ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Urban League has been a part of Michael McMillan’s life since he was a teenager. Little did he know, he’d be in its most prominent leadership role decades later.
“I’m honored to be in the position and good Lord willing I will have the opportunity to serve in it many more years and make a significant impact,” said Michael McMillan.
Michael McMillan has spent more than thirty years in the St. Louis Metropolitan Urban League. Now he’s the CEO and president.
It was the chairman of the board for the organization who advised him to join at an early age, his great uncle.
“His name was Colonel Clifton Gates. He told me about the Urban League when I was 10-years-old. He told me to join when I was 16 so that I could get my own membership with my own money and I would appreciate it,” said Michael McMillan.
More than 30 years later he’s in the arena with a special group of Urban League leaders as just the seventh president since it was established.
“You pretty much are working from sun up to sundown. But, if you love it then it’s not work it’s your passion,” said Michael McMillan.
The Urban League’s mission is to empower African Americans and others in the region helping secure social equality, civil rights, and economic reliance. McMillan says that goes for anyone who walks through its doors. An important message to spread after a chaotic 20-20.
“The thought of coming together, working for a better society, improving race relations, but simultaneously trying to help people have the basic things that they need to survive meant that the mission of the Urban League is needed now more than ever,” said Michael McMillan.
The pandemic has changed our lives. Death and illness stand out the most but there are more problems.
“People have been reduced to, ‘How do I have food on the table. How do I pay my rent or my mortgage? How do I have clothes, pampers, diapers, whatever is necessary just to get through this?’ Then how do we get them back to having a job, a career, and be able to take care of themselves?” said Michael McMillan.
Growth is essential for any entity to survive. Something they can’t do alone. The Urban League appreciates those in support of it’s mission.
“We have gotten more help than we’ve had before. We have served more clients than we ever have done before. W have had more volunteers, more individual donors, more people step up to the plate and see the mission want to be a part of it. They are personally and professionally committed to making St. Louis a great place,” said Michael McMillan.