As those of you who are regular readers of The Citizen know, our daily mission is to apply a pressing question to every issue we face here in Philadelphia: What’s the solution?
Often, we find the answers scattered in cities around the country, Boston or Chicago, Portland or Newark, New York City or Atlanta. Because, as we have happily and hopefully recorded here, solutions to our problems do exist. There are ways to make positive change. And there are people—so many, many innovative people—who are bettering the lives of their fellow citizens by rethinking the usual way of doing business in American cities.
This December 13th and 14th, we’re bringing several of those innovators here to Philadelphia, as part of our Fourth Annual Ideas We Should Steal FestivalTM, powered by Comcast NBCUniversal. Our theme this year, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Prosperity,” reflects the year we’ve had, struggling with the physical and economic ravages of Covid-19, and the constant threats to our democracy.
Some of the speakers at this year’s event include:
- Aqeela Sherrills, a community gun violence activist credited with making a historic peace between Los Angeles’s Bloods and Crips, on his work with the Newark Community Street Team has helped reduce violence, including shootings, and police relations in New Jersey’s largest city.
- Orange is the New Black author Piper Kerman and REFORM Alliance CEO Robert Rooks, advocates of real solutions to reform our prison and probation systems.
- Former Young & Rubicam CEO Peter Georgescu, author of Capitalists Arise!: End Economic Inequality, Grow the Middle Class, Heal the Nation, on urging a radical change to corporate practices for the sake of our country.
- Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, on the art of pragmatic progressivism in a talk headlined “There’s No Conservative or Liberal Way to Fill a Pothole.”
- Terri Sorenson, executive director of Friends of the Children, a 12-year mentorship program for young people, and Omolara Fatiregun, CEO of anti-poverty tech company Thrive!, on forging a path to end generational poverty.
- Tony-award winning singer/songwriter/playwright Stew and Princeton Professor Eddie Glaude Jr., author of Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, who will explore lessons for today from the legendary writer and public intellectual.
- And many more who you can find here. (And stay attuned for even more in the coming weeks.)
This year, our festival of ideas spans an evening and a day. On December 13th, MSNBC anchor (and Citizen board member) Ali Velshi will host a reception and conversation/performance with Stew and Glaude called “What Would Jimmy Do?” On the 14th, we’ll have a series of panels and talks about the economy, politics, race, criminal justice, climate, hope and more.
All this will take place at Fitler Club, before an audience of the city’s most engaged change makers, civic leaders, aspiring problem solvers—and, hopefully, you.
December 13th, 6 pm-8 pm, Fitler Club Ballroom, 2400 Market Street, free; December 14th, 8:30 am-2 pm, Fitler Club Ballroom, $35. More information and tickets here.
THANK YOU TO OUR FESTIVAL SPONSORS