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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Knoxville Community Leader Receives National Recognition

KAUL Morial and Nichols Award
National Urban League CEO Marc Morial presents Knoxville Area Urban League CEO Phyllis Nichols with the national 2013 Women of Power award, which recognizes leadership, vision and commitment to civil rights.
National Urban League President Marc Morial, in Knoxville and Oak Ridge Sept. 26-27, presented Knoxville Area Urban League (KAUL) President and CEO Phyllis Nichols the organization's 2013 Women of Power award.

The award recognized Nichols' effective leadership of the local affiliate and her contributions to the National Urban League, the nation's largest civil rights organization.

"She has built a strong, effective and respected affiliate here in Knoxville," said Morial, who served two terms as mayor of New Orleans before becoming president of the National Urban League. "She has been a leader in the internal councils of the Urban League movement and has been a strong voice for affiliates that come from medium-sized communities."

Nichols has been with KAUL since 1994 and has served as president and CEO since 2000. The native of Kingsport, TN and her husband, Jim, a Realtor, live in West Knoxville. They have two daughters and two grandchildren.

Morial presented the award at a reception sponsored by Moxley Carmichael and the Knoxville Area Urban League and attended by elected officials and business and community leaders. Moxley Carmichael CEO Cynthia Moxley is chair of the KAUL.

The reception and other activities Morial attended gave the national civil rights leader an opportunity to promote the Urban League's Jobs Rebuild America program. The $100 million program is aimed at fostering economic empowerment through support of education, jobs and entrepreneurship.

"It is the responsibility of our generation to pass the torch and make it better for the generation coming up," Morial said. "Our focus is on jobs and empowerment. Young people need to participate fully in the American economy. I urge you to support the work of the local Urban League."
The KAUL is also involved in promoting jobs and economic empowerment for all on the local level through training, mentoring, career building and job placement, as well as education and youth development programs.

The organization manages the National Achievers Society, recognizing students of color for their academic achievement, and the Digital Connectors program that teaches leadership and technical skills to students.

The KAUL provides shoes and school supplies each year to 1,000 young people in the "Shoes for School" program and assists adults in home ownership.
In addition to meeting with local business and community leaders, Morial met with KAUL board members and toured the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

About the Knoxville Area Urban League
Since 1968, the Knoxville Area Urban League has assisted disadvantaged people attain social and economic stability and self-sufficiency through direct services and advocacy. The League works to provide a skilled and diverse workforce; to increase homeownership; to support economic and small business development, and to enhance education efforts for our youth. The Knoxville Area Urban League is a United Way partner agency and affiliate of the National Urban League. The League's work and results are evident in the lives of the over 8,000 people it impacts each year. For more information, go to
For more information on the Knoxville Area Urban League and its programs, call 865-524-5511 or visit