Cultural Celebrations

Select a celebration for a list of events, panel discussions, resources, community spotlights and more!

March
1-31 Women’s History Month
10 Birthday of Harriet Tubman

April
1-30 Diversity Month

May
1-31 AAPI Month

June
1-31 Pride Month (LGBTQIAA+)

February 1-28

Black History Month

Black History Month was created in 1926 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Initially called Negro History Week, the celebration expanded to a full month in 1976, in order to focus even greater attention on the contributions of African Americans in the United States and throughout the diaspora. Today, Black History Month continues to amplify and deepen the exploration and elevation of African Americans and their contributions to society through film screenings, museum exhibits, and by encouraging the study of the accomplishments of African Americans year-round.

Upcoming Events

02/04 4pm-8pm| Rosa Park Birthday Celebration | Register Here
This event will serve as a celebration of the life of Rosa Parks and the official kick-off for Black History Month. (Registration Closed)

02/06-02/10 Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action
Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action is a national movement centered on racial justice in education. This year the BLM at School Week of Action will take place February 6-10, 2023 grounded in the theme: “A week of action. A year of purpose. A lifetime of practice.” There are a number of ways you can participate in the week of action, including the use of BLM at School starter-kit as well as the implementation of curricula tools and resources. To learn more about the BLM at School movement, click here. We are excited to know of the various ways we will engage in this week of action as a district community. Feel free to share your activities and learnings with us at equity@philasd.org.

02/07 4:30pm-6pm (virtual) | Black Maternal Health | Register Here
Sister Aba is a doula, midwife and owner of UrbanBush-The living Traditions. She will teach us about the disparities in Black maternal health and solutions derived from ancient traditional wisdom.

02/08 4:30pm-6pm (virtual) | Gary Reimagined | Register Here
Kelly Harris, Sr. Staff Director of the Center for Africana Studies, will use documentary footage from Eyes on The Prize to hold a teach-in about the National Black Political Convention, held on March 10–12, 1972. The convention gathered around ten thousand African-Americans to discuss and advocate for black communities that underwent significant economic and social crises and produced The Gary Declaration.

02/09 4:30pm-6pm | Black History Month to Black Lives Matter | Register on Cornerstone 
This professional development will examine the historical context of the creation of Black History week and the intellectual genealogy connected with the contemporary Black Lives Matter movement.

02/11 1-4pm | Challenging the System to Work: The Historic Colored Conventions | Register Here
PhilWP in collaboration with AAMP and the Social Studies Team of the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Curriculum and Instruction offers this month’s NEH panel. Participants will learn about the Colored Conventions, where, over the course of seven decades, tens of thousands of Black men and women from different walks of life traveled to attend meetings publicly advertised as “Colored Conventions” to offer opportunities for free-born and formerly enslaved African Americans to organize and strategize for racial justice. Three District teachers, who are part of the Teaching the Colored Conventions Project, will share curricula and projects designed for classrooms. Participants will learn from teachers in workshop settings and engage in discussion about ways to use these ideas. (Registration Closed)

02/14 4:30pm-6pm | Black Love is Black: The Life of Frederick Douglass in Love & Resistance | Register Here
This professional development is designed for the participant to witness the multiple layers of the life of Frederick Douglas’s life of resistance. In examining his resistance we uncover a deep-abiding love for the liberation of Black people.

02/15 4:30pm-6pm | BLAM! Presentation with School District of Philadelphia Teachers | Register Here
The session will center on a discussion on best practices for teaching Black History using the Black Lives Always Mattered! (BLAM!) graphic novel. Ismael Jimenez, Director of Social Studies Curriculum for the School District of Philadelphia, will facilitate the conversation. Participants will engage in identifying effective pedagogical strategies for delivering instruction on African American History using a combination of the BLAM! graphic novel and primary resources.

This program is presented in partnership with the Charles L. Blockson Collection of African-Americans and the African Diaspora at Penn State Special Collections Library.
Our programs are geared toward a general audience and are open to all, including Temple students, faculty, staff, alumni, neighbors, and friends. Registration is encouraged. All programs are free and open to all. Registration is encouraged. Contact Kaitlyn Semborski at kaitlyn.semborski@temple.edu with questions.

