The Minneapolis Urban League is a private, nonprofit human service and advocacy organization established in 1925 to serve the interests and concerns of low- and moderate-income African Americans in Minneapolis. It is an affiliate (chapter) of the National Urban League, a New York City-based group organized in 1911 with affiliates in cities throughout the United States.
The organization's mission is to enable African Americans and other minorities to cultivate and exercise their full human potential on a par with all other Americans. It has long been active in North, Central, and South Minneapolis neighborhoods, operating programs focused on education, health, employment, juvenile delinquency, housing and urban affairs, economic development, community organization, law and consumer affairs, social welfare, and citizenship education. It also acts as a clearinghouse for ideas and information.
The Minneapolis Urban League is funded by government grants and contracts, the United Way, foundation and corporate grants, and private contributions. The League offers a variety of services to enable individuals and families to become self-sustaining. It operates fourteen major programs geared to children, youth, adults, and senior citizens. These programs operate in four divisions: academic education, economic development, client services, and health education. Responsibility for governance, policy development, and financial oversight of the League is vested in a board of directors composed of individuals from the Minneapolis community. A president/chief executive officer (formerly "executive director") manages the organization and reports to the board. Executive directors of the Minneapolis Urban League have been: Abraham L. Harris (1925-1926); C. W. Washington (1937-1942); James Wardlaw (1943-1951); Shelton Granger (1951-1958); Robert Williams (1958-1967); Gleason Glover (1967-1991); Gary Sudduth (1992-1997); Laura Scott-Williams (interim; 1997-1998); and Clarence Hightower ("President and Chief Executive Officer," 1998- ). From 1926 to 1937 the Minneapolis and St. Paul urban leagues merged to form the Twin Cities Urban League.
From the guide to the Organizational records., 1932-2004 (bulk 1967-2001)., (Minnesota Historical Society)