On the evening of April 13th, supporters, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey had the opportunity to join author Darnell Moore for an exclusive look inside Camden, one of our region’s most underserved areas.
A proud Camden native, Darnell Moore is the author of No Ashes in the Fire: Growing up Black and Free in America, a critically acclaimed memoir about growing up black and queer in New Jersey in the ’80s. Currently, Darnell is the Director of Inclusion Strategy for Content and Marketing at Netflix and is working on his next book, tentatively titled Unbecoming: Visions Beyond the Limits of Manhood.
During the event, Darnell shared stories of his experience growing up in Camden and the challenges facing Camden residents. Darnell also reflected on the importance of family, both biological and chosen, and how building community within his neighborhood was a key factor in his ability to flourish as an adult.
Darnell was joined by representatives from United Way’s funded community partners to discuss the opportunities for growth and success for Camden families. The panelists included Alia Sutton-Bey from Hopeworks, Soley Berrios from LUCY Outreach, Siomara Wedderburn from Urban Promise, and Megan Lepore from Center for Family Services.
Throughout the discussion, the topic of trauma was a focal point. For over a decade, United Way has led a movement to increase awareness, provide resources, and build partnerships supporting those affected by trauma. We have partnered with Lakeside Global Institute to administer Trauma-Informed Care training to parents, educators, and community members; just last year we trained over 1,200 individuals in a trauma-informed approach.
While we are proud of our success to date, more must be done to ease the suffering of neighbors throughout our region. As the evening concluded, Darnell commented:
“We need accomplices…willing to give something up for the sake of others and jump in the fight. To the extent that we can build our work fueled by accomplices is the extent to which we can move forward.”
For more information on how you might help our region move forward, please contact Alex Hoffmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A recording of the Inside Camden event can be viewed below or on the PhillySJUnited YouTube channel.
A special thank you to our sponsors who made this special evening possible:
Lead Sponsor: Virtua Health
Corporate Sponsor: Archer and Greiner