Kelly Lee: Increasing Access to Arts Education, Job Opportunities for Artists and Cultural Experiences in Philadelphia

Kelly Lee: Increasing Access to Arts Education, Job Opportunities for Artists and Cultural Experiences in Philadelphia

Kelly Lee is the chief cultural officer for the City of Philadelphia, appointed by Mayor Jim Kenney. She leads Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, which closes the gap in access to quality cultural experiences and creative expression through the support and promotion of arts, culture and the creative industries. The Office connects Philadelphians to enriching arts-infused experiences, links local artists and cultural organizations to resources and opportunities, and preserves Philadelphia's public art assets.

Michael Brune of the Sierra Club: Preserving Planet Earth

Michael Brune of the Sierra Club: Preserving Planet Earth

Michael Brune, the Sierra Club’s executive director since 2010, is one of today’s most inspiring and effective environmental leaders. Prior to joining the Sierra Club, he led Rainforest Action Network. Under his leadership, the Sierra Club has grown to more than three million supporters and is at the forefront of the drive to move beyond fossil fuels to 100% clean, renewable energy, while also protecting America’s remaining wild places.

Claire Greenwood and The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia: Making Business Work for Good

Claire Greenwood and The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia: Making Business Work for Good

As the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia’s regional CEO Council for Growth, Claire Greenwood leads the work of nearly 60 business, higher-education and civic leaders who commit their time and efforts to enhancing economic growth and prosperity in the tri-state area. Through Claire’s direction these leaders actively work to foster regional cooperation, enhance mobility, advance innovation, and develop and retain talent in the community, with a focus on growing the energy, manufacturing and healthcare innovation sectors.

Ellen Hwang, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation: Reimagining Public Spaces

Ellen Hwang, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation: Reimagining Public Spaces

In Philadelphia, Knight Foundation focuses on the power of public spaces to unite and strengthen the city. In partnership with the city and other funders, they piloted Reimagining the Civic Commons, an initiative to connect and reinvigorate public spaces such as parks, trails, recreation centers and libraries. Their goal is to bring together people from all backgrounds, develop new local leaders and foster a more vibrant, engaged community.

Jeffrey Rosen and the National Constitution Center: Visit—Learn—Debate

Jeffrey Rosen and the National Constitution Center: Visit—Learn—Debate

Jeffrey Rosen is the president & CEO of the National Constitution Center, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate the public about the U.S. Constitution. Located steps from Independence Hall in historic Philadelphia, the Center engages millions of citizens as an interactive museum, national town hall and provider of nonpartisan resources for civic education.

Ward Allan Yont & …and Purpose in Life: Spreading Enlightenment Behind Bars

Ward Allan Yont & …and Purpose in Life: Spreading Enlightenment Behind Bars

Shortly after being incarcerated in an Arizona state penitentiary, Ward discovered A Course in Miracles. For the past 25 years, he’s been an avid student and practitioner of that classic spiritual work, and is a prison-based facilitator and teacher of topics related to spiritual psychotherapy and metaphysics. ...and Purpose in Life is a memoir about the events that led to his incarceration and subsequent spiritual transformation. In renowned educator, speaker and author Marianne Williamson’s words: “We can easily focus on the tragedies in Yont’s story, but there is no need to dwell there. For this is a story of resurrection and love—of darkness turned into light, and the transformation of the human heart. Yont is not a victim, but a teacher. He has lived his own story and now he illumines ours.”

Dr. Rich Thorsten & water.org: Making Clean Water Accessible to All

Dr. Rich Thorsten & water.org: Making Clean Water Accessible to All

Water.org is a global nonprofit organization working to bring water and sanitation to the world. They want to make it safe, accessible, and cost-effective.

They help people get access to safe water and sanitation through affordable financing, such as small loans. They work every day to empower people in need with these life-changing resources – giving women hope, children health and families a bright future.

Glenn Bergman: Distributing Food to Help Those in Need and Advocating Food-Access Policies through Philabundance

Glenn Bergman: Distributing Food to Help Those in Need and Advocating Food-Access Policies through Philabundance

Glenn Bergman is the executive director of Philabundance, the region’s largest hunger-relief organization, acquiring, rescuing and distributing food to help feed those in need, and advocating for policies that increase food access. Philabundance's mission is to drive hunger from our communities today and end hunger forever.

Tim Whitaker and Mighty Writers: Giving Kids the Power of Writing

Tim Whitaker and Mighty Writers: Giving Kids the Power of Writing

Numbers don't lie. Philadelphia is the poorest big city in the country. Nearly 40-percent of the city’s students are not graduating high school and only 30-percent of eighth grade kids are reading and writing at grade level.

That’s why in 2009, Mighty Writers was launched with a five-word elevator pitch: To teach kids to write.

They do this through four-day-a-week writing academies at their six neighborhood locations in Philadelphia, at their Kennett site in West Grove, and at their site in Camden, New Jersey.

Over the course of a year—including summers—they take students through every genre of writing but always with the same goal: to get kids to think clearly and write with clarity.

Safi Organics and Joyce Kamande: Empowering African Farmers

Safi Organics and Joyce Kamande: Empowering African Farmers

Safi Organics uses technology to downsize and decentralize fertilizer production, making it feasible to implement on a village-level basis using locally available resources and labor. This reduces the logistical cost and produces a high-quality product that, at the same price as conventional fertilizers, can improve farmers’ yields by up to 30%.