Member of Adelphi University’s 10 Under 10.
Manager of Compliance, National Urban League“I didn’t even consider any other universities for my graduate studies. I knew any other school I went to couldn’t compare in terms of the support system Adelphi has to offer.”
Isiah Hall ’06, M.B.A. ’08 was just 12 years old when he started working at a non-profit. He joined the organization Youth Empowered to Speak, an arm of University Settlement, which is a social service institution dedicated to helping low-income and immigrant families build better lives
“I was the youngest kid there,” said Hall of his first-ever job. “It was better than being out on the streets. I had a lot of friends at the time who were spending time doing things that weren’t constructive. Working with University Settlement helped me not fall into that group.”
Through this organization he worked with a team that addressed issues including racial profiling, welfare reform and gang violence. “That experience introduced me to social advocacy, even though I didn’t know what it was at the time,” he said.
Today Hall works at National Urban League (NUL), a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. NUL provides direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than two million people nationwide, specifically in the areas of education, employment, housing, and healthcare.
Headquartered in New York City, the National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its 94 affiliates, which serve 300 communities across the country. As the manager of compliance, he is responsible for ensuring NUL’s affiliates are following best practices as well as monitoring financial statements on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. “I’m helping our affiliates understand the importance of doing our due diligence from a compliance standpoint so that we can get the funding we need to continue to provide the services that we offer our community,” he said.
With affiliates located in 35 states and the District of Columbia, Hall travels often. “The work we do is great. The downside is that the reason we are able to do work like this is because so many communities are without the resources they need,” he said. “To go and bear witness to that…to see people who look like me, who are in need of services and basic things we take for granted…that reassures me that the work I’m doing is vital. Everything we do directly impacts the communities our affiliates serve.”
In addition to his role as manager of compliance, he also oversees two important publications on behalf of the national office. He is the editor of the National Urban League’s weekly publication, Affiliate Newswire, which highlights the work, programs and initiatives NUL’s affiliates implement in their respective communities.
He is also editor of the Urban League Census, which communicates the measurable impact of the Urban League Movement. “In this publication we highlight every affiliate, the work they do, and we include financial and programmatic highlights and their social outreach aspects.” Hall receives reports from each affiliate to determine and document the cumulative economic impact of the programs and operations of the National Urban League.
Hall, who has been working at NUL since 2010, was first introduced to the organization in 2006 when he interned there (alongside classmates Chantal Hamlin ’07 and Adaeze Udoji ’08) the summer following graduation from Adelphi. During this time, he was also in the process of applying for graduate school. “Adelphi was my first choice,” he said. “I didn’t even consider any other universities for my graduate studies. I knew any other school I went to couldn’t compare in terms of the support system Adelphi has to offer.”
After earning his M.B.A., he worked for Darlene Mealy, a member of the New York City Council who represented the 41st District of Brooklyn, as a senior community liaison and speech writer. After his time with the city council, he also did some community organizing work, before deciding he wanted to do something on a more national level, which brought him to the National Urban League.
“So far throughout my career I have worked in a social service capacity helping others. The position I have at National Urban League falls in line with where my heart is,” he said. “I want to make a difference in peoples’ lives. I think we are all here for a purpose. Even as we try to figure out what our purpose is, we can impact peoples’ lives along the way.”