“Each generation must do its part to help build…the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.” Congressman John Lewis
A new generation of young leaders is emerging and leading the way toward change at the neighborhood and city level, across the country, and world-wide. How can the community development sector support their work, but also learn from it? Join PACDC on August 12th for its Forward Equitable Development Conference Conversation #3 featuring youth activists and leaders Ricardo Calderon of the Lighthouse and Tamir Harper of UrbEd as we explore this question and more. Moderated by Stasia Monteiro, HACE and PACDC 2020 Rising Star Awardee.
PACDC Forward Equitable Development Conference Conversation #3
Wednesday, August 12th from 10:30 – 1:30 PM EST
Ricardo Calderón is a first-generation Latino-American who strives to appreciate the blessings and opportunities he has due to his parents, Jose and Arisleyda Calderón, Dominican nationals who migrated from their native land to the United States in the early 70’s in search of a better life. As a student at Temple University he became one of the first in his family to attend a higher education institution to study business and film. Upon graduating Ricardo was hired as the EPIC Stakeholders Coordinator of Kensington under the Department of Human Services and ASPIRA Inc. of Pennsylvania. In the three years he served as Coordinator, Ricardo was involved in many ambitious projects and initiatives that supported the Kensington community on the grassroots level, mainly concentrating on education and youth empowerment. Calderón then went on to work with the City of Philadelphia as Program Manager of the Youth Commission under Mayor Michael Nutter and was then appointed Director of the Office of Youth Engagement under Mayor James Kenney. While working in local government, Ricardo led, and participated in, policy development, projects, programs and initiatives focused on providing a platform for the youth perspective to be heard and developed healthy pathways for youth and young adults in education, career exploration, health and wellness and public safety. As a Co-Founder of ALLin Lifestyle, and consultant with Jackson-Cor, Ricardo also produces content, programs, and partnerships that create space for reflection, discovery, connection and healing through storytelling. Most recently, Mr. Calderón started a new role as Director of Athletics and Recreation with the Lighthouse Inc. where he continues his work of creating safe and healthy spaces for people, youth in particular, to explore and discover their greatest version of self.
Tamir D. Harper is a 19-year-old non-profit executive, an outspoken advocate for public education, and a student. Tamir is a proud product of the School District of Philadelphia and is now a sophomore at the American University, in Washington D.C. At American, Tamir is part of the award winning Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program while studying Secondary Education and Strategic Communications. Tamir is a speaker, advocate, reformer, and a proud education nerd. Harper’s work has granted him the opportunity to meet forever first lady Michelle Obama, to sit on a panel for the US Department of Education concerning teacher diversity, and to represent students that attend underserved and underfunded schools across the Country. Tamir is also the proud Co-Founder & Chief of UrbEd Inc., a student-led, student-oriented nonprofit that advocates for a quality and efficient urban education.
Stasia Monteiro As a non-binary queer person of color, Stasia has understood the need to be intentionally inclusive of others and empathetic to their needs. It’s no surprise that, grounded in this mindfulness, Stasia is dedicated to being of service to others. Monteiro moved to Philadelphia in 2012 as a high school English teacher working in Strawberry Mansion. Stasia saw firsthand how the structural issues of poverty affecting the community and the individual lives of students manifested themselves in the classroom every day. During this time, Stasia also completed a Master’s Degree in Urban Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Seeking to address the root causes of deep poverty, Stasia was drawn to community development, and, ultimately, to HACE. Stasia dove in to build HACE’s nascent NAC program and convene Team NAS – resident leaders whose lived experience and knowledge were the backbone of the program’s direction and success. Stasia’s time at HACE has been grounded in their conviction that “a just society and an inclusive community is one that centers resident experiences and amplifies their agency to shape where they live.” This summer Stasia Monteiro was named a PACDC 2020 Rising Star in recognition of leadership and growing impact in the sector of community development.
Equity and the Development Process:
This panel discussion explores different ways to achieve socially equitable land use and development. Social equity can be applied throughout the development process. Session leaders, under the direction of urban planner Charnelle Hicks, will offer several perspectives of how to facilitate development that supports low- and moderate-income households and institutions, as well as other vulnerable populations, to influence positive decision making in their neighborhoods and enjoy an improved quality of life. The purpose of this round table discussion is to explore community engagement, environmental justice analysis and outreach for infrastructure development, working with Community Development Corporations to influence planning decisions and create equitable neighborhood changes, equity and land use and zoning, community benefits agreements that mutually benefit developers and community members, negotiating zoning changes, improving access to needed resources, identifying developers for equitable development, and equitable land development from a public policy perspective.
Justice through Storytelling: How Practitioners put the Humanities at the Center of Community Development:
Experience how storytelling can transform the practice of equitable development from leaders in the emerging field of humanities-based community development. This session, led by artists, activists, and the Pennsylvania Humanities Council will feature inspirational practitioner stories about how the humanities are being leveraged in Pennsylvania communities based on a new landmark study by PennPraxis. Participants will then engage in an interactive storytelling activity designed to disrupt the status quo, bring new voices to the table, encourage empathy, and spur meaningful action that addresses social injustice. Practitioners will walk away from this session with practical tools for making real change in their communities.