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African American Partnerships

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Community Affairs & Grassroots Partnerships

The Southwest Airlines Community Affairs & Grassroots Team works tirelessly to build strong, mutually beneficial, strategic relationships. By fostering these true partnerships, the Company proves its commitment to People in diverse groups. In addition, Southwest Airlines demonstrates its dedication to maintaining the "hometown carrier" position in every one of our U.S. destinations.

Below is a sampling of some national, regional, and local community partnerships through which the Southwest Airlines Core Values strategically extend to benefit the Company and to support our Communities.

National Partners

  • Advocates USA

    In an effort to enhance the lives of those who live in underserved communities, a geographically diverse group of African American men formed the Advocates USA in 2004.  The mission of these men was to simply make a difference in the life of those from underserved communities by serving as advocates for education, health and economic development.

  • Black Executive Exchange Program (BEEP)

    BEEP is a voluntary partnership between the NUL, corporate America, government, and other institutions to loan African-American executives to participating colleges as Visiting Professors. Visiting Professors lecture in credit-bearing courses that correspond to their industries and participate in other BEEP-related activities such as networking sessions, workshops, and mock job interviews. BEEP's mission is to share learning experience across generations, cultivate new leaders, and inspire achievements "beyond the possible" through committed involvement and operational excellence. Learn More

  • Black Voice Foundation

    The Black Voice Foundation for media, history, and the arts was founded in 1988 with a mission to train and educate individuals in print media. With the digital revolution, the rapid growth of technology in the world of communications and media has brought about the need to impact lives through a diverse set of multi-media platforms. The Foundation has expanded its mission to include digital and electronic media and a burgeoning set of projects in the fields of education, professional development, media, history, and the arts.

    For 12 years The Black Voice Foundation Footsteps to Freedom Study Tour has partnered with the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, Riverside County Office of Education, and National Park Service to lead a unique study tour experience for Inland Empire educators and college students. For eight days each summer, tour participants learn firsthand about the incredible courage of the people who sought freedom or who helped others achieve it along the central and lesser-known route of the Underground Railroad from Kentucky to Canada.

  • NAACP ACT-SO Youth Program

    Each year, the NAACP's Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) recognize the academic and artistic talents of young African American students in grades 9-12. Young people from communities nationwide compete in 26 categories including the Sciences, Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Humanities, and Business entrepreneurship. The year-long program culminates in a national competition where students earn cash prizes and computers.

    Founded in 1978 by the late renowned author and journalist Vernon Jarrett, ACT-SO provides a forum through which African American youth demonstrate academic, artistic, and scientific prowess and expertise, thereby gaining the same recognition often only reserved for entertainers and athletes. Southwest is the official airline of the Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Oakland, and S. Alameda County chapters. Learn More

  • National African American Women's Leadership Institute (NAAWLI)

    This fellowship program with a focus on fundamental leadership strategies provides emerging African-American woman employees, volunteers, entrepreneurs, and managers the opportunity to identify and reinforce their strengths and develop proactive strategies and behaviors to make a high quality impact in both the organizations in which they work and the communities where they live and serve. Program objectives are achieved by participation in three sessions totaling thirteen days. The sessions take the most current leadership research and theories and guide the Fellows through best practices and behaviors to implement those theories.

    The model of the NAAWLI Fellowship program takes advantage of the cultural, ethnic and gender contexts of complex organizations. Fellows influence the perceptions, understanding, and acceptance of African-American women in the corporate environments in which they lead and serve.

  • National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC)

    The mission of The National Black Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining African American communities through entrepreneurship and capitalistic activity within the United States and via interaction with the Black Diaspora. The organization was incorporated in Washington, DC in March of 1993. This business association represents 95,000 Black-owned businesses and provides an advocacy that reaches all 1 million Black-owned businesses.

    The NBCC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonsectarian organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of African American communities. 190 affiliated chapters are locally based throughout the nation as well as international affiliate chapters based in Bahamas, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, and Jamaica and businesses as well as individuals who have chosen to be direct members with the national office. Learn More

  • National Black Law Students Association

    The National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) is a 501(c)(3) corporation and the nation's largest student-run organization representing nearly 6,000 minority law students from over 200 chapters and affiliates throughout the United States and six other countries. National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), is a national organization formed to articulate and promote the needs and goals of black law students and effectuate change in the legal community. The organization has over 200 chapters and i6,000 members. Each year, the organization holds an annual convention to engage in legal activism and prepare new generations of black lawyers to "effectuate change." Additionally, the Frederick Douglass Moot Court and Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competitions are held during its Annual Convention. Learn More

  • National Congress of Black Women

    The National Congress of Black Women, Inc. (NCBW) is dedicated to the educational, political, economic, and cultural development of African American Women and their families. NCBW also serves as a nonpartisan voice and instrument on issues pertaining to the appointment of African American women at all levels of government, and to increase African American women's participation in the educational, political, economic, and social arenas. Currently, NCBW provides opportunities for women for leadership and decision-making positions in government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector.

