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Urban League Celebrates Fifty Years

Fifty years ago the Urban League was born out of the tragic Rochester Riots. Now the League is celebrating their anniversary and honoring one of their former presidents and former Rochester mayor, Bill Johnson.

Bill Johnson was president of the league for over twenty years. During that time he established the Salute to Black Scholars program and the Urban League Economic Development Corporation. Both are still running today.

Johnson says he's proud to be associated with the Urban League.

"I came here 40 years ago and I've seen this league prosper and grow, and it's just wonderful to be a part of this celebration."

Current President Bill Clark says this golden anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate, but also to strategize for the future.

"So while we have made a lot of progress, there's still great gaps that exists and the Urban League - what we do is, we try to bring together programs and individuals that will reduce those gaps."

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Clark says with all of the racial conflicts sprouting up across the county, the league's mission is more important than ever. He says the league is currently very focused on educating the young people of Rochester as a means of giving them more opportunities.

The anniversary luncheon also included remarks from Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Mayor Lovely Warren, and RBA CEO Bob Duffy.

Veronica Volk is a senior editor and producer for WXXI News.