NUL President Marc Morial to Keynote St. Louis Urban League's Annual Dinner Meeting

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The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis will celebrate its 92nd Annual Dinner Meeting on March 8, 2010. In 2009, the St. Louis Urban League secured over $11.7 million in new grants, including nearly $10 million in ARRA funds. National Urban League President Marc Morial is slated to give the keynote address at the dinner.

The Urban League of Metropolitan Saint Louis will host its 92nd Annual Dinner Meeting on Monday, March 8, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. in the Millennium Hotel Ballroom. National Urban League President Marc Morial will serve as keynote speaker of the event.

An entrepreneur at 15, Morial began success and service at a young age. As Mayor of New Orleans in the 1990s, Morial managed to lower crimes and murders by sixty percent, cut the unemployment rate in half, and drastically lower the poverty rate. As an entrepreneur, lawyer, professor, mayor and legislator, Morial has been recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Black Americans and one of the top 50 Nonprofit Executives by the Nonprofit Times.

At the dinner, Pastor Michael Jones, senior pastor of Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church, Cheryl Heard, president of Racial Harmony, and Citi will be honored with Awards of Merit and Habitat for Humanity will receive the Chairman’s Award from Urban League Board Chair Stephen C. Jones, of Armstrong Teasdale.

Pastor Michael Jones, Senior Pastor of Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church will be honored for years of commitment to serving the greater Saint Louis metropolitan area. Through biblical principals and scripture, Pastor Jones has managed to revitalize an entire social community by encouraging others to serve in community outreach programs. Jones created and serves as Board Chairman of the Robert Fulton Community Development Corporation and the Friendly Community Housing Corporation.

Ms. Cheryl Heard will be honored for her outstanding youth development initiatives and awareness. As President of Racial Harmony in Swansea Illinois, Heard has promoted education, understanding, and communication among all races and ethnic groups. Ms. Heard has helped coordinate the annual Racial Harmony Gathering; rallied financial support for the Challenge 12 program, an education and youth development program. She has developed an annual food drive and a call-to-action volunteer program. She leads a monthly community dialog series that focuses on community action, youth development, violence prevention and sustainability.

Citi is being honored for its excellent community involvement and Corporate Citizenship in the metropolitan Saint Louis community. Citi has supported the foreclosure crisis by providing loss mitigation teams at foreclosure fairs. A long time partner of the National Urban League, Citi has provided staff volunteers to serve at financial literacy workshops. Citi annually adopts 100 Neediest Families throughout Saint Louis.

Habitat for Humanity will be honored as the Chairman Award winner for its selfless service and conviction to provide safe and affordable housing for everyone. The non-profit Christian Ministry shelters families suffering from natural disasters, slum housing and no housing. Habitat for Humanity lends no-profit, no-interest mortgage loans to its beneficiary families and promotes teamwork to homeowners and volunteers who build under supervision.

"We are pleased to honor this year's awardees with our Awards of Merit for their exemplary service in helping the greater St. Louis community," said James H. Buford, president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis.

In 2009, the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis received nearly $10 million in ARRA funds which significantly increased the agency’s service capacity and created 45 jobs within the agency and with its subcontractors. Additionally, 506 job training opportunities for disadvantaged youth were created with ARRA funds.

The Urban League’s Weatherization Program was awarded $7.3 million in additional funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Transform Missouri Initiative, administered by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Having successfully administered the weatherization program for more than 15 years, the funding increase allows the League to provide services to 1,020 city residences over the next two years. The Weatherization Program allows homeowners and tenants to have substantial savings on their utility bills by making their homes more energy efficient.

Each year, the Urban League works to fulfill its mission of Empowering Communities and Changing Lives of over 50,000 individuals in the St. Louis area . The Urban League is certified by the Better Business Bureau and is a proud member of the United Way. The Urban League is the largest civil rights and social service organization in the St. Louis metropolitan area. For more information, call (314) 615-3604 or http://www.ulstl.org.

For More Information Contact:
Angelia D. Bills
Vice-President of Communications
(314) 615-3604

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