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.
ORLANDO, JULY 1, 2016 – Through a wide variety of programs and services, the Central Florida Urban League is looking forward to playing a critical role in assisting the Sanford Housing Authority (SHA) in ensuring that the Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant will benefit as many residents of Sanford as possible.
“The Central Florida Urban League stands ready to assist the residents of Sanford,” said Glenton Gilzean Jr., President and C.E.O. of the Central Florida Urban Leagues. “Our programs such as the Center for Working Families (CWF) will provide Sanford residents access to job training which will lead to high paying jobs and home ownership opportunities.”
The CWF provides for a comprehensive and integrated approach designed to help low-and moderate-income families reach financial stability, increase their net worth, and become financially secure and upwardly mobile through the provision of integrated and bundled services.
The model focuses on three key areas:
Employment and Career Development: Job readiness, job placement, occupational skills training, education and career advancement;
Income and supports: Helping participants gain access to public benefits, tax credits (EITC, and others), healthcare, financial aid and other benefits to improve their financial security;
Financial Coaching: One-on-one coaching to establish goals and a pathway to success, along with educational workshops, and access to well-priced financial products and services to help participants improve their household finances and build assets and wealth.
ORLANDO, JUNE 12, 2016 – The Central Florida Urban League is asking for all healthy men and women over the age of 16 to donate blood in light of the horrific terrorist attack at Pulse Nightclub.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed and injured in this horrific terrorist attack,” said Glenton Gilzean Jr., President and CEO of the Central Florida Urban League. “There is an urgent need for blood donations, so I ask that anyone who is able to donate blood, please do so as quickly as possible. As a community, we must come together and support one another.”
The need is for O Negative, O Positive and AB Plasma blood. To find a donation center or Big Red Bus near you visit www.oneblood.org or call 1.888.9Donate. To be a donor, you must be 16 years or older and weight at least 100 pounds.
“The first responders of Central Florida are the best in the country,” added Gilzean. “They deserve our utmost thanks and support for their service. We stand behind Chief Mina, Sheriff Demings and their staff as they continue to respond to this unthinkable attack.”
Below is a list of blood donor centers and bloodmobile locations:
- Orlando West Michigan Donor Center, 345 W Michigan Street, Ste. 106, Orlando, FL 32806
- Orlando Main Donor Center, 8669 Commodity Circle, Orlando, FL 32819
- Oviedo Donor Center, 1954 W. State Road 426, Oviedo, FL 32765
- Asbury United Methodist Church - Bloodmobile 220, West Horatio Avenue, Maitland, FL 32751
- St. Luke's United Methodist Church – Bloodmobile, 4851 S. Apopka Vineland Road, Orlando, FL 32819
- Metro Church – Bloodmobile, 1491 East State Road 434, Winter Springs, FL 32708
ORLANDO, JUNE 1, 2016 – The Central Florida Urban League (CFUL) and the youth of Orange County will be coming together to honor local members of the law enforcement community on Friday, June 3 (11:30 am to 1 pm) at the Citrus Club (255 South Orange Avenue).
Local youth were asked to nominate members of the law enforcement community whom have made a significant impact on their lives. After receiving the nominations, a committee selected seven individuals: six nominated by the youth and one by the Central Florida Urban League, whom will each be presented with a special honor during Friday’s luncheon.
While these nominees are aware that they are being recognized on Friday, they do not know who nominated them for this special honor, ensuring that the will be surprised by seeing first-hand how they truly impacted the youth of Orange County.
“We wanted to showcase that the police officers in our community are doing extraordinary things. We received an overwhelming number of nominations, truly demonstrating that there is so much good being done by law enforcement,” said Glenton Gilzean Jr., President and CEO of the Central Florida Urban League. “Honoring Our Heroes is just one of many initiatives that the CFUL has organized with the goal of bridging the gap between our community and law enforcement.”
The CFUL would like to thank: the City of Orlando, the Walt Disney Company, Orange County Public Schools, the Orlando Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff's Office, Brighthouse Networks, Orange County and the Florida Office of the Attorney General for their support of this initiative.
Click below for the Honoring Our Heroes PSA, sponsored by Bright House: