From Soccer Clinics to Global Business Insights: Highlights from World Heritage Week 2023 in Philadelphia

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By Gary Wooten

World Heritage Week 2023 presents Global Philadelphia Association’s (GPA) most ambitious line-up of events for our 8th annual celebration lasting ten days from May 19th - May 28th. The theme for this year was “Partnership for the Goals”. Within this 10-day celebration, GPA offered 12 events that represent many of the international communities in Philadelphia and the internationally significant histories of the city. The events this year were a collaborative effort between GPA, the Office of the City Representative, and our amazing community partners. These events included outdoor activities, live performances, informative tours, international celebrations, delicious recipes, and more. Here is a recap of some of these events.

We kicked off World Heritage Week with SDG 17, Partnership for the Goals, at St. Mary's Interparochial School in East Philadelphia. Isabelle Cress was the Philadelphia artist tasked with creating a mural to display on the side of the school building. The mural is a great depiction of the effort needed to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The artwork featured the 4C’s in each corner: Creativity, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Collaboration. This event was also a showcase for the St. Mary’s students. The choir sang “We are the World'' and the dance team did an amazing choreographed opening number. 

On Sunday, May 21st, the Philadelphia Parks and & Rec, GPA, and Philadelphia 250 went to Franklin Square Park to host a youth soccer clinic in partnership with the Unity Cup Soccer Tournament. This event was a great opportunity for kids to come out, enjoy the beautiful weather, and get some exercise. Coaches from the Unity Cup went over some drills and taught the children how to work together to complete the exercises. GPA and Philadelphia250 also attended the event to provide information on the World Heritage City status and the upcoming 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 

On Friday, May 26th, the African American Cultural Alliance of North America (ACANA) celebrated African Liberation Day which happened the day prior, May 25th. This event was hosted at Temple University and featured a highly influential panel of speakers: Dr. Molefi Asante, Ambassador. Dr. Robin R. Sanders, PA State Senator Sharif Street, Dr. Nah Dove, and Dr. D. Zizwe Poe. The topics included the historic importance of African Liberation Day and internet access in Africa, including infrastructure and Artificial intelligence. The topics and discussions were both informative and empowering because of the amazing minds and research of the panelists. 

On Monday May 22nd, The World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia (WTCGP) and the Temple University for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) proudly presented the 19th Annual Global Business Conference. The business conference, tailored for businesses based in Southeastern Pennsylvania, discussed insights and strategies for success from experts in fields of exporting, world finance, energy supply, fluctuating international markets, global expansion, and more. GPA President Zabeth Teelucksingh described it as highly informative, setting the tone for current business dealings from Philadelphia to the globe. Keynote speaker Stephen Tang spoke about his book, “A Test for Our Time” offering a message of courage, resilience, and trust during the course of the meetings. Many informative tips were shared with regards to global business, notably in ASEAN countries. 

Founded by Louis H. Farrell, a civic leader and advocate for immigrants, Louis H. Farrell School is a public school that is home to students from over forty two different countries and several diverse languages. On May 24th, professionals from diverse communities were invited to share their passion with the students. On Career Day, Zabeth Teelucksingh was delighted to present to a group of 5th to 8th graders what being a global student meant for their futures. The assembly included students from 42 countries, each one of them proud of their heritage and global backgrounds. The event was a great success and Mrs.Teelucksingh was invited to return for World Culture Day. 

May is AAPI Heritage Month, the 2023 theme has been dubbed “Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity” by the Federal Asian Pacific American Council,“Defining Success: Asian American Dream”. This was a key event that took place at Rivers Casino in Northern Philadelphia . This event highlighted five Asian American who shared stories of their career and entrepreneurship journey despite the difficulties. This was attended by Asian business leaders from the Greater Philadelphia area. They were given tips as minority business owners on how to do business in the framework of the state of Pennsylvania, a panel of business owners included two real estate agents and developers who spoke of the opportunities in the Philadelphia region. The program was highly informative and will undoubtedly lead to further business opportunities. 

While we did not cover all the events for this year's celebration, we hope that the benefits of being in a World Heritage City are clearly shown here in the scale and diversity of World Heritage Week 2023. This annual event celebrates the official World Heritage City Day on the last Thursday of May, through the recognition of Mayor Kenney. We hope to offer another round of amazing events next year for World Heritage Week 2024!

Check out Global Philadelphia's Flickr to see photos from the events

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