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Social Justice

Rebuilding Community Infrastructure: Philadelphia’s $500 Million Bet on Equity

Wednesday, September 5, 2018
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

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"Profound change is possible even when it doesn’t seem possible." – Shawn D. McCaney

Over the last several years, there's been increased conversation on the importance of public space to civic life. Marquee projects such as New York City's High Line, Indianapolis' Cultural Trail, Delaware's waterfront, and even Cleveland's renovated Public Square, were lauded as contributing to these cities' revitalization efforts.

Philadelphia is taking a different approach. Rather than investing in one project, Philadelphia is investing in neighborhoods. In 2016, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced the Rebuilding Community Infrastructure or ”Rebuild” initiative, a $500M investment in the renovation of parks, playgrounds, recreation centers, and libraries throughout the city. Designed to promote increased equity, expanded community engagement, and new economic opportunities, Rebuild represents one of the largest community infrastructure investments in the city’s history. Inspired by the Mayor’s vision, the William Penn Foundation has committed $100M, the largest gift in the Foundation's history, toward the effort.

Join us for a conversation with William Penn Foundation Executive Director Shawn D. McCaney about the context and background for the creation of the Rebuild initiative and the motivation behind the Foundation’s unprecedented investment.

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