Saturday forum aims to unite community activists from across the city

Community leaders and organizers will discuss ways to effectively take back their neighborhoods at the “Philadelphia Community Leadership Institute” from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

The event, which is designed to teach fundamentals of community organizing and improving leadership skills among youth to effect community change, will take place at Temple University’s Student Faculty Center, 3340 N. Broad St., fourth floor.

Karimah Nonyameko-Moore, who will lead the session, said it will also enable attendees to network and help them understand why certain problems exist.

Issues to be covered include zoning law, community participation in neighborhood initiatives and the political process.

“I think it is critical for them to not only learn from one another, but connect with their neighbors across town so that they can be a resource to each other,” said Nonyameko-Moore.

Involvement on the rise

Pamela Bridgeforth, director of programs of Community Development Corporations, said the timing is right for such an event because of her sense that more people are now committed to their neighborhoods.

“We hope that people will, first and foremost, see the power of making their neighborhood and city safe and strong is in their hands,” she said. “We want to give access to tools and resources they can use in their everyday living to make that real.

“If we are not taking care of [the neighborhoods], and the people who live in them are not fighting for them, where does that live the city?”

Affordable living a concern

Germantown resident Nora Lichtash will attend, bringing with her concerns about affordable living for low-income women and children.

Lichtash is the executive director of Women’s Community Revitalization Project, which is based in North Philadelphia. Close to both Northern Liberties and Temple University, Lichtash said she fears long-time residents will be gentrified out of the community because of high-priced luxury housing for new residents and students.

“The need for real change in the country and city is apparent,” said Lichtash. “We want to make sure that it does not leave low-income families out of the picture. It’s not fair and it does not benefit the city.”

The event is sponsored by the Philadelphia Association of CDCs, NeighborWorks America and the City.

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