Joe Slash, who made history as Indianapolis' first black deputy mayor, said Wednesday (May 21st) that he will retire later this year from the post he has held for nearly 12 years — President of the Indianapolis Urban League (Indianapolis, IN).
Slash, 70, said plans for a transition have been in the works for a year, and he expects to gradually move out of the job after the group names his successor later this summer.
"I just enjoyed the opportunity to serve this community again through the Urban League as I did when I was deputy mayor," Slash said. "I have put the organization at a very good place for a transition."
A national search for his successor produced dozens of applicants, said the chair of the search committee, Carey Lykins, president and CEO of Citizens Energy Group.
The Indianapolis Urban League was founded in 1965 during the height of the struggle for civil rights and integration. It still engages in efforts to achieve what its mission describes as "social and economic equality."
But the organization has also evolved into one that works to help young people graduate from urban schools and to help ex-offenders find jobs after they leave prison. Headquartered on Indiana Avenue, it currently has a staff of 14 and budget of $1.7 million.
Slash has been a prominent community leader for decades. He is a member of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Merit Board, the board of directors of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee and the board of directors of the Center for Leadership Development.
Slash wasn't specific about the next chapter in his life.
"I'm not just going to go home and sit down. I've got some other community involvement I'll continue with," he said. "I just want to step back from a day-to-day work environment and enjoy some time with family and friends and catch my breath and start working on my bucket list."
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