02/21 6:00pm-8:30pm (Founders’ Hall at La Salle University) | A Radical Vision for Education through a Black Lens: The Sun Rises in the East Film Screening | Register Here
The Sun Rises in The East chronicles the birth, rise and legacy of The East, a pan-African cultural organization founded in 1969 by teens and young adults in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Led by educator and activist Jitu Weusi, The East embodied Black self-determination, building dozens of institutions, including its own African-centered school, food co-op, newsmagazine, publishing company, record label, restaurant, clothing shop and bookstore.

02/22 12pm-1pm (on zoom)| Equity In Practice Series: Focus on Collective Climb | Register Here
The “Equity in Practice” series is a collection of community learning opportunities hosted by the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in collaborating with Community based organizations (CBO`s) that are focused on equity, cultural awareness, and social justice. This month will focus on Collective Climb. Collective Climb is a Black Feminist organization empowering BIPOC teenagers (15-19) in West Philadelphia through three programs: Restorative Community project,  Youth Advisory Boards and Collective Kick-backs. Come to learn more about this organization, resources and services that they provide, and best practices that promote equitable action.

02/24 4pm-6:30pm| Student Poetry Slam Competition | Register Here(coming soon)
The Office of Curriculum and Instruction will be hosting the first annual Black History Month Student Slam Poetry Contest. The event will feature School District of Philadelphia students performing original work around the theme of Radical Freedom Dreaming.

02/27 4:30pm-6pm | Connecting Black: Art is History | Register Here
In this session, we will make connections on how we can use art to enter and discuss Black History in the classroom. We will use elements of object-based learning, inquiry, and visual thinking strategies We will look at artists such as Norman Lewis, Betye Saar, AfriCobra

02/28 4:30pm-6pm | Ekphrastic? Fantastic! Using Poetry to Turn Pictures into Words | Register Here
Children’s book author Zetta Elliott will lead an interactive workshop on creating poetry through the use of images

Marcus Garvey

Inspired millions of Black people worldwide advocating for unity, self-determination, and racial pride. Founded the Negro World newspaper and, with his wife Amy Ashwood Garvey, the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in 1919 that had over 1 million members.

bell hooks

Author, poet, educator, feminist, and activist dedciated to centering the most marginalized voices in her writing and teaching. Helped develop the idea of radical relationship building inside and outside the classroom.

Octavius Catto

A leading post-Civil War political activist in Philadelphia, educator at the Institute for Colored Youth (now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania) and co-founder of the Philadelphia Pythians baseball team. He was assassinated in Philadelphia on election day in 1876.

Kamala Harris

As the 49th vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris is the highest-ranking female elected official in U.S. history, and the nation’s first female, first African American and first Asian American vice president.

Daniel Hale Williams

Williams founded the first interracial hospital in America in 1891. The hospital served as the first school for black nurses in the country.

Constance E. Clayton, PhD, EdD, Former School Superintendent

An American educator and civic leader, who served as the first African American and female Superintendent for the School District of Philadelphia.

Joyce Wilkerson

Joyce Wilkerson is one of the first nine members appointed by Mayor Kenney to the Philadelphia Board of Education. Joyce also serves as a mayoral appointee and Chair of the School Reform Commission.

Sandra Dungee Glenn

First female, African-American chair of the School District of Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission. Has been a champion for education students for over 20 years as a Member of the SRC and the CEO of Harambee Charter School.

Mary Jane Patterson

Mary Jane Patterson is the first African-American woman to receive a B.A. degree. She received her degree from Oberlin College and went on to work at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, before becoming the first black principal at Dunbar High School in Washington D.C.

Michelle Alexander

A highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, legal scholar and author of The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness — the bestselling book that helped to transform the national debate on racial and criminal justice in the United States.

Edmund Gordon

Is a professor of psychology and was the founder of the federal Head Start program which promotes the school readiness of children from low-income families through agencies in their local community.

Inez Beverly Prosser

Was the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate in psychology, her dissertation documented the psychological harm from racism to Black children learning in integrated schools.

Alain LeRoy Locke

A Philadelphia native and Harvard graduate, was the first African American to win a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship in 1907. Known as the “Dean” or “Father of the Harlem Renaissance”, was an educator, writer, and philosopher.

Ella Baker

Civil rights leader, organizer and human rights advocate who dedicated her life to the betterment of American society. Founding inspiration for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), leader in the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SLCLC) and NAACP.

John Henrik Clarke

A pioneer in the development of Africana Studies in the United States. Served as chairman of the Department of Black and Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College of the City University of New York, co-founded the African Heritage Studies Association with Leonard Jeffries.

