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'It's not been easy': Louisville leader looks back on career successes, racial hardships

Though her new position is based out of New York, she will still be living in Louisville.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Sadiqa Reynolds has served as president and CEO of the Louisville Urban League for seven years. She is the first woman to hold that role in the organization’s nearly 100-year history. 

As she finishes out her last week before starting her next opportunity, she is reflective of her time leading the civil right’s organization and resolute in her mission to continue the fight for fairness and equality.

“It’s not been easy. I’ve taken my hits,” Reynolds said. "There have been donors who have called me just to tell me that they were not going to write me a check. They told me they would never support the urban league as long as I was there, and not only would they not support the urban league. They would tell their friends not to.”

Just some of the accomplishments of Sadiqa Reynolds:

  • Building up Louisville Urban League to the impressive, influential organization it is today.
  • Bringing the Norton Sports and Learning Complex to life.
  • Placing thousands of Kentuckians in jobs throughout the organization.
  • Creating the Center for Entrepreneurship to help Black-owned businesses.
  • Serving 2,154 people through the Reily Reentry Project – Kentucky’s largest expungement program. 

While her successes have been many and praised publicly, they have not come without struggles. Reynolds said she never waivered because she knew the importance of staying the course. 

She reflected on her part in building the Norton Sports and Learning Complex, hoping her accomplishments will inspire other Black community members.

“I thank God that he used me as a vessel for that [the sports complex], but the legacy, for real, is showing Black people that you have to make no apologies," Reynolds said. "You have the right to be frustrated and to say out loud what the fix is."

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