About the KAUL

The Knoxville Area Urban League, a civil rights, economic development and social service organization, came into existence in 1968 at the height of the civil rights movement to promote equal employment opportunities for African-Americans in Knoxville, Tennessee. Today, the organization is a non-profit, non-partisan, interracial community-based organization, serving a diverse client base in Knox, Blount and Anderson counties.

The Knoxville Area Urban League is an affiliate of the National Urban League, the country’s oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream. Today, the National Urban League spearheads the non-partisan efforts of its local affiliates.

The National Urban League has more than 100 affiliates located in 35 states and the District of Columbia, providing direct services to more than 2 million people nationwide through programs, advocacy and research.

About the KAUL

The Knoxville Area Urban League, a civil rights, economic development and social service organization, came into existence in 1968 at the height of the civil rights movement to promote equal employment opportunities for African-Americans in Knoxville, Tennessee. Today, the organization is a non-profit, non-partisan, interracial community-based organization, serving a diverse client base in Knox, Blount and Anderson counties.

The Knoxville Area Urban League is an affiliate of the National Urban League, the country’s oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream. Today, the National Urban League spearheads the non-partisan efforts of its local affiliates.

The National Urban League has more than 100 affiliates located in 35 states and the District of Columbia, providing direct services to more than 2 million people nationwide through programs, advocacy and research.

Image

From left, Vernon Jordan, executive director of the National Urban League; Woodrow Z. Wilson, the first executive director of the Knoxville Area Urban League; and Knoxville Mayor Randy Tyree at the first Urban League Equal Opportunity Dinner, held at the Deane Hill Country Club. (Photo circa 1976)

League Leadership History

Phyllis Y. Nichols, President & CEO
2000-present

Rosemary Durant Giles, Executive Director
1992-2000

Mark A. Brown, Executive Director
1987-1992

James R. Townes, Executive Director
1980-1986

Woodrow Z. Wilson Jr., Executive Director
1968-1978

From left, Casey C. Jones, who would become a Knoxville City Council member in 1978; Whitney M. Young Jr., executive director of the National Urban League; Woodrow Z. Wilson, the first executive director of the Knoxville Area Urban League; and Dr. Jack O. LeFlore, a Knoxville College and Urban League board member, gather outside the Knoxville office in 1968, the first year of operations in Knoxville.




From left, Casey C. Jones, who would become a Knoxville City Council member in 1978; Whitney M. Young Jr., executive director of the National Urban League; Woodrow Z. Wilson, the first executive director of the Knoxville Area Urban League; and Dr. Jack O. LeFlore, a Knoxville College and Urban League board member, gather outside the Knoxville office in 1968, the first year of operations in Knoxville.


Mission

VISION: Be the recognized leader and premier nonprofit in the greater Knoxville area promoting diversity, economic and social equity for all citizens.

MISSION: Enable African Americans, other minority groups and the underserved to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights.

Core Values


Diversity

We respect all people and value their contributions. We actively work to serve and engage individuals from various backgrounds with different viewpoints, skills and talents.

Customer service

We are dedicated to satisfying customer needs and honoring our commitments. We demonstrate a consistently caring and knowledgeable attitude to every individual we serve.

Teamwork

Our team members support each other’s efforts, are loyal to one another and care for each other both personally and professionally.

Integrity

We employ the highest ethical standards, demonstrating honesty and fairness in every action. We hold ourselves accountable by documenting and reporting our performance and outcomes.

Self-sufficiency

We believe that individual and family self-sufficiency is the ultimate goal of a strong, viable and growing community.

Collaboration

We will work together, building relationships to create greater value and opportunities for the customers we serve and to make our community a better place to live, work and contribute.

Passion

We show pride, enthusiasm and dedication in everything we do.

Empowerment

We will empower our talented people to take the initiative and do what’s right.



The Opportunity Compact

The Opportunity Compact is a comprehensive set of principles and policy recommendations set forth by the National Urban League to empower all Americans to be full participants in this country’s economic and social mainstream.

The words “opportunity” and “compact” offer a concise and self-explanatory description of what the Opportunity Compact represents – an agreement among interested parties to take actions that will improve the chances for advancement and progress of those living in America’s cities.


The Opportunity to Thrive (Children)

Every child in America deserves to live a life free of
poverty that includes a safe home environment,
adequate nutrition and affordable quality health care.

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The Opportunity to Earn (Jobs)

All willing adults in America should have a job that allows them to earn a decent wage and provide a reasonable standard of living for themselves and their families.

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The Opportunity to Own (Housing)

Every adult in America should have access to the financial security that comes from owning a home.

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The Opportunity to Prosper (Entrepreneurship)

Every individual in America who possesses entrepreneurial vision, ingenuity, drive and desire should have access to the resources needed to establish and grow a viable business enterprise.

Read More

The Opportunity Compact

The Opportunity Compact is a comprehensive set of principles and policy recommendations set forth by the National Urban League to empower all Americans to be full participants in this country’s economic and social mainstream.

The words “opportunity” and “compact” offer a concise and self-explanatory description of what the Opportunity Compact represents – an agreement among interested parties to take actions that will improve the chances for advancement and progress of those living in America’s cities.

Image

The Opportunity to Thrive (Children)

Every child in America deserves to live a life free of
poverty that includes a safe home environment,
adequate nutrition and affordable quality health care.

Read More
Image

The Opportunity to Earn (Jobs)

All willing adults in America should have a job that allows them to earn a decent wage and provide a reasonable standard of living for themselves and their families.

Read More
Image

The Opportunity to Own (Housing)

Every adult in America should have access to the financial security that comes from owning a home.

Read More
Image

The Opportunity to Prosper 
(Entrepreneurship)

Every individual in America who possesses entrepreneurial vision, ingenuity, drive and desire should have access to the resources needed to establish and grow a viable business enterprise.

Annual Reports

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