  • National Great Blacks in Wax Museum (NGBIWM)

    NGBIWM is among the nations most dynamic cultural and educational institutions. Because it is a wax museum committed solely to the study and preservation of African American history, it is also among the most unique. Primarily, the presentation of life-size, life-like wax figures highlighting historical and contemporary personalities of African ancestry defines its uniqueness.

    This unique museum, the first one of wax in Baltimore, Maryland and the first wax museum of African American history in the nation, is the brainchild of Dr's. Elmer and Joanne Martin. They established the museum in 1983 with several objectives in mind: to stimulate an interest in African American history by revealing the little-known, often-neglected facts of history; to use great leaders as role models to motivate youth to achieve; to improve race relations by dispelling myths of racial inferiority and superiority and to support and work in conjunction with other nonprofit, charitable organizations seeking to improve the social and economic status of African Americans. Learn More

  • National Urban League (NUL)

    NUL was established in 1910. It is the nation's oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream. Today, the National Urban League, headquartered in New York City, spearheads the non-partisan efforts of its local affiliates. There are over 100 local affiliates of the National Urban League located in 35 states and the District of Colombia providing direct services to more than 2 million people nationwide through programs, advocacy, and research. The mission of the Urban League movement is to enable African Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power, and civil rights.  Learn More

  • National Urban League Young Professionals (NULYP)

    NULYP is a network of young professional, across the country that provides leadership development, economic empowerment, and community volunteer opportunities for other young professional. The organization trains, develops, and educates young professionals to take leadership roles within the National Urban League, the civil rights movement, and society-at-large. Members of NULYP are defining, developing, implementing, and leading the next generation civil rights agenda. Learn More

  • Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute

    The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute was co-founded by Rosa Parks and Elaine Eason Steele in 1987. Now, led by Elaine Eason Steele, co-founder, she and staff are determined to continue what Mrs. Parks started when she was working with youth as a volunteer of the NAACP long before the act of courage that propelled her into the public eye. The history of the Institute and its accomplishments are interwoven with Mrs. Parks' life as a civil rights leader, a world icon, and a private citizen.

    The organization's primary mission is to motivate youth to reach their highest potential. They have designed programs based on Mrs. Parks' philosophy of "quiet strength" which engages youth in hands-on experiences to build practical day-to-day living skills. They promote multicultural participation in their program to provide youth with a cross-cultural exposure for nurturing a global and inclusive perspective.

    Pathways to Freedom, the core program, traces the underground railroad into the civil rights movement and beyond. It is supported by extended curriculum components implemented throughout the year within local communities. Pathways chapters are in seven states in the U.S. as well as the Bahamas and Canada. Students, traveling primarily by bus, experience a unique historical research journey, learn lessons of history from interpersonal interaction, and participate in hands-on activities.

    The organization's learning centers in Michigan and California utilize an intergenerational model where youth tutor seniors in basic computer literacy. Mrs. Parks was a graduate of the first class in 1997. Senior citizens demonstrate increased motor activity and motivation to learn. In turn, the seniors share their life experiences as a part of the interactive relationship with youth.  Learn More

  • Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF)

    The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) was established in 1987 to carry on Justice Marshall's legacy of equal access to higher education by supporting exceptional merit scholars attending America's Public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Today, 47 schools are members of the TMCF, including many of the nation's largest and most prestigious institutions of higher education. To date, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund has awarded more than $50 million in scholarships, capacity building, and programmatic support.

    More than 5,000 Thurgood Marshall Scholars have graduated and are making valuable contributions to science, technology, government, human service, business, and education. Alumni of TMCF member schools include civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson, CBS News "60 Minutes" correspondent Ed Bradley, NFL football great Walter Payton, actress Lynn Whitfield, opera star Jessye Norman, and astronaut Ronald McNair. Thanks to TMCF scholarships and programs, public historically black colleges and universities are preparing a new generation of leaders. Learn More


  • Greater Phoenix Urban League

    The mission of the Greater Phoenix Urban League is to assist African Americans, other minoritiesm, and the disadvantaged in the achievement of social and economic equality. The League implements its mission through advocacy, bridge building, program services, and research.


