From the President's Desk


For 99 years, the Urban League of Essex County has served disadvantaged individuals and families - working to improve lives by giving help, hope and the tools needed to access America’s social and economic opportunities. As you navigate through the site, I hope the pages will help you see the full relevance and impact of our mission and work.

Our results are the outcomes of countless hours of work - the contributions of ULEC’s staff, AmeriCorps members, Trustees, volunteers, Guild and Young Professionals auxiliaries. Our impact can be seen in the measurable positive changes in the lives of our clients, program participants and constituents.

But those are not our only results. Beyond the numbers, there are unquantifiable, but invaluable outcomes – beaming parents marveling at the portfolios of their pre-schoolers; families that sleep in safe, warm and decent housing; individuals that land living wage jobs; and those successfully overcoming multiple barriers to the workforce and economic inclusion. ULEC's true impact may be best gauged by the restored faith, renewed commitment, determination and pride in achievement that we see in the faces and smiles of those we serve.

As you the read about the real experiences behind the results, we hope that you will be encouraged to join us more closely. We know that we have not and cannot do this work alone. Your support – in time, talent and treasure, is essential to our ability to deliver on our mission. We’re always looking for caring partners to help us identify solutions to complex challenges, and share in the gratification that comes with the knowledge that you have helped empower communities and change lives for the better - for the long term.

Yours in the movement,



About Our Leader 

Since becoming its President and CEO in 2004, Vivian Cox Fraser has led the Urban League of Essex County’s growth and transition from a social services agency to a comprehensive community development corporation.

Leveraging her distinguished corporate career in world-class organizations such as Prudential, Credit Suisse and CIGNA, Mrs. Fraser has successfully guided The League’s organizational progression - establishing a Community Employment Center, a job-creating social enterprise, affordable housing development and strategic community organizing. These programs play a vital role in its mission to promote economic empowerment as a key driver for social change.

Mrs. Fraser’s own personal history drives her commitment to advance economic and social justice for all. She was taught early on that education was critical to improving one’s future. Growing up in Washington, DC, she lived “first-hand” the disparities of location - where geography determines access to resources that determine the future opportunities of so many urban youngsters.

Recognizing that quality education paves the pathway to economic opportunity, she ensures that it is integrated into every program and service area at The League.

Vivian is a graduate of Goucher College and Yale University, where she was a National Science Foundation Fellow while earning her Master’s Degree in Economics. She is married and has three daughters.






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