The Houston Area Urban League Young Professionals group.
Houston Area Urban League Young Professionals group volunteering in the community (HAULYP). PHOTO 2: Markia Bordeaux, President of HAULYP. Courtesy: Houston Area Urban League Young Professionals Slide Shows: Remaining Photos: Courtesy: Houston Area Urban League Young Professionals. Credit: Houston Area Urban League Young Professionals

As the city eagerly prepares to host the highly anticipated 2023 National Urban League (NUL) Conference on July 26-29, the Houston Area Urban League Young Professionals (HAULYP) have been diligently working to empower the local community. With a range of impactful initiatives, HAULYP has emerged as a driving force in addressing pressing social and economic issues faced by Houstonians.

The NUL Conference is one of the most significant civil rights events in the country, where the most impactful community activists and leaders in media, business, and government gather in person at the George R. Brown Convention Center to collectively move the needle towards toward equity for Black people.

HAULYP will host the YP L.E.A.D (Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Advocacy, Development) Summit during the conference for young professionals to connect, exchange ideas, and develop skills that will enable them to make an impact within their communities and professions.

“It’s highly focused on under 40, and its content is designed for and by under 40,” said President and CEO of the National Urban League Marc Morial. “It’s also making sure that we are not setting up in a situation where we expect young people to come and sit in the back. Young people, you are on stage. Young people, you’re talking. Young people, you’re running the meeting.”

In his 20 years of leading NUL, Morial said he is most proud of the new generation of leaders both “young professionals and at the local level” embracing technology and reaching millions through social media outlets, and is optimistic about aligning and partnering with young people as the organization grows and transforms.

“It’s important to remember that on a local level in Houston, it’s a big election year, we have city council races and mayoral races, and it’s important for us to reiterate the needs of the people and put ourselves in positions to have our voices heard,” said Markia Bordeaux, president of HAULYP. “Young people really have the power to impact change at the local level and that is part of the ground work we do.”

One of HAULYP’s primary focuses has been on empowering Houston’s youth through education by launching mentorship programs, career development workshops, and scholarship opportunities, has actively worked to bridge educational gaps and foster a culture of academic excellence. Their efforts have equipped young individuals with the tools they need to succeed, setting them on a path towards a brighter future.

Through strategic partnerships with local businesses, they have organized job fairs, entrepreneurship workshops, and financial literacy programs. They’ve planned volunteer activities, community clean-ups, and initiatives addressing food insecurity. HAULYP organized rallies, forums, and town hall meetings, they have sparked important conversations around racial equity, as well as launching health and wellness initiatives to address disparities in healthcare access. Through health fairs, fitness programs, and educational workshops.

“I’m extremely proud of this organization. This is a movement. It’s like a family reunion,” said Bordeaux. “This is a party with a purpose. We are at a time where affirmative action and women’s reproductive rights are being overturned among other issues. This is the best time to get involved with the Urban League.”

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...