The National Urban League, or NUL, assisted African-Americans migrating into urban areas in the North and South by providing counseling, educational opportunities and employment assistance. In a 1963 telegram to the organization's officers, Martin Luther King Jr. praised the National Urban League's tenacious efforts to promote economic justice for the African-American community by relating to those efforts as having "paid large dividends." The NUL, which is based in New York City, is the largest United States community-based organization of its kind and remains a powerful advocacy group for African-Americans and for anti-discrimination legislation.
In addition to its assistance in training social workers to better meet the needs of the African-American community, the National Urban League has been involved in building awareness in urban communities of the need for gun control and the strengthening of organized efforts to end urban violence. In 1989, the Stop the Violence Movement donated all of the proceeds from the "Self Destruction" hip-hop single to the NUL, which is also an organizational member of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence national advocacy group.
As part of its continuing organizational mission to provide pathways to economic self-reliance and parity, the Urban League of Essex County, N.J., entered into a partnership with the National Association of Professional Women in 2010. The partnership is designed to provide inner-city girls in middle school with opportunities to work with established professional women who can serve as role models.