Creating Pathways,
Removing Barriers
We’re always making moves to create pathways and remove barriers through programs, partnerships, and special initiatives and May and June 2023 were no different. We want you to join us in the movement and spread the word, so keep an eye on this monthly roundup to view programming and events you can look forward to, as well as learn of the ways we have delivered in our mission to uplift African Americans and other underserved communities in Louisiana!

Celebrating 85 Years!

This year, we celebrate Urban League of Louisiana’s 85th anniversary and our legacy of supporting African Americans and other underserved communities in their pursuit of economic self-reliance, parity, power, and civil rights. Today, our work continues to be delivered through innovative policies, programs, and advocacy. Whether in the areas of workforce, entrepreneurship, education or social justice, we are clear to always stay true to our mission and build on the legacy of our past.

Our BOUNDLESS theme will help capture what we believe about ourselves, share why our history informs our confidence today, and boldly proclaim what we believe our organization can accomplish in partnership with the communities we serve across the state.

We are grateful for your unwavering support over the past 85 years. On behalf of the entire Urban League of Louisiana, thank you. Together, we are boundless. Follow us to stay connected as we celebrate this incredible milestone. Join the movement and become a member of Urban League of Louisiana by visiting

We kicked off our anniversary celebration with a launch event at Dillard University in June. Thank you to all of our Board, staff, donors, partners, and community members who came out to support the cause.

Take the Power Into Your Hands! Lineman Apprenticeship Program Applications are Now Live.

Take the power into your hands and step into the growing field of clean energy! We are now accepting applications for our paid lineman apprenticeship program. This program will start your journey in a career path with mentorship, life skills, and hands-on skills training – all while being paid for your time.
Learn More & Apply Today

Automotive Apprenticeships Move Forward into Job Training

Our inaugural cohort of Automotive Technician Apprentices are successfully moving through the program and recently completed the job shadowing portion of their training. These dedicated Apprentices have done life skills training, occupational training at Delgado Community College in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Community College and job shadowing with a mentor at a local dealership. As they move onto on-the-job training next, these Apprentices will continue to learn new skills that will set them up for a long, well-paying career as an Automotive Technician.

Thank you to Lakeside Toyota, Honda or Harvey, Price LeBlanc Toyota, Lexus of New Orleans, Price LeBlanc Nissan, Banner, and Price LeBlanc Lexus for hosting the Apprentices during this portion of the program. The skills learned at your dealerships are an integral part of teaching the Apprentices hands-on skills that will carry them throughout their new careers.

Gumbo Coalition Honors Judy Reese Morse

Congratulations to our CEO Judy Reese Morse and all honorees of the National Urban League’s Gumbo Coalition Awards.

2023 Legislative Session Wraps

Each year, we release this agenda to ensure that legislators are chiefly aware of how their proposed legislation impacts African Americans and other underserved communities within Louisiana. In this agenda, we supported 49 bills and opposed 14.
Visit the Full Agenda Here

The Next Generation of Leaders Graduate Pre-School

Last week, we celebrated the graduation of our Clarence L. Barney Head Start Center pre-schoolers. Jared the Dreamer was inspiring and gave signed copies of his book to all grads. Special thanks our VP of Education Todd Battiste, Balencia Breaux, our teachers and parents. Improving education outcomes for our kids starts with early childhood education.

Seeking Future Education Leaders!

The ULEAD Leadership Academy is a leading training academy for advocates interested in learning how to effectively navigate and positively impact the educational landscape for communities of color in New Orleans.
Learn More & Apply Today

2023 Listen & Learn Tour Findings Released

In March and April, Urban League of Louisiana, in conjunction with Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus engaged in a statewide tour to hear directly from residents in the cities of Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, New Orleans, Monroe, and Shreveport. The Southern Poverty Law Center sponsored this effort across the state.
Read the Full Summary

Revolutionize your marketing strategy with AI-powered tools!

Traditional marketing techniques can be time-consuming and expensive, often failing to effectively target specific audiences or measure campaign success and limited reach and lack of engagement hinder brand-customer connections. Fortunately, small business leaders can overcome these challenges by leveraging AI marketing tools. Learn to: harness the latest AI tools for your small business, grow your business without a marketing budget, and effectively reach and engage your target customers with your product or service.
Save Your Free Virtual Seat

Get Your Financials in Order with Quickbooks Online

Having your financials in order is the most important step to running your business effectively and profitability. Now is a great time to get your accounting system and processes set up the right way! Learn the foundations for setting up QuickBooks online, managing everyday transactions and financial reports, and the key concepts and tasks that you must know for ongoing maintenance. Sign up for all three sessions or even just one for free today.
Save Your Free Seat

Grow With Google

Scale your small business with Google tools during this free virtual series! Learn how to create a business page, update Google Maps, learn how to use Google ads, how to create a great website, how to hone your decisions using analytics, and how to use YouTube to grow your following. Sign up for all five sessions or even just one for free today.
Save Your Free Seat

Export Dat! Convening Prepares Louisiana Small Businesses to Grow Globally

Last month, we hosted “Export Dat!: Grow Your Small Business by Competing in the Global Marketplace” in partnership with Port of New Orleans. We believe that small businesses are integral to the economic growth of our community. As the number of small businesses in the US continues to rise, entrepreneurs must identify more competitive ways to scale their businesses for growth. With 96% of the world’s consumers living outside of the United States and representing two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power, going global as an exporter can offer significant growth opportunities for small business owners. This annual event taught Louisiana small business owners valuable insights on why and how doing business internationally is a great growth strategy.

