Vol. 4    No. 18
SEPTEMBER 3, 2009 Archives

2009 Production Schedule


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   Anyone driving down S. Park Street can’t miss it, a large two-story building rising out of the parking lot of The
Villager Mall. When it is completed, it will house the South Madison Library and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin
and will be the home of the Urban League of Greater Madison. By the middle of November, the Urban League will
have moved out of its offices on E. Gorham Street and will make South Madison its new home.
   For the past few years, the Urban League has been conducting a $4 million capital campaign to raise funds to
build the structure and to have a pool of transitional funds to allow it to meet the increased demand for its
services that it will experience once its move to South Madison is complete. As of today, the Urban League still
needs to raise $250,000 to meet its goal. And it needs to raise those funds by October 1 or it will lose a $380,000
Kresge Foundation challenge grant for the project. So, in essence, $630,000 is on the line. For every dollar raised,
the Urban League will receive $1.52 from the Kresge Foundation. We, as a community, have to focus on raising
the $250,000 over the next 28 days. While it is a formidable goal, it is hardly impossible if we, as a community, get
behind this project.
   Personally, I have pledged $1,000 for the project. In these difficult economic times, it is going to hurt a little —
or maybe more — for me to fulfill my pledge during the next two years. While making the pledge was difficult, I felt
a civic obligation — and some moral imperative — to make the pledge.
   I spent 12 years practically living the Urban League movement as an employee of Urban League. In many ways,
I had already given my pound of flesh to the movement. But I have witnessed the impact that the services of the
Urban League as had on our young people’s lives. In our last issue, I wrote about Rainy Briggs, who participated
in Project Jamaa back in the early 1990s. The program had a huge impact on Rainy. Today, he is an assistant
principal at Sun Prairie High School and poised to have an impact on the generation coming up.
   During the course of its history thousands upon thousands of people have witnessed hundreds and hundreds of
students receive the Outstanding Young Person award at the League’s annual King Breakfast, a recognition that
the youth list on their resumes. Thousands of people have received job training and thousands upon thousands
more have gotten a past or current job through the Urban League. Hundreds of people have gotten crucial
experience working at the League and now work for private industry, the Madison Metropolitan School District, the
University of Wisconsin and local and state government. Directly or indirectly, during its 41 year history, the Urban
League has had a huge impact on the African American community and beyond.
   Now is the time for us to step up for the next generation coming up so that they can benefit in the same way that
we have directly or indirectly benefitted. We have to be there for them in the same way that the generations before
us were there for us. We cannot let them down.
   If everyone whose life has been touched by the League gave $10-$50, the Urban League could meet its goal
tomorrow. The Urban League will only make its goal if it receives those small contributions from a broad cross-
section of the community. And it will only make its goal if those of us who have benefitted greatly economically
during the past 35 years — the Urban League was an important advocate of Affirmative Action — step up to the
plate and make a sizable contribution as a pledge or cash contribution. Do not hesitate. We have only 28 days to
make this $250,000 goal or the Urban League will be crippled in serving the next generation for years to come.
The time to act is NOW!
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                  THE TIME IS STILL NOW!

Preserving Prevention
Sharyl Kato and the hard sell of prevention
programs