104th Anniversary Dinner Celebration

WE NEED YOUR HELP - SUPPORT THE URBAN LEAGUE OF SPRINGFIELD

HENRY M. THOMAS President & CEO – Urban League of Springfield, Inc. ORLANDO RAMOS President, Springfield City Council

104th Anniversary Dinner Celebration

April 02, 2017

L to R- Urban League of Springfield President Henry M. Thomas III received a proclamation from the Springfield City Council President Orlando Ramos at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Community Builder Award recipient Urban League of Springfield Senior Vice President Andrew Cade and Yvette Frisby- Senior Vice President Operations & Administrative and Youth Services at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Springfield Urban League President Henry M. Thomas III, Caring Health Center Executive Director Tania M. Barber, Mass State Rep and Springfield City Councilor Bud Williams, Keynote speaker Dr. Robert E. Johnson- President of Becker College and future Chancellor of UMass Dartmouth, and Master of Ceremonies Reverend W.C. Watson at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Rosalie Corbin, Sheila King-Goodwin, and Eddie Corbin at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

Keynote speaker Dr. Robert E. Johnson- President of Becker College and future Chancellor of UMass Dartmouth addressed the focus of this year’s Springfield Urban League Dinner, “Managing A Fast Changing World With Emerging Opportunities at the event taking place recently at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Waleska Lugo- DeJesus -The Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley Director and Springfield Urban League Vice President Andrew Cade at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

Urban League of Springfield Board of Directors Chairman Robert C. Jackson (left) and Springfield Urban League President Henry M. Thomas III (right) present a Community Builder Award to Springfield Urban League Vice President Andrew Cade at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Springfield Urban League President Henry M. Thomas III looks on as a Community Builder award is presented by Springfield Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton Harris to Mass State Rep and Springfield City Councilor Bud Williams standing in for the recipient Congressman Richard Neal, who was not able to attend the Annual Dinner because of his Congressional responsibilities in Washington DC. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Urban League of Springfield Board of Directors Chairman Robert C. Jackson, Urban League of Springfield President Henry M. Thomas III, Youth Achiever Award recipient Frank Lowe-Springfield Putnam Academy student, Anthony Moore-Urban League of Springfield Youth Programs Coordinator, and Master of Ceremonies Reverend W.C. Watson at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Brenda Evans, Mable Sharif- Baystate Mason Square Community Health Center Community Liaison and Outreach Specialist, and Dora Robinson-United Way of Pioneer Valley President and CEO at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Latonia Naylor, Cindy Gaynor, and Darren James at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Elnora Cade, Samantha Cade, and Betty Martin at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Dream Studios Executive Director Benjamin Smith, Vocalist Vanessa Ford, Gregory Drew, and Blanche Martin at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

Urban League of Springfield President Henry M. Thomas III brought greetings at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

Urban League of Springfield members of the Foster Grandparents program at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Thomasena Murphy-Mayo, Maxine Hall, Carolyn Ware, Rev. Dr. Calvin McFadden Sr., Babette Lanier, and Martha Monroe at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

Multi Instrumentalist Jo Sallins provided musical entertainment at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

Comcast staff L to R- Laurie Deyette and Kristen Martin at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Trayce Whitfield, Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri, Waleska Lugo- DeJesus -The Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley Director, Wilfredo Lopez, and Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Jynai McDonald, Waleska Lugo-DeJesus, Baypath University President Dr. Carol Leary, and Yesenia Mendez at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Springfield Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, Tony Pettaway, Calvin Hill- Springfield College Vice Pesident for Inclusion and Community Engagement, and Felicia Lundquist at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Springfield City Councilor Adam Gomez, Waleska Lugo- DeJesus -The Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley Director, and Nate Higgins at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

Spring of Hope COGIC Bishop Talbert Swan II and First Lady Cynthia Swan at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

Darryl Moss- Springfield Mayoral Aide, brought greetings from the City of Springfield at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Urban League of Springfield Youth Coordinator Tony Moore, Sulamita Pertaia- Administrative Asst. to the Senior VP of Productive Aging Coordinator-Foster Grandparents Program, and her daughter Jeanette Vorobyova at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

Dan Glanville-Comcast Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs reflected on the longtime partnership that Comcast has had with the Urban League of Springfield at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

