A Hope That Lights The Way | Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs
There is Hope in Philadelphia
The Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement, with creative direction from the Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement (OBME), is on a mission to amplify the stories of redemption, reconciliation, and restoration taking place across the city to end gun violence. We believe that amidst the heartbreaking narratives, tales of hope are equally prevalent. Through our groundbreaking project, A Hope That Lights The Way, we want to remind the residents there’s still Hope in Philadelphia.
A Hope That Lights The Way is both a community-based engagement process and a documentary project that unveils and uplifts the impactful stories of individuals who have successfully overcome the daunting challenges posed by gun violence. By actively listening to community members and conducting focus group discussions with our Temple University research partners, we’ve chronicled an ongoing narrative of progress and transformation, shedding light on the leaders within local communities who are spearheading the development and preservation of hope. More importantly, these strategies of hope are relevant data that will help the City make critical decisions about how to engage residents as we forge a path forward to address gun violence in our city.
Working in close collaboration with Big Picture Alliance, the Mayor’s Office of Youth Engagement and Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs, we’re continuing to build strong relationships between the City government and local organizations deeply invested in the well-being of Black men and boys. Recognizing the powerful legacy of community engagement among Philadelphia residents, we embrace our active role in reshaping the narrative in our neighborhoods and fostering a collective sense of empowerment.
A Hope That Lights The Way features community leaders and organizations, or “Hope Dealers,” committed everyday to anti-violence and intervention initiatives. The project shines a light on community-based organizations working to break the cycle of gun violence by closing equity gaps for our most impacted communities. We’re elevating their experiences and strategies for success to inspire others to follow their lead and expand this critical work to their neighborhoods. Below are some of our featured Hope Dealers:
Founder ofMen who Care Germantown, an organization providing food distribution, scholarship funds, mentorship programs for the Germantown community.
Founder of Open Door Abuse Awareness & Prevention (ODAAP), endeavoring to prevent violence in all its facets including sexual assault and intimate partner violence by empowering youth to be the agent of change in abuse through a trauma-informed lens.
Founder ofAs I Plant This Seed, a community organization that seeks to promote youth development and community advancement by providing access to education, information and training and relief to the distressed and underprivileged.
Eugene “Buddah” Thomas
Founder ofPower Circle, striving to educate and empower youth ages 13-18, to set goals for their futures by capitalizing on existing community resources, mentors, and thought leaders for education.
Pastor Aaron Campbell
Founder ofLevel Up Philly, an initiative transforming Philly’s youth landscape. Level Up is an oasis of hope for youth, offering free educational assistance, mentoring, meals and safe places to youth to unwind and create art.
A Philly native recording artist, and founder of What I Wish I Knew Foundation celebrating Philly youth culture, and providing resources and mentorship initiatives.
Pastor Carl Day
Co-founder of Youth Creating New Beginnings, a non-profit that aims to empower youth to become community leaders by building bridges to City Officials, civics education and networking opportunities.
Operations Transformation Fund
This work is made possible through theCity of Philadelphia’s Operations Transformation Fund, supporting transformative projects in City government that focus on providing efficient and equitable services to Philadelphia residents. A Hope That Lights The Way creates an additional process for public engagement through the powerful art of storytelling centering the stories of the experts– Philadelphia community members. Learn more about the OTF Fund and track the progress of a wide variety of projects on theOperations Transformation Fund Dashboard, and sign up for theEngagingPHL newsletter to stay up to date with other initiatives and programs!
Interviews with the Film Makers
Eric Westbrook, Executive Producer, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement
Join OBME for the 10th Brothas Stroll in collaboration with the Mayor’s Commission of African American Males, Mayor’s Office of Youth Engagement, the Department of Public Health, and DBHIDS’s Engaging Men of Color.
The Brothas Stroll is a neighborhood-based walk for Black men and boys to connect with each other, family, friends, neighbors, and raise awareness about Black men’s health. This month the Brothas Stroll Health Walk will take placeat the Art Museum & Schuylkill trail to bring Black males, their families, and community together.
In collaboration with Temple University partners, OBME has also developed a survey to gauge residents’ sense of safety and learn what brings hope. The Office recognizes that a survey is not a solution to gun violence, however it can provide honest resident feedback that can be helpful in lighting a path forward for the city of Philadelphia.
Attend the Hope That Lights the Way Premiere Screening event on July 28!
On July 28 OBME will be hosting a Night of Hope at the Franklin Institute for the premiere of AHope That Lights The Way. Along with the film screening attendees will enjoy dinner and Q & A with the film makers!