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Iron Sharpens Iron

Iron Sharpens Iron

By Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations
Iron Sharpens Iron is a podcast where veteran community organizers Leon Robinson and De'Wayne Drummond interview Philadelphians organizing for change in their neighborhoods. Iron Sharpens Iron is produced by the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations.
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On the Ground Against Gentrification with Iliana Dominguez-Franco

Iron Sharpens Iron

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Mary Campbell, The Housing Oprah: Everybody Gets A House
Mary Campbell, Director of Housing Services at New Kensington CDC joins hosts Leon Robinson and De’Wayne Drummond to talk about the many layers of what it means to be a housing counselor, the critical role of these advocates, and the need for more supports for affordable, stable housing and opportunities for home ownership. Mary has seen it all, been it all, and supports Philadelphians on their path to home ownership, fights for citizens to stay in their homes, and for the policies, programs and funding to create safe, stable housing for all. Mary Campbell is the Director of Housing Services at NKCDC. Mary became a Housing Counselor in 1986. She has over 30 years of experience in counseling families with real estate and housing  services. Mary has been employed with New Kensington CDC since July 10, 2017. Prior to her employment at NKCDC, Mary led a team of Housing Counselors as their supervisor at lntercultural Family Services from 2008 until 2017. She earned an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies from Kaplan University in 2011. Mary is a HUD Certified Housing Counselor, and a certified practitioner through NeighborWorks of America in the areas of: Homeownership Counseling for Program Managers and Executive Directors, Pre-Purchase Counseling, Foreclosure Intervention & Default Counseling, Post Purchase Counseling, Rental Counseling, and Financial Capabilities Counseling/ Coaching. It is Mary's mission to ensure fair and equal housing access to all members of every community. Episode transcript available here: https://pacdc.org/2017/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/13_Mary-Campbell_Transcription-2.pdf Producer: Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, Sound Editor: Andrew Heppard, Cover Art: Jennifer Selpa, Music: Needed You by Will Ellsworth
46:60
July 21, 2022
A Multi-Tiered Approach to Public Safety with Rikeyah Lindsay
On this episode of “Iron Sharpens Iron,” Leon and De’Wayne speak with Rikeyah Lindsay, the Safety and Justice Coordinator at Mount Vernon Manor CDC in Mantua. Tackling issues from pedestrian safety to gun violence, Rikeyah, De’Wayne, and Leon dive into what it means to support safety in the city block by block. They discuss how the prevention of violence is just as important as interventions to reduce violence in neighborhood, and explore the critical role block captains play in supporting safety, justice and community joy.  Rikeyah Lindsay is the Safety and Justice Coordinator at Mount Vernon Manor CDC (MVM)  in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Mantua. In her role at MVM, Rikeyah leads efforts to improve neighborhood safety, nourish individual and community-wide healing from violence and trauma, and support the personal development and capacities of West Philadelphia residents. Before coming to MVM, Rikeyah worked as a Family Navigator with Action for Early Learning, where she helped parents gain critical information about early education for their children. A lifelong member of the Mantua community, Rikeyah is also a member of the Mantua Urban Peace Garden, the Friends of the Mantua Greenway, and serves as a block leader on the 3800 block of Aspen Street. Rikeyah is a dedicated mother of one, with a passion for youth outreach and community engagement. Episode transcript available here: https://pacdc.org/2017/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/12_-Rikeyah-Lindsay-Transcription.pdf Producer: Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, Sound Editor: Andrew Heppard, Cover Art: Jennifer Selpa, Music: Needed You by Will Ellsworth
30:32
March 30, 2022
How Did We Get Here? Affordable Housing Policy with Andy Toy
