PEOPLE IN 2018
PEOPLE IN 2018
- Equity and social inclusion
- Education and youth development
- Economic issues and poverty
- Public safety and the judicial system
Never underestimate the power of coming together face-to-face to voice your thoughts and ideas. Even in today’s age of digital message boards and online comment sections, friendly and productive public discourse is alive and well. Our On the Table Philly program put this notion into action by bringing together more than 5,000 people in 2018 from various backgrounds. At hundreds of locations across the seven-county area, participants engaged in an open dialogue that inspired hyper-local solutions to community-specific issues. This gathering of minds resulted in new relationships, ideas and initiatives to spark positive change.
Some say the state of public discourse is at an all-time low. In today’s hyper-connected, technology-driven world, face-to-face conversations are happening less frequently. People are listening less and are hiding behind digital message boards and online forums more and more. But when we come out from behind keyboards and social media accounts to share an in-person conversation, powerful connections are formed, ideas are inspired and action is taken.
This is the spirit behind the On the Table Philly initiative, which we joined the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in hosting. On the Table Philly brought together more than 5,000 people across the region in hundreds of locations in November 2018. In the second year of the initiative’s history in Philadelphia, participation nearly doubled from the inaugural event. In 2018, we upped the ante, providing $1,000 “Activate” mini-grants to 43 ideas generated during the conversations in order to help attendees transform their ideas into tangible initiatives to improve the Greater Philadelphia region.
On the Table Philly brings together thousands of people from various backgrounds, ethnicities, socioeconomic status and ages. Discussions surrounded their experiences in the Philadelphia region, their ideas on how to improve life in their local communities and their outlook for the future of our region as a whole. Topics of conversation ranged from the amount of economic opportunity available in our communities to the rate of gentrification in various neighborhoods to education equity and safety. The voices of our community members are too often underappreciated or unheard. Through On the Table Philly, the power of conversation can build a bridge to new understanding. When people come together with the shared motivation of enacting positive change, good things happen.
Building and sustaining a strong, effective organization remains an ongoing challenge for so many of our region’s nonprofits. But through partnership and collaboration, nonprofits can be matched with the resources they need. Through our partnership with Catchafire, we’ve built Philadelphia Foundation’s Key Skills Hub as a digital, web-based platform to connect the corporate and nonprofit sectors and to match skills-based volunteers with nonprofits to improve their operational effectiveness. 2017 marked our pilot program. In 2018, we expanded access to this volunteer resource to every nonprofit in the region. Through our support, 128 Greater Philadelphia nonprofits received – for free – over $1 million worth of time from expert volunteers across marketing, web development, operations and strategy fields.
More than 50 years ago, three teenagers were the catalyst for a sit-in at a restaurant called Dewey’s to protest multiple denials of service based on sexual orientation, gender expression and cultural nonconformity. The protest, the first of its kind, took place right here in Philadelphia. It marked a new form of our city’s long and celebrated history of standing up for what’s right and fighting for equal treatment. Preserving turning points in history like these are critical, which is why Philadelphia Foundation sponsored the dedication of a historic marker located at the sit-in site. This marker will serve as an important reminder of that day and honor an early victory for LGBT rights.