Our Mission

When individuals are empowered to succeed, the community as a whole prospers.


The Council of Urban Professionals (CUP) began as a spark of an idea in a living room in New York City in 2007, where 62 young urban professionals gathered to discuss our desire to help our communities. We yearned for a space where our unique resources – as professionals in the finance, law, media & entertainment, and other sectors – could be maximized. At the same time, we understood that our collective capacity to affect real social change was directly linked to our own individual power to drive this change within our respective sectors and companies. In other words, we each needed to become leaders in our own lives and careers in order to achieve real growth and prosperity in our communities.

Our vision seeks racial, ethnic, and gender parity in the highest business and civic leadership positions in the U.S.

Today, CUP comprises a 501(c)(6) and 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to connectempower, and mobilize the next generation of diverse business and civic leaders. Founded in 2007, CUP is a non-profit organization focused on preparing high-performing professionals of color and women for the rise to senior leadership roles within financial services, legal, media & entertainment, non-profit, and public sectors. The CUP Leadership Institute, our 501 (c)(3) entity, provides structured leadership development programs and serves as CUP’s formal training arm. With over 65 events annually, including forums, leadership development programs, and peer networks, CUP empowers aspiring diverse professionals to develop connections, opportunities, and expertise that best position them for top leadership roles, resulting in transformative impact on our communities.

We are a relatively young organization, but we’ve been busy. Our members, fellows, board and leadership advisers inspire one another to dream big, and we look forward to what the CUP community will achieve in the coming year.

We hope you will join us – there’s so much good work to be done.

Warmly,
Council of Urban Professionals