Greater Sacramento Urban League

Empowering Communities ... Changing Lives

aka Greater Sacramento Urban League   |   Sacramento, CA   |


Mission: Provide underserved youth and adults with education, job training and placement opportunities. The Urban League movement was founded in 1910. The National Urban League, headquartered in New York City, spearheads our nonprofit, nonpartisan, community based movement. The heart of the Urban League movement is our professionally staffed Urban League affiliates in over 100 cities in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Our Mission: The mission of the Urban League movement is to enable African Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity and power and civil rights. Our Methods: The Urban League movement carries out its mission at the local, state and national levels to educate, empower and employ thru direct services, advocacy, policy analysis and collaboration.

Ruling year info


President & Chief Executive Officer

Mrs. Cassandra H.B. Jennings

Main address

3725 Marysville Boulevard

Sacramento, CA 95838 USA

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NTEE code info

Urban League (P22)

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Thousand Strong - Youth Job Readiness

Sacramento’s future to a crucial degree is highly dependent on the ability of all of its young people to become caring, engaged, and productive contributors to the economic and social vitality of our city.

Thousand Strong is an inclusive youth employment program that give special attention to the plight of those engaged in the foster care and juvenile justice systems, or are young men and women of color.

Advancing employment opportunities for vulnerable youth is a central and reoccurring theme in Greater Sacramento Urban League’s (GSUL) 50-year history of service to the Sacramento community. The more recent iteration of this work began in the year 2000 with the construction of the Vic Fazio Workforce Development and Skills Training Center. At that time the Center was considered both high-tech and state-of-the-art. Almost two decades later GSUL’s economic self-reliance development systems for youth and adults remains vital to the creation of vibrant, inclusive and economically sound neighborhoods and communities.

The GSUL movement of 50 years embodies community collaborations and has at its core partnerships with youth and adults committed to becoming productive employed individuals. Whether it is job or soft skills training or workshops for employer partners, GSUL has demonstrated competency, longevity and sustainability in program design and implementation.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups

GSUL is a HUD-certified sub-affiliate housing agency providing lender-advised financial counseling services, first-time home buyer counseling, housing and consumer advocacy and gentrification prevention solutions under our 3-pillar strategy to EDUCATE, EMPOWER and EMPLOY.
We are focused on strengthening our housing marketplace and expanding the opportunity of home ownership to all who legitimately qualify.

Homeowners lost over $7 trillion in single-family home value since the peak of the housing crisis.
That figure included both Black and Hispanic homeowners, whose loss of wealth was the largest, disproportionately.

We asked ourselves, what if the government and others with access to capital were willing to invest even one third of that figure for counseling money to prevent such a loss in the future?

Under no circumstances should the opportunity of a counseling program that helps protect consumers while also saving lenders, mortgage investors and guarantors, landlords, and investors, and even taxpayers, thousands of dollars per loan…… be believed to be un-achievable. Particularly when compared to the $7 trillion dollars of home values lost to foreclosures.

Home2Own:RealTalk is an example of investing dollars in providing housing counseling education that covers the spectrum of housing needs for all people, where everyone wins…Everyone.

• The builder of homes.
• The professionals selling the homes.
• The lender and or Banks financing the homes.
• The insurer safeguarding the deal.
• The communities surrounding the homes.
• The investors purchasing the mortgage loans or mortgage-backed securities.
• The taxpayers
Fannie Mae and Freddie, both of which ultimately stand behind the vast majority of all home loans made today - government-insured loans (FHA and VA, for example) and conventional conforming loans purchased by Fannie and Freddie alike. All benefit.

HUD-Certified housing counseling goes a long way toward reducing the “risk” so often associated with buying a home.

Keep in mind, more than 9 out of every 10 Americans surveyed, regardless of age, race, gender or economics, still strive to purchase a home at some point in their adult lives —even after the recent upheaval brought by the Great Recession and its related foreclosure crisis.

Housing counseling makes home ownership in our country a safer bet for everyone involved, and there are ways to pay for it that are both practical and cost-effective. What’s needed is the results-oriented direction that involves not only the federal government, but includes the private sector in a way that is healthy and helpful for all.

Goals of Housing Counseling
There are several goals that are shared by clients, providers, funders, and policymakers. They are:
• Knowledge of budgeting
• A better understanding of managing credit
• Ways to make informed decisions about pursuing homeownership
• Realizing that homeownership may not be in the best interests of some.

Homeownership counseling provides training to clients to instill knowledge and skills needed to be a successful homeowner. Thus, homeownership counseling can have short-term and long-term benefits.
While homeownership is an admirable goal, it might not be suitable for everyone. We’ve certainly seen this firsthand. In the short run, homeownership counseling can help prospective homebuyers determine whether purchasing a house is financially prudent and assist them in qualifying for a mortgage. This might avert a situation that occurred in the recent downturn in the housing market in which many homebuyers were ill-prepared for homeownership.
In the long run, homeownership counseling can provide a continuum of services that lead up to and include sustainable homeownership, stable neighborhoods, and fewer foreclosures. Homeownership counseling can also help prepare people to become excellent tenants.