Marian Wright Edelman

An American activist for children’s rights, Marian Wright Edelman is an iconic champion for disadvantaged Americans and founder and president emerita of the Children’s Defense Fund.

Jeffrey Canada

Geoffrey Canada is an American educator, social activist and author. Since 1990, Canada has been president of the Harlem Children’s Zone in Harlem, New York, an organization that states its goal is to increase high school and college graduation rates among students in Harlem.

William R. Hite, Jr., PhD

The first African-American male Superintendent for the School District of Philadelphia; With a focus on equity, innovation and quality.

Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander

First African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in economics in the United States (1921), and the first woman to receive a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She was the first African-American woman to practice law in Pennsylvania

Shirley Chisholm

The first African American woman in Congress (1968) and the first woman and African American to seek the nomination for president of the United States from one of the two major political parties (1972).

Carter G. Woodson

Celebrated as the “Father of Black History” for his 1926 role in establishing Negro History Week, which would eventually be recognized as Black History Month in 1976. He was a PhD and educator for over 30 years — instrumental in providing Black history-related material and content for K-12 classrooms.

Arturo Schomberg

Puerto Rican born Black historian, researcher, writer, and curator dedicated to the study of global African history. Influenced Black thinkers like Zora Neale Hurston during the Harlem Renaissance. Namesake of The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City’s Library system where many pieces of his rare writings are held.

Ida B. Wells

Journalist, educator, and anti-lynching activist, Ida B. Wells was a leading African American leader on an international scale. She was a founding member of the National Association of the Advanced of Colored People (NAACP) and active in several women organizations seeking increased civil rights.

Paul Robeson

A true renaissance man, Robeson rose to international fame as an actor/singer, breaking barriers for Black entertainers at the time. The son of an escaped slave, he advocated for the liberation of Black people in the U.S. and oppressed people across the globe. Spent his last decade with his sister in West Philadelphia.

Frances (Fanny) Jackson Coppin

A former slave, Fanny eventually attended Oberlin College in 1860. Became the first Black teacher at Oberlin Academy and later, the first Black woman principal at Philadelphia’s Institute for Colored Youth (now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania). Philadelphia’s Andrew Jackson Elementary was renamed Fanny Jackson Coppin Elementary in 2021.

Amanda Gorman

Activist and author Amanda Gorman is the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate and the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, delivering The Hill We Climb at the 49th Presidential Inauguration.

Booker T. Washington

Booker Taliaferro Washington was an American educator, author, orator, and advisor to multiple presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Washington was the dominant leader in the African American community and of the contemporary black elite.

Thurgood Marshall

As a lawyer, Thurgood Marshall succeeded in having the Supreme Court declared segregated public schools unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education (1954). He would later become the first African-American Supreme Court Justice.

James Baldwin

James Baldwin was a writer and activist whose works explore the complexity of race, class and sexual orientation as they relate to living in America. Some of his most notable works include Notes of a Native Son and If Beale Street Could Talk.

Frederick Douglass Patterson

The third president of Tuskegee University and the founder of the United Negro College Fund. At Tuskegee, he founded the School of Veterinary Medicine. He served on President Harry Trumans’ Commission on Higher Education, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Ronald Reagan in 1987.

Jahana Hayes

Jahana was recognized as National Teacher of the Year in 2016 for her emphasis on teaching kindness, compassion and customer service as well as traditional subjects. Currently Jahana is serving as the first African-American woman and first African-American Democrat to represent the state of Connecticut in Congress.

Dr. Jami Valentine

Was the first African American woman to graduate with a PhD in physics from Johns Hopkins University. She created the website AAWIP.com, which celebrates African American Women in Physics; Dobbins graduate.

Molefi Kete Asante

Is a professor and philosopher, who created the country’s first African-American studies Ph.D. program at Temple University in 1987.

Septima Poinsette Clark

A black American educator and civil rights activist. Clark developed the literacy and citizenship workshops that played an important role in the drive for voting rights and civil rights for African Americans.

Little Rock 9

Minnijean Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Patillo, Gloria Ray, Terrence Roberts, Jefferson Thomas and Carlotta Walls were black students who enrolled at formerly all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in September 1957. Their attendance was a test of a landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling that declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional.

Dr. Asa G. Hilliard

Scholar, psychologist, historian and respected educator who greatly influenced the education of African-American students. Wrote more than 200 reports, books and articles on ancient African history, teaching strategies, African culture and child development during his career.

