wins Urban League ‘gold’ award

GW was one of many corporate sponsors to win a “gold” award from the Greater Washington Urban League Tuesday night for donating more than $10,000 to the civil rights organization. More than 200 people attended the event at the Marvin Center Ballroom for the Urban League’s 63rd annual membership meeting, including D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams and University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, who is one of the league’s 30 board members.

“This is life-changing assistance that helps young people to maximize their opportunities for education and adults to become self-sufficient and enter the economic mainstream,” said Maudine R. Cooper, league president and CEO.

GWUL is a nonprofit community service and civil rights organization. The league provided services for more than 60,000 people in the D.C. area in 2000.

Jerry A. Moore III, the chair of the group’s board of directors, said the league’s mission is “to increase the economic and political empowerment of blacks and other minorities and to help all Americans share equally in the responsibilities and rewards of full citizenship.”

Moore said he was “proud of (the organization’s) financial performance.” He said that without backing from more than 80 corporations such as Anheuser-Busch, the Fannie Mae Foundation and the Mid-Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Co., the league would not be able to be such a great help to the community. All three companies won a “platinum” award for donations of more than $25,000 annually.

The GWUL provides meals for the elderly, scholarships for local students, employment training for adults and help new families buy homes.

“I have been a member of the Urban League, boy and man,” Trachtenberg told the crowd. Trachtenberg said that ever since his father was a member of the league in Brooklyn, N.Y., he has followed in his father’s footsteps by supporting “the important and positive role of people who live in a city and fight for race relations.”

Williams said the evening celebrated “partnership” and the importance of delivering services in “economic and housing initiatives and rebuilding our neighborhoods.” Williams also said he strongly supports aging services.

Long-term plans for GWUL include getting young people more involved and encouraging volunteer service among middle and high-income blacks in the Washington area, said Loretta Caldwell, assistant secretary and chair of GWUL.

“Being a person of color, I support the NAACP as well as the GWUL because they are at the forefront of struggle, fighting for a more egalitarian society,” said Ernest Skinner, Citibank’s director of Community Development and recipient of a “bronze award.”

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