February 22, 2020
Exec. Director of Urban League of Eastern Mass. Stepping Down

Darnell Williams
August 19, 2019 — The Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, a Boston-based nonprofit that provides services and programs to support workforce and economic development, recently announced that Darnell Williams, its executive director since 2001, will step down from the post at the end of next month.

"Williams’s impending departure comes as the organization examines new ways to expand amid rapid changes in the nonprofit sector," The Boston Globe reported yesterday.

The paper added, "Joseph D. Feaster Jr., board chairman of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts (ULEM), called the decision a 'mutuality of determination,'’ saying Williams wants to pursue other opportunities."

Williams did not issue a statement, but, The Globe reported, that Feaster in his statement quoted Williams saying, "It is time for me to pursue other interests, but I will reflect fondly on my ULEM experiences.”

“Darnell has been a great leader and advanced the organization’s mission during his tenure,’’ Feaster was quoted.

An interim leader reportedly will be appointed soon.

While the report did not say what specifically prompted the move, it noted that Feaster said ULEM, which traces its roots to 1919, has seen funding decrease over the last 10 years as other nonprofits compete for the same resources.

“The Urban League needs to be repositioned,’’ the paper quoted Feaster, and indicated that the nonprofit will closely look at its fundraising activities, programs, and board in advance of naming a permanent replacement for Williams.

The Globe said Williams "has been a champion for pushing to change the image of Boston, a city perceived by many as racially insensitive."

In January 2013, Williams was elected to the position of president of the Association of Executives of the National Urban League and also appointed as a trustee to the National Urban League Board of Directors

In 2011, the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts hosted the National Urban League’s Annual Conference in Boston after a 35 year absence, which paved the way for additional conferences of color to come to Boston as their host city.

In 2007, Williams was inducted into the Human Resources Alliance for African Americans Hall of Fame.

For the year ending June 30, 2017, ULEM reported $1.79 million in revenue, of which $1.44 million came from contributions and grants, and $1.84 million in expenses, according to its most recently available federal tax filing. In each of the two previous years, ULEM reported $2.43 million in revenue.

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