The Indianapolis Urban League was founded in the fall of 1965 as a
non-profit, non-partisan, interracial community-based social service/civil
rights organization. The local affiliate is one of 102 affiliates with the
National Urban League. The Indianapolis Urban League is funded by the United Way
of Central Indiana, individuals, organizations, businesses and government
bodies. The IUL was founded by the late Thomas W. Binford and the late Atty.
Henry J. Richardson, Jr. The late Sam H. Jones, served as President & CEO of the
IUL from 1966 to 2002.
The Indianapolis Urban League employs the following 5-point strategy in order to
implement the mission of our movement:
- Education and Youth Empowerment: Ensuring that all of our children are well
educated and prepared for economic self-reliance in the 21st century.
- Economic Empowerment: Empowering all people on attaining economic
self-sufficiency through job training, good jobs, homeownership,
entrepreneurship and wealth accumulation.
- Health and Quality of Life Empowerment: Working to build healthy and safe
communities to eliminate health disparities through prevention, healthy eating,
fitness, as well as ensuring access and complete access to affordable healthcare
for all people.
- Civic Engagement and Leadership Empowerment: Empowering all people to take an
active role in determining the direction, quality of life, public policy and
leadership in their communities by full participation as citizens and voters, as
well as through active community service and leadership development.
- Civil Rights and Racial Justice Empowerment: Promoting and ensuring our civil
rights by actively working to eradicate all barriers to equal participation in
all aspects of American Society, whether political, economic, social,
educational or cultural.
The Indianapolis Urban League affiliate employs these five strategies, plus
others tailored to local needs, in order to implement the mission of our
The Indianapolis Urban League implements its mission through:
- Providing direct services that help individuals and communities help
- “Building Bridges” among the races, collaborating with compatible
organizations of all segments of our society.
- Technical assistance, fact finding and information dissemination.
- Engaging in principled advocacy, community mobilization, social marketing, and
communication on behalf of those we serve.
Over the Years
In the 1970’s the Indianapolis Urban League provided on of the first minority
business development programs of its kind in the city and state. The Business
Development Center provided services to thousands of minority business venture
clients by helping the with business plans and procedures to acquire venture
capital for businesses. The BDC provided services from 1974-81. A Local Outreach
Center was established in 1981 through 1984. The LOC was a business venture
project that focused on creating opportunities for minority-owned businesses to
bid on contracts submitted by the U.S. Department of Transportation – Federal
Railroad Administration. In addition, the League established a Human Relations
Consortium that worked with parents and students as the city prepared for the
desegregation of schools in the 70’s and was one of the first minority
organizations in the city to establish and maintain weekly radio and television
Currently, the Indianapolis Urban League will continue to work towards making
sure that our children are well educated and therefore equipped for economic
self-sufficiency. The League will continue to help adults attain economic
self-sufficiently through good jobs, homeownership and wealth accumulation. In
addition, the League will continue to address health issues that impact our
constituents particularly HIV/AIDS. And last but certainly not least, the local
Urban League will continue to provide advocacy and services for the business
sector, through the Diversity & Race Relations Institute program that involves
training which promotes racial harmony and inclusion.
As the Urban League movement moves through a transitional period in its rich
history, the local League will continue to work toward the empowerment of it’s
Joseph A. Slash is President and CEO, Perry Hines is Chairman of the Board. The
Indianapolis Urban League is located in the Sam H. Jones Center, 777 Indiana
Ave. Indianapolis, Indiana.
For more information you may call (317) 693-7603, or fax us at (317) 693-7613.