Philadelphia’s World Heritage City Status Honored at Fourth Annual World Heritage City Celebration

PHILADELPHIA, September 4, 2019 – Global Philadelphia Association (GPA) will host a special dinner as part of its fourth annual World Heritage City Celebration, which honors the progress made in carrying out Philadelphia’s World Heritage Strategic Plan. The dinner will take place at the Crystal Tea Room in the Wanamaker Building at 6 p.m. on September 5.

In 2015, Philadelphia became the first World Heritage City in the United States, joining a network of over 300 World Heritage Cities across the globe. In particular, Philadelphia received this designation in recognition of its exceptional universal value and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Independence Hall. This designation has elevated Philadelphia’s status in the international community, spotlighting the city’s prowess as a cultural powerhouse and business giant. By commemorating September 5 as World Heritage Cities Solidarity Day, Philadelphians will have the opportunity to celebrate the unique heritages and common bonds that uplift their voices on the global stage.

Rob McNeill, Board Chair of GPA and Deloitte’s Managing Partner for Greater Philadelphia, stated, “Our collective heritages are truly important to us as individuals and to our entire community. These heritages help us to power our global connections. The World Heritage Celebration Dinner on September 5th is the way we in Philadelphia pay tribute to Solidarity Day with the other 300 World Heritage Cities.”

Philadelphia’s 2019 World Heritage City Celebration will honor Vernon Odom, who became invaluably ingrained in the city’s fabric through his 42-year career as a WPVI-TV/6abc broadcast journalist. Reporting with his trademark booming voice, Odom’s extensive career has taken him around the world, covering everything from Nelson Mandela’s prison release to the Soviet Union’s fall. Following his remarks, Odom will be joined on-stage at the Dinner by his long-time colleague, Jim Gardner, for a conversation about his career, including his work in Latin America, Europe and Africa.

“I’m deeply honored to bring my voice to a tremendous organization that means so much to Philadelphia,” said Odom. “It is very rewarding that the association has chosen to recognize my 42+ years of work here as a journalist in the Philadelphia region and my efforts to bring truth, justice, and valuable information to the people in the Philadelphia marketplace.”

This year, the event is co-chaired by Visit Philly President & CEO Jeff Guaracino and Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce CEO & President Jennifer Rodríguez, who will both speak briefly at the celebration. Additional entertainment will include a musical performance by Magdaliz and Her Latin Ensemble Crisol and live entertainment provided by Kalpulli Kamaxtle Xiuhcóatl, a traditional Azteca Mexican dance group and Indonesian traditional dance group Modero and Company.

World Heritage Sponsors include Brandywine Realty Trust, Comcast NBCUniversal, Connelly Foundation, Deloitte LLP, Drexel University, Independence Blue Cross, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, Philadelphia International Airport, John and Susan Smith, Stradley Ronan, TE Connectivity, Temple University, Jefferson University, the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Medicine, and Wells Fargo. Media partners for the event include 6abc, Al Día NewsMedia, ChatterBlast, and Philadelphia Magazine.

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. Most recently, GPA released the National Historic Landmark Map in July, which created an online database and illustrated print of Philadelphia’s 67 National Historic Landmarks. Additionally, GPA has also released English and Spanish versions of the Philadelphia World Heritage Coloring Book. For more information, visit our website: