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Thu, May

Presented by: Tine Hansen-Turton, SIJ Co-Founder & Bob Beitcher, CEO of the Motion Picture and Television Fund

Arun Prabhakaran states “I am excited to receive this award on behalf of the Urban Affairs Coalition. Driving change from the ground up is what feeds the Coalition’s spirit of innovation every day.

Natalie Renew states “I am thrilled to receive this award on behalf of my creative and dedicated team at PHMC. We are proud of the programs we have developed and the partnerships we have forged to ensure that every young child in our region has access to high quality early learning opportunities”.


Presented by: Don Kramer, Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads

1st Place: Alice Devoe, Woods Services. Our history dates back to 1913, when Mollie Woods, a Philadelphia schoolteacher with great foresight and compassion, sought to establish a new type of educational and residential center, specifically to support children with exceptional needs. Mollie’s vision was to provide care for the exceptional child in a home-like environment that would foster the ability “to meet the problems of everyday life, to make normal adjustments, to acquire sources of satisfaction for the present as well as for later years, and to know the joy of achievement.” Alice shares her wisdom with us, stating, “Ideas are borne out of necessity. Innovation is birthed from hard work.”

Alice contributes “Ideas are borne out of necessity. Innovation is birthed from hard work”. 

2nd Place: Grant Rawdin, Esq., Urban Affairs Coalition. The Urban Affairs Coalition unites government, business, neighborhoods, and individual initiative to improve the quality of life in the region, build wealth in urban communities, and solve emerging issues. The UA Coalition is a group of 55+ partner organizations, large and small, working on diverse issues that immediately affect communities. UAC strengthens nonprofit organizations through fiscal sponsorship, capacity building, and program evaluation; improve life chances for youth and young adults; and provide economic opportunity to low-income households, working families, and disadvantaged businesses.

Mr. Rawdin states, “The Social Innovations Award puts an important focus on the area’s critical needs and the impactful work of these individuals and organizations. Innovations, be they incremental or transformative, are capital for solving constantly evolving complex issues.”

3rd Place: Judith Torres-Lynch, Esperanza. Esperanza strengthens Hispanic communities through a variety of programs and services that are all designed to empower people through education, economic development, and advocacy.


Presented by: John Moore, ImpactPHL

1st Place: Dr. Leslie Grace, Elements of Community, Inc. Elements of Community introduces and reinforces basic skills to integrate into the learning of finance, business and entrepreneurship to increase financial capabilities. Dr. Grace invests in startup companies launched by inner-city children and their families to change habits and patterns. She is committed to helping children and their families become lifelong learners, socially responsible, self-sufficient, productive, financially free citizens of their community.

In Dr. Grace’s words, “I accept this award on behalf of the children in Philadelphia, especially since we are the blueprint for America. This award represents the promise to continue developing, harnessing and evolving the innovative ideas of children and their families who will help change the financial fabric of their communities.”

2nd Place: Rashaad Lambert, Sporty Marketing Group/Lambert Legacy Charities. Rashaad teaches entrepreneurship to GED students in 5 schools. He has opened a sustainable community farm in addition to running a Six Sigma digital marketing firm which employs ex-offenders reentering society. He has been socially innovating since 2009 and has consistently been a change agent.

Rashaad expresses, “Being considered for this award is a great privilege as often the work of those who live a life of toil goes unnoticed. I am honored to receive this nomination and recognition as a representative of my team, without whom I would accomplish nothing.”

3rd Place: BRIC librarians represented by Rebekah Ray. The Free Library of Philadelphia, Business Resource & Innovation Center (BRIC) curates information for and fosters the growth of new social enterprises and nonprofits. The BRIC librarians are venturing beyond traditional "librarian" services to provide valuable and innovative services to Philadelphia's entrepreneurial community city-wide. These librarians are changing the library's image and reputation by piloting an innovative program that uniquely and equitably serves Philadelphia's entrepreneurial community.

Rebekah notes that, “Receiving the Social Innovations Award demonstrates that an organization can bring a long history of service and innovation into the present moment successfully. The people of Philadelphia saw the value of a Free Public Library over a century ago, and through good times and bad supported the Free Library of Philadelphia so that we could be here tonight highlighting curated resources and dedicated, high quality staff to benefit all of the businesses, nonprofits, inventors and innovators in our city and region.”


Presented by: Thaddeus Squire, Culture Works

1st Place: Georgia Guthrie is a designer and maker. She first got involved at The Hacktory as a volunteer interested in integrating technology and art of all kinds. Once involved, she worked to create a beginner-friendly environment where new and interesting visitors would come back and make amazing things. As Director of The Hacktory, she’s forged partnerships with numerous arts organizations in Philadelphia, has worked to promote awareness and appreciation of the hacker/maker spirit, and was named Hacker of the Year at the 2012 Philly Geek Awards, hosted by Geekadelphia. She’s interested in growing The Hacktory into a hub of creativity, a resource for educators, and a leader in addressing the gender gap in tech.

Georgia has this to say about this recognition and her organization: “Being a finalist for the Social Innovations Award is great validation for the work we strive to do at The Hacktory, which is to show that incredibly innovative, technically sophisticated, and creative technical work can be done by any person from any background, and to provide the tools and resources for our community to do just that.”

