(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – After more than a decade serving as a positive news advocate for Africa,
multi-culturist entrepreneur, and business and cultural liaison between the U.S. and Africa, Julia A.
Wilson, CEO and founder of Wilson Global Communications USA, has broadened the sphere of
WGC’s influence by coordinating the National Urban League’s highly successful Trade & Cultural
Mission to China, Jan. 31, 2009 to Feb. 4, 2010. The NUL is one of the oldest civil rights organizations
in America, dedicated to economic empowerment and elevating the standard of living in historically
underserved urban communities.
“As the NUL’s trade and cultural mission director for our trip to China, Julia, along with her staff,
flawlessly coordinated and managed all of the international arrangements for us,” said NUL President
& CEO Marc H. Morial, who led the delegation. “Due to her international cultural expertise, diplomacy,
leadership, organizational skills and meticulous attention to detail, everything logistically — and socially
— went off without a hitch. WGC handled briefing our delegation on Chinese social and business
protocol, culture and government rules and regulations, preparing in-depth pre-travel and pre-meeting
briefing information and materials, counseling on strategic educational presentations to help dispel
stereotypes of African Americans, arranging high-level meetings for the delegation with leading
Chinese business, education and government officials, and arranging a Chinese media interview for
over a billion viewers to watch. On a scale of one to 10, thanks to Julia, this trip was an 11,” Morial
The NUL delegation, representing “The Best” of African Americans in business, education,
government, news media and entertainment included such luminaries as NUL CEO-Pres. and
delegation leader Morial; L.A. Urban League President & CEO Blair Taylor, who organized a smaller
group to China in 2006, and on whose initial introductions the NUL mission was built; former U.S. Sec.
of Transportation Rodney Slater (Clinton Administration); Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory; dean of the
UCLA School of Public Affairs Dr. Frank Gilliam; civil rights activist, entrepreneur and chairman of the
National Newspaper Publisher Assn. Danny Bakewell, Sr.; and TV One host and CNN Commentator
Roland Martin, 100 Black Men of America Chairman Al Dotson; Janice Bryant Howroyd, chairman and
CEO of Act * 1 Group of Companies; as well as NUL board members and CEOs from seven Urban
League affiliates throughout the U.S.
The delegation stayed in the historic Grand Hotel Beijing, adjacent to Tiananmen Square, which housed Pres. Nixon when he negotiated with Chinese officials near the end of the Cold War. The group was welcomed with a formal 10-course dinner at the Chinese government’s official Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, and was greeted by Tung Chee Hwa, founding chairman of the China-US Exchange Foundation and vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the delegation’s host. The group was received by Yu Ping, vice chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. (CCPIT); He Yafei vice minister of Foreign Affairs, hosted another formal 10-course luncheon at the State
Guesthouse in the room where Pres. Obama stayed during his November 2009 visit; Wang Chao, assistant minister of the Ministry of Commerce; and Shen Yang, deputy director-general of the Dept. of International Cooperation. Donald Tang, CEO of Citic Securities International Partner, and Ambassador Liu Guijin, Chinese special representative on Darfur also participated.
The delegation visited Tianjin, an urban center near Beijing, experienced a fast train ride and
witnessed high-tech strategic urban planning methodologies using alternative energies. It also met
with scholars of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, where NUL officials and educators briefed
their hosts with a history of African Americans – from slavery to Pres. Obama’s ascent to the White
House. Later, the Americans climbed the Great Wall of China.
“We came away, not only with the richness of these experiences, but with a better understanding of
Chinese culture and ways of doing business,” said Morial, former two-time mayor of New Orleans.
“We also came away with some agreements. The Chinese Ministry of Education pledged to establish
the first Confucius Institute (which promotes the Chinese language and culture) in Louisiana and
subsequently at a number of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The first program
is planned to be established at Xavier University in New Orleans. Chinese officials also agreed to join
the NUL in student/teacher exchanges.”
Primary goals of the trip included promoting better cultural understanding between the Chinese people
and African Americans, looking for mutually beneficial educational and business opportunities
between China and black America, and encouraging the Chinese to visit major U.S. inner cities. The
NUL also is hoping the Chinese will partner with African American entrepreneurs and invest in
improving the quality of life for urban residents, while creating new businesses and jobs in U.S. inner
“As a former U.S. government cabinet official, I’ve participated in a great number of trade and cultural
delegations,” said Slater, former Sec. of Transportation in the Clinton Administration and partner,
Patton Boggs, LLP. “Marc Morial did an excellent job leading the delegation and Ms. Wilson did a
superb job in organizing the trip. It was one of the best-organized that I’ve been a part of, and uniquely
offers great promise for potential new business opportunities, education and cultural exchanges
between Chinese and Americans, especially African Americans. I am greatly encouraged.”
“Working with the NUL – and personally with Ms. Wilson in organizing and carrying out this important
education, business and cultural mission was a great pleasure,” said China – U.S. Exchange
Foundation CEO Clarie Lo. “We look forward to having a strong ongoing relationship, as we help
promote better cultural understanding and pursue mutually beneficial opportunities in education,
business, entertainment and political thought.”
“I feel privileged to have been a part of this historic mission oton behalf of the NUL and to work with
such a visionary as Marc Morial,” Wilson said. “While it wasn’t my first trip to China, it certainly was
enjoyable and one of the most productive. Wilson Global Communications stands ready to continue
to provide Marc and the NUL with cross-cultural support. WGC also is uniquely experienced to help
businesses, investors and entrepreneurs better understand other cultures – and pursue emerging
international business opportunities and partnerships, whether they’re in China, Africa or Europe.”
WGC is an international marketing communications, based in Washington, D.C. and founded by
Wilson in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1994.