02-19-2017  3:30 pm      •     

Some work for government, nonprofits and city leaders. Others are performers, marketers, doctors or designers. Many run their own businesses; others are rising stars at top national companies. What do they have in common besides being young, gifted and Black? They all belong to the National Urban League's Young Professionals.
With more than 50 chapters in cities from Atlanta to Anchorage, the Young Professionals are growing in numbers and influence. Portland's group now numbers more than 50.
"They are part of a national network," says Marcus Mundy, CEO of the Urban League of Portland. "They help the Urban League reach its strategic goals, financial, advocacy and community goals.

"Their goals are our goals. Every goal we have at the Urban League will directly impact them in their lives.
"They're a group of young people, so they have different ways of getting things done. And they have better, more creative ideas, that some old people like me don't have."
Mundy is being modest. Under his leadership, the Urban League of Portland has exacted more respect and action from Oregon's largely White political class than for decades previously. The league's State of Black Oregon report blew the lid off the city's complacency about race-based poverty and spurred Portland State University to produce its own, influential  Communities of Color report. Partnering with the African Women's Coalition on an urban garden, the league is recognizing, ahead of the game, that food production will be one of the most important challenges facing the next generation. Yet arguably, one of its most effective and creative moves has been to build out this platform for young African Americans.

"The Urban League's Young Professionals is the single most vibrant group of minority professionals aimed at changing the status quo locally," says C.S. Alexander, a member of the Portland, Ore., branch. Alexander works for the department of Housing and Urban Development, helping low-income youth find career pathways. But he also owns his own clothing line, named "I Rose Po."
This kind of ambition is almost a requirement. Educated strivers, they well understand that Black Americans need many more friends in high places, if equality is to become a reachable goal instead of a cruel mirage. That's one reason to focus on leadership development and career networking, as well as on fundraising and socializing.
Of course, socializing is part of the mix. Somebody has to prove that this city is not completely dry. What kind of young people would they be if they didn't enjoy happy hour, music, clubs and dancing? Regional conferences are a great reason to plan out of town trips. And the annual National Young Professionals Summit, to be held this year in Boston, July 27-30, is a huge party as well as an opportunity to network on a national level.
Still at the heart of their mission is service.
Joseph Blasher works for HealthCorps, which is similar to PeaceCorps, except fellows work with health in the United States.
"I left Eugene for Oberlin, OH after high school to learn how to change the world, the school's motto at the time. I became obsessed with discovering the human potential and studied psychology, philosophy, and Chinese art and culture. I still have a lot to learn, but in my search it always seems to return to family. So I try to create family," Blasher says of his motivation.
"Now I am an advocate of health at Cleveland High School and in Portland teaching health classes, organizing wellness activities, and promoting civic engagement," he says. "Joining Young Professionals was a natural move for me, especially when I learned of this year's National Day of Service."
So if you really want to know what the Urban League's Young Professionals are all about, check them out this weekend, Saturday June 11. On this National Day of Service young professionals across the country will be volunteering in their communities.
In Portland, the Young Professionals have organized " Let's Move," a free four-hour health and fitness event that will include Zumba, hip hop and African dance classes, a sexual health forum, a healthy lunch, cooking, gardening, health insurance information and a showing of the film "When the Bough Breaks" about mother and baby health. The film is part of the Unnatural Causes series, organized by the Urban League.

The group holds its meetings at Emanuel Hospital.
"We spend 90 minutes once a month, in a meeting just taking care of business," says Rob Ingram, the dynamic president of the Portland branch. "It's not fun; it's not sexy. We take our work very seriously."
Ingram, or Mr. President to you, leads the City of Portland's Office of Youth Violence Prevention. Inspirational and driven, he has a hand in so many initiatives that you might wonder if the man ever sleeps. To show the group how it's done, Ingram has brought in a series of heavy hitters: people like State Rep. Lew Frederick; Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith; the Mayor of Portland's public safety advocate, Antoinette Edwards; and financial superstar Charles Wilhoite.
Self-disciplined and focused on his goals, Ingram's also an exacting leader who demands high standards from everyone.  Ingram will tell you it's because he knows that to be taken seriously in the circles of power, you must embody powerful qualities such as: poise, politeness and political smarts.
"The young part is negotiable: if you think you're young then you are. That's negotiable," Ingram says. "What's not negotiable is being, acting and carrying yourself as a professional. Because if you represent us, we expect and require you to be a professional at all times."

The Urban League's Young Professionals Events

What: Everyone who supports better health for African Americans is welcome to attend: "Lets Move" Dance, food, gardening, health insurance information and healthy lunch.
When: Saturday June 11, 11:00AM-3:00PM
Where: Legacy Emanuel, 2801 North Gantenbein Ave., Portland.
Wear: Clothes to move in. Workout gear.
To join the Urban League of Portland Young Professionals or for more information please contact Erdina Francillon erdina.francillon@intel.com or the League at 503-280-2600. Next meeting: 6 pm, Wednesday June 22 at Legacy Emanuel Hospital.

Seattle Urban League Young Professionals
What: 6th Annual Leadership Summit: Fearless Leadership; Daring to Dream, Defining Risks, Developing a Plan
When: Saturday June 25th 8am – 4pm
Where: Seattle University-901 12th Avenue, Seattle
Register at www.sulyp.org

PHOTOS (From Top) Grace Uwagbae with Chabre Vickers and Blake Dye; Marcus Mundy and Lasha Winn; C.S. Alexander shot by Erik Freeman;  Young professionals chatting before a talk at Emanuel Gospital by Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith; Sonny Ben-Jumbo and Karl Franklin; Rob Ingram with Krystal Gema; Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith; Krystal Gema, Sprinavasa Brown and Jesse Brown

Recently Published by The Skanner News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. At his long and defiant news conference on Thursday, Trump tried to dispel the impression of a White House in crisis, squarely blaming the press for keeping him from moving forward more decisively on his agenda. Pointing to his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Trump said, "You take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on health care, he'd rather be working on tax reform." For all the frustrations of his early days as president, Trump still seems tickled by the trappings of his office. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited the White House last week to discuss the national opioid epidemic over lunch, the governor said Trump informed him: "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'" Trump added: "I'm telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous." ___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac
    Read More
  • FDR executive order sent 120,000 Japanese immigrants and citizens into camps
    Read More
  • Pruitt's nomination was strongly opposed by environmental groups and hundreds of former EPA employees
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all
Oregon Lottery
Carpentry Professionals


Reed College Jobs
His Eye is on the Sparrow