Thank you to our partners and presenters from Mastercard, Port NOLA, World Trade Center New Orleans, U.S. Small Business Association, U.S. Department of Commerce, and EXIM Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Our History Makes Us Stronger

Recently, we enjoyed going down memory lane at an amazing breakfast hosted by former Urban League Staffer Mary Andry. Also present were former Staff and Guild Members Gloria Moultrie, Gail Glapion, Cheryln Wheeler and Marvel Robertson. Three of these women made up what was affectionately known as “The Barney Girls” who helped our longest serving CEO the late Clarence Barney lead the organization for over 30 years.

SEE CHANGE Working Groups Continue Efforts to Close the Racial Wealth Gap

Members of the SEE CHANGE Collective working groups conducted their monthly meetings to discuss priority activities that will further the Collective’s action plan. These priority activities best position the Collective to provide immediate and tangible resources to individuals and organizations seeking 1) better professional opportunities, 2) access to minority-owned businesses, and 3) equitable appraisals of their homes.


The SEE CHANGE Collective is a catalyst for closing the wealth gap for African Americans, Hispanics, and Latinos in the Greater New Orleans Region by focusing on three pathways to wealth-building: homeownership, business ownership and entrepreneurship, and income and wages.

Learn More About SEE CHANGE

Protecting Black Voting Power, Read Our Statement on Recent Supreme Court Decisions

We applauded the Supreme Court voting rights decision, and urged Governor John Bel Edwards to call special Legislative Session to draw fair maps in our state.

The Urban League of Louisiana applauds June’s Supreme Court decision in Allen v. Milligan and calls on Governor John Bel Edwards to immediately call the Louisiana Legislature into Special Session to redraw Louisiana’s electoral maps. The Court’s decision in Milligan to affirm the Alabama District Court’s determination that plaintiffs demonstrated a reasonable likelihood of success on their claim that HB1 violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act is a both morally correct and legally sound.

The ruling is another sign of the power of advocacy and collective strength. We applaud the continued leadership of the Power Coalition, NAACP Louisiana State Conference, Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, the Legal Defense Fund, and others. We remain committed to this fight with all of our partners in Louisiana and across the county.

Read Our Full Statement

2023 Morial Awards go to ILSI Engineering and Ochsner Health

Our CEO Judy Reese Morse and Board Chair Jade Brown Russell were honored to anchor our team who served with the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to present this year’s Morial Awards. ILSI Engineering and Ochsner Health have great ties to our organization and service to the community. Congrats to you both and all the finalists.

2022 and 2023 ULEAD Graduation

We celebrated the graduation of the 2022 and 2023 ULEAD leaders. The ULEAD Leadership Academy is a leading training academy where we give advocates the skills to build their capacity to navigate and positively impact the educational landscape for communities of color in New Orleans.
Learn More About ULEAD

Helping Minority Businesses Prepare in Hurricane Season

Helping minority businesses grow includes making sure they can bounce back from disasters. Last week, we hosted Disaster Preparedness & Recovery Resources for Louisiana’s Small Businesses with the SBA Office of Disaster Assistance. This event brought together small business owners and other community members to learn about disaster planning resources, important contacts, emergency funding opportunities, and how to prepare to leverage disaster-related contracting opportunities.
Exciting News! ULLA to Co-Host 2023 Televised Gubernatorial Debate
Tune in on September 7 to view the 2023 Louisiana Gubernatorial debate. Urban League of Louisiana and WWLTV, in partnership with Public Affairs Research Council of LouisianaWBRZ Channel 2KATC-TV 3: Acadiana’s Newschannel, and KTBS 3 News, will co-host this event.
“The Urban League of Louisiana is proud to continue our history of non-partisan voter education and mobilization,” said Judy Reese Morse, President & CEO, Urban League of Louisiana. “This unique partnership positions our organization to help elevate issues important to the communities we serve as well as help to highlight the future Louisianians of all communities share.”
The wait is over. The National Urban League’s 2023 State of Black America report is here, and this year’s report highlights the threat of hate crimes + much more. Take a look.
Impacting Change for Good
Learn more about the work Urban League of Louisiana did in 2022.
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