On this episode of Iron Sharpens Iron, Leon and De’Wayne sit down with Andy Toy, Policy Director at PACDC. Amidst a season of tragedy surrounding affordable housing during the harshest weather season of the year, Andy talks about what has caused our affordable housing crisis, the pros and cons of Accessory Dwelling Units, and some of the housing victories we have seen locally.  Andy Toy is the Policy Director at PACDC, where he chairs the Housing Committee among many other things. Andy is recognized as a thought leader and innovator when it comes to community and economic development. Andy’s policy and advocacy work has included efforts to ensure everyone has a voice in their community. He founded United Voices for Philadelphia and still engages in voter registration and voting advocacy. Andy also helped garner support for our public schools by founding the Philadelphia Public School Giving Circle and serving on the Philadelphia Public School Notebook. Andy was an appointee on the Philadelphia Zoning Code Commission where he championed mixed income zoning policies as well as Accessory Dwelling Units. In 2006, Andy was selected as one of the top 101 Connectors in Philadelphia, and in 2021, he was named to Pennsylvania’s inaugural 50 Over 50 list by AARP and City&State. Episode transcript available here: https://pacdc.org/2017/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/How-Did-We-Get-Here_-Affordable-Housing-Policy-with-Andy-Toy_otter_ai.pdf Producer: Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, Sound Editor: Andrew Heppard, Cover Art: Jennifer Selpa, Music: Needed You by Will Ellsworth
36:54
February 24, 2022
Being a Vision of Hope: Community Mental Health and Wellness with Brenda Mosley
This episode contains content around addiction and suicidal thoughts. Listener discretion is advised. On this episode of Iron Sharpens Iron, Brenda Mosley shares what she has learned about mental health and community wellness. A well-known organizer and connector in Kensington, Ms. Brenda also won PACDC's 2021 Community Leader Award! Check out this episode to hear: What led Ms. Brenda to embrace her own healing 30 years ago How Ms. Brenda builds relationships with people in crisis Why safety plans are essential for today's community organizers Brenda Mosley is a key figure in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. After entering recovery in 1991, Ms. Brenda received her GED at age 39. She continued in her education to receive her bachelor’s from Temple University and became a Registered Nurse. After getting connected to someone who worked at New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC), Ms. Brenda was invited to join the first class of NKCDC’s Community Health Workers. From there, she and several other women from that first class worked with Impact Services to develop a trauma-informed care curriculum that now guides NKCDC’s community development work. In 2021, Ms. Brenda received the Community Leader Award by PACDC. That same year she launched her own nonprofit, By Faith, Health and Healing Inc., which offers support groups for mothers with special needs children, loss of loved ones, and stress-related issues. Episode transcript available here: https://pacdc.org/2017/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Brenda-Mosley.pdf Listeners can access the Trauma Informed Community Development Curriculum developed in partnership with NKCDC and Impact Services here: https://www.traumainformedcommunity.org/ Producer: Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, Sound Editor: Andrew Heppard, Cover Art: Jennifer Selpa, Music: Needed You by Will Ellsworth
32:14
November 22, 2021
We’re Talking Community, Culture, and Kindness with Iris Melendez
On this episode of Iron Sharpens Iron, Leon and De’Wayne sit down with Iris Melendez, owner of Sammy’s Place, a bar located at 5th and Jefferson. Iris shares how she came to be a bar owner in the first place, how she has seen gentrification change her neighborhood, and how she’s navigating those changes. A community organizer at heart, Iris talks about engaging with her community and clientele. Iris Melendez has been the owner of Sammy’s Place at 5th and Jefferson since 1993. Back then, it was an old-school Latino bar, but today it is a lively bar where everyone is welcome, regardless of background or label. Iris sticks to her roots and promotes events via paper fliers in the neighborhood instead of social media, and for certain events, you can expect a whole pig roasting all day out back for everyone to feast on! Episode transcript available here: https://pacdc.org/2017/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/09_-Iris-Melendez_Transcription.pdf Producer: Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, Sound Editor: Andrew Heppard, Cover Art: Jennifer Selpa, Music: Needed You by Will Ellsworth
20:00
October 05, 2021
Rule #1: You Will See Them Again with Cynthia Barnes
