Empowering the next generation of the youth on Long Island to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights."
"Empowering African-Americans and other disenfranchised Long Islanders to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights."

Our History

Founded in 1972 and incorporated in 1974, the Urban League of Long Island, Inc. is one of nearly 100 affiliates of the National Urban League.

The National Urban League, established in 1910, is the nation’s oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering African-Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream.

The Urban League of Long Island’s 40 plus year history began in 1972 when a group of Tuskegee Airman working at the Grumman Corporation became disheartened by the limited number of job, and career advancement opportunities available to minorities living on Long Island.  In their efforts to eliminate barriers to equal opportunity in the workplace, together in the home of founding president Jean Esquerre the Long Island affiliate of the National Urban League was born.       

Today the bi-county agency serves 20,000 individuals from Long Island, New York’s Nassau and Suffolk counties each year.  The day-to-day operation of the Urban League of Long Island is governed by President & CEO, Theresa Sanders under the guidance and direction of a talented mix of Board of Directors.  The agency employs both full and part-time individuals, each representative of the constituency serviced by the League.  The clients serviced come from highly diversified backgrounds and possess a myriad of differing needs.  Such clients include at-risk youth populations, senior citizens, local businesses, spiritual / faith-based communities, and other community-based organizations. 

Our Mission

The mission of the Urban League of Long Island is to empower African-Americans and other disenfranchised individuals to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power, and civil rights.


Our Strategy

The Urban League employs a five-point strategy, tailored to the needs of our local Long Island constituency, in order to implement the mission of our Movement.


1.      Education and Youth Empowerment: Ensuring that all of our children are well educated and prepared for economic self-reliance in the 21st century.

2.      Economic Empowerment: Empowering all people in attaining economic self-sufficiency through job training, good jobs, homeownership, entrepreneurship and wealth accumulation.

3.      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 to affordable healthcare for all people.

4.      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.

5.      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.