On Sunday January 27th, ITVS at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center hosted another screening of “The Powerbroker”, the documentary chronicling the life of Whitney Young, former National Urban League executive director (you can find a synopsis of the documentary in the previous post). This screening’s panel was moderate by ITVS’s Michon Boston and consisted of acclaimed author A. Peter Bailey, a founding member of The Organization of Afro-American Unity organized in 1964 by Malcolm X and clinical psychologist Dr. Raymond Winbush, director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University. Winbush and Bailey discussed historical and modern day movement building and the impact that integration had on the African American community in relation to Young’s work with Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders.
Film Screening of “THE POWERBROKER”
On January 14, 2013 at Busboys and Poets, Thursday Network in partnership with ITVS, the Center for Social Media, Community Cinema, Independent Lens, and WHUT-TV hosted a showing of “The Powerbroker” a documentary chronicling the life of former Urban League president and key Civil Rights activist Whitney M. Young, Jr. The documentary was produced by Young’s niece, Bonnie Boswell to highlight the important behind the scenes work of her late uncle during the Civil Rights Movement and why despite his fall from prominence in African American history, he should nonetheless still be celebrated.
While Martin Luther King Jr. and other Civil Rights activists led a more public quest for equality for African Americans, Young battled on behalf of African Americans in the private and elite venues of CEOs and political figures. He believed that in order for the Civil Rights Movement to be successful, it needed to be built upon the foundation of intercultural cooperation; as the ones who held power in the sixties needed to have an investment in the success of the disadvantaged. He believed that through this intercultural partnership, the doors to private industry jobs would be flung open for African Americans to begin paving a road toward economic prosperity.
Despite Young’s victories in the boardrooms and political headquarters of the United States, the more militant stances of late-sixties second wave Civil Rights activists sparked fear in White Americans and shook loose the footholds he’d established in the earlier part of the decade. Branded an “Uncle Tom” and race traitor by up and coming Black leaders such as Stokely Carmichael, his standing in the African American community receded. Amidst monumental victories for the Urban League’s poverty alleviating initiatives during the Nixon administration, Young died suddenly from a heart attack at the age of 49 - many believing that the weight of the crusade for equality simply proved too great for him to bare.
The screening concluded with a panel Q&A consisting of Thursday Network President, Hakimu Davidson, ITVS National Engagement Consultant Michon Boston, and WHUT-TV’s General Manager Jefferi K. Lee. Panelists discussed Young’s legacy and how we can all be architects of social change in the modern era, as well as the challenges of attempting to achieve a monolithic voice for the 21st century African American community.
Member Spotlight: Joe Paul
When did you become a Thursday Network member? Was there a particular person, event, or general body meeting that compelled you to join the movement?
I arrived in DC on my birthday, February 25th, and became a member the following week. I’m not a stranger to the movement. I’ve been a member of the Urban League Young Professionals for over 7 years, serving in Houston, Orlando, and Los Angeles, respectively.
Past President Spotlight: Rita D. Lassiter (2009-2011)
What prompted you to join Thursday Network? Do you recall what you heard about the organization that let you know it would be a good fit? A good friend of mine had suggested that I attend the annual scholarship gala, which at the time was the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year. I was always in search of an outlet to give back to the community and to know that there were young people in my age group galvanizing other young professionals to give back through service and fundraising was inspiring.
On Saturday, August 25 members and friends of Thursday Network gathered at Takoma Education Campus in northwest DC to help beautify the school as part of DC Public Schools Beautification Day. In preparation for back to school season, members broke out into various work groups to help spruce up the interior and exterior of the campus. Members and friends painted benches, picked up trash, pruned bushes, created a beautiful garden and even helped teachers organize their classrooms. Thursday Network was happy to lend a helping hand in making the student’s return back to school a beautiful one!
Past President Spotlight: Brian Bronson (2008-2009)
Brian Bronson, Thursday Network President (2008–2009)
What are your feelings on TN celebrating its 20th anniversary this year? I feel great and honored that I have been blessed to serve TN for the past 12 years. It’s a humble feeling to know that my contributions have furthered the legacy of the National Urban League (NUL) in the Greater Washington area.
Thursday Network Member Spotlight: Meet Malcolm Ethridge
Thursday Network Member Spotlight: Malcolm Ethridge
When did you become a Thursday Network member? Was there a particular person, event, or general body meeting that compelled you to join the movement? I joined August 2011. There wasn’t so much a meeting topic or anything that compelled me; I came with the intention to join.
Thursday Network Member Spotlight: Meet Leslie Mayes
Thursday Network Member Spotlight: Leslie Mayes
When did you become a Thursday Network member? Was there a particular person, event, or general body meeting that compelled you to join the movement? I joined Thursday Network in January 2012. When I was in middle school, I was a Thursday Network mentee and I always said that when I became an adult I would give back to the organization by becoming a member myself.
On Wednesday, June 27, 2012 young professionals from across the DMV gathered on the rooftop of Beacon Bar and Grill for the “Social Excellence: The DC Capital Edition” event sponsored by Auchentoshan (pronounced Aw-khen-tosh-an). This event honored “the best of the best” in the DC area for their contributions in the fields of business, law, education and media.
Thursday Network President, Hakimu Davidson was honored along with Thursday Network supporter and Think Positive Magazine founder, Telie Woods.
Attendees enjoyed music from DJ Jamal Smallz, a live art show, delicious complimentary hors dourves and cocktails made with Auchentoshan brand single malt Scotch whiskey.