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Residents and environmental advocates survey the damage done by the Cobbs Creek Foundation

The sun shone bright on a landscape cross-hatched with felled trees on a walking tour of the Cobbs Creek Golf Course on April 4. The Cobbs Creek Restoration and Community Foundation, the organization overseeing the revamping of the golf course, had the trees cut down, said Dana Henry, the tour guide and a spokesperson with

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10 mins read
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Budget cuts have shuttered school libraries for decades. A young English teacher has built one from scratch

“The only thing you absolutely have to know,” as Albert Einstein once said, “is the location of the library.” When it comes to Philadelphia’s public schools, Einstein’s dictum leaves most students hamstrung, as the district’s number of librarians has declined sharply in recent decades. “In 1991, the School District of Philadelphia had 176 paid librarians,”

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8 mins read
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Black-owned bookstores have been activism epicenters since the 19th century. These local shops continue to carry the torch

The FBI kept Hakim’s Bookstore, 210 S. 52nd Street, under surveillance for some time, sniffing around for subversion, says Yvonne Blake, 70. Daughter of Dawud Hakim, the store’s late founder, Blake recounts how her father had done the unthinkable in 1959 by opening an independent Black bookstore, five years before segregation would be outlawed in

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24 mins read
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Nonprofit helps returning citizens beat the odds

Pennsylvania “locks up a higher percentage of its people than almost any democracy on earth,” states the Prison Policy Initiative, a nonprofit in Northampton, Massachusetts, that works to end mass incarceration. In addition, more than 40,000 Philadelphians, disproportionately Black and Brown, come home each year from state and federal prisons, according to a January 31, 2017

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10 mins read
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Fairmount Water Works exhibit takes a look at how segregation reshaped African Americans’ relationship with water

In colonial Jamaica a group of enslaved women were bathing in the nude, washing clothes and likely gossiping on a riverbank when some traveling Englishmen spied them, according to Kevin Dawson, associate professor of history at the University of California, Merced, in his book “Undercurrents of Power: Aquatic Culture in the African Diaspora.” Thrilled with

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10 mins read
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Music and dance education offer lifelong skills and opportunities for underserved students

Antoine Mapp used to approach drug-dealing teens near his West Philly home and ask if they wanted to learn to play drums to earn a few dollars. “Sometimes they’d say, ‘Get the [hell] out of here,’ then … they’d try it,” says Mapp, 41, whose grandmother started a community drumline, the West Powelton Steppers &

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8 mins read
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There are not enough Black educators in our schools. This organization is working to change that

Years ago, my parents told Miss Farber, a white 60ish teacher at the elementary school in our Black working-class neighborhood, that when my brother and I graduated they would enroll us in a junior high program for gifted students. “There’s a Hebrew element at that school,” Miss Farber said, “and your children won’t make it.”

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10 mins read
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Nonprofit helps more than 400 Philadelphians a year garden and cook fresh vegetables

From seed to supper” sums up the credo of Food Moxie, a Northwest Philadelphia nonprofit that “educates and inspires people to grow, prepare and eat healthy food,” says Lisa Mosca, executive director of this offshoot of Weavers Way Co-op. Launched in 2006, Food Moxie grew from a project where Weavers Way in Mount Airy supplied

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7 mins read
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