Urban League Hosts Diversity Luncheon
By Edward Henderson
On Thursday, September 1st, the Urban League of San Diego County hosted their 2016 Equal Opportunity Day Diversity Luncheon on the 9th floor of the San Diego Central Library.
Equal Opportunity Day is a National Urban League event held at affiliates across the nation to celebrate excellence in civil rights and social justice. The purpose of this gathering was to build awareness, momentum and understanding of 21st century skills initiatives among local community leaders. This year’s program included keynote speaker Frank Robinson, Multicultural Strategy & Implementation Manager for Union Bank.
Robinson’s speech focused on how to live a life of significance and the deeper meaning of the word.
“Love, that’s the guiding principle,” said Robinson. “My journey to significance came through the path of love. Apply your talent to something bigger than yourself. Your legacy isn’t about what you acquire, but what you leave behind.”
The catered event fed a full room of professionals and affiliates of the Urban League along with students from e3 (Educate, Empower and Engage) Civic High School. The program specializes in connecting students with internships in their field of interest.
Mia Rollins, an e3 student, has an internship at Mt. Vernon Elementary School and has aspirations of becoming a teacher. She is also using the opportunity to gain teaching experience and volunteer at other institutions to look more credible on her resume.
“Equal opportunity means giving students opportunities and the freedom to dig deep into what their passionate about without holding stereotypes to their outside appearance,” said Rollins.
Jason Whatley, another e3 student who is interested in securing an internship in acting or fashion expressed his views on the importance of equal opportunity as well.
“When people don’t get the same opportunities as everyone else it creates division. If we’re in America and this is a free country, everyone should have the same rights and opportunities as everyone. They should be able to walk outside and be their own individual while living by their own rules.”
Charles Williams, Youth and Education Program Manager for the Urban League, spoke with me on the next step after identifying opportunities.
“The more focus should be more on equity. The needs of one person isn’t a need for someone else. We must first identify the needs of people, and meeting them where there are at. We have young professionals here, high school students figuring out who they are in life and also seasoned professionals. Today was an opportunity to bring everyone together and see how we can help each other.”
Visit www.sdul.org to get involved with the organization and for information on future events.