As the summer comes to a close, so too does the Fort Wayne Urban League’s opportunity to host summer events in 2019. The group is searching for a new CEO and at the moment has no one working in that capacity. Because of that, certain summer events have been canceled.
“This summer the Urban League has been very dead,” said Sunnique Reed who has been attending Urban League programs every summer for the last five years. “There’s been, like, not one kid over there.”
The Fort Wayne Urban League has been looking for a new permanent CEO since May when the League fired Cosette Grant-Overton in May. The search for a permanent replacement has been underway ever since. an interim was named but that person rotated out earlier this summer.
The League said things are still operating mostly as normal.
“There’s not many summer events that have happened in the past that I know of,” said Fort Wayne Urban League Board Chairman Marlon Wardlow. The only one has traditionally been the State of Black Fort Wayne. With us being in between CEO’s we decided to put that one off, but that is the only event for that typically happens in the summer for the Fort Wayne Urban League that is no longer happening.”
However, others say more than the State of Black Fort Wayne has been missing from this summer.
Southside Sessions is a concert series that was inspired by a series at Jefferson Pointe. That event did not happen this summer.
“It really started to grow, and unfortunately it got cut off at the knees,” said Dwight Wilson who helped create the concert series.
He said it was discontinued because funding for it was not made available, something the Fort Wayne Urban League always took care of as part of the partnership.
Sunnique Reed said she hopes the programs will get back up and running for this upcoming school year.
“It’s definitely harder because after school there’s no tutors which means, even if I need help after school, after staying after school, there’s nowhere I can go to get help,” Reed said if the Fort Wayne Urban League does not get programs going again.
The Fort Wayne Urban League told WANE 15 News it plans to hire a new CEO in the next three months, but wants to make sure they find the right person who will “carry out our mission and truly represent what we hope Fort Wayne can be.”
The 2019 Urban League Gala is still set to happen. The League said it is scheduled for November 9th at the Grand Wayne Center.