“Gender Equality” Public Artwork to be Unveiled as Part of Sustainable Development Goals Awareness Campaign

PHILADELPHIA, September 30, 2019 – Global Philadelphia Association (GPA), in partnership with Glenmede Trust Company, Mural Arts Philadelphia, and Friends Select School, has produced a public art project in honor of Sustainable Development Goal #5, “Gender Equality.” The project speaks to the Philadelphia World Heritage City Project’s overarching mission to raise awareness of the city’s heritage and global connections. A public unveiling of the artwork will be held at Friends Select Schoolat 3:00 PM on October 3rd.

Sponsored by Glenmede Trust Co. and created by local artist Barbara Smolen, this artwork is the first in what will be a series of Philadelphia public art pieces commissioned by GPA, each representing one of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2015, the United Nations launched the SDG campaign as a platform to protect the planet and promote international prosperity across all socioeconomic backgrounds. For each project, GPA will partner with a non-governmental organization (NGO) whose work embodies the SDG’s mission, which will help promote the local steps being taken to fulfill each goal.

SDG #5 promotes gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in all aspects of global society. “It is our duty to provide women and girls with equal access to education, health care, good work, and representation in political and economic decision-making,” said Zabeth Teelucksingh, Executive Director of GPA. “Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Philadelphia can become a leader in this area, showing the way for other cities in our nation and abroad.”

Laura LaRosa, Executive Director of Client Development for Glenmede, the sponsoring organization, said: “Reinforcing gender equality is an important and timely mission for companies in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. At Glenmede, women's empowerment guides our corporate social responsibility initiatives and the way we invest to affect change. We are so pleased to participate with Global Philadelphia in this effort to inspire advocacy through art.”

Local NGO New Century Trust has been chosen to receive financial support through the project. Founded in 1882, it is one of the oldest organizations dedicated to ending the political and economic inequality faced by women in the Greater Philadelphia region. Widener University is the academic partner for SDG #5 and will produce a scholarly overview of the state of gender equality in Philadelphia.

The artwork will be displayed on the 17th Street wall of Friends Select School, a local college-preparatory Quaker school renowned for their progressive educational values. Michael Gary, Head of Friends Select School, said, “We are honored to be picked to host the first artwork representing a U.N. Sustainable Development Goal. Given Friends Select's Quaker values, it is fitting to have the Gender Equality mural on our building.”

The event on October 3rd will feature the unveiling of the artwork, as well as remarks from project partners, student performances, and a light reception. The event is free to attend with advance registration. For more information about the unveiling event or the SDGs project, contact GPA’s World Heritage Program Manager Melissa Stevens at [email protected] or 215-563-2483.


About the Global Philadelphia Association

The Global Philadelphia Association (GPA) consists of more than 200 internationally involved organizations, businesses, and individuals in Greater Philadelphia. It was created to assist – and to encourage greater interaction among – the many organizations and people who are engaged in international activity in the Greater Philadelphia Region, to promote the development of an international consciousness within the area, and to enhance Philadelphia’s global profile. For more information, visit our website globalphiladelphia.org.

About Glenmede

Founded in 1956 by the Pew family to manage their charitable assets, The Glenmede Trust Company, N.A., (“Glenmede”) is among the nation's leading investment and wealth management firms. The company oversees $40 billion of assets under management for high-net-worth individuals, families, family offices, endowment, foundation and institutional clients. Headquartered in Philadelphia, the firm has offices in Delaware, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Washington, DC. For further information, please visit www.glenmede.com.