Since its’ founding in 1910, the National Urban League, headquartered in New York City, spearheaded our nonprofit, nonpartisan, community-based movement and played a pivotal role in the 20th century freedom movement. The Urban League grew out of the black migrations, a spontaneous grassroots movement for freedom and opportunity, and is the nation’s oldest and largest community based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream.
At the heart of the Urban League movement are the professionally staffed affiliates in over 100 cities in 34 states and the District of Columbia. The Greater Milwaukee Urban League (GMUL) has a distinguished history.
Established in 1919 as an affiliate of the National Urban League (NUL), our agency is one of numerous NUL affiliates established during the early 20th century, when millions of African Americans migrated northward from southern states in search of greater opportunities and a better way of life. To assist African Americans in their transition to urban life and employment, the Greater Milwaukee Urban League originally taught basic skills such as social courtesies, proper dress and grooming, sanitation, health, and homemaking. To aid in the development of healthy lifestyles, it also sponsored a community center for holiday gatherings, youth recreation and crafts, boxing skills development, and by the 1920’s, a medical clinic. Our mission today follows this same tradition. We offer numerous programs that are designed to help African Americans, and other people of color, achieve civil rights, and social and economic equality so they can become more self-reliant members of society.