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Urban League convention goal to change Boston's image

Urban League Darnell Williams

The Goal of the conference for those who are organizing in Boston seems to have little to do with empowering people of color and has everything to do with misleading people into accepting the false notion that Boston has changed and everything is ok, in order to lure more dollars to fuel non-minority owned businesses and institutions, hotels, schools, etc. You have to ask yourself is changing the image of Boston more important than actually changing Boston? If the convention produces its desired result by its local architects, who does that benefit? How does the Black Community of Boston or Black People across the country benefit from a restoration of Boston’s image, especially when this new image does not gel with the data and stories of communities who live here? If Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts President Darnell Williams is not getting paid by the City of Boston to act as Public Relations and damage control, he should be.


Urban League sees Boston convention a chance to boost city’s national reputation among minorities
By Mary Moore, Boston Business Journal
Monday, June 27, 2011

The Urban League’s Darnell Williams sees the group’s national convention here as an opportunity to reshape perceptions of Boston in minority communities.

For starters, the event provides Boston a chance at race-relations redemption, an opportunity for the city to begin turning its negative reputation among African-Americans.

“The mission is simple. How do we collectively change the image of Boston?” Williams said. “The conference is simply the catalyst to fuel that mission.”

“Indeed, African-Americans spent $48.6 billion on domestic travel in 2010, but rarely visited Boston, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association. So the financial upside from gaining ground with African-Americans is considerable and James Rooney, executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, is going after their business. He snagged the Blacks in Government conference, which comes to Boston later this summer, and is in conversations with the AME Church in hopes of hosting two of its national events.

From the Urban League conference, Rooney said, “we’re expecting thousands of ambassadors.” They would be the attendees who leave the city interested in jobs in Boston and in sending their children to colleges and universities here, he said. And they would tell others.”


National Urban League Conference, Jul. 27 to Jul. 30
July 13, 2011 by Joel Wool

“During one critical and dynamic week in July, Boston will make history,” said Darnell Williams, President and CEO, Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts. “For the first time in 35 years, the National Urban League Conference will provide Boston with a platform to show the country that we are a friendly and culturally diverse city that appreciates the strengths and benefits of an inclusive society. We are looking forward to maximizing that opportunity.”


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