National Day of Service
This program has been GBLA’s dedication to urban renewal. Our commitment to
service and volunteerism is ever present, but during the nationally dedicated service days in January and April, those efforts are heightened. “The Big Dig” is an urban nature conservation effort focused on increasing Baltimore’s tree canopy. GBLA was able to plant over 100 trees with the participation of our members and more than 80 area students and volunteers. Also, during “Yes We Can: END ILLITERACY”, young professionals across the region strive to create literacy-friendly environments in area elementary schools where 80 percent or more children are below reading levels. On this day, 1,000 books were given to 1,000 kids from those areas.
Saturday Leadership Program
The Greater Baltimore Urban League launched the Saturday Leadership Program in 2013. Each month, 100 Saturday Leadership Fellows from all neighborhoods in Baltimore convene to develop their leadership potential. We hold the sessions at Baltimore colleges. Last year, we met at Coppin State University, Goucher, MICA, Morgan State University, Notre Dame, Sojourner Douglass College, and the University of Baltimore. This year, we are planning sessions at 10 colleges. At the beginning of a Saturday Leadership day, students grades 8-12 meet at the host university at 8:00am for breakfast and are welcomed by a fellow student serving as the morning MC. The students are divided into four groups for the day’s activities, each group named after a notable African American from Baltimore who reflects the day’s theme.
The Greater Baltimore Urban League Young Professionals conduct two leadership development sessions. The workshop themes include standard leadership development exercises such as teambuilding as well as themes reflecting the social mission of the Urban League. These two areas, of personal development and community-focused leadership, are integrated into each session’s activities. Students also participate in grade-specific college readiness activities.
Following lunch, the host university takes participants on a campus tour. On the weekends between sessions, GBUL organizes field trips and public service activities. Every college visited is on the MTA bus line, and the MTA has donated day passes for each participant for every Saturday. The program is free.
For the main GBLA fundraiser almost every year hundreds of DMV’s young professionals unite at a spectacular venue for a night packed with power networking, high fashion, amazing food, celebrity guests and a few surprises.