Community Heroes Celebrated at the 2013 PhillyRising Conference

PhillyRising Conference

This Wednesday, community heroes and partnering organizations filled the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the inaugural PhillyRising Conference.

The conference served two purposes: the first was to provide citizens with tools to improve their communities through interactive workshops, presentations and information tables. The second purpose was to reward community heroes for their individual efforts. The conference included a powerful awards ceremony featuring a speech from Mayor Nutter.

“PhillyRising is working,” Mayor Nutter said before thanking all of the community heroes for their dedication to revitalizing the city’s neighborhoods.


The award ceremony was separated in three categories: “Outstanding Partners” (for City Officials who have gone above and beyond in building the community with PhillyRising); “Neighborhood Champions” (for citizens who have a strong, committed presence in their neighborhoods); and “Community Heroes” (awarded to two individuals who have shown exemplary leadership in revitalizing their neighborhoods).

While the awards ceremony was the most emotional part of the day—rewarding heroes for invaluable efforts in their communities—the majority of the day was spent in workshops and presentations teaching citizens about how to build community gardens, how to contact City government and how to deal with domestic violence, among other topics.


PhillyRising’s Director John Farrell said, “The PhillyRising Team has had the great pleasure to work across the city and partner with residents in some of our most challenged neighborhoods.  The PhillyRising Conference was a chance to share these residents’ stories and let others know how to improve their own quality of life.”

DSC_0267At the opening ceremony, Managing Director Rich Negrin said to the audience, “The story of PhillyRising is the story of you. It’s the story of government finally being response to people across the board.”

At the end of the day, the PhillyRising Conference served as a microcosm for the PhillyRising initiative—connecting citizens with valuable resources, sharing best practices and fueling the undeniable energy behind community heroes, the kind of energy that’s essential to keep “Philly Rising.”

Stay tuned for video footage from the conference. In the meantime, visit the PhillyRising website to learn how you can get involved.

See you at next year’s conference.










PhillyRising Conference 2013 Award Winners:

PhillyRising Community Heroes:

  • Pastor Eunice Sanchez
  • Marsha Wall

PhillyRising Community Champions:

  • Diane Bridges
  • Jessica Mendez
  • Awilda Ocasio
  • Kim Washington
  • Claudia Quinton
  • Simone Smith
  • Ramon Gonzalez
  • Deanda Logan
  • Bonita Cummings
  • Devon Bailey
  • Tanya Parker
  • Kevin Upshur
  • Vincent Kennedy
  • Helen Brown
  • Irvin Shannon
  • Sherri Robinson
  • Jahmall Crandall
  • Bruce Baldwin
  • Sheila Washington
  • Adrian Hughes
  • Dianne Lighty
  • Yvonne Lee

PhillyRising Outstanding Partners:

  • Kathy Wersinger
  • Jason Dawkins
  • Keith Warren
  • Keith Titus
  • Bob Allen
  • Eric Pitts
  • Captain Lou Campione
  • Officer Tina Willis
  • Officer Joe Young
  • Tara Smith
  • Manny Ramos
  • Tracy Ruffin

2 thoughts on “Community Heroes Celebrated at the 2013 PhillyRising Conference

  1. This was an exceptional conference that recognized real leaders heavily involved and committed to a better quality of life. I’m sure that they took away great memories and new tools for daily living on their block and throughout their communities. Bravo PhillyRising!

  2. Pingback: Watch the PhillyRising Community Heroes Interview Video | PhillyInnovates

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