W.E.B. DuBois

Considered the foremost American intellectual of the 20th century, he was an educator, writer, activist, sociologist, and the first African American to obtain a PhD from Harvard. Co-founded the NAACP. Performed the first modern sociological study in Philadelphia’s Black 9th ward.

Anna Julia Cooper

Educator, sociologist, and women’s rights activist, who focused on advocating education as a liberatory tool for Black women. International scholar who is recognized as one of first women to give voice to Black feminism.

Ruby Bridges

Ruby Nell Bridges Hall is an American civil rights activist. She was the first African-American child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis on November 14, 1960.

Brenda A. Allen, PhD

Current president of Lincoln University, and lifelong educator, Brenda has spent her life improving educational opportunities for students of color. Brenda Allen has held professorship positions at Yale University, Smith College, Brown University, and Winston Salem State University.

Ruth Wright Hayre

Dr. Ruth Wright Hayre became Philadelphia’s first African-American high school principal in 1956. She graduated from West Philadelphia High School at 15 and earned a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania by age 20. Richard Wright Elementary is named after her grandfather.

Toni Morrison

An American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor. The critically acclaimed Song of Solomon brought her national attention and won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Octavia Butler

Internationally renowned sci-fi author with over a dozen novels translated in at least 10 languages. As a Black author, she explored gender and race centering Black woman protagonists in stories ranging from past explorations of American identity to Afro-futurist dystopian tales.

January 16

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Equity Coalition Virtual Social Justice Summit

Always Forward: Moving toward hope and healing

Monday, January 16 from 9AM to 12PM

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, the School District of Philadelphia’s Equity Coalition is hosting the second annual virtual Social Justice Summit. Grounded in the theme “Always Forward” the purpose is to uplift and amplify the voices of individuals, program offices, and organizations throughout Philadelphia who are working to advance equity and social justice within the School District of Philadelphia. We are looking for presentations and workshops across a variety of topic areas that center movement toward hope and healing, uplifting individuals and communities from the inside out.

Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service

Monday, January 16 at Girard College in Fairmount.

The 2023 King Day of Service is a day of volunteerism that brings together a diverse cross section of people throughout our region to participate in workshops, training sessions, educational forums and service projects that celebrate Dr. King’s legacy by raising public awareness about important social justice issues like voting rights, gun violence, early literacy, living wage jobs and health justice.

Community Clean-Up Day

Monday, January 16 @ 10AM

Meet at Lansdowne Ave & Atwood Road, Philadelphia, PA
Pizza provided for lunch.

This event is being organized by the Lewis C. Cassidy Academic Plus Project Team.
For more information email: frank.cimato@butz.com or john.miner@butz.com 

Martin Luther King, Jr., Tribute Concert

Monday, January 16 @ 3PM | Girard College Chapel, 2101 S College Ave.

Join Yannick and Your Philadelphia Orchestra as they return to Girard College and honor the life and work of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,  celebrating our Philadelphia community and the uniting power of music.

November 1-30

Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month, it is also referred to as American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month in order to be inclusive to the many indigenous populations in America. This is a time to reflect on the hard history of colonization that affected the people here before us. It means celebrating and uplifting the voices that have historically been silenced by our history books and reflecting on the importance of preserving histories that were almost forgotten.

The Lenapehoking (Lenni-Lenape) are the people native to the Philadelphia territory where we reside, work, or attend school. Today, one of the ways we try to honor the native people of this area is in a land acknowledgment. Why are land acknowledgments important? Part of equity work involves knowing our history, especially when we discuss marginalized populations who have historically been mistreated. A land acknowledgment is a formal way to recognize the Indigenous peoples who have come before you, and who were often violently removed from their land due to colonization. This is a small, but vital, first step in acknowledging our difficult histories.

Acknowledging, reflecting, and appreciating the indigenous peoples of our country is an essential part of this month.

Curtis Zunigha

Curtis Zunigha is an enrolled member of the Delaware Tribe of Indians in Oklahoma. He is director of Cultural Resources at the tribe and has served for over 30 years in many capacities of culture and community. Mr. Zunigha is co-founder and co-director of the Lenape Center, a nonprofit corporation based in New York City which promotes the history and culture of the Lenape people through the arts, humanities, and social identity. As a tradition-bearer of the Lenape culture he has proficiency in language, history, customs, singing and leading Lenape social dances.

