Carmela Smith
Carmela Smith, right, with her client artist Synthia Sr. James, and Georgia “Mother Rose” West. Ms. Smith, who does a lot of community work in Sacramento, is St. James’s publicist.

SACRAMENTO — Carmela Smith is genuinely a young, gifted, and talented woman of color. Ms. Smith is also one Sacramento’s millennials who is very involved in community affairs.

Among the many events that take place around the Sacramento area, Ms. Smith could possibly be in the room somewhere. But the Oak Park native certainly won’t make it known.

“I like seeing and helping other people get credit for what they do.That’s what I do,” Ms. Smith said. “It’s about the people and making stuff happen,” she added.

Fortunately, there are many accomplishments for which Ms. Smith should be acknowledged. She is not only a member of the Greater Sacramento Urban League’s Young Professionals (GSULYP), she just completed her term as the Chief of Staff for the National Urban League’s Young Professionals.

Ms.Smith,the GSULYP chair, said the Sacramento chapter of the organization focuses on executing programs to support the National Urban League empowerment agenda.

The plans include Education and Youth Empowerment, Economic Empowerment, Health and Quality of Life Empowerment, Civic Engagement Empowerment, and Civil Rights and Racial Justice Empowerment.

Ms. Smith did her part on the local and national levels, but swayed away from getting caught up in the “title” of Chief of Staff she said. Her role was much more powerful and detailed. Ms. Smith said she is passionate about the Urban League.

“What’s important, for me, was to be a part of a 100-plus years civil rights organization. That’s flat out big. Especially because our parents, grandparents, and further back, depended on this organization,” she said.

Ms. Smith participated and planned many event for the National Urban League, including attending conferences in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and Atlanta, Ga. with the Young Professionals. By working alongside her peers across the country, Ms. Smith was able to appreciate the experience to its fullest.

“One of the things of being exposed to things on the Sacramento level, and of course, the national level, is that you have the power to do what you need to do to effect change,” Ms. Smith said.

It was Ms. Smith’s work at the local level in Sacramento that caught the attention of staffers at the national level. She did not disappoint when she was named to the national post.

Brandi Richard, the past president of the National Urban League Young Professionals said Ms. Smith was very effective.

“During her time as Chief of Staff of the National Urban League Young Professionals, Carmela was essential to the success of our leadership conference planning team,” Ms. Richards told The OBSERVER. “She was able to anticipate and execute our conference communication needs, connect us with great speakers, and help our team successfully train the next generation for success. She is extremely talented,”
she added.

Ms. Smith was born and raised in Oak Park. She attended Sacramento High School and graduated from Sacramento State University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in computer science.

She uses her college background to show local youth how to reach their potential. She’s also a member at Season Christian Worship Center where she works with the youth ministry. Samuel Rodriguez is the pastor of Season Christian Worship Center.

Ms. Smith also follows the career of her friend and former GSULYP member Danielle Williams, a very active local leader.

Danielle does nitty-gritty work,” Ms. Smith said.

Ms. Smith is an information technology geek who also serves as a publicist. One of her clients is fame author, motivational speaker and artist Synthia St. James. Ms. Smith has brought St. James to Sacramento on several occasions.

Ms. Smith also publicizes local events for artists Gerry GOS” Simpson and Jasmine Andrade. The art world is expanding in the Sacramento region and Ms. Smith is playing a role in its growth. “Art is exploding here,” she said.“There’s high-quality Black art and programs here that we as a community need to get behind to support.”

Ms. Smith is often around the area checking out the scene or being a part of the activities. For all she does, around the clock, she intends to keep it down to a whisper. That’s how the young lady works best.

“I have never been about being in the spotlight,” Ms. Smith said. “I am the background person. If I see that something needs to be done I’ll just jump in and do it,” she added.

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By Antonio R. Harvey
OBSERVER Staff Writer