National Urban League Bringing Conference to Indy

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(L to R) Indy Urban League CEO Tony Mason, National Urban League CEO Marc Morial, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett (L to R) Indy Urban League CEO Tony Mason, National Urban League CEO Marc Morial, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett

After 25 years, the National Urban League is bringing its summer conference back to Indianapolis. The conference will take place July 24-27 with the theme of "Getting 2 Equal: United Not Divided." Chief Executive Officer Marc Morial announced the decision this morning at the Indianapolis Urban League America office and said the "one of a kind" conference will bring together people who are focused on urban American and communities of color.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Morial said Indianapolis was chosen for a number of reasons.

"The Indianapolis Urban League is one of our strongest affiliates. It's a sustainable organization and I've got great confidence in (CEO) Tony Mason," said Morial. "Secondly, Indianapolis' facilities and hotels are really second to none anywhere in the country. Thirdly, the support of the business and political community I think stood out in that they were very unified in wanting this conference and saying, 'Look, we did it 25 years ago. It was a success. We want another opportunity to host the conference.' So, that combination I think came together nicely and it's why we chose Indianapolis."

Morial says the conference will feature discussions and debates about a variety of issues, including housing, jobs, education, and environmental justice. It will also feature speeches from elected officials, celebrities and other news makers. Morial says the organization will also be inviting presidential candidates to attend.

Tony Mason says he is excited to bring the National Urban League movement to Indy. He says the goal is to not only engage people from across the country, but also make the conference a community event. 

"We want everyone in Indianapolis, central Indiana and from across the state to come and take advantage of everything from the free workshops, sessions, health screenings and opportunities that exist within the conference," said Mason. "We know, for our city, there will be an economic impact of $10 million and our goal, honestly, is to surpass the attendance record. This past year, Columbus, Ohio had over 19,000 people and we like to think that we can beat that record."

Mason said the successful bid for the conference was made in conjunction with the city of Indianapolis and Visit Indy.

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