We treat social advocacy as a process that never ends … because justice is a right, not a result. Everyone in a community contributes to the cause of social justice, whether they’re aware of it or not. With advocacy and action come hope and change. Without making a personal commitment or taking action, one is accepting the status quo as good enough.

Your Urban League is a leading force for good, dedicated to better conditions for all and over the long term. We work with you to raise our voices, serve our community and stand up for what’s right.

Equity must come from empathy, and communication is the nutrition that feeds understanding. 

At the Greater Stark County Urban League, we believe that social advocacy is an ongoing journey, because justice should be a guaranteed right, not merely a hopeful outcome. Social justice thrives on the collective effort of every community member, whether they realize their impact or not. Through steadfast advocacy and proactive action, we foster hope and inspire change. Inaction or passive acceptance of the status quo only serves to perpetuate existing disparities.

As a beacon of progress, your Urban League tirelessly champions improved conditions for all, dedicating ourselves to long-term success. We collaborate with you to amplify our voices, serve our community, and advocate for justice.

True equity originates from empathy. Effective communication nurtures this understanding, acting as vital nourishment for social cohesion and mutual respect. Join us in this crucial mission to advocate for justice and equality, reinforcing our collective commitment to a better tomorrow.

Learn more about the 21 Pillars.

Much more than programs, and more like a lifetime friendship.

This is your Urban League. The Greater Stark County Urban League has been part of the community for more than 100 years. We’ve formed a deep understanding of the needs and concerns for the community’s culture. We speak your language and never speak down to you. That’s because we’re here to elevate your life, to build you up like the friends that we are.

Our Social Advocacy Initiatives

We empower all people to take an active role in determining the direction, quality of life, public policy and leadership in their communities through full participation as citizens and voters and through active community service and leadership development.

Equity Clinic Social Justice at the Greater Stark County Urban League

EQUITY (equity clinic)

This is a culturally-infused approach to help the community get trusted healthcare services. The Greater Stark County Urban League helped more than 250 people get the COVID vaccine through the Equity Clinic by partnering with the Canton City Health Department.

Your Urban League is also directly involved in promoting equity through social advocacy and leadership. In response to George Floyd’s death and resulting protests, we crafted a 10-point justice plan to implement policies and practices that address racism and systemic injustice, based on the community and its needs. Education remains a key component, encouraging people to seek out resources and learn about what’s happening in their communities and understand the nationwide movement that aims to end racial injustices.

We’re also involved in gaining educational equity, to give each student what they need where they are, to “get what you need to succeed.”

Unity Challenge Social Justice at the Greater Stark County Urban League

ENGAGEMENT (15 day unity challenge)

The Greater Stark County Urban League is a member of the Stark County Coalition to Dismantle Racism, and one of our major initiatives is The 15 Day Unity Challenge. This collaboration with several area health, education and social advocacy organizations dedicates time and space to build more effective social justice habits, particularly for those dealing with issues of race, power, privilege and leadership.

Participants are presented with challenges such as reading an article, listening to a podcast, reflecting on personal experience and more. We can then discover how racial injustice and social injustice impact our community, connect with one another and identify ways to dismantle racism and other forms of discrimination.

All Stark County businesses, individuals, and agencies are encouraged to apply, making a public commitment to do their part.

Census Participation Social Justice at the Greater Stark County Urban League

RESPONSIBILITY (census participation)

According to The Leadership Conference Education Fund, the “census is the most inclusive civic activity in our country, covering every person in every household.” Its data directly affects whether we truly offer equal representation and equal access to government and private resources, such as funding to states and localities.

African Americans have been historically undercounted, which negatively impacts their families, communities and neighborhoods. They’re one of the so-called “hard-to-count” groups, often missed due to poverty and housing insecurity.

And it does make a difference, with over 800,000 undercounted in the 2010 census, including 7% of children.

The Greater Stark County Urban League has embarked on a significant educational effort to help members of the African American community understand why everyone needs to be counted in order to get better services and representation for their community.

Your Urban League has gone door to door encouraging people to fill out their Census form, even to the extent of sitting with some to help them complete the form.

Get the Vote Out Social Justice at the Greater Stark County Urban League

EMPOWERMENT (get out the vote)

The Greater Stark County Urban League pursues an ongoing effort to educate people about why voting matters, collaborating with the NAACP to get people to vote and serving on the board of Diversity & Empowerment to ensure that all Ohioans have the right to vote.

The research and public policy nonprofit Brookings Institution reports that criticism against African Americans for not voting is both inaccurate and insulting. They counter that Blacks are systematically denied the ability to vote and are subject to discriminatory gerrymandering.

Even despite this history of disenfranchisement, Black voter turnout was within 1 percentage point of whites in 2008 and even higher than whites in 2012, though there was a significant dip in 2016.

Our efforts are based on the idea that encouraging voter turnout comes best through personal outreach and direct contact, while engaging voters on the basis of appealing to meeting their own best interests.

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