Urban League of Middle Tennessee Founder’s Day program addresses historic values

Urban League of Middle Tennessee President Clifton Harris presents Rev. Dr. George T. Brooks with an award. (photo: Deborah A. Culp)

Urban League of Middle Tennessee President Clifton Harris presents Rev. Dr. George T. Brooks with an award. (photo: Deborah A. Culp)

Recently, two invaluable entities joined forces to highlight and celebrate a legacy of cherished people. Fisk University and the Urban League of Middle Tennessee collaborated on one of the year’s most memorable events. In addition to the Urban League of Middle Tennessee’s President Clifton Harris, other core site members supported and worked the event. The team included: Tempest Utley, interim manager; Shawn Sanders, workforce manager; Brenda Micheaux and Rosalyn McKinley, front office staff. Amid the heavy hitting program speakers were indeed an impressive blend of academic, Christian, legal and finance professionals.

The program kicked off with a welcome to Fisk University from newly appointed university President Dr. Kevin Rome. Bishop Jerry L. Maynard, Sr. of Cathedral of Praise Church of God in Christ blessed the attendees with a soul stirring prayer.

Clifton Harris, president of the Urban League of Middle Tennessee, introduced the keynote speaker, Dr. Revis L. Mitchell, Jr. Dr. Mitchell delivered an informative and relevant keynote address, holding the audience’s attention with a historic walk down memory lane as related to civil rights, freedom and empowering African Americans (and the general population). He stressed how important it is to acknowledge the historic, rich legacy of both Fisk and the Urban League. He discussed how George Edmund Haynes, the co-founder and original executive director of the National Urban League, put others first to create such an impacting legacy—a legacy soon to recognize the Middle Tennessee chapter’s celebrating 50 years of existence.

Dr. Haynes was a committed social worker and educator who knew that prompting societal change has to begin within the hearts and minds of young people.

He knew exactly why the mission of the national Urban League movement is to enable African Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights. Also why Dr, Haynes and his peers knew firsthand the importance of the human social connection; which would later set the tone for change and empowerment.

Latrisa Jemison handled the remarks an appeal segment of the afternoon. The dismissal was announced and attendees proceeded to the reception. Old colleagues/friends and new, enjoyed the company of each other, networking, photo ops while a partial live band played Jazz quietly in the background. A pleasant end to the phenomenal event indeed.