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Friendly Neighbor Fund Grantees, Summer 2020

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Seeds of Hope in South Philadelphia

CPMM Friendly Neighbor Fund Grantees, Summer 2020

See link below to download this report as a Word document.

Additional contributions to these projects are very welcome; for more information, contact Peace and Social Concerns Clerk, Pamela Haines, at [email protected]

The mission of Victorious Establishments to save as many young lives as possible through the development of our youth with education, sports, and mentoring. Peace On The Streets caters directly to the urban city youth through our pro positive basketball summer league for boys and girls. We aim to give back to our community by providing the youth with a structured safe environment to promote peace and positive behaviors. “In South Philadelphia we all know about the violence and things going on. I just wanted to shine a light and bring some type of peace to this community," said Coach Q (Quahsim Gredic). So he took 200 children from the community, gave them shirts, put them on a team and it's all free. The payoff for him is keeping the kids safe and off the streets. (More info: https://www.fox29.com/news/peace-basketball-league-keeping-kids-safe-in-grays-ferry)

Resident Action Committee II spent the summer of 2020 distributing meals to students and the elderly across the Grays Ferry neighborhood and is currently working on a Get Out the Vote effort. As host to a city ‘play block’, we offer a safe place for children from the neighborhood to come play and learn about their local built and natural environments. Some of our work is focused on teaching our youth about the PES refinery, its many forms of violence, the systematic racism at its core, and the intricacies of the environment where the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers meet. We are striving to expand the environmental literacy of the community by building confidence in our youth that they themselves have voices and expertise to contribute to their community. We hope to provide a deeper understanding of sustainable living by engaging our youth through interactive gardening workshops and small group field trips to the zoo.  (More info: check out their Facebook page)

Philly Thrive was part of closing the PES refinery in South Philly this winter, ending more than 150 years of environmental racism, and climate-change causing pollution and emissions. In this moment, our organization as a whole is in the middle of a multi-part campaign to ensure the refinery land gets cleaned up, and that residents are involved in decisions about the future land use, in a way that addresses the connected crises of coronavirus, climate change, and a racist, oppressive economy that has failed the working class. Healing is critical to the work that we’re doing -- the extractive industry that causes climate change and environmental injustice has also extracted from our communities and our bodies, so we need to heal ourselves, learning how to communicate in ways that serve ourselves and our movement. This grant will be used to support our women’s circle healing work. (More info: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/28/magazine/pollution-philadelphia-black-americans.html)

The vision of Young Chances founder Tyrique Glasgow is to change the images neighborhood kids experience by providing positive opportunities. On being released from jail in 2011, he decided someone needed to support the youth of his South Philly by showing them another way forward, to give them voice and help them understand that they have options beyond falling into crime and selling themselves short. He started by forming a football team for boys barred from the local Vare community center. Soon he was helping local girls create a dance team and learn to be cheerleaders, then go on to learn about hygiene, teen pregnancy and avoiding the negative impact of social media. Young Chances has hosted a summer camp for neighborhood youth since 2014, providing opportunities to experience life outside the neighborhood with visits to city hall, local government agencies, and amusement park and museum field trips. He has opened a community center and is seeing the quality of the community improve even in the midst of incapacitating fear, as old dealers and shooters form businesses, and young people see new opportunities. “My main focus is to change the images that our kids see out here. It’s an opportunity to show what tomorrow is about.” (More info: https://youngchancesfoundation.com

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