The National Urban League is a civil rights organization founded in 1911 to combat racial discrimination against African Americans. It is the oldest and largest community-based anti-discrimination organization in America. The organization has 90 affiliates in 36 states and the District of Columbia.
Although it is technically nonpartisan, in that it does not endorse political candidates, the League often agrees with left-of-center and Democratic policies, including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and affirmative action. . Its current president, Marc H. Morial, is a Democratic politician who most notably served as the 59th mayor of New Orleans. 
The National Urban League was founded in 1911 as a result of the merger between three early civil rights groups: the Committee for the Improvement of Industrial Conditions Among Negroes in New York, the National League for the Protection of Colored Women, and the Committee on Urban Conditions Among Negroes.  It was created after the Great Migration, in order to help the millions of African Americans who had come to northern and western cities find employment and housing. Initially known as the National League on Urban Conditions Among Negroes and led by George Edmund Haynes, it assumed its current name in 1920. 
Early to Mid-20th Century
The National Urban League’s second executive, Eugene Kinckle Jones, was responsible for shifting the focus of the League’s work away from the specific needs created by the Great Migration and towards the needs of African Americans as a whole, particularly countering employment discrimination. 
Jones’ successor, Lester Granger, deepened the League’s work in equalizing employment opportunity. His successor, Whitney M. Young Jr., assumed leadership in 1961 and made National Urban League a key part of the mid-1960s Civil Rights Movement and a major supporter of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society social-democratic welfare and economic planning programs. Young personally created what he called the “Domestic Marshall Plan,” which greatly influenced the Johnson administration’s welfare programs. 
He was, however, considered to be much more pragmatic than other civil rights leaders. The Washington Post quoted him saying, “You don’t get black power by chanting it. You get it by doing what the other groups have done. The Irish kept quiet. They didn’t shout Irish power [. . .] They kept their mouths shut and took over the police department of New York City.” 
Late 20th Century to Present Day
The National Urban League’s next president, Vernon Jordan (1971-1981), continued his predecessor’s support of government intervention in economic matters. During his tenure, the National Urban League began publishing the State of Black America Report, which is still published yearly as of 2019.  Jordan was also critical of President Ronald Reagan’s administration, quoted in 1981 by PEOPLE as calling the President’s budget “devastating for black people and poor people.” 
Although his successor, John E. Jacob (1981-1993), was an opponent of the Reagan Administration as well, Jacob’s work with the League was less radical. He stressed “self-help” economic measures at the local level, such as initiatives that combatted crime, discouraged absentee parenting, and endorsed the responsibility of fatherhood.  On the national level though, he too supported greater federal funding for welfare and infrastructure spending. His “Urban Marshall Plan” called for a $150 billion cut in the annual defense budget, the fruits of which would be reallocated to fund federal support programs. 
After Jacob resigned in 1993, Hugh B. Price was elected president (1993-2003), faced with the League’s most dire financial situation of its history.  He successfully brought the National Urban League into the 21st century with years of consecutive budget surpluses and focused the organization during his tenure primarily on racial inequities in education, making National Urban League a noted supporter of affirmative action.  Price also established the now-defunct Institute for Opportunity and Equality, which researched, among other things, how to best foster African-American economic self-reliance. 
The National Urban League’s current president, Marc H. Morial, was elected to his position in 2003. Most notably, he drafted its “five point empowerment agenda,” pushed the “Main Street Marshall Plan” – which included a raise in the minimum wage to $15 per hour in line with the demands of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and an increase in spending on federal job training and employment – and partnered with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, a left-of-center gun control organization. 
The National Urban League’s programs are performed through its local affiliates, of which there are currently 90. The targeted fields are those of the “five point empowerment agenda”: Entrepreneurship and Business Development, Health and Quality of Life, Housing, Workforce Development, and Education and Youth Development. These programs include entrepreneurship training services, health screenings and education sessions, financial literacy and homeownership education, occupational trainings, and developing youth education guides for local organizations, respectively. 
The National Urban League fully supports race-based affirmative action and accused the Trump administration Justice Department of having a “disdain for the advancement of communities of color” when then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressed his intent to undo affirmative action. 
The organization also supports Obamacare, claiming that it “improved access to health care services for those who gained coverage through its coverage expansions.”  The National Urban League also supports an increase in the minimum wage and large expansions in federal employment and training programs. 
Following former President Barack Obama’s presidency, the League rated his terms as “Excellent.” 
The National Urban League is currently led by Marc H. Morial, who has been president since 2003. He was previously a Democratic Party politician, serving in the Louisiana state legislature and as Mayor of New Orleans. 
Along with a lengthy Board of Trustees made up of various corporate representatives the National Urban League has five paid senior vice presidents: Dennis Serrette, Paul Wycisk, Wanda Jackson, Herman Lessard, and Rhonda Spears Bell, who were each paid $210,492 in annual salary in 2016.  According to the organization’s “Executive Staff” webpage, it has since added senior vice presidents Michael Miller, Donald R. Cravins Jr., Donald E. Bowen, Nicolaine M. Lazarre, and Cy Richardson .
The most recent available tax filings by the National Urban League are from 2016 and show a total revenue of $53,093,389 and total expenses of $47,626,361. 
Notable contributors to the National Urban League include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Walmart Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Marguerite Casey Foundation.