, Muskogee, OK

February 18, 2013

Man out to bring in Urban League

He wants to form chapter in city

By Travis Sloat
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Charles Gaye has made it his mission to make Muskogee a National Urban League affiliate.

“We want to promote the African-American community in Muskogee to a higher level,” Gaye said. “It’s a liberal organization, but everyone in it is very civil-minded.”

According to the group’s brochure, the National Urban League was started in 1910, at the forefront of the civil rights movement, to help pull people out of poverty and put them on the path to empowerment. In addition to that, today it has key programs focused on eliminating the equality gap for African-Americans and all people.

Gaye said his goals for Muskogee focus on treatment of homeless veterans and rehabilitation of recently released prisoners.

“We want to help those who have just gotten out of prison re-establish their voting rights,” he said. “We also want to buy or rent a building to help house the homeless veterans we have in Muskogee. There are guys on the streets in bad shape, and we can’t let them go on like that.”

Another goal for Gaye includes the renaming of local buildings for notable African-Americans from the area.

Gaye has yet to file the paperwork with the National Urban League, but he expects to complete it and send it in soon. After the paperwork is received, it will take approximately 90 days to be processed before the city of Muskogee is able to become an Urban League affiliate.

In the meantime, Gaye has organized biweekly meetings for anyone interested in the organization. The meetings are scheduled for 8 p.m. every other Monday at Shadow Wood Mall, 401 W. Broadway.

When the affiliate gains official status, it will become a non-profit organization and elect officers, Gaye said.

“The organization is very effective,” he said. “When I was in college, I saw an affiliate started in Tulsa, and they brought in several jobs for African-Americans in the community. I hope to be able to do the same thing in Muskogee.”

Reach Travis Sloat at (918) 684-2908 or

If you go

WHAT: Muskogee affiliate of the National Urban League meeting.

WHERE: Shadow Wood Mall, 401 W. Broadway, Suite 310.

WHEN: 8 p.m. Feb. 25.

INFO: Charles Gaye, (918) 913-5308 or