Jenny Dougherty teaches English Language Arts at Freire Charter Middle School.
Want to get Philadelphia 8th graders to write? Ask them to create first person narratives — or poems or raps — about the experience of gun violence. That’s what Freire Charter Middle School teacher Jenny Hopkins-Daugherty did, and her students rose to the occasion. Jenny credits Need in Deed’s My Voice framework as the inspiration for this idea.
Hear them read their work:
This year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, thousands of Philadelphians took to the streets to register their dissatisfaction with racial inequity, as expressed through a low minimum wage, underfunded public schools and a concern about racial profiling by police and in other institutions.
While the day has typically been marked by service, many chose to expand their definition of King’s legacy through peaceful protest. A highlight was a tribute concert in Dr. King’s honor held in the Girard College Chapel, with music by the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. This day also marked the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, King’s historic visit to Philadelphia, and his speech at the gates of the College.
In 1974 Philadelphia was the site of a historic event in the history of the Episcopal Church: the “irregular” ordination of women as priests. Against the backdrop of the women’s moment, this upstart action caught the attention of the worldwide church. I used the 40th anniversary celebration of the ordinations as the opportunity to interview women and men about the impact of that landmark event.
Photography: Michaela Prell