Philadelphia Legacies missions to promote positive images of those who have made major contributions to the City of Philadelphia, to perpetuate these legacies, and create an intergenerational atmosphere where emerging and established leaders from the Philadelphia region may gather in positive spaces across the city to network with an intent to share ideas around solutions for some of Philadelphia's most pressing issues.
Philadelphia Legacy founder Stephen C. Satell previously founded and directed the Bridging Worlds Program that had been the biggest speakers program going into Philadelphia Schools. He also ran a critical thinking program that included a parent contact component in the schools called “Creating Communities Out of Classrooms.” When the Democratic Convention came to Philadelphia in 2016 Mr. Satell wanted to show a broader view of Philadelphia’s accomplishments and create a platform for focusing on solving some of Philadelphia's major problems.
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals, continue to share our great Philadelphia legacies, and support non-profits combating poverty.
Satell saw the 2016 Democratic Convention which took place in Philadelphia, as an opportunity to highlight the accomplishments of those who have made contributions to the city and helped solve problems impacting Philadelphia at crucial times. Satell crafted an event to award these individuals with a portrait to help to continue their legacies, educate younger generations about their important work, and at the same time create a positive atmosphere that allowed folks the opportunity to network and help to solve some of Philadelphia's most pressing issues.
The portraits were painted by local emerging and world-renowned Philadelphia artists. In addition to the Portrait Awards, the Community Leadership Award was added recognizing unsung heroes who help fill the holes inside these communities. These awards came with a stipend for both individuals and strong community organizations. The idea was to increase the visibility of these organizations, raise money for their cause, and encourage others to do the same. This idea became Philadelphia Legacies.
Satell gathered all his community advocate cohorts together to create a dynamic and meaningful impact. This group includes universities, libraries, community centers, Moonstone Arts Center, the Franklin Institute, the African American Chamber of Commerce and other business associations, government officials, local television broadcast channels 3 (WCAU) and 6 (WPVI), The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Tribune, The Philadelphia Sunday Sun, and SCOOP USA. These media partners also helped Satell craft Philadelphia Legacies’ yearly print newspaper publication which has a distribution of 5,000 in the Greater Philadelphia Region.
Philadelphia Legacies has just completed its fifth season. Even in the limited +COVID environment, we were able to bring live jazz music, Philadelphia legends, and unsung heroes to the sidewalks of Baltimore Avenue in University City. Though the number of live attendees was much smaller we leveraged technology to host a virtual press conference that dedicated science fiction writer and Temple University professor, Samuel Delaney’s portrait to the Williams Way Center and live-streamed the awards ceremony to our Facebook page. The layered structure concept of Philadelphia Legacies has certainly worked. To date, Philadelphia Legacies has awarded 19 Portrait Awards, 25 Community Leadership Awards, 3 Young-Person-To-Watch Awards, and two Lifetime Achievement Awards. Awardees have included David Schulkin (Secretary of Veteran’s Affair), Coach Fran Dunphy, Derrick Pitts Astronomer at the Franklin Institute, Wilt Chamberlain, Hall of Fame Coach John Chaney, Moonstone Arts Center, The House of Umoja, Pulitzer Prize Winner Acel Moore, Trudy Hanes, Dr. Walter Lomax, Charles Blockson, and many more. Just as significant as the portrait award winners are our unsung heroes who are not as well known but whose work literally saves lives, changes minds, creates opportunities, grows communities and businesses, and helps to create healthier environments for Philadelphians, their families, and communities.
All of the legacies have in-depth history, important life stories, the potential to create a positive culture, and have become an important educational resource.
Philadelphia Legacies has also established Philadelphia Legacies Week where we encourage the entire City of Philadelphia to discover and share its legacies during this week. The week begins with a press conference dedicating portraits to Philadelphia institutions where middle to high school students are invited to directly participate. A key focus during this week is tours of Philadelphia. Thus far our tours have been focused on middle school students going to the various Philadelphia museums and science institutes. The week ends with the Annual Philadelphia Legacies Portrait & Community Awards. In addition, Philadelphia Legacies hosts quarterly networking dinners where emerging and established leaders share ideas and solutions around pressing issues and provide support to one another.
Being agile. Philadelphia Legacies is crafting signature 360 immersive virtual and hybrid tours that trace the lives of the awardees. For 2021 Philadelphia Legacies is crafting two tours, the Dr. Lomax Black Doctors & Hospitals of South Philadelphia and the Richie Allen tour.