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New Wilmington Metropolitan Urban League leader outlines her priorities

Delaware Public Media

New leadership takes the reins at the Wilmington Metropolitan Urban League. Last month, Jennifer Thompkins was named the organization’s new president and CEO.

Thompson comes to the Urban League from TriZen, a business consulting and leadership development company in Philadelphia. Prior to that, she ran a youth program at the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA.

Youth advocacy is just one of Thompkins’ priorities - as Delaware Public Media’s Joe Irizarry discovered during their recent interview.

Delaware Public Media's Joe Irizarry interviews new Wilmington Metropolitan Urban League president and CEO Jennifer Thompkins

The Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League’s new president and CEO looks to hit the ground running.

Jennifer Thompkins started her new post February 21. She takes over for Eugene Young who is now the Delaware State Housing Authority Director.

Thompkins wants to empower the community and ignite change that positively impacts the Metropolitan Wilmington area.

Housing issues is among the items on the top of Thompkins list including dealing with high rent increases in Delaware.

To tackle that she wants to make sure there are more home owners – so they don’t have to rent – and Thompkins wants to put in programs to educate the community on home buying.

She wants to add credit repair workshops and provide job training so people can afford to buy homes.

Police reform is also on her list.

"Diverse hiring practices within our police force, that our police force has diversity training that's a large part of it. Third, again legislation that is in place that protects the rights of all of our citizens," said Thompkins.

She sees the Urban League as a multi-generational organization, and expects it to remain a strong advocate for police reform.

Thompkins’ other goals include educating youth and preparing them for the workforce or college, and she wants to make sure there’s job training for those looking for work.

"Workforce development programs in which those who are facing unemployment and joblessness can come and we have training programs in which they come out with a trade and with the certification and so that they can go into corporations or they can go into jobs at a much higher livable wage than unskilled labor," said Thompkins.

Thompkins previously served as Senior Director of Programs at TriZen – a business consulting and leadership development company – and worked with clients including the Urban League of Philadelphia and the National Urban League.

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Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.