They’re a group of young professionals in the D.C. area who have aligned themselves with the mission of a historic civil rights organization.

This is part of WTOP’s continuing coverage of people making a difference from our community authored by Stephanie Gaines-Bryant. Read more of that coverage.

Thursday Network President Derin Oduye (left) and membership chair Autumn Moody (right) pictured in front of the network’s logo. (Courtesy, Thursday Network composite via Canva)

They are a group of young professionals in the D.C. area who have aligned themselves with the mission of a historic civil rights organization.

Thursday Network President Derin Oduye says the network was started in February of 1992 by Maudine Cooper, the late former president and CEO of the Greater Washington Urban League who passed away last November at the age of 82.

Oduye said Cooper wanted to get more young people involved in the organization, “and not just in a symbolic gesture.” Instead, she said Cooper wanted to put young people on the ground to help make change in the D.C. area and that, wherever there was an issue, they go to that place.

Oduye said they work toward LGBTQIA forward initiatives, voting rights advocacy, environmental justice and food insecurity — she said they’re showing this generation and the next that “we do deserve a place at the table.”

When asked what issues most concern young black professionals today, Thursday Network Membership Chair Autumn Moody told WTOP the first is centered on growth and development.

“Young professionals are looking for a holistic experience on how we can continue to grow personally and professionally while also making sure we’re doing everything we can to give back,” Moody said.

She said another concern for young professionals in our area is money.

“We’re thinking about our financial and economic wellness,” Moody said. “I think we’re really trying to figure out how to use our voices to make an impact on a global scale.”

The Thursday Network logo is seen above. (Courtesy, Thursday Network)

This month, the group comprised of over 200 professionals is focusing on how to increase membership. Moody said they are looking for people who have a heart of service and want to support them in their goals.

The Thursday Network is an affiliate of the Greater Washington Urban League, one of the region’s largest Civil Rights Organizations founded in 1938 as the Washington Chapter of the National Urban League, a nonprofit dedicated to civil rights and social service.

If you want to learn more about the organization and discounted memberships, you can visit their website here.

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Stephanie Gaines-Bryant

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