Thursday, March 21, 2019
John Mack
By Yussuf Simmonds (Managing Editor)
Published January 29, 2009

In Los Angeles, and indeed Southern California, the name, John W. Mack, is synonymous with civil rights and the Urban League. Mack was appointed to the Board of Police Commissioners by Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa in August of 2005 where he served for two consecutive years before being elected to the Vice President position on 2007. He was re-elected to the Vice President position in 2008.

Mack began his career with the Urban League in Flint, Michigan in 1964 and was appointed executive director in 1965. Prior to heading the Los Angeles Urban League, he served on the Urban League's National staff for six months during the Whitney Young era in Washington, D.C. He was a leader in the 1960 student civil rights movement in Atlanta and a co-founder and Vice Chairperson of the Committee on the Appeal for Human Rights. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Sociology from North Carolina A&T State University. He holds a Master's Degree from Clark Atlanta University. In 2006, Commissioner Mack was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Management Degree from the Claremont Graduate University School of Education.

He has served as president of the Los Angeles Urban League (LAUL) since August of 1969 and during his tenure, the LAUL has become one of the most successful non-profit community organizations in Los Angeles with an annual budget of $25 million. When Mack retired, the organization had been serving over 100,000 individuals each year, and operated a number of innovative, result-oriented job training, job placement, education, academic tutorial, youth achievement and business development programs serving African-Americans and other people of color utilizing state of the art computer technology preparing League constituents for the 21st Century. In 1997, United Way presented its Agency of the Year Award to the Los Angeles Urban League.

Mack is a highly respected advocate for equal opportunities in education, law enforcement and economic empowerment for African-Americans and other minorities–and a bridge builder across all racial, cultural, economic, gender and religious lines.

He was afforded the unique opportunity to serve as a teaching Fellow in Residence at the prestigious Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government's Institute of Politics from September through December, 1998. He led a Study Group of Harvard University undergraduate students entitled "The Future of Urban America: Finding Solutions Through Strategic Partnership and Policy Advocacy."

Mack's career is exemplified by organization and board membership with which he is affiliated. He received numerous honors and awards. The Los Angeles Board of Education has named the "John W. Mack Elementary School" in his honor.

As a family man, Mack and his wife, Harriet have one son: Anthony; two daughters: Deborah and Andria, and two grandsons: Anthony Brian II, and Gabriel John Wesley.

Stop-the-Violence-Increase-the-Peace Foundation and Amer-I-Can is pleased to announce John W. Mack as a recipient of the "Spirit of Peace Awards" during a Black History Salute to African American Male Achievers.


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