New York, NY - The New York Urban League's 3rd annual Young Men's Empowerment Day held on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, gave students the opportunity to engage in one-on-one and group conversations with powerful men in business from companies as diverse as Bloomberg to ConEdison to Microsoft. The day was sponsored by Time Warner Cable and ConEdison.
“The Empowerment Days give students an opportunity to peek behind the curtain and gain an insider’s view of the day-to-day happenings at some of New York’s most elite organizations. It’s these small but meaningful interactions that have the greatest impact on young people,” said Arva R. Rice, President and CEO of the New York Urban League. “So many of the students that have participated in the past have walked away with new insights and inspiration for their future. Thanks to our corporate partners, we can continue to expose more young people to some of the possible careers available to them.”
Young Men's Empowerment Day focused on how technology is changing work and shaping emerging career fields. This year's hosts for the day included: BET, Bloomberg, LP, ConEdison, FDNY, Harlem Hospital, Interpublic, JPMorganChase, Office of the Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Microsoft, NBC, Time Warner Cable and UPS. At the sites, young men toured the facilities, and met individuals from the corporations who shared their career path.
For the afternoon session, the young men were joined by 18 additional male professionals. These men facilitated conversations about the young men's experiences and provided further career counseling and mentoring. The day concluded at ConEdison where Brian Custer, Anchor, SNY, facilitated a conversation with Amos Winbush, CEO of Cybersynch, and NY State Senator Kevin Parker. These gentlemen inspired the crowd by sharing stories of struggles and success on their career paths.
Panelists Senator Kevin Parker and Amos Winbush
Winbush encouraged the audience to take advantage of experiences such as Empowerment Days because they help to clarify interest and passion. He went on to say, “Find your purpose at an early age. After you find your purpose, the work begins.” Senator Parker added that whatever the students decide to take on, become a master: “Read about, study, seek mentors in your area, and seek to be the very best.”
The New York Urban League was founded in 1919 by a group of prominent New Yorkers concerned with the poor state of blacks migrating to New York City from the south. From its inception it provided employment and connections for migrating blacks bridging the adjustment from the agricultural/rural life to the industrial urban center. Each decade following, “The League” provided critical services such as emergency aid for the unemployed during the Great Depression; formed the Committee for Interracial Voluntary Hospitals to provide care and work in local hospitals; negotiated the opening of employment for blacks in the airline, brewing, and baking industries; created “Street Academies” which became a national model for high school students; published the first State of Black New York report; and created its signature events including the Frederick Douglass Dinner, Whitney M. Young Jr. Classic, and Champion of Diversity Breakfast among many other milestones. nyul.org
Source and photos: NYUL/Photo credit: Gerald Peart