An Era of Essential Service

For decades, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle has been on the front lines in times of crisis. We have been, and remain, a place of solace, refuge, and support for our most vulnerable communities, families, and people. Over this last year, the need for our work as essential first responders in the community we serve has surpassed what it’s ever been before. 

Click below to recap the impact and watch our 20th Annual Breakfast: Era of Essential Service! This year’s theme included a special emphasis on sharing our COVID-19 response, emergency programming and services, and goals for how we plan to address the important work that lies ahead!! 

The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle’s Annual Breakfast is the organization’s yearly signature fundraising event. By the time we gathered for our 2021 celebration, ULMS had spent more than $10 million since March 2020 on support services for local residents and their families by various means, including but not limited to:

  • Securing and maintaining permanent housing;
  • Hot meal and PPE distribution
  • Vaccination education and outreach opportunities 
  • Direct cash assistance
  • Small business grants
  • Offering outreach and support to those experiencing homelessness;
  • Assistance with returning to the workforce with a livable wage; and,
  • Providing high school, college, and vocational training education opportunities and resources.

In addition to raising critical funds for our work, the Annual Breakfast serves as a celebration of the impact on our mission from our donors, constituents, volunteers, friends, and, in particular, our corporate and institutional partners. Stakeholders and friends join us each year to reaffirm our shared commitment; and we very much hope you will be a part of this exclusive, community-minded group.


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Thank you to everyone who was able to join us for our 20th Annual Breakfast: Era of Essential Service! We hope you enjoyed seeing the impact of our essential programming and services, hearing from local community trailblazers, and learning more about our goals for the work ahead as we continue to navigate the pandemic.
We are thrilled to share that because of the amazing support of people like you; we have raised more than $446,000.00 thus far – this is 89% of our $500,000 goal! Whether you donated during the event or plan to in the near future, we appreciate the commitment of your time and dedicated support for our work! THANK YOU!!

2021 Award Honorees


This year’s slate of honorees includes local philanthropic activist and former Pro-Bowl wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks, Doug Baldwin, who will receive the Urban League’s Edwin T. Pratt award; creator of culinary brand ‘That Brown Girl Cooks’ and co-owner of Communion restaurant, Chef Kristi Brown, who will receive the Urban League’s Community Coalition award; and finally, President & CEO of United Way of King County, Gordon McHenry, who will receive the organization’s President’s award.

Doug Baldwin Jr. is a devoted husband & father, philanthropic activist, business leader, and former Pro-Bowl wide receiver that helped lead the Seattle Seahawks to a win in Super Bowl 48.

Following his upbringing in Florida, Doug graduated from Stanford University in 2011 with a degree in Science, Technology and Society (STS). 

In 2018, Doug received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service award from King County – which recognizes individuals who have “gone above and beyond in their efforts to make a difference in communities”. 

Doug is an advocate for change in Seattle/King County and beyond. He proudly serves as CEO of Ventrk, Steward, Principal and founder of Vault 89 Ventures, and works closely with Intellectual Ventures.  Locally, he hosts the annual Doug Baldwin Family Combine to raise funds for the Family First Community Center Foundation, which he founded in Renton.  Doug also helped to advocate for the successful passage of Initiative 940 in Washington state, which enhances police training and accountability. He is an advisory board member for The Sports Institute at UW Medicine, helping make sports and physical activity more accessible while enhancing sports safety. Nationally, he participates as a task force member for the Players Coalition, a group of professional athletes, coaches and owners spanning multiple leagues working to improve social justice and racial equality at the federal, state and local levels. He also sits on the board of Valor Worldwide, the Seattle-based digital media company behind OurMilitary.com, a non-profit serving the military community. 

Above all, Doug believes in redemption. He has developed skills in culture-building as a servant leader and is perpetually humbled in his role as husband and father to two young girls, and continually seeks opportunities to learn from the perspectives of others.

Edwin T. Pratt is a legacy Seattle civil rights leader who led the Urban League and the Seattle community in the 60s. Since 2000 we have honored living legends in the Seattle area who follow in his footsteps by leading with excellence and setting a high standard in their area of expertise as a pillar in our community. 

Congratulations Doug!

Kristi Brown, graduated from the Seattle Culinary Academy in 1993 and within three years of professional cooking, created That Brown Girl Catering in her apartment kitchen in the Central District of Seattle.   From the beginning of her career she committed to preparing whole foods with love, knowing that outside of sex, nothing brings people together like food! She believes that healing happens through food and truly what she creates is food magic.

She is the Founder, Executive Chef and Co-owner of That Brown Girl Cooks! a hospitality group that includes Catering,  a Community Kitchen called ‘Everybody Gotta Eat’, Creator of the Black Eyed Pea Hummus – her inaugural food product and her new restaurant venture, Communion Restaurant & Bar –  located in the Central District of Seattle.

This award recognizes local trailblazers for their service to those most economically disadvantaged in our community. This is only the second time we have presented the Community Coalition award, with the first going to the Black Prisoners Caucus.

