Organization Celebrates 25 Years in Service
Check out our Q&A With Saliha Nelson-Vice President and Agent for Social Change for Urgent Inc.
What inspired you to get involved with The Urban Renewal Greater Enhancement National Team (Urgent Inc.)?
Henry Crespo and four other Miami residents founded Urgent, Inc. because they felt the problems in Miami’s black community were not getting enough attention, this was post-Miami riots and during the depressed urban economy of the early ’90s. One of their first initiates was to create URGENT Mainline, a show hosted on WLRN’s Cable Tap. Henry hosted the show and brought together local politicians, grassroots activists, concerned citizens, and business owners to discuss issues and solutions. I came on board as a volunteer couple of years later in 1999. I started the agency’s first direct service program, the Rites of Passage Program for Girls working out of Booker T. Washington Senior High School, Community School soon after I would take on the role of Vice President and now serve as the agency’s Executive Director.
What goals do you have in mind for Urgent Inc. for the next five years?
The primary goals for Urgent, Inc. are to open Urgent Academy (UA), a Career and Technical and Entrepreneurial Innovation Center. At UA, high school students will work and create together in partnership with industry professionals, mentoring artists, and digital designers to build the skills sought after by today’s creative and technology-driven industries. Also, in the works is the FACE Arts & Production Studio, a creative oasis designed to promote youth arts, film, technology, and culture.
What excites you most about being part of Urgent Inc.?
The most exciting thing about being a part of Urgent, Inc. is that we are a creative company that helps ignite young people’s creativity and innovation and confidence to try new things, build skills needed for the 21st Century skills.
What was the pivotal moment in your personal journey that brought you to where you are today?
The pivotal moment that bought me to where I am today is one moving to Miami after college and two, the choice to build a company instead of work for one.
What do you think are the biggest roadblocks for women in entrepreneurship/business?
What I have experienced as a social entrepreneur is that you have to be a dedicated champion of the work you do. You have to keep iterating and building on your work. It’s about how can we do this better, what did we learn, what is the community telling us about what’s important and how can we add value to children and youth in the community by creating more opportunity so they can achieve what they are trying to accomplish.
What advice would you give to a potential female entrepreneur?
The advice I would give to a potential entrepreneur is to be clear about your mission and purpose and have a double bottom line. Your vision for yourself and your company is what keeps you moving forward.
This year Urgent Inc. Celebrates their 25th Anniversary and celebrated their Lion King Inspired Gala on October 26, 2019.
The event will featured an exciting array of activities, including an opening reception, red carpet photos, live drumming by Delou Africa, dinner, dancing, a live band. URGENT’s digital Face(Film, Arts, Culture, Coding, Entrepreneurship program) youth media team premiered a docudrama that was directed by them.
For more information about URGENT, Inc. visit www.urgentinc.org.