Eugene Young to become the 4th Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League President & CEO
National search finds brightest young local leader with a broad network
Wilmington, DE -- Today, Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League (MWUL) Chair Dr. Patrice Gilliam-Johnson announced the selection of Eugene Young as the fourth President of the 17 year affiliate of the National Urban League (NUL), the oldest economic empowerment and social justice group in the country. Young, a prominent leader with expertise in community organizing and social justice policy is also a former mayoral candidate who ran an historic campaign in 2016. Young has already made an indelible mark by galvanizing a growing movement of change makers across the City of Wilmington and now across the State of Delaware.
Chairman Gilliam-Johnson, who is the daughter of MWUL founder James H. Gilliam, Sr. called Young’s appointment, “an incredibly appropriate fit for the moment in our city, state and country.” She went on:
“We live in an uncertain time, one filled with old rhetoric of a time gone by, but also bursting with the energy of a generation committed to removing fences and disparities that continue to plague our communities and separate our shared destiny based on what we look like, where we come from or who we love. Eugene Young not only has a key sense of this dynamic, he has built a movement to directly attack the issues at their core. That movement is young and more senior; black, brown and white; Jewish, Muslim and Christian; above and below the canal; and we believe the next evolution of the Urban League in Wilmington and at the National level. We are fortunate to have Eugene and his network join us.”
Young, 33 and a Wilmington native, was previously an aide in the Delaware Legislature and worked with then Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker as an aide and later on Booker’s successful United States Senate bid. He started his career as the co-founder Delaware Elite, a non-profit group that helps student athletes from Wilmington and the surrounding area become successful in college. Currently, he is the Advocacy Director for the Delaware Center for Justice and co-founder/Board Chairman of Network Delaware. Excited to start, Eugene offered his thoughts on the role, “Our state is at a critical juncture, which makes the presence of the League that much more important. I am honored and thankful for the opportunity to serve a community that has given me so much.”
Here is Young speaking at the Spring 2017 Delaware State University Commencement,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgpoI1SLA4U.
National Urban League President Marc Morial also chimed in on the appointment, “In 2000, the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League’s founding President was a young man with an exceptional mentor in former National Urban League Trustee Jim Gilliam Sr., who elevated the affiliate to its highest height and set a precedent for the Urban League movement and its growing advocacy interest at that time. To have another young upstart with incredible talent and proven ability led by another Gilliam is a big moment for Wilmington. And I know Eugene will take full advantage of it.
The Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League has had a long history of promoting homegrown talent to serve Delaware public interest. Its leadership includes Delaware first African-American and woman serving in Congress Lisa Blunt-Rochester and Delaware State University’s Executive Vice President Tony Allen who both served as presidents of the organization. In addition to the Gilliam’s, former Governor Jack Markell and former Wilmington Mayor James Baker served as chairpersons of the board. Long-time Dupont Executive and one the MWUL’s founding trustees Sylvia Banks led the search process and said the selection of Young “marked the rebirth of the Urban League movement in Delaware, one that will focus us on the things that should matter most to any citizen in a 21st century America -- economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights.”
Young will start his tenure with the MWUL on September 5.