A Journey at the 2018 National Urban League Conference featuring YP LEADS

2018 National Urban League Conference Recap


Representing our local chapter at conference is such a privilege and honor. Yanique Bryan represented us well during the NULYP business meeting where our very own immediate Past President Rolanda Joanice was honored as a Distinguished President. Our VP of Policy and Procedure, Brenda Morrison, was also honored as a Distinguished Member. Congratulations and special thanks to these ladies for their commitment to serve.

The day continued with breakout sessions like “Year of the Slay… #BlackGirlMagic” and “Young, Black, and Elected…The New Era of Leadership” which provided valuable knowledge about millennials in leadership and reimagined the beauty, resilience, and power of black women.

The evening was capped off with the Young Professionals Welcome Reception, which allowed YPs across the nation to network, lean on each other for support, and foster new friendships.


The National Urban League conference always has a robust schedule of sessions full of knowledge you can only find at the NUL conference. The day kicked off with a powerful plenary session “No Ceilings on Success: The Politics and Practices of Urban Education”. We must do more for our urban communities in regards to education.

Here are some notes from this plenary session:

  1. Students of color make up 18% of kids in pre-K but represent 45% of kids suspended from pre-K
  2. We need to expand the definition of equity and success because all students don’t have the same pathways
  3. HBCU has to be a part of the equation to further post secondary education for people of color. These schools need to be supported
  4. Need to develop a kid centric curriculum. Curriculum developed based on kids background/culture
  5. Need to make financial accommodations for struggling students
  6. Dual enrollment is key for high school students to reduce cost of education
  7. Students of color need to be exposed to companies that are outside their purview – such as Google, Apple, etc
  8. Mentorship is key
  9. Quality teachers is key to academic achievement
  10. Must have a fighting spirit if we are to have change

YPs continued the day with more breakout sessions “Pivot: Identifying, Negotiating and Securing Your Next Role” and “Social Hustle: Leveraging Technology for Professional Development”

Here are some notes from these sessions.

  1. Ask for what you want when seeking a job. Don’t be afraid to negotiate salary, vacation days, bonus, etc.
  2. Always be prepare for the next role you desire. Dress and work for the role you want.
  3. Develop a personal purpose, not so much a brand. Having a purpose will be your brand.
  4. LinkedIn is powerful, just figure out how to utilize it. If you aren’t using LindedIn, you are sleep.

The evening culminated with the Whitney M. Young Gala which honored our very own President and CEO, Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh, with the John Mack Award for Outstanding Affiliate. The WMY Gala honored many others including Megan Good and Devon Franklin and the entertainment was nothing short of fantastic with the soulful vocals of Fantasia.


The final day of the conference was all about the community as the National Urban League celebrates Community Day, giving away thousands of backpacks stuffed with back to school supplies packaged by YP volunteers. NUL offered a Health and Wellness zone, Legal Clinic, JiggAeorbics Fitness, dance performances, STEAM Playground and so much more for the community.

Devon Franklin delivered a word at the One Movement Gospel Brunch and Family Session where he implored us to work together. “The strength of our productivity is directly related to those who we partner with” – Devon Franklin.

YPs met for the Young Professionals Awards Luncheon “NULYP Honors” where Felecia Hatcher of Black Tech Week was honored for her contribution to our community in the tech space. She was recognized among others across the nation making an impact. Our chapter was recognized for our work in the Bounce Back Initiative around engaging the community in civic issues. We’d like to congratulate the Houston and Columbus chapters for taking home the National Chapter of Excellence awards this year bringing the coveted award back to the #MightySouth.

The night and the 2018 NUL conference experience culminated with a dope party hosted by the Columbus YP chapter. Good times were had by all, leaving a deep impression on many of the benefits of attending conference. The NUL Conference featuring YP LEADS reenergizes YPs across the nation and ignites the passion for the movement.

See you all next year in Indianapolis, IN for 2019 NUL Conference.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *