The University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Urban Research celebrated its 10th Annual Urban Leadership Forum on Thursday March 27, where it presented awards to urban visionaries for their leadership in promoting sustainable and inclusive cities. The theme of this year’s event was "Sustainable Urbanization: Place Matters.” The 2014 awardees were Martin O’Malley, governor of Maryland, and Sister Mary Scullion and Joan Dawson McConnon, the co-founders of Project HOME.
After a warm welcome from Penn IUR Advisory Board Chair Egbert Perry, Penn IUR Faculty Fellow Mark Allan Hughes introduced the Project HOME co-founders, noting that their project offers "’something more than just regular fundraising.” By maiking inroads against urban homelessness, “It bestows dignity upon donors and clients alike.”
In accepting the award, Sister Mary Scullion highlighted the importance of collaboration between academics and practitioners in the fight against homelessness. She urged audience members to "spread the message far and wide,” since, she said, awareness is the first step towards a solution to homelessness.
Project HOME co-founder Joan Dawson McConnon discussed Project HOME's substantial progress throughout Philadelphia, mentioning new residential spaces in Fairmount, in addition to many more projects to come—including work which will enhance public access to healthcare and quality education.
Thursday’s program included remarks from Manny Diaz, the former mayor of Miami, who presented the ULF award to Governor Martin O’Malley. Diaz lauded O’Malley for his leadership and accomplishments. In receiving his award, Governor O’Malley offered his take on leadership: "Hope drives belief. Belief drives action. Action drives results, " he said. The session concluded with a brief audience question-and-answer session with Governor O’Malley, focusing on public policy issues in relation to local and national politics.
About the Urban Leadership Awards
Since 2005, Penn IUR has recognized innovators in urban affairs through the Urban Leadership Award, presenting the honor annually in recognition of outstanding efforts in building a greater, more sustainable future for all.
Past recipients include: Joan Clos, executive director of UN-HABITAT and former mayor of Barcelona, Spain; Yael Lehmann, executive director of The Food Trust; Ridwan Kamil, founder and principal of Urbane Indonesia; Derek R.B. Douglas, vice president for Civic Engagement, University of Chicago and former special assistant to President Barack Obama, White House Domestic Policy Council; Paul Levy, president and CEO, Philadelphia’s Center City District; Lily Yeh, global artist and founder, Barefoot Artists; Raphael Bostic, assistant secretary for Policy Development and Research, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Jane Golden, executive director, City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program; Shirley Franklin, mayor, City of Atlanta, GA; Parris Glendening, president, Smart Growth Leadership Institute, and former governor, Maryland; Bruce Katz, vice president and founding director of the Metropolitan Policy Program, The Brookings Institution; William Hudnut III, senior fellow emeritus, Urban Land Institute, and former mayor, Indianapolis, IN; Joseph P. Riley Jr., mayor, City of Charleston, SC; and Donna Shalala, president, University of Miami and former secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.