Contributed by -

Michael F. Neidorff


As chairman of the National Urban League Board of Trustees, the board and I are pleased to present to you the 2018 edition of the State of Black America®. This year’s theme is “Save Our Cities: Powering The Digital Revolution.”

Today’s digital economy offers a universe of new possibilities – cutting edge products, faster services, more information at our finger tips, and new and innovative business practices.  It not only brings a new way of living and doing business, but an opportunity for organizations like the National Urban League to address pervasive disparities in education, employment, health, and housing within urban communities through innovative solutions based in tech.

This year’s State of Black America highlights the unique opportunity to marry new tech advancements seen in corporate America with the innovative solutions that are required to overcome the challenges of economic and social inequality in our cities.

In many ways, we are seeing communities of color shaping, sharing and powering the digital revolution. Nielsen reported in 2016 that African-American millennials have been leaders in leveraging social media to drive social justice narratives and to rally growing support through grassroots efforts. This is one example of technology being used as a catalyst for social change.

Strategically, National Urban League affiliates work to provide students and adults with a digital-era education and ready access to emerging technologies to close the digital divide and arm the country with the most skilled workforce possible. The National Urban League’s STEM education, training, and employment programs offer a workforce well-equipped to meet the high-demand and urgent workforce needs of our ever-changing economy. 

Businesses, regardless of industry, are—and must be—key partners of the National Urban League in this endeavor. They support and facilitate connections to people, governments and organizations to strategically align financial, technological and intellectual resources that lead to positive social change. This report should serve as a call to action to corporate leaders to embrace new ways of thinking about their companies, their talent, and their role in global social issues.

Additionally, I invite each of you to use this report and the recommendations found throughout as a catalyst to build thoughtful solutions in support of your communities. With our successes, Americans of every race, ethnicity, and income group will have a fairer chance to seize the digital future and enjoy the jobs, higher incomes, and economic opportunities that come with it.

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