Global Philadelphia Association Promotes Gender Equality During World Heritage Week

Global Philadelphia Association (GPA) continued its World Heritage Week festivities on May 28 by spotlighting Philadelphia’s gender equality initiatives through a performance by local jazz legend Sherry Wilson Butler. 

Opening with a cover of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come,” Butler’s performance was streamed on GPA’s Facebook account and she encouraged everyone watching to dance and have fun. As an acclaimed music educator and women’s rights advocate, Butler drew attention to GPA’s efforts to promote gender equality, particularly through undertaking the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UN launched the SDGs in 2015 as a way to promote international prosperity across all socioeconomic backgrounds while protecting the planet. The fifth SDG revolves around the theme of gender equality, particularly emphasizing the need for people of all genders to have equal access to education, health care, decent work and representation in political and economic decision-making. 

GPA has spearheaded Philadelphia’s work towards the SDGs by launching a campaign to create a piece of public art commemorating each goal. For each piece of public art, GPA has chosen to partner with a non-governmental organization whose work embodies the SDG’s mission as a way to promote the local steps being taken to fulfill each goal. 

GPA officially unveiled the SDG public art project on Oct. 3, 2019, when it installed a public art piece for SDG 5 at the Friends Select School Plaza. Sponsored by the Glenmede Trust Company, this particular piece was created by local artist Barbara Smolen and was made possible through partnerships with New Century Trust, Friends Select School, Mural Arts Philadelphia and Widener University. The public art piece is open to all visitors and can be found online on GPA’s Flickr album.

In addition to Butler’s performance and the SDGs, GPA also celebrated gender equality during World Heritage Week by highlighting 12 of Philadelphia’s women leaders. Each woman shared a piece of advice for the next generation of women leaders. These women included:

Click the below links to read each woman's advice. 

Each woman’s advice can also be found on GPA’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts. 

About World Heritage Week

Ever since Mayor Jim Kenney instituted World Heritage Day in 2016, Philadelphia has traditionally celebrated its world heritage on the fourth Thursday in May. This year, GPA will host five days of virtual events and festivities from May 26-30 to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Philadelphia receiving its World Heritage City designation. Each day’s events will take place on GPA’s social media platforms: 

In addition to the festivities, GPA will hold a #GiveBack campaign throughout the week to raise money for its charity partner, Nationalities Service Center, to support immigrants and refugees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on World Heritage City Week, visit GPA’s website

Article written by Amelia Winger on behalf of the Global Philadelphia Association