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Chicago Urban League announces entertainment and honorees for 57th Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner

On September 5, 2018, a host of Chicago Urban League (CUL) staff, board members, volunteers and donors gathered downtown at the Wintrust Building’s Grand Banking Hall for a sneak peek into the 57th Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner, the organization’s largest yearly fundraiser. CUL Interim President and CEO Barbara Lumpkin delivered the exciting news that Maze featuring Frankie Beverly would be the headline entertainment along with National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial serving as keynote speaker.

“The reaction from the crowd says it all,” said Lumpkin. “Between the talent, guest speaker, honorees, and other surprises we have in store, this year’s Golden Fellowship Dinner will be unforgettable.”

Hosted by famed Chicago Comedian Damon Williams for a seventh year in a row, the Golden Fellowship Dinner draws more than 1,500 of the city’s corporate leaders, human rights advocates, philanthropists, clergy and elected officials. This year’s theme, #CurrentSituation: Our Race to Equity, emphasizes the long-running economic and social disparities faced by Black communities in Chicago, as well as the League’s progress and ongoing efforts toward achieving equity for African Americans in several realms, including employment, housing and education.

“We fully understand that the opportunities for advancement for African Americans, or even having a seat at the table, are impacted by the work that we do,” said Lumpkin. “The Urban League is not only a voice for racial equity, we’re a movement with a mission.”

Lumpkin also announced that the League will bestow the coveted Edwin C. “Bill” Berry Award on long-time businessman John W. Rogers, Jr., Chairman, CEO & Chief Investment Officer of Ariel Investments. Rogers is an avid supporter of the Chicago Urban League, a past Board Chairman and a Lifetime Board Director. Named for Bill Berry, CEO of the Chicago Urban League from 1956-1969 and key activist in the Civil Rights Movement, the award is given annually to leaders who make a mark locally and nationally through hard work, perseverance and creativity.

John W. Rogers

The League’s Lester H. McKeever, Jr. Individual Service Award is named for long-time CPA, Accounting firm Principal and Chicago Urban League Lifetime Board Director Lester H. McKeever, Jr. Created in 2016, this award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a strong commitment to improving the quality of life for African Americans in Chicago through volunteerism and embodies excellence through community service. This year’s award will go to Dorothy R. Leavell, National Newspaper Publishers Association Chairman and Publisher of the Chicago and Gary Crusader Newspapers.

Dorothy Leavell 01 158 PrintSMALL8
Dorothy R. Leavell

The 57th Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner co-chairs are Charles Matthews, President and CEO of Peoples Gas and Melvin Williams, President and CEO of Nicor Gas. Lead dinner sponsors to date include BMO Harris Bank, Fifth Third Bank, GCM Grosvenor, Illinois Tool Works, JP Morgan Chase & Co. and United Airlines.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information about the Chicago Urban League’s 57th Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner, contact Karen Coleman at 773-451-3526 or visit

About the Chicago Urban League 

Established in 1916, the Chicago Urban League works for economic, educational and social progress for African Americans and promotes strong sustainable communities through advocacy, collaboration and innovation. For more information on the Chicago Urban League, visit Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

About Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly

Maze featuring Frankie Beverly arrived on the scene in 1977 with a string of hits including Happy FeelingsLady of MagicWhile I’m Alone and Workin’ Together. The soul classics continued with Golden Time of Day, Southern Girl, Joy and Pain, We Are One, Running Away, Back in Stride, Can’t Get Over You, Silky Soul and The Morning After.

Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly

The essential must-have Maze albums include Joy and Pain (1980), Live in New Orleans (1981), We Are One (1983), Can’t Stop The love (1985) and Live in Los Angeles (1986). Maze was saluted by Mary J. Blige, Avant, Ledisi and other acts on the 2009 hit CD, Silky Soul Music: An All- Star Tribute to Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly.

To sneak peek the preview video for the 57th Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner Party Click HERE.


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