2nd Place: Aviva Kapust, The Village of Arts and Humanities. Our mission is to amplify the voices and aspirations of the community by providing opportunities for artistic expression and personal success that engage youth and their families, revitalize physical space and preserve black heritage. We value creativity as our most powerful and effective tool for catalyzing healthy and sustainable change—with, for, and as neighbors to our community. Creating space for people in the neighborhood to read, dance, sing and make music and the beautification of physical space serves as a catalyst toward positive mental and emotional states for residents of their neighborhood. Aviva is a great leader turning this vision into reality.

3rd Place: Joseph Conyers, Project 440. Joe spearheaded an educational workshop series for music students across the city that focuses on social entrepreneurship, community engagement and college/career readiness. Joe has strategically grown this organization to address a cross section of needs in the lives of high school and college music students as well as local communities and neighborhoods.


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.”


Presented by: Dr. Arthur Evans, Commissioner of Philadelphia's Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Service

1ST Place: Dr. Judith S. Beck and the Beck Institute. The Beck Institute is a leading international source for training, therapy, and resources in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). CBT has grown into an unparalleled hub for CBT excellence and offers online resources for a worldwide audience, provides therapy out of their Philadelphia headquarters, and runs unmatched training workshops for medical and mental health professionals and organizations. Judy is deserving of the award because of her pioneering efforts and leadership in giving the world a new model leading to create healthy individuals.  

Dr. Beck observes, “The Beck Institute has a compelling mission to promote excellence in Cognitive Behavior Therapy worldwide. Finding ways to meet the diverse needs of our many constituents requires a level of innovation that we put into practice every day. Being recognized for innovative thought and action is an honor.”

2nd Place: Nadia Dowshen, MD, faculty member at PolicyLab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Director of Adolescent HIV Services in the Craig Dalsimer Division of Adolescent Medicine at CHOP, and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. As a researcher at PolicyLab at CHOP and director of CHOP Adolescent HIV Services in the Craig Dalsimer Division of Adolescent Medicine, Dr. Nadia Dowshen creates innovative mobile health solutions to reduce high-risk sexual behavior, improve sexually-transmitted infection (STI) and HIV screening, and promote better health maintenance for adolescents with HIV. Dr. Dowshen’s research portfolio, “Positively Connected for Health (PC4H),” engages adolescents through mobile health technologies to deliver interventions to HIV-positive in real time and at places where adolescents need support as they go about their daily lives. Dr. Dowshen is deserving of this award because she strives to eliminate the isolation and barriers the most vulnerable adolescents encounter through innovative mobile health solutions that account for the environment in which these youths live.

Dr. Dowshen states, “I’m honored and humbled to be nominated among people doing such amazing work to improve the mental and physical well-being of Philadelphians. I'm extremely grateful to the other members of my clinical and research teams at CHOP and the young people who we serve and inspire us.”

3rd Place: Tony Valdes, Children’s Crisis Treatment Center. Tony and CCTC passionately serve the emotional needs of children and families at risk beginning in early childhood. CCTC meets children where they are and helps them to reach their full potential regardless of their challenges. CCTC strives to provide a safe and welcoming environment in which every child is given the opportunity to thrive. Tony is always the first to lead in the advocacy fight on behalf of the provider community to improve services and leverage resources for the children and families of Greater Philadelphia.

Mr. Valdes contributes “My hope is that receiving this award will affirm for our staff at CCTC and the families we serve, that children can heal from traumatic experiences. As that message ripples throughout our communities, it will restore a sense of hope in a brighter future”.


Presented by: Rue Landau, Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations

1st Place: Kendra Brooks, IIRP, Parents United, WE Caucus, Opt Out Philly, Our Schools Our City, Action United. Kendra masterfully webs social justice issues to education and parent, and community engagement as a resource and factor in overcoming poverty. Kendra is by far one of the most significant civil rights leaders of our time. The fact that she is ours in Philadelphia is huge but she is received and valued in Chester, Tulsa, Chicago and many other urban cities across the country.

2nd Place: Lori Pompa, Founder and Director, The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. Lori created and implemented the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, an innovative experiential learning course that brings together incarcerated and campus-based college students for a full semester course inside a prison, jail or other correctional facility. She then created an international training institute through which 700 instructors from 250+ colleges in the U.S. and 9 other countries have attended a week-long course in this unique, transformational pedagogy. Lori has followed through on her passion to create deep, transformational learning experiences through extended dialogue across difference, involving diverse populations from prisons, campuses and other sectors of the community, and Inside-Out classes and workshops have reached more than 20,000 people on both sides of prison walls here and abroad.

3rd Place: Dr. Roy Hoffman. Dr. Hoffman expanded the city's death review teams to include the country's first ever comprehensive Homeless Death Review to look at the social factors leading to the deaths of homeless people in Philadelphia. The team studies any contact homeless decedents had with myriad agencies as a way of understanding how we can do more to help this most vulnerable population and make concrete recommendations to do so. Dr. Hoffman is passionate about his work in public health, often staying long after closing time to make sure he has done everything he can to assure that the most vulnerable among us are not written off, but that the study of their deaths helps ensure proper and timely resources are made available to this population.


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