Leon and De’Wayne dive deep into Cynthia Barnes’ 30 plus years of community organizing in Nicetown-Tioga. Cynthia shares how she became an accidental organizer while her children were in preschool, what it’s like to do community engagement during COVID, and why she believes that anger is not met with understanding. Cynthia also gives a crash course on negotiating community benefits agreements and what she’s learned about collaboration in the process. Cynthia Barnes has been a resident leader in the Nicetown-Tioga neighborhood for more than thirty years. As Chair of the Nicetown-Tioga Improvement Team (NTIT), Cynthia has ensured that development projects are responsive to community needs. She also convenes monthly meetings essential to neighborhood planning and building social capital among residents, businesses, and community organizations. Cynthia represents NTIT on the Broad-Germantown-Erie Collaborative, a coalition of community groups in North Philadelphia that has negotiated community benefits agreements for several, large-scale developments in the area. Among other achievements, Cynthia helped transform a vacant half-block property into the 11th street playground and spearheaded partnerships to create vibrant green spaces in Nicetown-Tioga.  Cynthia works for the Mayor's Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service and received PACDC’s 2021 Community Leader Award. Episode Transcript Available Here: https://pacdc.org/2017/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Cynthia-A-Barnes_Iron-Sharpens-Iron_-Season-2_-Episode-1-Transcript.pdf Producer: Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, Sound Editor: Andrew Heppard, Cover Art: Jennifer Selpa, Music: Needed You by Will Ellsworth
41:41
September 06, 2021
Equitable Development Conference Special Episode!
Cass Green of New Kensington CDC and Somaly Osteen of SEAMAAC are joining Leon and De'Wayne for a very frank conversation on race and community organizing. This conversation took place as part of PACDC's Forward Equitable Development Conference.  Cass Green is currently Project Manager for New Kensington CDC, HACE and Impact Services' DOJ-Community-Based Crime Reduction Grant (CBCR) in the Kensington and Fairhill neighborhoods. She previously served as People’s Emergency Center CDC’s Director of Community Engagement & Partnerships. Cass’s career includes 27 years at the University of Pennsylvania, including serving as the Senior Business and Building Administrator for the Institute of Contemporary Art-ICA for 17 years. She is a multi-disciplinary artist, curator, and producer of the “Mill Creek Past, Present and Future” documentary. Cass co-founded the Mill Creek Community Partnership (MCCP) in 2004 and serves as its president along with having established the Fine Arts Through Our Eyes Community Arts Initiative in 2005. Somaly Osteen graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Tourism Management. She has more than ten years of experience working for multiple local and international non-profit organizations. Somaly’s career started in the country of Cambodia while taking part as a community advocate, community engagement, and development. Somaly currently serves as a Community Development Specialist/Corridor Manager with SEAMAAC, Inc. She works with a diverse community filled with immigrants and refugees located in South Philadelphia to build a strong local economy while helping community to be a better place for everyone. The focus with the community has been to partner with different resources to strategically cater to the community’s needs and issues. Somaly believes that sustainable development starts with each individual while sustainable change comes through unity. Episode Transcript Available Here: https://pacdc.org/2017/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Cass-Green-and-Somaly-Osteen.pdf Producer: Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, Sound Editor: Andrew Heppard, Cover Art: Jennifer Selpa, Music: Needed You by Will Ellsworth
59:18
June 16, 2021
Doing Good, Being Kind, and Spreading Love with Terrill Haigler aka YaFavTrashman
