By Andy Tarnoff Publisher Published Oct 26, 2023 at 4:51 PM

Milwaukee’s Future Urban Leaders is a youth development organization that focuses specifically on increasing access to enrichment opportunities for historically marginalized communities.

Launched in 2011, FUL serves more than150 student scholars, and to raise funds to do so, it’s throwing its fifth annual gala on Nov. 2 at the newly-renovated Milwaukee Athletic Club, 758 N. Broadway.

“All Jazzed Up” kicks off at 6 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and cocktail hour, followed by “exquisite cuisine and specialty cocktails,” says event co-chair Traci Schwartz.

“All proceeds will benefit programming for the 2023-2024 year and hopefully expand the capacity to serve more students,” says Schwartz, who aligned herself with FUL after experiencing the potential of the group while she was planning Meditate Milwaukee’s annual event on Jan. 1.

According to Executive Director Darnell Hamilton, Future Urban Leaders works to create lifetime success by creating pathways for their scholars to overcome barriers that exist in systems of society – all through families and community partners.

Says Hamilton, "Collectively, they decide on the various components of youth and leadership development our young people engage in, as it is vital for our students' development as ambassadors of change.”

"A Future Urban Leader is defined as a student who dares to be curious, imagining themselves thriving in spaces where their personal passions are linked with their purpose in life, creating a leader in their own pathway,” says Hamilton.

To empower students through mentorship, FUL provides: 

  • Leadership development
  • Self-identity exploration
  • STEAM exploration
  • Mindfulness education
  • Social and community advocacy
  • Holistic support toward post-secondary aspirations and beyond

The gala, says Schwartz, is open to the public. In collaboration with the Milwaukee Jazz Institute, she says guests will enjoy a student band during cocktail hour, and music from the Milwaukee Jazz Ensemble during dinner and dancing.

“There will also be casino style gaming and a fantastic auction,” says Schwartz, “and a look back at the successes of FUL programming over the last year.”

Tickets for the event are available online for a $100 donation.

Says Schwartz, “We invite all of Milwaukee to join us in this evening of music, community, and inspiration.”

Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.

Before launching in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.

Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.