  • Bernard & Shirley Kinsey Education Foundation

    Bernard and Shirley are widely heralded for their stewardship of art, books and manuscripts that document and tell the remarkable story of African Americans' triumphs and struggles from 1632 to present. Learn More

  • Brotherhood Crusade

    The non-profit organization in existence since, 1968 provides necessary resources, supportive services, and a voice of advocacy to traditionally underserved communities. Brotherhood Crusade supports families and individuals by promoting the following: 1) Health Awareness Programs and Health Fairs to education families on health issues affecting the community 2)  Scholarships and mentoring programs for middle and high school teens; 3) Direct Grants to non-profit agencies, and 4) economic development to minority small business owners who need loans and technical assistance. Learn More

  • California Black Chamber of Commerce

    The California Black Chamber of Commerce is California's most progressive business advocate in assisting small and large businesses in connecting the dots for business growth and development. With its informational business referral and resource platform, the Chamber provides opportunities with its Corporate, Federal, and State Partners exclusively to members through the Virtual Resource Platform.

  • California NAACP

    The California NAACP's principal objective is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of minority citizens of California and eliminate race prejudice. The NAACP seeks to remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes. The mission is accomplished by seeking the enactment and enforcement of federal, state, and local laws securing civil rights, and by informing the public of the adverse effects of racial discrimination.

  • East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC)

    The East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC) is located in the Elmhurst District of Oakland and is committed to attending to the emotional, physical, intellectual, and economic well-being of the community for the past 33 years.  EOYDC‘s mission is to equip East Oakland‘s youth with the skills, training, and values necessary to become dynamic leaders and responsible citizens.  EOYDC‘s free, comprehensive core programming emphasizes educational empowerment, artistic expression, job training, and physical development.  For five days a weeks, 50 weeks each year, EOYDC offers positive and safe experiences for East Oakland‘s youth through a dedicated staff and extensive, relevant program offerings. The EOYDC believes that self-empowerment comes through work experience and educational opportunities. Learn More

  • Jenesse Center - Los Angeles

    Jenesse Center, Inc. is the oldest domestic violence intervention program in South Los Angeles. The Center was founded in 1980 by five African American women who were survivors of domestic violence. The mission of the center is to provide victims of domestic violence with a comprehensive, centralized base of support to assist them in addressing their immediate crisis and changing the patterns of their lives.  Learn More

  • Legacy Ladies

    Legacy Ladies is comprised of professional women intent to make a difference in their community.  Through projects with adopt-a-school and adopt-a-family they fulfill their commitment to improve the quality of life for those less fortunate. Learn More

  • Orange Country Black Chamber of Commerce

    The mission of the Orange County Black Chamber of Commerce is to ensure all members have every opportunity to grow and enhance businesses and provide information relevant to the business community. Access to information is the motto for this organization.  Learn More


  • Urban League of Metropolitan Denver

    The Urban League strives to become the #1 community connector between agencies that provide educational and workforce services and those residents who are in need of these services.

District of Columbia Metropolitan Area

  • 100 Black Men of Greater Washington, DC

    This organization is devoted to improving the quality of life for African-Americans, particularly young males, in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area through programs focusing on health and wellness, economic empowerment, education and mentoring. The chapter is comprised solely of volunteers making their motto "Real Men Giving Real Time"® a way of life.

  • Greater Washington Urban League (GWUL)

    The GWUL has more than 60 years of experience in dealing effectively with a wide range of social and economic problems. The mission of the League is "to increase the economic and political empowerment of African Americans and other minorities and to help all Americans share equally in the responsibilities and rewards of full citizenship. To accomplish its mission, the League uses social work, economics, law, and other disciplines to bring about equal opportunities and equal access to African Americans and minorities in the Washington metropolitan area.

    The League's Thursday Network (TN) auxiliary is a leadership development vehicle for young adult professionals ages 21 to 35 who are interested in volunteer service to the community. Its mission is to assist the League in its goals and develop outreach programs that have positive influences on African American youth.

    Each May, TN holds Young Black Gives Back Month activities in service to the community. Its annual Black Tie event is held in December or January to raise funds for college-bound senior high school students from the District of Columbia.
    Learn More abou the Thursday Network

    Learn More about GWUL

  • Price George's Black Chamber of Commerce (PGBCC)

    PGBCC was founded in February of 2001. The Chamber's mission is to aggressively promote and participate in small and minority business prosperity and community enrichment in Prince George's County. Fulfillment of its mission is through innovation, determination, development, and execution of strong partnerships and alliances with other business and community organizations. Paramount is the Chamber's involvement in and contribution to the community and its viability within Price George's County, the State of Maryland, and ultimately within the nation. Its strength is in the diversity of its membership and its ability to represent social and economic hot-points that are indicative of any striving community. The Chamber aggressively seeks opportunities to raise the visibility of the local business community while creating viable economic development opportunities for its members and the community at large.  Learn More 


  • Chicago Urban League

    The Chicago Urban League was established in 1916. Its mission is to eliminate racial discrimination and segregation and to work for the achievement of equal opportunity and parity for African Americans, other minorities, and the poor in every phase of American life. Today the League's work is focused in three primary areas: education, economic development, and community empowerment.

