I was given the ‘Community Leadership Award’ by the Urban Affairs Coalition

I was given a ‘Community Leadership Award‘ by the Friends of the Coalition, a young leaders group associated with the influential Urban Affairs Coalition.

Knowing UAC’s reputation, I would have already been proud, but I was also surrounded by impressive company. My longtime friend Helen Ubinas, an Inquirer columnist, also received an award. That’s us smiling together in the above photo.

In introducing me, Kevin Harden, Jr. cited my work over the last 10 years in local journalism and community organizing, with a special focus on our adding Generocity.org to our existing Technical.ly work. He thought Generocity’s work was of particular importance.

Thanks also to Brandon Johnson, Felicia Harris and the other Friends of Coalition members, and UAC Executive Director Sharmain Matlock-Turner and the entire UAC team.

Here are the simple remarks I jotted down and shared to a group of 100 or so, at a reception following UAC’s 50th annual breakfast.

  • Thank you to the Friends of the Coalition and congratulations to the Urban Affairs Coalition on 50 years
  • My small community journalism organization just celebrated 10 years of publishing earlier this year.
  • We at Technically Media see our responsibility to convene the people, companies and organizations that help local communities thrive.
  • We do that with journalism and services.
  • With Technical.ly, which covers a handful of local business communities, we help organizations tell their stories to hire technologists who want to have impact.
  • With Generocity.org, our nonprofit-news brand, we help mission professionals advance their careers.
  • Next May, we’ll host our 10th annual Philly Tech Week, a big, open gathering of 20,000 people and 100 events celebrating technology, entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • All of these are exercises in storytelling.
  • Cities like Philadelphia need stories. Of how we got to where we are and how we can change.
  • I believe that organizations that deploy local journalism are a major part of that work, so I do hope you’ll consider working with organizations like ours.
  • But more broadly, I want to leave you with a challenge. Write down a sentence or two: what is the problem in the world you are most directly working to address? What is the story of how that problem came to be, what is the solution you’re aiming to implement and why are you the one to do it. Then get to the work.