ORLANDO, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 - The Central Florida Urban League is proud to announce that it has received $30,000 in AmeriCorps funding from Volunteer Florida in order to properly lay the foundation to bring the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to our community.
As one of 36 AmeriCorps programs across the state to be funded, the award will allow the CFUL to play a significant role in increasing student achievement, boosting high school graduation rates, and providing career readiness and teacher training.
“The My Brother’s Keeper initiative is directly in line with the core values and mission of the Central Florida Urban League,” said Glenton Gilzean Jr., President and CEO. “We are very grateful to be one of only 36 organizations to receive funding this cycle; this money will ensure that we can effectively bring this important initiative to the youth of Central Florida in 2017.
Volunteer Florida will administer the funding, which includes $12,071,622 in federal grants from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and includes matching funds representing our community’s local investment in the Central Florida Urban League.
AmeriCorps members dedicate a year of their lives to service, gaining valuable job skills and learning to succeed in the most challenging environments. This funding will eventually allow the CFUL to put AmeriCorps members to work in our community.
AmeriCorps members dedicate a year of their life to service to local organizations such as the CFUL and gain invaluable job skills in preparation to enter the workforce. Many AmeriCorps members attend college in the area in which they serve, providing a direct investment in Florida’s colleges and universities.
ORLANDO, OCTOBER 4, 2016 - The Central Florida Urban League, the Jacksonville Urban League, and the Pinellas County Urban League issued the following joint statement:
Breaking down the barriers that keep communities of color from participating in the emerging renewable energy markets as consumers and producers will result in access to affordable energy and an increase in entrepreneurial and career opportunities. The Central Florida Urban League, the Jacksonville Urban League, and the Pinellas County Urban League believe that Florida Amendment 1 provides an effective hammer for breaking down these barriers while providing regulators with the tools to protect low income consumers who still rely entirely on the electric grid from carrying a disproportionate share of the grid’s fixed costs.
Florida Amendment 1 provides consumers with the constitutional right to install rooftop solar to provide for their energy needs. Owing largely to its cost, low-income consumers and communities of color are seldom able to use rooftop solar and must rely on the grid for their energy needs. As more affluent consumers deploy rooftop solar, fewer non-solar consumers are left to carry the costs of maintaining the grid. This creates a scenario where the costs for maintain the grid shift to low income consumers and communities of color, leaving disadvantaged ratepayers subsidizing affluent solar panel owners. Amendment 1 provides a guarantee that regulators and elected officials can mitigate the effects of regressive cost shifting.
The Central Florida Urban League, the Jacksonville Urban League, and the Pinellas County Urban League urge our members to vote YES on Florida Amendment 1 on November 8, 2016.Read more
The CFUL and the Learning Tree at South City in Tallahassee are two organizations what will benefit from the Volunteer Florida and The James Madison Institute's #BringABook service project. Books were donated at the recent JMI’s Annual Policy Summit!
Thank you to all who participated in and supported this literacy service project!
Please click on this link for more pictures.
Central Florida Urban League President and CEO, Glenton Gilzean Jr., penned a meaningful column in the Orlando Sentinel.
I am proud of the vibrant, diverse and inclusive community that I have called my home since November.
In the most horrific of tragedies, the terrorist attack at Pulse nightclub, the resilience of our community was on display. Citizens from all walks of life rallied together to support the victims, their families and the first responders. Our response reverberated around the world, proving that our community can stand together against a common foe.
Yet, while Americans continuously rally together to oppose terrorism, we still have difficulty coming together to support one another.
A schism has developed pitting proponents of Black Lives Matter against those of All Lives Matter. Yet, we are all fighting the same fight. The Black Lives Matter movement does not diminish the value of other lives. It simply means that specific attention needs to be paid to the injustices experienced by African-Americans, particularly as it relates to law enforcement.
This movement is grounded in facts. According to Mapping Police Violence, in 2015, 37 percent of all unarmed people (102 individuals) killed by police were African-American, despite being only 13 percent of the population. Unarmed African-Americans were killed at five times the rate of unarmed Caucasians last year.
It begs us to ask the question: How could a community trust law enforcement when the system is failing it? Our solution is far from simple, but we believe that it must begin with our youth, ensuring that they have an open relationship with law enforcement.
Simply put: Respect, which goes both ways, must be taught at a young age.
Fortunately, the city of Orlando and Orange County have been beacons of hope for our country. Local law enforcement, led by city of Orlando Police Chief John Mina and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, have made it a priority to work hand in hand with the community.
In the past year, we have established joint projects such as Coffee with a Cop, which allows our community to engage in healthy conversation with law enforcement, without any preconditions. This has made law enforcement more approachable and has begun the process of alleviating fears and concerns.
Law enforcement has opened up its doors to our youth through its Teen Academy, and local youth recently honored seven officers — heroes — for being a positive influence on their lives.
Our growing relationship and trust has led to real change. Respect for our law enforcement has increased, and we are working together to find solutions for local injustices. Recently, Mina and the city of Orlando issued a directive to all law enforcement to use the minimal amount of force necessary, and to immediately intervene if officers see a colleague using too much force.
Our community spoke; Mina and the city of Orlando listened.
Now, we must return the favor. Much like our community would not want to be demonized when one goes astray, we cannot vilify an entire group based upon the actions of an extreme few. We must respect these brave men and women who risk their lives daily to protect every member of our community, regardless of race or ethnicity.
Mutual respect will lead to more dialogue and change. In the coming months, the Central Florida Urban League will build upon our strong foundation and bring these conversations to all levels of law enforcement, from Florida's attorney general in Tallahassee to the newest recruit in Orlando.
We have taken great strides in our community to address racial injustices, and I am proud that the Urban League will continue to be at the forefront. I believe that the life of every man, woman and child is equally important.
Eventually, when the social media hashtag fizzles and the cameras move on to their next story, we will need to work together through a foundation of respect and open dialogue to achieve a peaceful solution.
Click here to read it via the Orlando Sentinel.