It is more important for us than ever to acknowledge the essential work of those who have been on the front lines as we continue to navigate the challenges of the pandemic.  We are grateful for the work Chef Kristi has done, especially over the last 2 years, to ensure that members of our community were fed and supported…”everybody’s gotta eat”!

Congratulations Chef Kristi!

In October 2019, Gordon McHenry, Jr. took the role of president & CEO of United Way of King County. In his time at United Way, Gordon’s passion for race, equity and philanthropy have come into focus as he guides the organization through reimagining its role as an authentic community partner.

United Way is a nonprofit organization that brings people together to give, volunteer and take action to help people in need and solve our community’s toughest challenges. United Way is working toward a racially just community where people have homes, students graduate, and families are financially stable.

Prior to United Way of King County, Gordon served as president & CEO of Solid Ground, Executive Director of Rainier Scholars, and as corporate counsel and then in a variety of executive leadership roles at The Boeing Company.

Gordon, a lifetime resident of King County, native Seattleite, and graduate of Seattle Public Schools, has served on a variety of boards involved with education, social service and environmental issues, and currently serves as Chair of the Washington State Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice and as a member of the King County Regional Homelessness Authority Implementation Board and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

Gordon holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Seattle University and earned his Juris Doctorate from the Georgetown University Law School in Washington, D.C. He also completed the Program for Management Development (Executive Education) at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business in Boston, Massachusetts.

Gordon lives in SE Seattle with his wife, Dorina. They are the proud parents of three children, Mariesa, Alexander, and Austin.

This inaugural award is provided to a community partner who we believe has made outstanding contributions to those we serve. We are especially grateful to have partnered with Gordon and United Way to support our friends and neighbors to remain in their homes, with adequate food, and access to resources as we continue navigating the pandemic.

Congratulations Gordon!

our doors are open
Our Response to COVID-19

The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle team has not flinched as we face this deadly giant together as a city, region, and nation. We stand firmly next to our neighbors and friends providing necessary resources to ensure that those most in need still feel seen, valued, and protected through these times of uncertainty.

Here is a brief overview of what we’ve accomplished between March 2020 – November 2021 to combat Coronavirus in our community. To view a complete list of ULMS emergency services, please click the button below.

Our main office now provides telecom and/or virtual options for appointments and access to most programs and services. 

Monday – Friday from 10AM to 4PM | Walk-Ins welcome | Appointments preferred. 

If you are sick or unable to make it to our office, we will gladly work with you via phone. Simply call (206) 461-3792 and press 0 to speak to our receptionist.

Since April 2020, ULMS has partnered with local sponsors and community leaders to provide three different emergency food assistance programs in an effort to supply food for families with limited access to (or resources for) food. 

  1. Family Emergency Kits via Drive Thru Pick Up: In collaboration with Together Washington, World Vision, and City of Seattle Parks & Recreation, ULMS offered Family Emergency Kits to 50 families with children each Monday via drive thru pick-up between the months of April – June 2020. These kits include basic groceries, hand sanitizer, disinfectant, dish soap, paper towels, toilet paper, school supplies, and children’s in-home activities. Pick ups were made from 12PM – 2PM and locations rotated between 1 of 4 local community centers to ease transportation limitations for families.
  2. Grocery Delivery: With the help of Byrd Barr Place, ULMS now be offered a staff driven emergency food package delivery service to 50 families in need each week from May – July 2020. These packages included basic food essentials such as meat, fruit, fresh produce, and boxed goods. This service was extended to individual families, families without children, and local seniors.
  3. Hot Meal Distributions: Since November 2020, ULMS — in collaboration with C. Davis BBQ and a host of local partners — has provided monthly opportunities for community residents in need to receive free hot BBQ meals and access to a variety of resources including (but not limited to) COVID-19 testing, vaccine pop-up clinics, health screenings, employment assistance, PPE, hygiene care kits, and more.  

In April 2021, ULMS launched our ‘Black Health Matters’ campaign to help promote vaccine education and outreach opportunities for us by us. As a part of this effort, we have created and distributed custom physical and digital vaccine education materials, provided vaccination appointment opportunities and aftercare supplies, and connected with local community partners to provide healthcare services and resources. 

To learn more about the Black Health Matters campaign, please click here

In April 2020, restaurants in King County who have been severely impacted by COVID-19 were given the opportunity to partner with ULMS for civic engagement outreach in exchange for grant funding. 

Restaurant owners were given ULMS Census outreach materials to include in their take-out or to-go orders and in turn, received $2,500 grants.

Participating restaurants included: 

  • June Baby
  • Salare 
  • Jerk Shack
  • That Brown Girl Cooks
  • Where Ya At, Matt
  • Emerald City Fish & Chips
  • Urban Connoisseurs 
  • City Teriyaki 

In June 2020, we partnered with our friends at The Plate Fund to provide expedited access codes worth $500 each to 25 local restaurant industry workers whose pay or employment status were severely impacted by COVID-19. 

ULMS has collaborated with a local church partner to establish a new Young Adult Shelter in the Central District. The shelter will operate on a 24 hour schedule throughout the remainder of the pandemic. Participants must be aged 18-24 and referred by a case manager for admission and intake. Referral assistance available.

