What does the Urban League Do?

With a vision of equity for all, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle (ULMS) empowers those we serve by providing programming and services designed to support and encourage self-sufficiency in all aspects of life. Our five areas of focus include advocacy & civic engagement, education, housing, public health and workforce development.

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Our Commitment to Those We Serve


The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle was established in 1930 to become one of approximately 90 affiliates of the National Urban League (NUL). Today, ULMS implements its mission within our Seattle/King County service area through advocacy, direct programming, community outreach, and coalition building in five major pillars of focus: housing, education, workforce development, health and policy.

As the second-oldest civil rights organization in the state of Washington, ULMS is one of the region’s essential economic first responders, helping families cope with challenges through a variety of programs designed to support and encourage self-sufficiency in all aspects of life. ULMS also serves as a liaison between community members, local businesses, city and county government, and other service based organizations that share our concern for the welfare of the Black community and other disadvantaged residents in the Greater Puget Sound area.

The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in the heart of Seattle’s most diverse neighborhood, the Central District. 

In January of 1930, the National Urban League (NUL) granted the Seattle affiliate a charter. Joseph Sylvester Jackson, dispatched from New York to become the Seattle league’s one-man professional staff, officially launched services on Saturday, November 1, 1930 with a $4,080 annual operating budget. 
Fast forward 90 years and the urban league movement in Seattle has thrived and grown to heights unimagined! Each and every day, our team is committed to saving lives and empowering those we serve — one family, one person at a time. While much work has been accomplished, there is still much work to be done!

The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle (ULMS) empowers African Americans, as well as other diverse underserved communities, to thrive by securing educational and economic opportunities.

Equity for all.

Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the National Urban league spearheads the efforts of its local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy. Today, the National Urban League has 90 affiliates serving 300 communities in 37 states and the District of Columbia; providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people. 

To visit the National Urban League Website, please click here.

Empowering Communities & Changing Lives


This video provides a brief overview about the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle!

programs & services

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Are you interested in Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle programs or in need of direct service assistance? We’re here to help! The first step is to complete and submit a ULMS Support Services Intake Application. Get started by clicking the button below! 

Families Served

The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle team works relentlessly alongside our local partners and community supporters to ensure the needs of the families we serve are being met and the economic challenges they face overcome. Over the last five years, team ULMS has served 3,225 families annually through our essential programming and services.

families served

Agency Yearly Average

Yearly Average by Department

advocacy & civic engagement
workforce development
public health

Essential Services & Programming

The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle responds to the growing needs of those we serve by providing support, services, programming, and opportunities through our five pillars of focus. 

The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle works diligently to protect the civil liberties and rights of the black community, advocate for policy reform, serve as a voice for those we serve, and educate the public on civil issues affecting our region of service.

Education is the cornerstone of success. It is through education that we can develop a sense of empowerment. ULMS is committed to providing both youth and adult education, training, and certification opportunities on a year-round basis. For more information on ULMS education programs, please visit the “Education” tab in the menu above.

In the U.S., people of color, and low-income Americans, are more likely than their white and affluent counterparts to be uninsured and face barriers to care. They are also less likely to have a primary care provider and have higher rates of chronic conditions (i.e. heart disease, diabetes cancer, asthma, and HIV).

The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle supports the delivery of replicable, sustainable health care to underserved communities while advocating for the elimination of health disparities.

Housing is a basic and essential need. Whether you are renting or buying, a home should not be an insurmountable obstacle. The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle is currently a HUD certified housing program that offers numerous related workshops and courses. For more information on ULMS Housing services, please visit the “Housing” tab in the menu above.
People need access to jobs and the financial resources required to maintain economic stability. More importantly, they need the requisite skills to be competitive in today’s job market. ULMS’s prepares men, woman, and youth with barriers to employment to be successful contributors in the workplace and society. For more information on ULMS workforce programs, please visit the “Workforce” tab in the menu above.

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