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National Advocacy on Behalf of the Poor: An Analysis of Organizational Decision-Making
Unformatted Document Text:  After the Community Action Assembly, the NUL began planning numerous regional and state Poverty Workshops to “stimulate grass roots participation in the implementation of the EOA.” 56 In addition to increasing community activity concerning the EOA, the Southern Regional Office touted the workshops as opportunities for the community to have contact with government officials, and to gain assurances that EOA programs would primarily serve the poor. 57 The NUL also hoped that the workshops would change its elitist reputation. The national office worried that if it did not expand its contact with low-income African Americans, the OEO would not consider the NUL an appropriate recipient of War on Poverty grants. 58 The NUL’s commitment to alleviating poverty, and to offering social services to the poor, was established upon the organization’s founding. Once the federal government began to consider a widespread anti-poverty program, the NUL considered its involvement necessary to insure nondiscriminatory implementation of programs. The League advised the Johnson Administration throughout the drafting of the legislation, and maintained its proprietary relationship with the War on Programs throughout the mid-1960s. Unlike other civil rights organizations, the NUL considered the War on Poverty to be its central priority – its reorganization, directions to local office, relations with policymakers, and certainly its rhetoric, reflected this commitment. O RGANIZATIONAL D ECISIONS TO P RIORITIZE A NTI -P OVERTY P OLICY (1960-1965) Case studies based on archival research raise concerns that perhaps the research is creating a story and, in this case, neglecting other factors that may have led organizations to 56 NUL, Part III: The Records of the National Urban League, 1967-1979, box 1667, NUL Annual Report 1964-1965, 1966. 57 NUL , Part II: The Records of the National Urban League, 1960-1966, Series V, box 35, Press Release, “NUL hold poverty workshops in the South,” January 25, 1965. 58 NUL , Part II: The Records of the National Urban League, 1960-1966, Series I, box 28, Memo to Whitney Young, From: Reginald Johnson, May 14, 1965. 27

Authors: Paden, Catherine.
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After the Community Action Assembly, the NUL began planning numerous regional and 
state Poverty Workshops to “stimulate grass roots participation in the implementation of the 
  In addition to increasing community activity concerning the EOA, the Southern 
Regional Office touted the workshops as opportunities for the community to have contact with 
government officials, and to gain assurances that EOA programs would primarily serve the 
  The NUL also hoped that the workshops would change its elitist reputation.  The national 
office worried that if it did not expand its contact with low-income African Americans, the OEO 
would not consider the NUL an appropriate recipient of War on Poverty grants.
The NUL’s commitment to alleviating poverty, and to offering social services to the 
poor, was established upon the organization’s founding.  Once the federal government began to 
consider a widespread anti-poverty program, the NUL considered its involvement necessary to 
insure nondiscriminatory implementation of programs.  The League advised the Johnson 
Administration throughout the drafting of the legislation, and maintained its proprietary 
relationship with the War on Programs throughout the mid-1960s.  Unlike other civil rights 
organizations, the NUL considered the War on Poverty to be its central priority – its 
reorganization, directions to local office, relations with policymakers, and certainly its rhetoric, 
reflected this commitment.  
Case studies based on archival research raise concerns that perhaps the research is 
creating a story and, in this case, neglecting other factors that may have led organizations to 
 NUL, Part III: The Records of the National Urban League, 1967-1979, box 1667, NUL Annual Report 1964-1965, 
 NUL , Part II: The Records of the National Urban League, 1960-1966, Series V, box 35, Press Release, “NUL 
hold poverty workshops in the South,” January 25, 1965.
 NUL , Part II: The Records of the National Urban League, 1960-1966, Series I, box 28, Memo to Whitney Young, 
From: Reginald Johnson, May 14, 1965.  

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