    The Metropolitan Board is an auxiliary of the Chicago Urban League and a chapter of the National Urban League Young Professionals. Founded in 1983, the motivation behind the Metropolitan Board was to identify young African American professionals and developing them into the future leaders of the community. Since its inception, the MetroBoard has grown to become a diverse organization of future leaders from all walks of life and place a high value in this. The diversity of the award winning programs and events are a true testament to the diverse contributions of their most precious resource-the members. 
    Learn More 

  • The Illinois State Black Chamber of Commerce (ILBCC)

    ILBCC is dedicated to the economic empowerment and sustained growth of black enterprise across the State of Illinois. They achieve their mission and ultimate objectives through their 23 local chapter organizations that provide intimate support and assistance to local black business owners. They serve as the voice of black business within Illinois and a strong advocate for economic policies that strengthen their growth. The ILBCC works in close association with the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) to ensure harmonization of strategy and initiatives throughout the state of Illinois. Learn More


  • Baltimore NAACP ACT-SO Program

    A year-long enrichment program designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students. The program relies on the dedication and commitment of community and business leaders who volunteer as mentors and coaches to promote academic and artistic excellence. Through this collaborative effort, participating students develop the confidence and skills needed to excel in school and in life.

  • Greater Baltimore League's (GBUL)

    GBUL mission is to enable African Americans and other minorities to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power, and civil rights. The Greater Baltimore Urban League movement carries out its mission through direct services, advocacy, research, policy analysis, community mobilization, collaboration, and communications. Learn More


  • Philadelphia NAACP

    From the ballot box to the classroom, the dedicated workers, organizers, and leaders who forged this organization and maintain its status as a champion of social justice fought long and hard to ensure that the voices of African Americans would be heard. The legacy of those pioneers such as W.E.B DuBois, Thurgood Marshall, and Roy Wilkens and the hundreds of thousands of nameless faces who worked tirelessly cannot and must not be forgotten.

  • Urban League of Philadelphia

    The goal of this organization is to build alliances and create opportunities that foster economic advancement and educational achievement for African Americans and others in the Philadelphia region. Their approach to this goal is to create connections by connecting people and organizations to each other and to collaborative resources. Their plan is to develop and build an empowerment circle (e-circle) that includes employment coaching, diversity staffing, workforce development training, homeownership, financial literacy, youth development, professional leadership development, dialogues on race, and advocacy on equality gaps. This work is being done through their empowerment programs known as the 3E's- Economic Advancement, Educational Achievement, and Engagement. The Urban League of Philadelphia is poised to become a social enterprise specializing in the practice of community economic empowerment. Learn More


  • Houston Area Urban League (HAUL)

    The mission of the Houston Area Urban League (HAUL) is to enable African Americans and other minorities to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power, and civil rights. Founded in 1968, HAUL has been a voice for disadvantaged people of all races and has a long and distinguished record as an agency that offers tangible, lasting benefits to all members of the community without regard to age, sex, race, physical limitations, or ethnic background.

  • Texas NAACP

    The Texas NAACP was formed in 1937. By organizing and financing landmark civil-rights lawsuits, the NAACP in Texas became an important component of the national organization. The state's African Americans include a significant number of well-educated urban professionals. The State Conference of Branches has estimated its average membership level in recent years to be approximately 19,000 members.

  • The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas

    The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas began operations in November 1965 as the Boys Club of Dallas. In 1990, the organization added "Girls" to its title and an aggressive effort to serve both girls and boys was initiated.

    Today, thousands of boys and girls from low-income neighborhoods benefit from the building centered programs and services designed specifically for them at eleven local Clubs. During the first four decades of service in Dallas, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas have served over 100,000 members. The programs offered provide strong moral guidance, positive role models, and life-changing educational programs designed to save kids from lives of crime and failure. Learn More

  • Urban League of Greater Dallas (ULGD)

    The mission of the Urban League of Greater Dallas (ULGD) is to assist African Americans, other minorities, and the disadvantaged in the achievement of social and economic equality. The League implements its mission through advocacy, bridge building, program services, and research. The ULGD has three satellite Community Service Centers within Dallas County.


  • The Northern Virginia Urban League (NOVUL)

    NOVUL is a place where you can find a wealth of resources designed to help empower African Americans and disadvantaged others to enter the economic and social mainstream. The League looks to set a direction that will expand and enhance the mission that the Urban League movement has put forth in Northern Virginia for the past 16 years through academic scholarships, guidance and support services for teen parents, homeownership education assistance, financial literacy education, minority entrepreneurship resources, life skills training, cultural enrichment, and leadership training services for youth, along with many volunteer opportunities such as the Young Professional Network (YPN). Learn More

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