The Dallas Examiner
Just two days after the Urban League of Greater Dallas hosted its most recent job fair in which it hoped to help hundreds of residents find gainful employment, the National Urban League Affiliate Services Appeals Committee announced that it would uphold the NUL Board of Trustee’s previous decision to disaffiliate the Dallas chapter.
The problems with the ULGD became public on July 23, when the NUL board sent a notice that the local chapter was to be immediately disaffiliated, citing “serious concerns about the fiscal management and organizational governance of the chapter.”
Calling the notice “improper,” Terry Woods, who became the ULGD chairman in March, said that he was “alarmed, angry and insulted” that the national office would close Dallas’ 48-year-old institution.
The group was given 10 days to file for an appeal. Four days later, attorney Gregory T. Mays filed an appeal on behalf of the chapter.
On Nov. 10, the appeals committee office handed down a legal opinion that the NUL had “ample reason” and “adequate grounds to disaffiliate ULGD.” It also stated that the “ULGD has engaged in conduct that not only violates the affiliation agreement, but also threatens the reputation and goodwill of National Urban League and its other affiliates.”
Furthermore, the NUL has filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of Texas against the local group for breach of contract and trademark infringement, and will seek injunctive relief and damages under the Lanham Act to stop the use of and protect National Urban League’s federally registered service marks, name and symbols.
Though the local chapter has complied with the demand to stop use of all NUL names, logos and trademark signage – including its website and social media pages, its leadership states that it will continue to fight for affiliation.
“The National Urban League lawsuit to disaffiliate the Urban League of Greater Dallas of North Central Texas, a 48-Year-old organization that helps over 100,000 people a year in North Texas, is a frivolous and a nonproductive lawsuit that non-profit dollars could be made better use of,” Woods responded in a statement to the press. “ULGD expects to fight and win.”
Stating that the problems started at the top, Woods has unapologetically pointed the finger at the previous administration for the problems that the new board has uncovered after the group restructured its leadership. In a previous interview he stated that the new board has sought help from the national chapter, but received little to no help. And months later, they were sent the notice of disaffiliation.
“Since March 2015, the new administration uncovered the prior administrations misappropriation of funds and in some cases criminal activity under FBI Investigation of which the NUL was fully aware of for the last 4 to 5 years. The new ULGD administration is being asked without NUL’s help and with impossible timelines (since March 2015) to straighten out 4 to 5 year old problems in less than 6 months,” Woods continued in his statement. “The Federal Government might ask NUL how many other Urban League Affiliates in the country are having financial difficulties due to ‘no mother-child relationship.’”
Founded in 1967, the ULGD provided training in technology, STEM workshops for youth, GED classes and other educational services, veterans programs, job fairs, health fairs and homebuyer’s workshop for thousands of Dallas/Fort Worth residents each year.
In the meantime, many citizens who receive services from ULGD may have to look for other resources, while others go without.