Join us at Philadelphia City Hall at 12:30 pm August 31st for A Prayer for the City: Celebrating Aretha Franklin’s Legacy. Aretha Franklin brought prayer to the top of the charts with, “I Say A Little Prayer.” On Friday, as the world says its final farewell, Philadelphia will celebrate her legacy through prayer. We’ll pray…

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 I find it ironic that as Pope Francis comes to join us for the World Meeting of Families, the families that are most in need of a blessing will be on the outside looking in.Those families are the ones who comprise Philadelphia’s stunning 26 percent poverty rate, and they are accustomed to being outsiders. They live…

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I TOOK MY family to see “Selma,” the Golden Globe-nominated film that portrays the bloody battle for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. I took them, not because of the film’s historical lessons or cinematic splendor. I did so because my children must see their story on screens large enough to hold…

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SEVERAL WEEKS AGO, a carjacked vehicle spun out of control and struck Keisha Williams, three of her children and a family friend. They were selling fruit on a North Philly corner to help their church turn a vacant lot into a playground. Funeral services were held for 10-year-old Thomas Reed, who died at the scene, along with…

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UPDATE: SUSPECTS CHARGED JONATHAN ROSA and CORNELIUS CRAWFORD, who allegedly carjacked, robbed, and sexually assaulted a female realtor at gunpoint in North Philadelphia at 11:15 a.m., on Friday, before losing control of the vehicle and killing three children, have been arrested in connection with the crime. Each man has been charged with three counts murder in the second…

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AMONG THE MANY things that are making me scratch my head in relation to the School District of Philadelphia’s current funding crisis is the strange bedfellows it’s creating. I recently got a media advisory from Public Citizens for Children and Youth about a press conference and parent briefing that the organization was doing with school district…

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INDEPENDENCE DAY should have served as relief from a year in which our children suffered terribly. It should have been a time when they could forget the closing schools, the budget shortfalls, and the dying friends. Independence Day should have given them freedom from worry. Instead, because adults made poor decisions, our children were victimized again. [blocktext align=”right”]Whoever booked…

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I LOVE SUMMER because the beautiful weather is enthralling, the long days are enchanting, and the events are entertaining. There’s so much to love I can’t fit it all in one column, so rather than trying to do that, I’ll just tell you what I hate about summer. Maybe I’m a curmudgeon for saying this,…

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WHEN YOU LIVE in Philadelphia, you can’t help but notice Independence Day. American history is kind of everywhere you look around here. The Welcome America! celebration brings together all sorts of movies, exhibits, and concerts featuring a number of bands, including one of my favorites, The Roots. [blocktext align=”right”]Every year the Avenging the Ancestors Coalition sets…

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THE INVESTIGATION that led to the 2012 child molestation conviction of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is over, but the fallout continues. The latest salvo in the ongoing battle for the political high ground in the Sandusky affair came earlier this week, when Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D) found that former Attorney…

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