Founded in 1910, the National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically under-served urban communities. Our mission is to empower African Americans and other Oregonians to achieve equality in education, employment, and economic security.
The Urban League movement carries out its mission at the local, state and national levels through direct services, advocacy, research, policy analysis, community education and mobilization, coalitions and collaborations, and communications. As an early advocate for fair housing and employment, the Urban League was instrumental in helping to shape the city of Portland we know today.
We're proud of our work with the Fair Shot for All Coalition. After passing a law to Ban the Box in the legislature and 18 months of campaign work we co-led with the Oregon AFL-CIO, Portland City Council voted unanimously on November 25th, 2015 to pass a ban the box ordinance stronger than the statewide legislation. While we were thankful to see the state law on the books, it simply removes the box from a job application. The Portland ordinance provides an effective solution to strengthening our workforce and reducing our incarcerated population by requiring employers to extend a conditional offer before seeking information on an applicant’s criminal history.