Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Statement from Urban League president

        Excerpts from the written statement by Urban League President Hugh B. Price announcing that his organization has canceled plans to bring its 2003 convention here:

        “When we announced last week that we were coming, we indicated that the sole reason for doing so was because we planned to stage a conference that would take a tough-minded and objective look at how Cincinnati was doing in the aftermath of the tragic police incidents and outbreak of civil unrest last year.

        “We intended to structure the conference sessions as report cards, if you will, evaluating whether the city was living up to its promises to reform police policy and practice and put an end to police brutality, racial profiling and unjustified use of deadly force; and whether the city had begun closing the gaps in education, unemployment, affordable housing and economic opportunity.

        “We believed that by staging a conference that was organized in this way, we could help advance the cause of opportunity, equality and justice for our people in Cincinnati and around the country. However, it has become evident to us that a conference formatted as a "report card' on Cincinnati's progress - or lack thereof - wouldn't exactly be welcome in some quarters. What's more, local groups calling for a boycott of the city don't want any kind of Urban League conference coming to the city, even if it's focused on an agenda of opportunity, equality and justice for African-Americans in Cincinnati.”

        Mr. Price on future hopes:

        “We salute and strongly support the concerted efforts of Sheila Adams and the Greater Cincinnati Urban League to promote healing, justice and progress in the city. The National Urban League hopes that in the months and years ahead, leaders from city government, the private sector and the aggrieved communities will succeed in reforming the police department and closing the opportunity gaps in education, employment, affordable housing and economic development that isolate our people from the economic and social mainstream in Cincinnati.”



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