Our new initiative for civic dialogue, the Greater Philadelphia Roundtable, began this week with a gathering at the William Way Community Center for a panel, “Striving for Equality: LGBT Activism in Greater Philadelphia.” The discussion highlighted the generations of activism necessary to achieve goals such as the Philadelphia civil rights bill and the Pennsylvania hate crimes bill. By understanding the connections that advocates for LGBT rights have forged between Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Washington, we gained insight into Philadelphia’s impact in the state and nation. We discussed the importance of visibility for LGBT people in Philadelphia’s history and the prospects for continuing conversation and future collaborations with the Encyclopedia project. We thank the participants and many cosponsors of this event, especially facilitator Kathy Padilla for organizing the panel. Thanks also to Professor William Hewitt of West Chester University for stepping in as speaker to discuss the life and legacy of Bayard Rustin. Topics submitted on comment cards have been posted on our nominations page , and a more detailed summary of the event will be posted soon to allow the conversation to continue.
The Greater Philadelphia Roundtable is supported in part by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities We the People initiative for American history.