Urban League Receives $36,000 Hartford Foundation Grant to Revisit “The State of Black Hartford”

In 1994 the Urban League of Greater Hartford produced the book “The State of Black Hartford” which, for the first time, provided comprehensive information on the history of African and Caribbean-Americans in Hartford. The Urban League will provide an update to this work with the publication of “The 2016 State of Black Hartford,” thanks to a $36,000 grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

The 1994 publication was a 228-page book that included chapters on education, economic conditions, politics, criminal justice, culture, family and housing, with a focus on the black community’s economic resources. The “State of Black Hartford 2016” will provide insight into areas such as assessing social health, the black church, black and brown men of Hartford, the Hartford Promise Zone, the criminal justice system, and education. The new book will include issue briefs, opinion contributions and traditional manuscripts.

“The first “State of Black Hartford” was published 22 years ago and provided vision and a voice in greater Hartford, said Adrienne Cochrane, Urban League of Great Hartford’s president and CEO. “The State of Black Hartford 2016 takes a more scholarly approach to addressing the challenges that African Americans face at both the national and local levels through a series of briefs and chapters. The “State of Black Hartford 2016” is neither exhaustive nor conclusive, it is a beginning and not the end, and we invite additional conversation and debate.”

This publication is intended to be a Greater Hartford-centric version of the National the National Urban League’s “State of Black America 2016,” the 40th Anniversary Edition of an annual publication which has been widely recognized for its commentary and analysis around racial equality in America across economics, employment, education, health, housing, criminal justice and civic participation.

The Foundation’s grant will support the copyediting, printing and marketing of the new volume. This grant will fully fund the binding of 300 black and white copies and 100 color copies for limited distribution. A digital version will also be available. A roll-out event, including a panel discussion, is planned to discuss the new report and give local residents an opportunity to discuss some of the issues addressed in the report.

“Urban League of Greater Hartford is recognized as a leader in advocating and serving African Americans and other underserved populations in Greater Hartford working with residents in a variety of capacities including workforce development, housing, and education,” said Sharon O’Meara, the Hartford Foundation’s director of community investments. “This publication will bring to the forefront some of the most salient issues affecting the Black community in Hartford, hopefully driving important conversations.”

Urban League of Greater Hartford, Inc. is a community based, not-for-profit 501(c) (3). Urban League provides programs and services in the areas of:  Adult Education; Youth Development; Workforce Development and Training; Economic Enrichment; and Health and Wellness.


The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. In 2015, the Foundation celebrated ninety years of grantmaking in the Greater Hartford region, made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations. It has awarded grants of more than $630 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.