On this episode of Iron Sharpens Iron, Leon and De’Wayne talk trash, advocacy, and civic engagement with Terrill Haigler a.k.a. YaFavTrashman. Terrill shares why he launched the YaFavTrashman Instagram account last June, what it’s like to be a new community organizer, and why he’s so passionate about building relationships with people in positions of power. From fundraising for PPE to organizing block clean ups, Terrill is all about doing good, being kind, and spreading love! Episode Transcript Available Here: https://pacdc.org/2017/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Terrill-Haigler_-Episode-6.pdf Terrill Haigler is a Philadelphia sanitation worker who has become a Philly favorite during the pandemic. As trash piled up across our neighborhoods last spring and summer, Terrill took to Instagram to explain why trash was running late and what’s it like to be a trash man during COVID-19. Since then, Terrill has raised thousands of dollars to purchase PPE for sanitation workers, organized food drives, arranged neighborhood clean ups and more. Producer: Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, Sound Editor: Andrew Heppard, Cover Art: Jennifer Selpa, Music: Needed You by Will Ellsworth
38:38
May 20, 2021
Digital Organizing and the Power of Influence with Rasheed Ajamu aka PhreedomJawn
On this episode of Iron Sharpens Iron, Leon and De’Wayne are joined by Rasheed Ajamu aka PhreedomJawn on Instagram and Twitter! Rasheed talks about what it is like to have over 40,000 followers across platforms, and how to mobilize Philadelphians to certain actions, while also making time for rest and self care. Together, they discuss what the next generation of community organizing can and does look like with the power of social media. Episode Transcript Here: https://pacdc.org/2017/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Episode-5_-Rasheed-Ajamu.pdf Rasheed Ajamu is the person behind Philly’s favorite Instagram account Phreedom Jawn. This account calls people to action, promotes mutual aids, keeps the city informed with news and resources, and educates the city on the intersections of Blackness. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Rasheed has a passion for seeing our city move forward. After volunteering with a Germantown Soup Kitchen at the age of 11, Rasheed attended Parkway Northwest High School for Peace and Social Justice to explore community service. A La Salle University graduate, Rasheed currently works at a community development organization to connect residents with housing resources.  Producer: Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, Sound Editor: Andrew Heppard, Cover Art: Jennifer Selpa, Music: Needed You by Will Ellsworth
24:45
April 12, 2021
Let’s Circle Up: Relationship Building, Empowerment, and Fatherhood with Derrick Pratt
On this episode of Iron Sharpens Iron, Leon and De’Wayne catch up with Derrick Pratt. During his interview, Derrick describes his childhood down the Bottom and how he followed in his mother and grandmothers’ footsteps as a community organizer. Across all of his experiences - Community Connectors Manager at People’s Emergency Center, Owner at PCRADIOLIVE.COM, Co-Founder of We Embrace Fatherhood - Derrick knows the power of bringing like minded people together to bring out the best in their communities. Episode Transcript Available Here: https://pacdc.org/2017/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Derrick-PlattFC-1.pdf Derrick Pratt is Owner and Program Director at PCRADIOLIVE.COM and a lifelong resident, property owner, and business owner in the Mantua section of Philadelphia. He has long embraced his civic responsibilities. He is a Co-Founder of WeEmbraceFatherhood.org. As a community leader and role model, he prides himself in his ability to give a resounding voice to those individuals who at times feel voiceless. Over the years, he has facilitated countless education and life skills workshops, criminal record expungement clinics, roundtable discussions, and a host of health, fitness, and sports clinics. Derrick's motto is, "Why should you be content being a product of your environment, when it’s so much more fulfilling to be productive in your environment?” Producer: Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, Sound Editor: Andrew Heppard, Cover Art: Jennifer Selpa, Music: Needed You by Will Ellsworth
31:29
February 01, 2021
She Wears Many Hats: Block Leadership and Civic Engagement with Jen Devor
