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Thu, Sep

Community Development Innovators


Presented by: Rick Sauer, Phila. Association of Community Development Corporations & Kimberly Allen, Wells Fargo

1st Place: Nora Lictash, Executive Director, Women's Community Revitalization Project (WCRP). WCRP is a model for affordable housing that ensures permanent affordability combined with women's leadership development and community organizing. The combination has proven to be successful; families can afford their rent and pay their rent, the units are well-built and maintained, no one is displaced when the tax credits expire, and neighbors accept and integrate the housing units and the residents. Acceptance is achieved through the community work that's done ahead of time to ensure social and economic viability. Community work includes garnering political support, coalition building and advocacy work, listening to the community and its needs prior to design and financing, and providing the supportive services so residents can be good neighbors and engaged citizens. The model also ensures WCRP's sustainability.

Ms. Lictash contributes, “Being a finalist for this year’s Social Innovations Awards is important because it recognizes Women’s Community Revitalization Project’s (WCRP’s) pioneering work, which began with our founding as the first and only women-led community development corporation in Philadelphia and has extended through 30 years of bringing women together to confront injustice and forge ground-breaking alternatives to make real change happen.”

2nd Place: Charlyn Griffith, Sanctuary Wholistic Arts. Ms. Griffith has achieved great impact with a training program that is self-centered and designed to answer how we could possibly convert spaces where there are micro-aggressions tearing apart the fabric of a strong mission statement or of a group/family's personal goals and thrive. It is a wave that communities in her part of North Philadelphia have been benefitting from for the 10 years that she has resided here. Charlyn is tirelessly improving on her own practice of engaging her family, communities and the world in thriving together. She believes that a fair and equitable existence on this planet is possible and is brave enough to live it now.

Ms. Griffith states, “As social innovators, my communities are excited to be living the future now. This award is an opportunity to invite more people into our movements.”