Quality of Life

The Quality of Life Committee focuses on improving the physical/emotional wellbeing, health and safety of West Mt. Airy residents, and working together with local partner organizations to attend to these needs for our community at large.  Towards this end, the committee has organized two major efforts during the pandemic.

Breaking Bread,
Building Bridges: 2021

Using food as a bonding tool, Breaking Bread, Building Bridges provided Mt. Airy residents with the opportunity to interact with and discover commonalities with fellow neighbors.  Through a series of virtual dinners, participants built  interpersonal relationships that were limited because of pandemic restrictions.  Given that the pandemic presented an unprecedented level of physical and social isolation, already deepening social fissures (by race, class, geography, etc.) were exacerbated.  The consequence may be that socialization skills atrophy, to the detriment of long-term individual and community health.  This project intended to mitigate some of these trends.

Dinner Discussions topics included:

What changes did you make during the pandemic in your culinary habits?  Have you been cooking at home more?  What recipes did you prepare and why?

What can we do to overcome nearly a year of isolation to make Mt. Airy a stronger community?  How can we gain our comfort and confidence in interacting with people we don’t know?  Why is this important?  What are some of the spaces/events that will be important to bring back this type of interaction?

Race Still Matters: 2021-2022

This series of virtual ‘conversations’ centered around the theme Race Still Matters. This ZOOM series was moderated by former WMAN Board member Samuel Grannum. Each 90-minute session consisted of a moderated panel discussion followed by interactive conversations with community members. These conversations were well attended and well received by our community.  We have one final upcoming session, during which we will revisit Race and Housing, an especially timely and critical issue given the development pressures and changing demographics of our neighborhood.


The content of this speaker series is described below:

Race and the Franchise: Voting as a key to overcoming racial barriers

Dwight Evans
U.S Congressman

David Thornburgh
Committee of 70 Distinguished Fellow, Economic Policy Institute

Lisa Deely
City of Philadelphia Commissioner

Mt. Airy’s Rebirth: Looking back to the community’s renewal in the 1950’s 

Yvonne Haskins, Esquire
Former WMAN Executive Director/Board Member

Abigale Perkiss
PhD, Assistant Professor, Keene University, Author, Making Good Neighbors: Civil Rights, Liberalism, & Integration in Post War Philadelphia

Race in the education of our children 

Representative Chris Rabb

Suzanne O’Connor
Senior Advocate, Trauma Informed Region, United Way of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey

Leroy Hall
Principal, Henry H Houston School

Race and the Quality of Life in the Public Realm: Balancing the role of police and social services 

Michael Nutter
Former Mayor of Philadelphia

John White, Jr.
President and CEO, The Consortium, Former PA State Rep and Philadelphia City Councilperson

Larry Krasner
Philadelphia District Attorney

Race and health: The Effect of Systemic Racism on Health Outcomes 

Edith Peterson Mitchell, MD, MACP, FCPP, FRCP (London)
Clinical Professor of Medicine and Medical Oncology, Department of Medical Oncology, Associate Director, Diversity Affairs, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson

Dr. Roy Wade, Jr. MD, PhD, MPH, MSHP
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Race in housing: Is ‘Affordable Housing’ an answer? 

Keeanga-Yamatta Taylor, PhD
Assistant Professor, Princeton University; Author: Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership

Richard Rothstein
Author: The Color of Law

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