Adrian Loving is a noted visual arts educator, cultural historian, and DJ. Over the course of his 20+ year career, Loving has curated art exhibitions and public programming for museums and cultural institutions; including the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, National Museum of African Art (NMAFA), The National Portrait Gallery, and The National Gallery of Art. Loving’s active participation at music festivals, art fairs, and conferences has further developed his unique perspective on contemporary pop-culture and issues of historical importance. "Fade 2 Grey" is a groundbreaking new solo art exhibition by artist Adrian Loving. His works explore androgyny, gender roles, fashion and the sensationalism of style in 80’s pop music.
Rey Ramsey is a Managing Director at Lafayette Square and Chairman of the LS Foundation. He also serves as founder & CEO of Centri Tech. He has devoted his career to building and leading social enterprises with a particular emphasis on housing equity and expanding access to technology in low-income communities. After serving as Oregon‘s Director of Housing and Community Services, Mr. Ramsey held successive positions as President and COO of Enterprise Community Partners, Chairman of Habitat for Humanity International; and founding CEO and Chairman of One Economy Corporation, a nonprofit provider of internet services to low-income homes.
Helen Gym seated in 2016, Councilmember Gym leads a human rights agenda rooted in housing, education, and racial and economic justice. She has worked to end the eviction crisis in Philadelphia that impacts Black and Brown families, establishing a tenant legal defense fund, local rent vouchers, and a law guaranteeing legal counsel for renters facing eviction. During the COVID crisis, she issued one of the first moratoriums on evictions, utility shutoffs, and mortgage foreclosures; championed rent assistance which led to Philly sending $60 million in rent checks to landlords and tenants; and set up a mandatory diversion program in landlord-tenant court. As Chair of the Committee on Children and Youth, she brought nurses, counselors, clean water and instrumental music to every public school. She has led the charge to transform residential placement facilities for youth and the juvenile justice system, including shutting down abusive facilities and supporting smaller placements closer to home. Councilmember Gym is also the national co-Chair of Local Progress, a network of 1200 municipal elected officials, where she leads efforts around immigrant rights and economic justice.
Samantha Porter is the Community Engagement Advisor and Outreach Manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, in the Community Development and Regional Outreach division of Public Affairs. Prior to joining the Federal Reserve she spent 3 years working in the administration of Mayor Jim Kenney. In 2017 she served as Director of Place Based Initiatives for the West Philadelphia Promise Zone and Choice Neighborhoods Initiatives. She joined the Mayor’s Policy office in 2019 as the Deputy Director for Policy and Strategic Initiatives. Her role at ICF built upon her experience as program manager in the Sandy Recovery Division of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, where she led the design and implementation of a $40 million program to rebuild low to moderate income housing.
Jovida Hill was appointed Executive Director by Mayor Kenney in June 2016. Prior to joining the administration, she was an award-winning writer and producer of more than 200 films and videos for the education, broadcast and training markets. Her work has included the civil rights documentary series In the Land of Jim Crow, which documents poignant first-person accounts of the African American struggle for justice and equality. A founding member of the African Sisterhood and Women Gather Conference, Hill currently serves on the boards of the Black Women’s Health Alliance and the Logan Square Neighborhood Association. Most recently, Jovida received the 2019 Community Engagement Award from the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) and was honored by City Council for the Philadelphia Commission for Women’s advocacy on behalf of Fair Workweek scheduling for workers in the retail, fast food and hospitality industries.
Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, a born-and-raised West Philadelphian, was elected to represent the Third Councilmanic District in November 2019. With two decades of experience fighting for fairness, equality, and justice in neighborhoods throughout the city, Councilmember Gauthier brings a depth of knowledge related to community and economic development, grassroots engagement, and nonprofit administration.
Cherelle L. Parker is the Majority Leader and 9th District Councilmember of the City Council of Philadelphia. She represents parts of Northwest and Lower Northeast Philadelphia. She serves as Chair of both the Committee on Labor & Civil Service and the Committee on Law & Government. Before becoming a City Councilperson in 2016, she served as a State Representative for 10 years.In her over 15 years as an elected official, she has focused on closing the gap between the haves and the have nots, while also ensuring that we don’t pit the have nots against those who have just a little. She continues to fight for working class Philadelphians, and has prioritized housing preservation, neighborhood stabilization, and commercial corridor revitalization.
State Representative Joanna McClinton, the first African-American and woman to be elected as the House Democratic Caucus chair for the 2019-20 legislative session. Rep. McClinton continues to be active in the community serving as a youth leader at her West Philadelphia home church, Open Door Mission for more than 10 years. As a youth ministry leader, she organizes positive programs for children, mentoring them and reminding them that their dreams can come true.
Antonio M. Johnson is a visual artist whose work focuses on concepts of home and healing. Johnson was raised in West Philadelphia and educated at Morgan State University, a historically black college in Baltimore. Today, he calls Atlanta home. His primary medium is photography and, in just a few short years behind the camera, he has earned a reputation for capturing scenes that communicate the complex beauty of urban spaces and everyday people. He is also the author of You Next: Reflection in Black Barbershops, an intimate photographic exploration of this sacred space.
Faheem Alexander provides quality care and original style as a premier professional barber and trainer with a grand sense of community. Faheem sells autographed sheers which he developed to help barbers achieve precision cuts along with an instructional video in which he sells on his website. Faheem’s barbering style speaks for itself as he has cut and groomed actors, comedians, and musicians. He has worked with Tracy Morgan, Rick Ross, and Jay Pharoah to name a few.
André L. Brock is an associate professor at the School of Literature, Media at Georgia Tech. He has an M.A. in English and Rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon University and a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His expertise is in the field of racial representations in video games, black women and weblogs, whiteness, blackness, and digital technoculture, as well as critical research on Black Twitter. Additionally, Brock’s book "Distributed Blackness: African American Cybercultures" provides a new paradigm for community discussion, information-sharing, and understanding of Black voices in media today from Instagram to “Black Twitter.”
Chris Banks is Philly raised and educated, Chris Banks attended Northeast High School and Temple University, where he studied Communications and Political Science and recently went back to complete his certification to become a Certified Financial Planning (CFP) professional. Amongst other investments, he currently runs “The BanksGiving Company”, a nonprofit organization based on teaching middle to high school students about different aspects of business and finance. They have free monthly finance seminars at Temple for young adults.
Dr. Alesha Gayle is interested in the ways in which parents, teachers, and students in urban schools use the World Wide Web to connect, explore, and interact with each other, and specifically how digital literacy informs those interactions. She studies the Internet: how educators use it, how late adopters navigate it, and how race impacts web use, parents and schools, and public memory. An editor, journalist, and curriculum developer, Dr. Alesha Gayle has taught in high-needs schools for over 20 years.
Andre Perry is a Fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, a scholar-in-residence at American University and a columnist for the Hechinger Report. Perry has contributed to CNN, PBS, NPR, NBC and ABC. His research and writing focuses on race and structural inequality as they relate to education, urbanization, and economic inclusion. Perry has analyzed Black-majority cities and institutions in America, focusing on valuable assets worthy of increased investment. Be sure to read Andre Perry’s new book “Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities,” now available in local bookstores and online.