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For immediate release
November 7, 2002
NPR: Jenny Lawhorn

Hugh Price Steps Down as President of National Urban League Shares Thoughts With NPR's Tavis Smiley in First Interview After His Announcement

LOS ANGELES, CA-On Thursday, November 7, 2002, National Urban League President Hugh Price appeared on The Tavis Smiley Show from NPRŽ to discuss an announcement that has sent shock waves through the civil rights community-his resignation as head of the organization.

Price, who has served as president and CEO of the Urban League since 1994, has been a frequent guest on The Tavis Smiley Show. He joined Smiley today to discuss his decision in an exclusive conversation about what he hopes will be the future for him and the Urban League.

"I feel very strongly that heads of national organizations like the League should, to use a relay-race analogy, run hard, run fast, and then pass the baton before they get winded, before they start to stumble, not afterwards. And so I wanted to do that while I felt the organization was in terrific shape," said Price.

Talking to Smiley about the timing of his announcement and the fate of the black community following Tuesday's election Price said, "this generation, your generation, which was not reared in struggle, reared in denial-being told you can't live here you, can't go to school there, you can't blah, blah, blah, blah-now has to assume responsibility for the struggle. So I think that in fact we need even more twenty-first century, forward-looking thinking. I was sort of a transitional figure from one century to the next. But looking ahead we have to come to terms with the realities we face. We've got to develop strategies that are rooted there. And we've got to figure out how to mobilize people, not mobilize people the way we used to 40 years ago."

The November 7 program, which also includes a one-on-one discussion with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, aired on The Tavis Smiley Show from NPR, a weekday, one-hour talk magazine presenting news and ideas from an African-American perspective, broadcast on nearly 50 public radio stations across the U.S. and on the Web at (Visit to find stations and broadcast times). Audio from today's program will be available after noon ET at

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