Magazine menu

Thu, Sep

Civic Engagement Innovators


Presented by: Patrick Morgan, Knight Foundation & Barbary Bungy, Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers

1st Place: Katy Sherratt. Katy is Chief Executive Officer of Back on My Feet, a national nonprofit organization, operating in 12 cities across the U.S. Back on My Feet combats homelessness through the power of running, community support and essential employment and housing resources. Katy started with the organization in 2012 as COO and promoted to CEO in early 2015. Under her leadership, Back on My Feet today supports over 4000 program members to find stable employment and housing, which equates to an economic impact running into the millions annually.

Katy comments, “It's an honor to be nominated at the Social Innovations Awards on behalf of Back on My Feet. Our organization is founded on the principle of using innovation to create social change; we seek to revolutionize the way society approaches homelessness through our running-based program. If you first restore confidence, strength and self-esteem through running, individuals are better equipped to tackle the road ahead and move towards jobs, homes and a new life.”

2nd Place: David Fair, Turning Points for Children. David Fair has led the process to create several innovative approaches to major social challenges over the past 35 years. He created one of the first urban AIDS services systems in the late 1980s; developed a unique public/private partnership to prevent child abuse and neglect starting in the mid-1990s; and reformed how $50 million in United Way funds were invested in results in the 2000s. David Fair, unlike anyone else in Philadelphia, has brought together government and communities in critically important, innovative efforts aimed at addressing the needs of our most vulnerable citizens for over 30 years.

Mr. Fair states that, “Receiving a 2017 Social Innovation Award, beyond being a great honor, is important because it recognizes that new ways of doing human services can be effective, especially when government and community come together and trust each other.”

3rd Place: Amanda Irizarry, Health Promotion Council, The Advocacy Institute. Amanda has created a new iteration of the Advocacy Institute's public health youth empowerment program and has integrated community development with youth advocacy efforts. The Young City Planners Initiative bridges the gap between youth voice and city planning and development through sustained partnerships with CDCs across the city. She has dedicated her career and personal life to empowering young people to create meaningful and powerful sustaining change in their own lives and their communities. She has a vision for youth leadership and empowerment and has continued to innovate approaches to youth development and public health advocacy. Her passion is a true beacon of love for the youth of our city and the future she works every day for them to have.

In response to this nomination, Amanda offers, “The Social Innovations Award represents a milestone for both me and the Advocacy Institute since I've joined the team over a year ago,  signifying that the work we do with our amazing youth from across Philadelphia matters to not only our team but our colleagues, friends, and stakeholders across the city. As a leader, teacher, mentor and steward of our youth I'm proud to be able to showcase the incredible work that our young people lead and fight for every day in order to protect the health and combat the social injustices within their communities every day.”