Knoxville Area Urban League

KNOXVILLE AREA URBAN LEAGUE

The President’s Message

Phyllis Young Nichols is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Knoxville Area Urban League. Ms. Nichols joined the Urban League as a curriculum and education specialist in l994 after many years in public education and private business.  As chief executive since 2000, she has expanded the Urban League impact to serve over 8,200 individuals and families each year through its 24 programs to provide a skilled and diverse workforce; to increase and retain homeownership; to support economic and small business development, and to advocate and enhance education efforts for students of color.

A graduate of East TN State University and University of TN, Knoxville, a self acclaimed life-long learner, Mrs. Nichols has completed continuing education and leadership courses at the University of Tennessee, Whitney M. Young, Jr. Center for Urban Leadership; the Texaco Management Institute for Leadership Training; and the Duke University Center for Executive Leadership.  She is a 2003 graduate of Leadership Knoxville and the FBI’s Citizens Academy.a Urban League. Ms. Nichols joined the Urban League as a curriculum and education specialist in l994 after many years in public education and private business.  As chief executive since 2000, she has expanded the Urban League impact to serve over 8,200 individuals and families each year through its 24 programs to provide a skilled and diverse workforce; to increase and retain homeownership; to support economic and small business development, and to advocate and enhance education efforts for students of color.

Recognized as a Senior Fellow by the National Urban League, her expertise in Board and Affiliate Development has facilitated her work with the League and other non-profit organizations throughout the country.

Her community involvement includes many boards, taskforces and committees including past president of the Executive Women’s Association. Nichols is Chair of the Great Schools Partnership, the public education foundation for Knox County Schools, and current board member of the East TN Foundation, Knoxville Symphony Board and Tennova Metro Board.

Mrs. Nichols has received numerous awards and recognitions including the Women of Achievement from the Tanasi Girl Scout Council, the YWCA “Tribute to Women” Humanitarian Award, and Chi Eta Phi Humanitarian Award.  In 2010, Phyllis was awarded the “Be More” Person of the Year by East TN Public Television and the University of TN College of Communications and Information –Diversity Award.  In 2013, the TN Human Rights Commission recognized Phyllis Y. Nichols for her advocacy for civil rights and social justice and she was recognized with the “Women of Power” Award by the National Urban League.

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