“Marc Morial Commemorates Historic Appointment: Cynthia Mitchell Heard, First Female CEO in Nearly a Century”

Los Angeles Urban League President and CEO Cynthia Mitchell-Heard hosted National Urban League President. Marc Morial, in a celebrated event at the Fairmont Century Plaza. Distinguished guests, including Mayor Karen Bass, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Senator Steven Bradford, Pat Harvey, James Pickens, and Ambassador Michael A. Lawson, attended the gathering.

Watch the story on KCAL News featuring an interview with Pat Harvey.

With nearly 200 attendees in the Fairmont’s historic ballroom, Heard’s acknowledgment of John Mack’s legacy set the stage for a new era. The atmosphere was vibrant, with cheers and standing ovations demonstrating genuine support for the new leadership. The Fairmont Century Plaza, which will serve as the venue for the Los Angeles Urban League’s 2024 Whitney M. Young, Jr. Awards Dinner on May 30th, is the original ballroom where the League hosted over 1700 guests under John Mack’s leadership, added a nostalgic touch.

From left: Los Angeles Urban League President & CEO Cynthia Mitchell-Heard, Mayor Karen Bass, NUL President Marc Morial, Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Photo credit: Karim Saafir

Heard, expressing sentiments about standing on John Mack’s shoulders, hinted at an exciting future for the Los Angeles Urban League. Maxine Waters and Pat Harvey commended Heard’s experience, emphasizing her suitability for the role. Janine Drafts of KTLA television, representing the Los Angeles Board of Directors, expressed enthusiasm about Heard’s leadership.

Ambassador Michael A Lawson, Cynthia Mitchell-Heard, Mayor Karen Bass, and Marc Morial

Los Angeles Urban League President & CEO with (from left): Ambassador Michael A. Lawson, Mayor Karen Bass, and National Urban League President Marc Morial. Photo credit Karim Saafir

Morial’s speech highlighted powerful black women in the room, including Mayor Karen Bass, Maxine Waters, and Cynthia Mitchell-Heard. Morial called for change, launching a new wave of activism against attacks on human rights, with a simple call to action: Defend democracy, Demand Diversity, and defeat poverty. Enthralled by the energy, Morial acknowledged Los Angeles as the place to be and extended an invitation for the city to host the 2027 National Urban League Conference, met with resounding agreement from the crowd. The prospect has left everyone eagerly anticipating the future.