In 1967 sixteen Sacramento residents from the Civic League petitioned the National Urban League for membership as an affiliate. Through the support of the NUL Western Regional Office in Los Angeles and a seed-grant from United Way, the charter was approved and signed on March 27, 1968, which established the Sacramento Urban League, today the Greater Sacramento Urban League (GSUL).
As a result of highway and housing policy, Sacramento’s historic and first suburban community, Oak Park, became a racially isolated area of poverty and relative prosperity. In response to the community’s needs, the new League affiliate opened its first office in Oak Park.
Today, GSUL is strategically headquartered in the Del Paso Heights community of the City of Sacramento, with a satellite office in Oak Park (two designated neighborhoods in Sacramento’s Promise Zone). Former Senior Policy Advisor to Mayor Kevin Johnson and Assistant Sacramento City Manager, Cassandra H.B. Jennings is the second woman and seventh President. The agency is governed by an 18-member Board of Directors representing a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, cross-section of the region’s business and neighborhood communities. To educate, empower and employ are the three pillars of engagement that anchor GSUL core programs in adult basic and community technology education, workforce development training, and job placement, reducing African American child deaths, and youth leadership development for job placement and training. The agency annually provides services and resources to over 9,700 clients.
GSUL’s organizational approach recognizes and understands the unique challenges of economically distressed communities and individuals caught in the cycle of generational poverty. With an established history of working with at-risk individuals, GSUL knows that economic insecurity is exacerbated by factors like child abuse and neglect, domestic and sexual violence, substance abuse, incarceration, homelessness, and mental health illness.