Community partners to launch new Urban League in Tampa, Hillsborough

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February 27, 2019

The conversations started quietly long months ago. Sometimes one-on-one in a coffee shop or after a church service; other times at small gatherings in a school cafeteria or gymnasium.

Most recently, a dozen or so people met at Middleton High School, and then Blake High School.

Businessman Stanley Gray and a sponsoring committee of about 20 people have started a dialogue with the community at large. Within the next 14 months, they hope to launch a new chapter of the Urban League.

Nearly 16 years ago, the existing Tampa-Hillsborough Urban League closed, amid mounting debts related to an ambitious plan to renovate and move its headquarters to a historic Ybor City building.

The proposal for a new Urban League of Hillsborough County isn’t a revival of the former organization but a new beginning, Gray says.

“We’re trying to get out in the community and let everyone know what we’re doing,” he adds.

More community meetings are on the agenda as the sponsoring committee members seek to broaden and deepen support for their cause. The organization’s goals would be focused on job training, jobs with living wages, and medical services in low-income, primarily minority neighborhoods in Tampa and Hillsborough County.

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