Marc Morial, president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League, will be the keynote speaker for the annual Black History Month assembly at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.


The free, public event will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, in the J.M. Ross Theatre of the Hathaway-Howard Fine Arts building.


“Lauded as one of the most accomplished servant-leaders in the nation, Morial has served as president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League since 2003 and has been the primary catalyst for an era of change – a transformation for the 105-year old civil rights organization,” according to a news release.


Morial has been an entrepreneur, professor, legislator, mayor, and CEO in a career that has spanned 25 years.


“His energetic and skilled leadership has expanded the League’s work around an empowerment agenda, which is redefining civil rights in the 21st century with a renewed emphasis on closing the economic gaps between whites and blacks, as well as other communities of color, and rich and poor Americans,” according to the release.


Under his stewardship, the League launched a historic $100 million, five-year “Jobs Rebuild America: Educate, Employ, Empower” initiative in 2013 – a solutions-based, comprehensive approach to the nation’s employment and education crisis that brings together federal government, business, and nonprofit resources to create economic opportunity in 50 cities across the country through the Urban League affiliate network.


His creativity has led to initiatives such as the Urban Youth Empowerment Program to assist young adults in securing sustainable jobs and Entrepreneurship Centers in 10 cities to help the growth of small businesses. Also, Morial helped create the Urban Empowerment Fund, which will lend to urban impact businesses, and helped create the League’s New Markets Tax Credits initiative, which has resulted in $1 billion in community investment via urban impact businesses, including minority business, through both debt and equity investments.


As mayor of New Orleans, Morial was a popular chief executive with a broad multi-racial coalition who led New Orleans’ 1990’s renaissance and left office with a 70 pecent approval rating.


He was a Louisiana state senator and also served on the adjunct faculty of Xavier University in Louisiana, where he taught Constitutional Law and Business Law.


A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Economics and African American Studies, he also holds a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center at Washington, D.C.


Under appointment by former President Obama, Morial has served as Chair of the Census Advisory Committee, a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, and on the Department of Education’s Equity and Excellence Commission. He was also appointed to the Twenty-First Century Workforce Commission by President Bill Clinton.


Morial has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential Black Americans by Ebony Magazine, one of the Top 50 Nonprofit Executives by the Nonprofit Times, and one of the Top 100 Black Lawyers in America.


Details: Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, 870-575-7061.