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The Mass Media

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February 26, 2024
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The state of the young professionals

The event was aimed to empower a diverse group of young professionals

On Nov. 2, the Young Professionals Network of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts (YPN-ULEM) held their Third Annual Leadership Development Conference at University of Massachusetts Boston. The theme of the conference was “The State of Young Professionals. “

“In the urban league we develop leaders and civically minded polished professionals,” said Marisa Bartley, the Eastern Regional Vice President of YNP. Their mission is to build community, promote personal and career development, and cultivate a welcoming, inclusive environment in Greater Boston for young people of color. 

Throughout the day there were diverse workshops designed to motivate and inspire participants. Workshops included Shaping Our Communities Through Leadership, Shackles on Our Youth, Barriers To Tomorrow’s Leaders, When and How To Take the Leap to Leadership, and Set Yourself Up For Tomorrow.

“The Young Professionals Network is a crucial part of ensuring that transformation continues and that [the Eastern] region of the state fulfills its vibrant, diverse and innovative potential,” wrote J. Keith Motley, Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston, in a letter to YPN.

John Barros, the 2013 preliminary mayoral candidate, talked about the need for minorities and young professionals to get involved in politics, influence policies, and voting. “We get to understand the intrinsic link between the political decisions are made in all levels of government and our individuals personal success,” he mentioned.

According to Barros, 80 percent of the finance for the development of the city happens outside of the minorities’ neighborhood, while the minorities count for 53 percent of the population. “[As young professionals] we have to stand up and be part of the political conversation, is not someone’s else conversation, it is our conversation” he said.

The conference finished with a panel of discussions featuring the President and CEO of the Urban League of Eastern MA Darnell L. Williams, NAACP President Michael Curry, President and CEO of the HipHop Caucus Rev. Lennox Yearwood, and Marisa Bartley. They advised young professionals to stop playing checkers and start playing chess, which was a way of advising young professionals to stop their individualistic, selfish approach to life and start becoming more active and follow strategic participation within their community.