By Gloria Dulan-Wilson
Well after a rousing keynote speech by Marc Marial President of the 103 year old venerable National Urban League (NUL), there can be no doubt in any one's mind that they are in Philly to take care of business. The next three days will be jammed with activities and workshops that will leave the participants reeling. But they appear to be up to it, as evidenced by the applause he received during his keynote speech - themed on the basis that Philadelphia has been the Black music capital for decades. He used excerpts from famous songs to depict the thrust of the organization over the next year; and ended by saying that the murder of young Black males will not be tolerated; nor will the evisceration of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court (I call them the subprime court) go unchallenged.
If you are in or around the East Coast - or if you're on the moon - it makes sense that you take this opportunity come and support this organization that has stood for jobs, quality of life, education, training and civil/human rights of Black people for over 100 years; and they've not slowed down since their inception. For more information, log on to www.nul.com.
Simultaneously, and coincidentally, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, more popularly known as NACA is also at the Philadelphia Convention Center for a 5 day stint to help make renters into home owners; and help save those homeowners who were victims of predatory lenders from foreclosure; or overly high monthly mortgage payments.
Having just left New York City where they worked with thousands of New York families, NACA is doing an East Coast sweep to try and shore up those families that are still struggling to make ends meet, maintain their families, keep a roof over their heads; or own a quality home in a good neighborhood without it costing them half their souls. Bruce Marks, who founded the organization 25 years ago is a hands on activist as well as the genesis behind the world's best mortgage package. In addition to no down payment, no closing costs; not predicated on your credit scores, the mortgage is always 1% below the current prevailing mortgage rate. It also offers buy-down opportunities, so you can practically reduce your interest rate to 0. Because they deal with more than 80 banks, those facing foreclosure also have the advantage of getting same day solutions, often seeing mortgage reductions of between $500 to $1,000 or more per month!
It seems to me that there is some sort of synchronicity here - having both organizations in the same place - the Philadelphia Convention Center - at the same time. There would, to me, appear to be opportunity for cross pollination - there are bound to be those among the Urban League who would like to own their own homes, but don't have the down payment or closing costs (yet) to do so. Why wouldn't they take advantage of the proximity and spend some time in a FREE NACA workshop? And concomitantly there are bound to be some NACA participants who would benefit from the job fair that the National Urban League is presenting at the Philadelphia Convention Center; why not bring resumes and avail yourselves of the opportunity.
Both organizations are national in scope, so regardless of where you're from, there is relevance and applicability in both arenas.
Let's hope the particpants and conveners both see the wisdom in this and make avenues for synchronicity to work for both of them.
The Philadelphia Convention Center is conveniently located in downtown Philadelphia on Arch Street between 11th and 12th Streets and can be reached either by subway or bus.
If you do attend both events, you will come out the winner. Look forward to seeing you there.
Stay Blessed &