HAMPTON, Va. - A new effort aims to help people score deals while supporting social and economic equality.
This holiday season, the Urban League of Hampton Roads debuted its new Black Card; a membership card for the non-profit that provides benefits to the holder.
"You get access to the businesses that are really helping us with our mission and wanting to give back to the community," said Patricia Gibson, Vice President for the Urban League's local Young Professionals group.
The Urban League is a nationwide organization providing resources to local African Americans and other groups for housing, employment, financial wellness and more. The goal is to eliminate racial disparities in income and wealth.
Membership fees for the Black Card support those programs, Gibson says, while promising benefits to the holder — including deals at local Black-owned businesses.
1865 Brewing Company in Hampton, the first Black-owned brewery in Hampton Roads, is also the first business to offer discounts to Black Card members, Gibson tells News 3, adding, "when we are choosing to support a Black-owned business, we are also supporting our community as well."
Other benefits include exclusive access to networking and social events — the first of which is scheduled for Wednesday, December 15 at Noir lounge in Hampton.
The Urban League says it hopes a holiday-timed release will have people consider giving the card as a gift to someone looking to advance their career or become an entrepreneur.
"You're giving them access to things that's going to help them reach those new goals in the New Year. Even if they're saying, 'I just want to clear my debt next year,'" said Gibson.
Yearly Black Card membership fees are $50 for most and $20 for students and seniors.
The Urban League was founded in 1910 with the Hampton Roads affiliate one of 90 across the country.