Education & Family

Tiffany Majors Fights Social Injustices by Focusing on Inclusivity

The president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Urban League offers educational, entrepreneurship, and workforce support resources for marginalized individuals.
—Photography by Schaun Champion

Fighting social injustices is in Tiffany Majors’ DNA. Her grandparents marched for civil rights in the 1960s and her mother took her to demonstrations while she was still in grade school. So it should come as no surprise that Majors serves as the president and CEO of nonprofit civil rights group the Greater Baltimore Urban League, which turns 100 this year.

The Baltimore organization offers educational resources, entrepreneurship, workforce support, and placement, serving primarily Black, low-income, and other marginalized individuals. While it serves people throughout the state, the bulk of its work occurs in Baltimore City.

“By leading this organization, I work tirelessly to create inclusive spaces,” Majors says.

She also feels compelled to honor the legacy left by the late Congressman Elijah Cummings, whom she considers a mentor and her career booster. “He gave me a lot of very good advice,” Majors says. “It is a privilege to carry forward this mission, recognizing that our work is part of a larger movement toward justice.”

Majors is an adept fundraiser and that skill enabled her to turn around the Urban League. The organization was operating with a $300,000 deficit in 2018, when she came on board, and this year is expected to have $12 million in revenue. Expanding their grant applications to include both governmental and private foundations, writing grants for larger and longer-term amounts, building a donor program that encouraged multi-year donations are just some of the methods Majors employed to raise money.

Guiding young people toward higher education is a significant part of the League’s mission. The nonprofit’s Saturday Leadership Program exposes city youth and their parents to higher education with campus visits, scholarship opportunities, and admissions help.

“It instills a sense of hope and ambition, reinforcing our belief in the power of education,” Majors says.

Hundreds have gone through the program, including many from foster care and impoverished backgrounds who have gone on to graduate college and are now working in jobs. But some participants come from the top private high schools in the area, such as Gilman School or Calvert Hall. Having that mix of socioeconomic backgrounds serves the kids well, Majors says.

“It was a great experience to really blend those that were coming from well-off families to those who didn’t even know their parents or struggled to get lunch money.”

One of Majors’ proudest moments took place last year, when 26 low-income individuals, all of whom faced challenges with the justice system, completed grueling, high-level training and were awarded cybersecurity certifications.

“The success was not just in the numbers; it was in the individual stories of transformation,” Majors says.

The majority had no background in IT and are now either working in cybersecurity jobs or seeking more training or internships. The nonprofit celebrated with a graduation ceremony for students in September.

“It was a demonstration that with the right support, individuals from any background can contribute to the most advanced sectors of our economy,” Majors says.