URGENT Inc. Continues to Empower Young People To Transform Their Communities
The Urban Renewal Greater Enhancement National Team (URGENT Inc.) is set to celebrate 25 years of innovation, growth, and transformation with a Royal Lion King Gala on Saturday, October 26, 2019. The gala will be hosted at the Arts of the Elks, 4949 NW 7th Avenue, Miami, FL 33127. Guests are invited to be dress in their Lion King’s finest/ African/Evening attire. The event will feature an exciting array of activities, including an opening reception, red carpet photos, live drumming by Delou Africa, dinner, dancing, a live band. URGENT’s digital Face(Film, Arts, Culture, Coding, Entrepreneurship program) youth media team will premier a docudrama that was directed by them. Tickets can be purchased athttps://www.eventbrite.com/
The current programs exist today thanks to year-round support of organizations that have invested in URGENT Inc’s years of service. Those companies include; The Children’s Trust, and the Southeast Overtown Park West Community Redevelopment Agency, The Miami Foundation, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Knight Foundation and Miami Dade College, as well as with the support of the of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.
The Royal Lion King Gala will lay the foundation for a Capital Campaign to raise $25 million for the new URGENT Academy (UA), a Career and Technical and Entrepreneurial Innovation Center. At UA, high school students will work and create together in partnership with industry professionals, mentoring artists, and digital designers to build the skills sought after by today’s creative and technology-driven industries. Also, in the works is the FACE Arts & Production Studio, a creative oasis designed to promote youth arts, technology, and culture.
URGENT, Inc. was established in 1994 by a small group of concerned citizens who wanted to improve the depressed urban economy plaguing Miami at the time. Their vision was to empower young people to transform the community. Twenty-five years on, URGENT continues to work as a catalyst for change in the Miami community by focusing on the youth and community development.
“As Overtown transforms, Urgent Inc’s mission becomes even more important because, through our community partnership, we are empowering Overtown youth to transform their communities,” states Neil Shriver, Executive Director, Southeast Overtown Park West Community Redevelopment Agency.
The organization teaches core competencies in a variety of dynamic programs serving youth from ages 5-21. Programs include the FACE Internship, Rites of Passage Media Project, and the Youth Empowerment After School program. The FACE (Films, Arts, Coding & Entrepreneurship) program is a hands-on, real-world internship program for high school teens. Rites of Passage is an arts enrichment program designed to inspire girls in middle school to elevate their voice about issues they care about using video, photography, poetry, and performance. Several youths have benefited from the programs, like Shawn V., who said: “This program taught me how to become more responsible and taught me values no other internship I’ve been in has done.”
URGENT, Inc. President, Henry Crespo, is excited about the milestone celebration. He recalls, “The vision for this organization started at my father’s kitchen table. As a kid, I watched people come to my house to ask my father for counsel, kindness, and a good meal. And he would give it to them every time. That started it for me, and it’s the foundation for URGENT, Inc. But the first 25 years have offered so much more than I ever imagined. I ready to continue our work for the next 25 years.”
A roster of sponsors has supported URGENT, Inc.’s vision over their 25-year existence. Executive Director, Saliha Nelson, highlighted that The Women’s Fund was the first to see the organization’s potential. She said, “When we decided to pivot as an organization to focus on youth, the Women’s Fund gave us a grant for our Rites of Passage Girls program which is still in existence today and touching the lives of young ladies throughout Miami Dade County.”
For further information and sponsorship opportunities about URGENT, Inc. visit:https://www.urgentinc.
Note to media: October 24 URGENT Inc. will host their annual Lights On Afterschool, a national event highlighting afterschool programs and their importance in the lives of children, families, and communities. The event will take place from 3 pm-6 pm.
About the Organization
URGENT, Inc. celebrates 25 years as a Miami, FL based youth and community development organization dedicated to empowering young minds to transform their communities. Guided by the principles of innovation, growth, and transformation, URGENT, Inc. sees young people as the drivers of change and works to provide empowering opportunities to create the next generation of social change agents. URGENT, Inc. is generously funded by The Children’s Trust.