This past year, we began celebrating our 100 years of service in Los Angeles by renewing our promise and commitment to do all that we can to increase the economic, educational, and supportive services opportunities available to the brothers and sisters in the underserved communities of Los Angeles. As we come together to celebrate the holidays, we would like to take this time to reflect on how you have helped us reshape our community for the better.
2021 was a year of growth, outreach, and painful loss. We strengthened our ties to LatinX, Asian and Jewish communities. Together, we spoke out against the rise in hate crimes across the country. Programmatically, we provided more than 200 workers with new skills and placed over 150 people into new careers. Our Entrepreneurship Center provided small business workshops to more than 500 entrepreneurs, distributed over $295,000 in grants, and provided 454 hours of counseling. We launched three new programs for middle and high school students, including America on Tech, Urban Bridge Builders, and Project Ready. Our Biz Camp students successfully started over 25 new businesses, with one student, Amylah Charles, winning first place in a national competition for $10,000. And we mourn the loss of our board member, Michelle Avan, and our beloved philanthropic icon and friend, Jacqueline Avant.
Our ability to serve our community has grown because of the generosity of our contributors’ time, talent, and treasure. Thanks to supporters such as Wells Fargo, Doordash, SoCal Edison, CIT, US Bank, Union Bank, and other Centennial partners, our ability to help the members of the communities we serve has grown.
We thank all those who came out to support our mission at our Centennial celebration events. From our 100 Year Birthday Celebration to Centennial Nights and our Centennial Celebrity Golf Tournament, your presence and your contributions are helping to pave the way for so many futures. Next year on April 7, our centennial celebrations continue with our annual Whitney M. Young, Jr., Gala, where we will honor media mogul and change maker Paula Madison, civil rights icon Rev. James Lawson, Jr., philanthropic trailblazer, Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, keynote speaker, Rev. T. D. Jakes, and master of ceremonies, Chris Schauble of KTLA.
As we close out 2021, we ask that you continue to support our efforts and consider making a year-end gift to empower our essential work. As our beloved Bell Hooks said, “What we do is more important than what we say or what we say we believe.” So we thank you for allowing us to do what we can for the greater good.
We at the Los Angeles Urban League wish you the happiest of holidays, a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, a Joyous Kwanzaa, and a safe and prosperous New Year. With many new partnerships, events, and programming on the way, the best is truly yet to come!