New post at Propel offers Jonathan Ray new challenges, opportunities for future

| August 20, 2017
Jonathan Ray

Jonathan Ray

FORT WAYNE—Earlier this month, stalwart community advocate Jonathan Ray announced that he was resigning as long-time president and CEO of the Fort Wayne Urban League to take the post of deputy director of the Propel Schools Foundation in Pittsburgh.. Brother Ray recently took the time out of his very busy schedule speak with Frost Illustrated about his tenure at the Urban Leagues, his plans now that he is living the city and his hopes and dreams for the future of Fort Wayne:

FROST: After so long helming the FWUL, what’s it feel like to be leaving the organization and the city?

JONATHAN RAY: I am ready for a change.  I am looking forward to a new work experience and a new living environment.

FROST: What evolution did you see the FWUL go through and the city go through during your tenure as CEO/President there?

JONATHAN RAY: I think I created a level of community.

FROST: Although there has to be many, what are some of the top achievements of the FWUL during your time there?

JONATHAN RAY: Elevating our employment program, Our Charter School (Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy), establishing our Read and Rise program and bringing awareness to Violence via community town-hall type meetings.

FROST: Are there any things that you would have liked to institute that you didn’t get a chance to do there yet?

JONATHAN RAY: Yes, I would have liked to have established a process that promoted more diversity in management and executive positions in the greater Fort Wayne area.

FROST: Are you pleased with the level of support this community has shown the FWUL throughout the years?

JONATHAN RAY: For the most part, yes.  I think I could have done a better at getting the word on the service and opportunities the Urban League offers the community.

FROST ILLUSTRATED: How would you like the community to regard the FWUL in the future? 

JONATHAN RAY: Look at our outputs and consider our resources and then define the impact the Urban League is having out on our programs.

FROST: As a leader who has a reputation for building bridges and community collaborations, what are some of the other programs in this community you’d like to see people support?

JONATHAN RAY: My biggest concern right now is Southeast Fort Wayne. More attention needs to be given to it.

FROST: Why did this feel like the right time to move on?

JONATHAN RAY: Propel offered a great opportunity in an area of work that fits my own personal mission.  Also I am ready for a change in work and environment.

FROST: What challenges are you looking forward to in your new position? 

JONATHAN RAY: The most important thing I need to do is get to the community and them to understand the outstanding service Propel provides its students.

FROST: How difficult is to be a community servant and would you recommend it to others?

JONATHAN RAY: It’s not difficult if service is your passion.  If you are a person that is a change maker credit nor appreciation are what drives you.

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Category: Community, Local, People

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Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

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