Local Urban League President and CEO Warren Logan takes a national role this year with his election as president of the National Urban League's Association of Executives.
He said he hopes to unite the Urban League's national priorities with those of affiliates at the local level, focusing on such priorities as strengthening schools in urban areas and boosting job skills.
"My goal is to make sure we're all singing out of the songbook and on the same page," he said.
The Association of Executives is the representative body for Urban League presidents across the country. In his role as president, Logan also serves on the National Urban League's board of trustees and executive committee.
The Urban League is focused on economic empowerment as a means to improve underserved urban communities of color. The civil rights organization's Chattanooga chapter launched in 1982, and Logan has led it for 15 years.
Logan is "one of the premiere leaders in the Urban League movement," Marc Morial, president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League, said in a news release.
"Warren has assembled an outstanding board of directors at the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga, which has enabled him to develop one of the strongest affiliates in the movement," he said.
Today's high-tech companies require new job skills, and the Urban League must bring those skills to city centers, Logan said.
"We have an underutilized economic potential in the cities across the nation. With the economy the way it is, we have a yeoman's job in terms of getting people to transfer skills and make sure skills are relevant" for today's market, he said.
Albert Waterhouse, a member of the board of directors for Chattanooga's Urban League, cited Logan's efforts on work force development and inner-city after-school programs as some of the group's major achievements.
"I can speak firsthand of Mr. Logan's leadership abilities. We are very proud of this appointment," he said.
Logan emphasizes that the Urban League is "needed today as much as we were 100 years ago."
"It's been often said that American is in a post-racial stage, and that's not true," he said. "We still have that racial divide, and we're going to have to work on bridging that gap of understanding and making the nation what it has the potential to be."