Originally published: October 26, 2021
Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Carlos Carter, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh’s incoming president and CEO, says the role he’s stepping into is bigger than him.

“I’m one who cares about all people, but as a Black person, you look at the studies, and even what I observed myself in Pittsburgh, I know there’s lots of work that needs done,” Mr. Carter said in an interview. “And I felt like this job chose me, because I didn’t come after them, they came after me.”

The Urban League focuses on serving Black residents in Pittsburgh, though no one is turned away. The organization provides educational opportunities, health advocacy, housing counseling, parental education, support for early childhood and youth development, and hunger prevention services. The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh is the largest social services and civil rights organization in southwestern Pennsylvania.

His transition into the role will be assisted by current President and CEO Esther Bush, who is set to retire from her position after 27 years.

Mr. Carter said he is excited about the people he’ll work with as the Urban League’s president, including Pittsburgh’s mayor and the Allegheny County executive. While Mr. Carter will be working alongside the higher-ups, he also said he would be focused on being visible and listening to everyday Black Pittsburghers.

Mr. Carter has been serving as executive director of the Homeless Children’s Education Fund, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit that delivers educational services to homeless children. He was also a consultant for Holy Family Institute/Nazareth Prep and has worked in the banking industry.

Mr. Carter grew up in the Pittsburgh area.

“I faced many personal challenges; I grew up in a single-parent home,” Mr. Carter said.

“I’ve had a lot of good experiences, but I’ve also had some bad experiences,” he added, “but I feel like everything, all my experiences in Pittsburgh, contributed to my being a grateful person, a down-to-earth person, a person who cares about his community, a person who wants to help others.”

Mr. Carter said he didn’t meet his father until later in life, and his mother was his role model. He said she always gave the last of what she had to others in need.

He described his prior role at the Homeless Children’s Education Fund as “the best job in the world.”

“It’s something that, although I’m not the founder of it, I’m heavily invested in it, and my heart is in it,” he said. “It was no easy decision, but I could not ignore this call to help make Pittsburgh livable for all.”

Mr. Carter will begin his role as president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh on Nov. 10.