PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Just in time for Black History Month, the local affiliate of the nation’s oldest and largest community-based movement to help African Americans discusses their programming on Sunday Sitdown.

The Urban League of Hampton Roads was established in 1978 and is an affiliate of the National Urban League.

President and CEO Gil Bland says the mission of the ULHR focuses on main pillars including education, employment, financial wellness, health, and housing.

Through a collaboration with the Governor and Secretary of Education, the ULHR was able to create a new historic collaboration with HBCUs across the commonwealth as part of their educational programming.

“Virginia Union, Virginia State, Hampton University and Norfolk State University and then the six major urban core cities of Richmond, Petersburg, Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk and Portsmouth,” said Bland. “We developed a tutor/mentoring program where HBCU students will tutor students in high schools and middle schools in those six core areas.”

Bland also discussed their partnerships during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic to get people tested and, later on, vaccinated. It was part of an effort that he said saved lives.

The ULHR also provides assistance to those who need help with housing as well as provides professional development training.

To learn more about the work of the ULHR and its various programs, use this link.