Standing L to R- Kyle McQueen, Daniel Uba-Oyibo, Luis Rosa Jr., and Spencer Uba-Oyibo; seated L to R- Amanda Stevenson and Monique Cross Smith at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R Members of that Comcast team- Ineshia Proctor, Jeff Sexton, Erica Dean, Kristen Martin, and Jeff Romito; Henry Thomas- Urban League of Springfield President & CEO; Dan Glanville from Comcast; Dr. Robert Johnson- President of Becker College and recently names the new Chancellor of UMass Dartmouth (Keynote Speaker); Comcast team- Jay Tirado, Karen Perham-Lippman, Jason Willemain, Charmaine Gazda, Chris Thompson, Laurie Deyette, and Eileen Leahy; Mass State Senator James Welch, and Springfield City Council President Orlando Ramos at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Columbia Gas staff L to R- Andrea Luppi, Lashaunna Davis, George Langhorn, and Michael Kane at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

Springfield Technical Community College VP for Student and Multicultural Affairs Kamari Collins, Imani Hines, and Jose Lopez at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Springfield City Council President Orlando Ramos, Luz Lopez, Latasha Greer, and Springfield Boys and Girls Club Family Center Executive Director Keyshawn Dodds at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Reverend Dr. Calvin J. McFadden, Sr.-St. John’s Congregational Church, Tonya Bradford, Gloria and MA State Rep Bud L. Williams, and Ronda Carter at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Pat Franklin, Kenya Richardson, Kimberly Strother, Canaan Baptist Church First Lady Dr. Annie Watson, Ella Holman, and Betty Johnson at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Jerome McKoy, Elliot DeJesus, and Frank Lowe at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Springfield Technical Community College Trustee Frank Quigley, Maria Getoff, and Springfield Technical Community College President Dr. John Cook at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Urban League of Springfield President Henry M. Thomas III, Dee Thomas, Baypath University President Carol Leary, Dr. Robert E. Johnson- President of Becker College, keynote speaker,and future Chancellor of UMass Dartmouth, and Noel Leary at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

Edward Collins, Judy Matt, and Ma State Senator James Welch at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Kwame Webster, Abel McDaniels, Imani Hines, Pioneer Valley United Way President and CEO Dora Robinson, and Frank Robinson- Baystate Health Vice President for Public Health and Community Relations at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Carolyn Diaz, Robert Clarke, Shatory Badgett, and Michael Morales at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Marisol Guevara, Dan O’Sullivan, and Annamarie Frisby at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

Caring Health Center staff L to R- Susan Bonacquisti, Eddy Correa, Laura Landry, Executive Director Tania M. Barber, Andrea Paulk, and Jacqueline Johnson at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

L to R- Jason Giles, Hector Toledo, Ed Nunez, and Martin Johnson at the Urban League of Springfield 104th annual dinner “Managing A Fast Changing World with Emerging Opportunities” at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield recently. (Ed Cohen Photo)

President’s Statement

It would be an understatement to say that these are interesting, challenging, and opportunistic times, that we are currently experiencing! Interesting in that our Country along with the world, is changing at a fast pace. This is largely due to automation, advancements in science and technology. Other major impact factors affecting the social and economic status of neighborhoods and cities is education quality, and the demographic shifts in the general population.

The most significant challenge relative to the fast pace of business growth and development is preparing youth and adults for career and/or job opportunities; which require high levels of workforce and college readiness. Yes, this is an opportunistic time. There are abundant emerging career and job opportunities that continue to go unfilled, due to a lack of preparation. This is the same for college attainment.

To leverage these opportunities, the full range of community assets need to be engaged to facilitate the development of citizens (youth and adults). Students and adults alike must feel empowered to realize their dreams, aspirations, and to utilize their unique talents to realize personal and community success. This includes strengthening families so that they are vested in creating a quality of life that focuses on thriving, and not just surviving.

Massachusetts has been ranked as the #1 State in America to live in; by U.S. News and World Report magazine. While that is fantastic news, the Commonwealth has more than its share of health, education, housing and economic inequities. Therefore, we cannot rest on our laurels or declare a holistic victory with respect to a great quality of life for all residents. To paraphrase, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “I cannot feel truly free if the least of thee among us are still struggling with hunger, being under-educated, or remain economically insecure!”

There is still a lot of work to do to improve the prospect of a good life, stronger families, and an educated citizenry. The Urban League is poised to do the work, contribute ideas, and strategizes to strengthen communities and the people therein. Developing effective strategies, cultivating youth leadership, and preparing individuals for education and career opportunities are part all part of the blueprint for strengthening communities.

Lastly, let us not forget the fastest growing segment of our constituent community, which is the elderly population. Productive aging is high on the Urban League priority list for community building as well!

The Urban League thanks and appreciates the support and recognition we receive from neighborhood residents, foundations, businesses and institutional partners. Thank you for your support, it is truly needed, and reinforcing to our community uplift efforts. Together, we can accomplish what we will!

Thank you for your support.