Tamanend

The Chief of Chiefs and Chief of the Turtle Clan of the Lenni-Lenape nation in the Delaware Valley signing the Peace Treaty with William Penn. Tamanend is best known as a lover of peace and friendship.

Chester “Chet” Brooks

Chester “Chet” Brooks had spent 35 years helping to lead the tribe in Bartlesville, in the same town he was born. He served on the Delaware Tribe’s council and trust boards before he was elected chief in November 2014.

When his tribe’s federal recognition was imperiled in the 1970s, Brooks met the Secretary of the Interior on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. He brought with him a list of 26 treaties that proved the Delaware existed.

Kaitchkona Winema

Kaitchkona Winema, also known as Toby Riddle, was a Modoc woman who served as an interpreter in negotiations between the Modoc tribe and the United States Army during the Modoc War.She and her family toured with Meacham after the war, starring in his lecture-play “Tragedy of the Lava Beds”, to inform American people about the war. Meacham later published a book about Winema, which he dedicated to her. In 1891 Toby Riddle was one of the few Native American women to be awarded a military pension by the United States Congress, for her heroic actions during the peace negotiations in 1873.

Janet Alkire

Janet Alkire was born and raised in Fort Yates on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. Over the last 15 years, Janet has continued to work towards tribal sovereignty and effective governance. She worked for Senator Heidi Heitkamp, the Northern Plains Tribal Epidemiology Center (NPTEC), United Tribes Technical College (UTTC), and other tribal nations. She served as Executive Director of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe again in 2017. She currently serves as the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairwoman.

Winona LaDuke

Winona LaDuke is an American economist, environmentalist, writer and industrial hemp grower, known for her work on tribal land claims and preservation, as well as sustainable development.

Secretary Deb Haaland

Secretary Deb Haaland made history when she became the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary. She is a member of the Pueblo of Laguna and a 35th-generation New Mexican.

Heather Purser

Heather Purser is an LGBT advocate, diver, and member of the Suquamish tribe in Seattle, Washington. She is known for pioneering same-sex marriage rights for her tribe, making the Suquamish tribe the second Native American tribe to amend their laws to recognize same-sex marriage, the first being the Oregon Coquille tribe.Purser is openly lesbian and came out during her teens.

Edmonia Lewis

One of the first Black professional sculptors, Edmonia Lewis broke down both racial and gender barriers with her works of art standing tall in the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Born in 1844 to a Haitian father and Ojibwe mother, Lewis has a shared African and Indigenous American heritage, though she was orphaned by the age of 7. Her most famous work of art is the marble “The Death of Cleopatra,” which was carved in 1876 and acquired by the Smithsonian in the 1990s. Lewis spent time sculpting in Europe, and many of her sculptures speak to the Black experience throughout history.

Sacheen Littlefeather

Sacheen Littlefeather made history at the 1973 Academy Awards when she accepted the award for Best Actor on behalf of Marlon Brando. Littlefeather’s speech, which protested the film industry’s treatment of Indigenous people, may have caught the audience off guard, but she is proud to be the first Indigenous woman to have used the Academy Awards as a platform.

John Herrington

When the STS-113 Endeavour launched from Kennedy Space Center in November 2002, it carried the first Indigenous American into space. John Herrington carried the Chickasaw Nation flag, a traditional flute, and a few other personal items with him. His journey has seen him as a naval officer, a NASA astronaut, and on the big screen, in the IMAX movie “Into America’s Wild.” With a passion for Indigenous oral storytelling and a love for science, Herrington travels the world to tell his stories from the stars. He wants to encourage more Indigenous youth to get into the STEM fields and reclaim their ancestral legacy of engineering, astronomy, and science.

Tommy Orange

Author Tommy Orange is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, but he wasn’t surrounded by the Indigenous community in his hometown of Oakland, California. His debut novel, “There There,” won an award at the 2018 National Book Circle Awards. In sharing the Indigenous perspective in a contemporary way, Orange speaks about the relocation of his people to the cities and how assimilative culture has left many Indigenous communities feeling “voiceless” and underrepresented.

September 21

International Day of Peace

A day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.

September 15 - October 15

National Hispanic Heritage Month

Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month(September 15 – October 15) serves as a national celebration to honor the history, culture and influence of the generations who have come from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Upcoming Events

“My Dominican heritage is important to me because it is what brings my family together. Our food, music, and traditions are such a big part of our everyday lives and we wouldn’t be ourselves without it.”

