A Dream Deferred PHL
This discussion group brought things close to home as the documentary, A Dream Deferred PHL, by Little Giant Creative focuses on Philadelphia. The short film tells the story about how redlining, various economic development projects from expanding university campus to building highways, and gentrification have negatively impacted communities of color in Philadelphia.
When looking at the Philadelphia HOLC map, it is easy to see how redlining in the first half of the 20th century caused disinvestment which made the previously redlined neighborhoods ripe for gentrification in the early 21st century. Many of the neighborhoods in red on the HOLC map below from 1937 (meaning they were "too risky" for lending) are now considered gentrified (Fairmount, Graduate Hospital, and Northern Liberties)
The A Dream Deferred PHL makes it clear that policy caused significant negative impact to communities of color that spanned generations. Much of our discussion centered around how policy can make amends and advance equity, not perpetuate the existing inequities. We didn't come up with any answers, but left the discussion motivated to get more involved in state and local politics and policy-making. Below are some articles for those who want to read more about the intersection of policy policy, racism, city planning, and economic development.
This month Net Impact Philly kicked off an ongoing discussion group event series for all people who are interested in learning and discussing racial inequality and injustice in society. The first discussion group was on 13th, a documentary by Ava DuVernay. The documentary focuses on the intersection of racism, injustice, and the mass incarceration of African-Americans in the United States. The group found the film to the eye-opening and powerful. Our decisions focused on two main topics:
1. What can we do as individuals to help dismantle the prison-industrial complex?
To say that our hearts are extremely heavy right now is an understatement, but June is also a time for commemoration and celebration of freedom. We encourage you to read up on the significance and history of Junetenth and check out ways to commemorate it on Friday, June 19th:
Angry about the fact that Juneteenth is not an official federal holiday while Columbus Day still is? Sign this petition!!
Struggling with what to get the moms in your life this year? While COVID-19 is making it harder to celebrate pretty much anything, we've rounded up some gift ideas that will make this year's Mother's Day special while supporting Philly small businesses.
Here are our ideas for....
the sustainability champion - Sustainable Business Mother's Day bundle - https://vault.vaultandvine.co/product/local-mothers-day-gift-set/
the trendsetter - Sable Collective - https://www.thesablecollective.com/
the self-care queen - https://www.freedomapothecary.com/
the book club MVP - https://www.harriettsbookshop.com/
the sweet tooth - Federal Donuts Mother's Day Bouquet - https://cooknsolo-store.myshopify.com/products/federal-donuts-mothers-day-bouquet
the chocoholic - https://shanecandies.com/shop/
literally any mom - Love Brothers PHL https://www.lovebrothersphl.com/
P.S. We realize this is a little late. Phone/Facetime convos and homemade cards will also make this Mother's Day special. Plus, the gift can always arrive later (because every day should be Mother's Day)
Those of you working in healthcare and essential businesses, you are truly heroes. Those of you leaving your house as little as possible and washing your hands as much as possible, you are also heroes in your own right. Here are 10 ways you can make even more of a positive impact while staying at home (for the most part).
1. Donate what you can
It can be hard to decide where to send money first when there are so many nonprofits doing amazing life-saving work during this pandemic. Here are just a few places to start: PHL COVID-19 Fund, No Kid Hungry, Covenant House, Philadelphia Center for Aging, and Philabundance.
2. Shop for others in need
Project Home’s GroceryLifeLine program and Amazon Wish List make it possible to do shopping for others in need.
3. Make homemade masks or support someone who is making them for others
With masks for sale in short supply, many are turning to DIY. Both Project Home and CoverAid PHL have some resources for how to make masks and a place to donate them you can make extra.
4. Support local makers producing PPE for health care heroes
A team of University of Pennsylvania engineers and social entrepreneurs started Project Shields and are mass-producing PPE for health care workers using 3D printers. Check out cool videos on how it is done and donate to support their efforts.
5. Foster a dog or cat
Thinking it would be nice to spend all that couch time with a new furry friend? Local animal shelters such as ACCT Philly and PAWS need people to foster animals so that the shelters can practice proper COVID-19 safety measures.
6. Volunteer in your neighborhood to help out vulnerable populations
While we don’t encourage going outside if you don’t have to, you might be better off going outside than your elderly neighbor. Check out YourNeighborgood an awesome tech platform created to match Philadelphians who need help with errands during COVID-19 to those of us that can help.
Many local groups like this one in Fishtown are organizing to connect those who need help with those looking to give it. See what you can find online near you or keep your eyes out for signs posted in windows about how to volunteer.
7. Apply for a mail-in ballot
The PA primary has already been moved to June 2nd, but if the thought of touch screen voting machines kind of scares you after all of this, apply to vote by mail. Not registered to vote yet? That can all be done online.
8. Give blood
Looking for a noble excuse to leave the house? Head to your nearest Red Cross Blood Drive and help prevent blood shortages during this time of critical need. Blood drive workers are practicing strict safety protocols and social distancing measures.
9. Support local bars and restaurants
Many of local food and drink spots are offering contactless pickup and delivery methods. For your favorite spots that are closed, see if they are offering gift cards or experiences that you can look forward to when things go back to normal. While you can donate to a restaurant, you can send some money to @PhillyVirtual-TipJar on Vemno and the money will be distributed to industry folks in need.
10. Support local businesses online
Many local brick-and-mortar businesses have scrambled to expand their e-commerce. Check out your favorites local spots on Instagram so see how they have adapted and #treatyourself with some local e-commerce retail therapy.
BONUS - Grab some gloves or a trash picker and do a socially distance block or park clean up!!