Our group education workshops serve many potential homebuyers. Our workshops are geared to provide all the information needed to become a successful mortgage applicant and homeowner.

The Housing workshops always encourage participants to ask plenty of questions. We also schedule one-on-one counseling for interested participants. Participants must complete 6 hours of homeownership counseling. A Homebuyer’s Certificate is then earned at the end of counseling sessions.
Once the client has actually purchased a home, our post-purchase/non-delinquency education and counseling helps them to navigate life as a homeowner. Common issues like:

• Home maintenance
• Financial management
• Avoiding predatory lending, and other traps of available credit as a homeowner.
• Understanding common credit problems that could lead to delinquency and foreclosure.
• Creating a realistic budget to lay a solid financial foundation.
• Understanding property taxes and insurance
• Protecting and maintaining their home(s).

The GSUL has been a proud partner of the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) Program spearheaded by Neighbor Works America. The goal of Mortgage Default/Foreclosure Prevention education and counseling is to help homeowners stabilize their mortgage payment through assessing homeowners current hardship and establishing an agreed-upon action plan in an attempt to cure the mortgage default or prevent foreclosure.

The tenant and landlord program we propose will in fact provide quality education regarding the rights and responsibilities of both tenants and landlords in California. In addition, it will provide information and referral to housing and housing-related services. Issues covered will include:
• Maintenance
• Security deposit returns
• Lease issues
• Discrimination / other rental housing topics.

Information about these particular topics has been gathered from a variety of sources, some of it firsthand and empirical based on actual cases. We will provide education on legal and practical applications of rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. The information is provided in plain language, problem-solving techniques are explored, alternative actions are reviewed, and the client will ultimately select the action to pursue that is best for them. Because of the housing markets collapse, evictions are on the rise….

The most vulnerable of the housing population, poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers.
We see families forced into shelters, and that’s if they are lucky to find ones with availability. We continue to see sub-standard dwellings owned by slum lords being rented to vulnerable populations. People are being forced to find less expensive housing in more dangerous neighborhoods. We see working homeless people with entire families living in their cars. This is the reason we are proposing a solution, developing a cooperative of sorts in which we take an active role in assisting these populations become educated, knowledgeable, and ready from a credit standpoint.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups

GSUL serves as the Community Incubator Lead (CIL) for the Black Child Legacy Campaign in Oak Park. The goal of BCLC is to reduce preventable African American child deaths in Sacramento County 10-20% by the year 2020. We work with local community groups, organizations, agencies, parents and caregivers as a collective effort to reduce these disparities; support happy and healthy children and advocate for families and communities. The Black Child Legacy Campaign in Oak Park has fostered purposeful partnerships to create a resource hub in the community. As the Oak Park CIL, we are uniquely positioned to recruit residents, provide assistance, perform effective outreach and provide timely reports towards specific outcomes. Our outreach is significant.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups

The adult high school offers students the opportunity to earn a regionally accredited high school diploma, preferred by employers over a GED and paves the way to college entrance. Students are assessed to determine diploma requirements and work at their own pace while guided by California- credentialed teachers. The program accepts enrollments year-round, is open to adults 22 and over, and is no cost to students.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups

Project NextLevel specializes in working with out of school young adults ages 18 to 26, who may live in priority zip codes of the federally designated Sacramento Promise Zone and lacking job and/or academic skills. Project NextLevel provides individualized services in leadership development, community service, life skills, and relevant work experience and occupational skills. Our aim is to teach young adults how to be successful in school, on the job, and ultimately in life.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Ethnic and racial groups

Serves as on of the Sacramento Works America' s Job Centers network providing both job seekers and employers with access to all recruitment, engagement, training, and job placement resources, products and services in the Sacramento region. GSUL's Job Center is open to the public, offers career counseling,, employment referrals, and scholarships for vocational training. As a WIOA partner, we offer support services like unemployment registration, bus passes, rental assistance, food, work clothes and tools, child care assistance and more.

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people
Economically disadvantaged people

CTE courses prepare students for careers in skilled trades, applied arts and sciences, and modern technologies. Our course curriculum is designed to improve job skills and marketability in high wage in-demand and gig economy careers. Certificated programs include Microsoft Office technologies, custodial facility maintenance and Community Health Workers and program offered in partnership with HealthNet, Sacramento City College and Wellspace.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups

Where we work


Greater Sacramento Urban League

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Greater Sacramento Urban League

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Sean Herron

JP Morgan Chase Wealth Management

Board co-chair

Dr. Rahim Reed

University California Davis

Carolyn Veal Hunter

Sloat, Higgins, Jensen & Assoc.

Elmar Aslami

Community Member

Linda Cardoza

California State University Sacramento

Ranon Maddox

Mechanics Bank

Will Owens

Dignity Health

Eugene Asare-Mensah


Barry Broome

Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council

Harvey Livingston


Ken Maxey


Joanna Theolene

GSUL Young Professionals

Jay Day


Nicole Howard

Southern California Edison

Sandra Davis Houston

National Urban League

Donald Terry

Tri Counties Bank

Brandy Bolden


Garrett Leaf

Health Net

Pam Henderson

Community Member

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/20/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/20/2019

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.