To learn more about the shelter, please click here.

Small Black-owned businesses were among those hit hardest during the pandemic. In an effort to promote Black businesses local to King County, ULMS launched our custom Black Business directory in June 2020. The directory is promoted monthly to our ULMS email subscribers and on our official social media channels. 

As of September 2021, more than 70 businesses from a variety of industries have been added to the directory — at no cost! To view our Black Business directory, click here

In an effort to reduce potential exposure to COVID-19, the WA State Department of Corrections is currently in the process of releasing hundreds of low-level offenders back into the community — many of whom will be in need of basic necessities and employment opportunities. 

To assist with this effort, ULMS has donated gently used clothing from our workforce clothing storage to the DOC. This clothing will be sorted and provided to more than 1,100 men and women scheduled to be released from the DOC in the coming weeks.

Clothing items included:

  • shirts
  • jackets
  • ties
  • dresses
  • pants
  • socks
  • shoes

The Urban League’s signature Career Bridge job readiness program has now gone virtual! Participants may now continue to work toward professional development outcomes in our virtual classroom. 

In lieu of the traditional Monday – Friday schedule, classes will now be held virtually Tuesdays & Thursdays from 1PM – 3PM.

These classes will cover topics such as:

  • Job Readiness
  • Life Skills
  • Cover Letter Assistance
  • Resume Assistance

Students also have the option of earning the following certifications: 

  • OSHA 10
  • Industrial First Aid
  • CPR
  • Flaggers

To learn more about the Career Bridge program, please click here

In August 2020, ULMS launched a special community social project entitled the Black Voices Project. The Black Voices Project is a virtual Black book club and community dedicated to uplifting Black literary/creative voices through a range of mediums including books, essays, podcasts, and more! Our goal is to facilitate meaningful conversations about systemic racism and Black history while addressing current political, racial, and social issues impacting Black culture.

Each month ULMS staff choose a literary work to read with the group. Once the selected work for the month is finished, project facilitators host a virtual meet up for participants to discuss the work, how it applies to the current state of society, and lessons that can be applied to conversations and experiences involving racism and Black culture.

Participants receive monthly updates via email subscription and have the option of joining our private slack group to continue discussions and share information and resources. In addition, 10 book club members are selected at the beginning of each month to receive a copy of the current month’s book via first come first served basis.

As of September 2021, 120 people from both locally and across the country have joined the book club! To learn more about the Black Voices Project, click here

by the numbers
$ 1 M
spent on rental assistance & evicton prevention
$ 1 M
$ 1 K
to support small businesses via grants & contracts
$ 1 K
spent on PPE equipment (masks & sanitizer)
$ 1 K
provided in direct cash assistance
$ 1 K
in ride share credits disbursed
$ 1
spent to feed protestors at local marches/rallies
families fed
individuals fully vaccinated via 12 local pop-up clinics
$ 1 M
spent in total support services (INLUDING RENTAL ASSISTANCE)
Sponsorship FAQ

Thank you for your interest in supporting the transformational work of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle! Here is a list of our most anticipated frequently asked questions regarding sponsorship for our virtual 20th annual breakfast.

1. Sponsorship Tier Selection

The first step is to select a sponsorship tier level and complete the Sponsorship Opportunities Form (SOF).

The SOF can be submitted digitally via email or mailed to our office, located at: 105 14th Ave, suite 200., Seattle, WA

If submitting a digital SOF, please email your completed form to Zyna via zbakari@urbanleague.org

2. Submit Payment

View sponsorship payment options in the tab below! 

You can indicate your preferred method of payment on the SOF. 


For credit/debit transactions, we will charge the card provided on the SOF once your SOF has been received. You also have the option of completing the transaction yourself via our online event portal by clicking the ‘Become a Sponsor’ button.


If you prefer to be invoiced, you can indicate so on the SOF and a member of our accounting team will provide an invoice to you via email once your SOF has been received. 


Checks can be made payable to the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle and dropped off at or mailed to our office at: 105 14th Ave, suite 200., Seattle, WA 98122

Each sponsorship level comes with a set amount of VIP registration passes. Once you know who you’d like to invite, simply forward the registration link you’ll receive in your confirmation email to your guests and we will take it from there!

If you end up with extra passes, you always have the option to donate the remaining passes back to the Urban League to use for a community member, volunteer or student program participant.

All logos, program ads, and video ads can be sent via email to Ashley at apugh@urbanleague.org

Logos: Please submit your official logos as a .PNG or .JPG file. High resolution and full color is preferred. If your company has a link to a brand guide where the logo can be downloaded, please provide the link to the contact listed above. 

Program Ads: This year, program ads will be 5.5×8 in dimension. Please submit your ad as a high resolution .PDF formatted file to the contact listed above.

Video Ads: Video ads can be submitted via YouTube link or digital file. If sending via digital file, please send the video in a .MOV or .MP4 file format via email or from a downloadable platform (ex: dropbox, WeTransfer, etc.)

scenes from 2019
2019 Annual Breakfast

Thank you for watching!

21st Annual Breakfast coming December 2022!