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Sharmain Matlock-Turner, president & CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition, is celebrating her 20th anniversary with the coalition, while the coalition is celebrating 50 years. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News. 
Sharmain Matlock-Turner, president & CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition, is celebrating her 20th anniversary with the coalition, while the coalition is celebrating 50 years. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News. 

Urban Affairs Coalition to celebrate 50 years with Anniversary Breakfast

The Annual Breakfast, which will take place Nov. 22, celebrates the past accomplishments of the coalition, while looking forward to future accomplishments.

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The Urban Affairs Coalition is celebrating 50 years of improving the quality of the lives of residents of the Philadelphia region.

Founded in 1969, the Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC) is a coalition of 70-plus partner organizations working on diverse issues that immediately affect communities. 

Over these 50 years, the coalition has built a legacy by focusing their efforts in four main areas: improving life chances for youth and young adults, building wealth in low-income communities, forging strategic partnerships, and strengthening the nonprofit sector through fiscal sponsorship.

To keep up with tradition, the UAC will be hosting its annual Anniversary Breakfast event later this week. In addition to the coalition reaching a significant milestone, its leader is also celebrating a significant milestone of her own — 20 years as its leader. 

When Sharmain Matlock-Turner, president & CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition, joined the organization in 1999, she noticed there wasn’t an annual event that highlighted all its work.

“One of the things when I came to the coalition, I wanted to sort of have something that celebrated the work of the coalition,” said Matlock-Turner.

The annual anniversary breakfast is meant to celebrate the past accomplishments of the coalition, while looking forward to future accomplishments. 

In her 20 years with the UAC, Matlock-Turner said she has seen a lot of growth in the communities in which the coalition has served. 

“I can certainly say that there are many people who are working today because they have come through programs and initiatives that are part of the coalition,” she said. “I can certainly say that there are people who are living in their own homes because of the work of the coalition. 

“And I can say that the work creates opportunities for people to not only say, ‘life might be better for me, but I'm willing to reach back and help someone else.’ So it's about creating that bridge, that pathway,” she added. 

During the 50th anniversary breakfast, the UAC will recognize eight honorees for their commitment to positively transforming the Greater Philadelphia region:

The Community Leadership Award recognizes individuals whose exceptional contributions make Philadelphia’s communities a better place to live, work and play. The 50th Anniversary Honorees are:

  • Lucinda Hudson, Executive Director at Parkside Association of Philadelphia
  • Mel Wells, President of One Day at a Time (ODAAT)

 

The Living Legacy Award is presented to visionary leaders who have shown a lifetime of exceptional commitment to fostering the Coalition’s goal of improving life chances for youth and young adults, building wealth in urban communities, and strengthening the nonprofit sector. The 50th Anniversary Honorees are:

  • Charisse Lillie, Corporate Executive at Consultant
  • Cecilia Moy Yep, Founder & Executive Director Emeritus at Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC)

 

The “Doer” Award is awarded to leaders who are true “Doers,” making things happen and creating an opportunity for all. The 50th Anniversary Honorees are:

  • Pat Eiding, President of Philadelphia Council AFL
  • Honorable Vincent Hughes, State Senator of the 7th District

 

The Founder Awardees recognizes UAC partners who have rendered distinguished, long-term service to the Coalition. 2019 marks the inaugural year for the award. The 50th Anniversary Honorees are:

  • PECO/Exelon Corporation – Philadelphia Electric Company was a founding member of the Coalition and has been a key supporter and funder since the organization’s founding in 1969.
  • The Wells Fargo Company – Wells Fargo has been an active partner of the Coalition for 45 years, and its predecessor banks date back to First Pennsylvania and Bank Company, which was a founding board member of the Philadelphia Urban Coalition.

“They were chosen because they share the goal or some commitment to positively impact urban communities,” said Matlock-Turner. “I'm excited to say that I believe that the choices that we made are absolutely stellar and reflect the values of the organization.”

The 50th Anniversary Breakfast will take place Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from 7:45am to 9:30am. To register, click here

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