JaDee Deleon
Girard Academic Music Program

“What being a Latino Educator means to me is the ability to establish meaningful, authentic connections with students, families and colleagues, for all of us to learn from a place of vulnerability, and use the experience to lead lives courageously. That’s where the progress lies.”

Julio Nunez, Assistant Principal
Gloria Casarez Elementary

“I’m proud to be Puerto Rican because of my Taino roots. Because of my heritage, I am able to bridge a language gap between our Spanish-speaking students and their non-Spanish-speaking teachers. My heritage is important to me because I am able to use my position as an SDP employee to show the younger generation of Puerto Rican people that hard work and dedication to your job can be rewarding.”

Miriam Cruz, Special Education Assistant
Samuel Fels High school 

Jenée Chizick-Agüero

Jenée Chizick-Agüero is the founder and publisher of Motivos, the nation’s largest bilingual magazine with youth-generated content.

Eduardo Esquivel

Eduardo Esquivel is the president of the Kensington Neighborhood Association and a social worker who has lived and worked in Kensington since 2010. During this time he has worked at multiple non-profits with those experiencing chronic homelessness and struggling with mental health and substance abuse.

Hernán Guaracao

Hernán Guaracao is Editor in Chief and CEO of AL DÍA News Media.

Hernán has served as President of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP) as well as a Board Member of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR), a national organization revolutionizing the inclusion and recognition of U.S. Latinos in corporate America today in the areas of employment, procurement, philanthropy, and governance. Hernán is an entrepreneur and a journalist with a very pronounced track record of public service. He is the 2014 recipient of the Paragon Legacy Award from the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC).

Danilo Burgos

Danilo Burgos, 41, took office Jan. 1 as the first Dominican to serve in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The legislator was appointed to serve in leadership committee roles with Agriculture and Rural Affairs; the Oil and Gas Caucus; Children and Youth; Human Services; and Gov. Wolf’s Census Commission.

Cristina Martinez

Cristina Martinez is a Mexican-born chef and immigration activist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Martinez is a native of Capulhuac, Mexico, and she is an undocumented immigrant who crossed the border from Juárez into the United States.

She and her husband, American citizen Benjamin Miller, opened their successful restaurant, South Philly Barbacoa, which was named by Bon Appétit magazine one of the top ten best new restaurants in America in 2016.

Cristina and Miller are active in supporting undocumented immigrants in the restaurant industry, establishing an organization, the Popular Alliance for Undocumented Workers’ Rights. Her story has been featured in an award-winning podcast, and she was featured in an episode of Netflix’s Chef’s Table in 2018.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known by her initials AOC, is an American politician and activist. She has served as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district since 2019, as a member of the Democratic Party.

Rubén Amaro Jr.

A native of North Philadelphia, Rubén Amaro Jr. is an American former professional baseball outfielder and General Manager. Amaro played in Major League Baseball from 1991 to 1998. He was named the GM of the Philadelphia Phillies on November 3, 2008, succeeding Pat Gillick and remained in that position until September 10, 2015.

Odín Palacio

Odín Palacio, 36, is better known as the bilingual hip-hop artist Udini La Voz. He is a Philadelphia-based entertainment producer recognized for his artistic work and efforts empowering Latino youth. In 2019 he received two citations from City Councilperson David Oh and was named Artist of the Year by City Council. The native of Panama City, Panama, co-founded the urban media and entertainment production house Higher Than 7 with Anis Tayler and Travis Ruscil in 2014.

Quiara Alegría Hudes

Quiara Alegría Hudes (born 1977), a graduate of Central High School, is an American playwright, lyricist and essayist. She is best known for writing the book for the musical In the Heights, and screenplay for its film adaptation. Hudes’ play Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; she received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Water by the Spoonful.

Raquel Salas Rivera

Raquel Salas Rivera, 34, is a queer poet, raised in Puerto Rico and the Philadelphia area, who served as Philadelphia’s fourth poet laureate, a civic position overseen by the Free Library. Salas Rivera spent the past year promoting literacy and encouraging literary expression in service work, workshops, readings, and mentorship programs.

Amy Eusebio

Amy Eusebio, 34, is the first Afro Latina to lead Philadelphia’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

The daughter of Dominican immigrants, Eusebio began working for the city in 2018 as director of the Municipal ID Program, where she led and launched the affordable photo identification program the following year. More than 10,000 people obtained their PHL City ID within the first six months of its launch, surpassing the city’s goal for the first year of the program.