Happy 50th Anniversary Walt Disney World!

Much has been written in recent days about Walt Disney World and its incredible impact on Central Florida.

Over the past 50 years, Walt Disney World has single-handedly turned our community into a worldwide destination and infused billions of dollars into our region while creating countless jobs. Yet, what often flies under the radar is Disney’s efforts in the community.

As the President and CEO of the Central Florida Urban League, I have experienced this first-hand on multiple occasions.

Disney continuously welcomes at-risk youth to their parks, free of charge, providing an experience that they could otherwise not be able to afford. Disney also routinely pairs local charities with popular events, such as their runDisney series. Events like these infuse much needed funds to organizations, ensuring that we can continue to operate successfully.

As education, entrepreneurship, and employment are the three pillars which guide the CFUL, I am proud that Disney has expanded its efforts to help countless Black owned businesses and entrepreneurs through its supplier diversity program. They have also taken the lead in job training with their Disney Aspire program, offering free college education to their hourly workers.

It takes everyone in our community to work together to end generational poverty and I am thankful that we have Disney leading the way.

In Central Florida, Disney is intertwined in all of our lives and I truly believe we are all better for it.

On behalf of the Central Florida Urban League and our community, I would like to congratulate Walt Disney World on 50 years of magic and making a difference: not just for their guests, but for all of us.

- Glenton Gilzean Jr.
President & CEO