As we close out Black History Month 2023 it occurs to me that never before has that celebration and commemoration been more important, relevant, and urgent.
We’re living in a time in which some political forces are trying to selectively filter and rewrite our history. It is critical that all of us – regardless of the color of our skin – unite to stand to preserve an accurate accounting of race relations in United States history so that future generations can learn from the past and understand the legacies that remain with us today. As with any history, there are recollections of good times and painful times, but it also represents an opportunity to respect and appreciate the value that each person brings to the fabric of the United States.
To that point, I want to make the case that our Black history is not just in the archives or in the past. It continues to be written today with the triumphs and challenges and reflects what we have experienced for more than 400 years. It is incumbent to continue to preserve and document this history because it is a history that belongs to everyone. Black history is AMERICAN HISTORY.
That’s why we celebrate the work of equity and equality annually with the Greater Milwaukee Urban League Whitney M. Young Jr. Equal Opportunity Day Luncheon, We celebrated this year on February 23rd. The event honors the work and legacy of Whitney M. Young, Jr. He was a U.S. civil rights leader who spearheaded the drive for equal opportunity for Blacks in U.S. industry and government service during his 10 years as head of the National Urban League. He served the organization and all Americans from 1961 to 1971 – one of the most important decades in American history on so many levels.
The theme for this year’s Greater Milwaukee Equal Opportunity Day Awards Luncheon was “Entrepreneurship: A Road to Creating Jobs and Generational Wealth!” The
special guest speaker for the event, John Daniels Jr., retired partner and chair emeritus, Quarles Law Firm, spoke to the important work of GMUL and of our Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award recipient, Dr. William Finlayson.
During the luncheon, the Greater Milwaukee Urban League honored business and community leaders who are stepping up to carry on Whitney M. Young Jr.’s quest for social equity and justice.
We are thrilled to partner with the Molson Coors Beverage Company to launch a new initiative, The Entrepreneurship Connection. The program officially kicked off with a panel discussion of experts on entrepreneurship immediately after the Equal Opportunity Day Luncheon. The Entrepreneurship Connection will continue with programs throughout the year focused on capital investments in minority-owned businesses.
Participants in the program will have access to the Entrepreneurship Connection Platform, which provides resources, tools, and ongoing support to grow businesses and gain access to capital. Building Black wealth empowers communities and changes lives!
For more information on these incredible initiatives, please visit www.tmul.org.