On this episode of “Iron Sharpens Iron,” Leon and De’Wayne sit down with South Philly block captain and civic enthusiast, Jen Devor. During their conversation, Jen shares what it’s like to be an active Philadelphian in what she calls an owner-operated city. From her work on the island of Point Breeze all the way to her citywide campaign for public office in 2019, Jen believes that being a good listener and making people feel heard are the secrets to building authentic relationships that stand the test of time… and neighborhood feuds. Episode Transcript Here: https://pacdc.org/2017/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Episode-2_-Jen-Devor.pdf Jen Devor is a South Philly block captain, committeeperson, public school advocate, voting enthusiast, and a published author on civic engagement. She recently co-founded the nonpartisan nonprofit Better Civics. Prior to launching Better Civics, Jen was a 2019 candidate for City Commissioner, the office that oversees election activity in Philadelphia. A Philly resident since 2002, she has held leadership positions at Campus Philly, Diversified Community Services, Neighbors Investing in Childs Elementary, and Committee of Seventy among others. Currently, Jen serves on the Community Advisory Boards of WHYY, DiSilvestro Recreation Center and Vote16USA, a national nonpartisan effort to lower the voting age. She lives in Point Breeze with her husband, Tivoni Devor and together they have a daughter who has been canvassing with her mom since she was a newborn. Producer: Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, Sound Editor: Andrew Heppard, Cover Art: Jennifer Selpa, Music: Needed You by Will Ellsworth
35:15
February 01, 2021
On the Ground Against Gentrification with Iliana Dominguez-Franco
On this episode of “Iron Sharpens Iron” De’Wayne and Leon are joined by Iliana Dominguez-Franco, the Director of Sustainable Community Initiative at Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) in North Philadelphia. Iliana explains how her roots and growing up in Los Angeles to immigrant parents led her to her current role and community in Philadelphia. Together, De’Wayne, Leon and Iliana explore how strong community organizing against gentrification is not a formula, it is done by building relationships and being on the ground.  Episode Transcript Here: https://pacdc.org/2017/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Iliana-Dominguez-Franco.pdf Iliana Dominguez-Franco is the Director of Sustainable Community Initiatives at Asociacion Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) primarily focusing on the implementation of APM's recent community plans. In this role Iliana also serves to support visions of community leaders and provide enriching experiences for youth and young adults in the neighborhood to learn and grow through a leadership development program, Community Connectors. The intergenerational team works closely with the Director to inform, conceptualize, and implement projects throughout the Eastern North Philadelphia. Producer: Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, Sound Editor: Andrew Heppard, Cover Art: Jennifer Selpa, Music: Needed You by Will Ellsworth
57:26
February 01, 2021
Passing the Baton: Creative Approaches to the Future of Community Organizing with Majeedah Rashid
On this episode of “Iron Sharpens Iron” De’Wayne and Leon are joined by Majeedah Rashid, the Chief Operating Officer at Nicetown Community Development Corporation. Majeedah, a veteran community organizer, explains how she got her start in the early 2000s and her resident driven approach to community organizing. Reflecting on the last 20 years, Majeedah explores with Leon and De’Wayne new creative approaches to bring the younger generation into community organizing, Neighborhood Advisory Committees (NACs), and block captain positions to pass the baton from the older generation of organizers to the next generation.  Episode Transcript Here: https://pacdc.org/2017/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Majeedah-Rashid.pdf Majeedah Rashid is Chief Operating Officer of Nicetown Community Development Corporation, which serves Nicetown and surrounding communities through the development and repair of affordable homes, commercial corridor revitalization, open space management, supportive services, and community outreach and engagement. She joined Nicetown CDC in 2002 while studying community economic development from a resident-driven perspective at Southern New Hampshire University’s CED Master’s Program. Majeedah also serves as the Lead for Community Engagement on two Rebuild projects, for which the Nicetown CDC is the Project User. Majeedah serves on the Philadelphia Land Bank Board, LaSalle University President’s Community Advisory Council, and is a member of the North Philly Collective, in collaboration with Temple University & Health System. Majeedah is currently Vice President of the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations Board. Producer: Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, Sound Editor: Andrew Heppard, Cover Art: Jennifer Selpa, Music: Needed You by Will Ellsworth
33:56
February 01, 2021
Coming Soon: Iron Sharpens Iron
Leon Robinson and De'Wayne Drummond are Philadelphia community organizers on a mission to empower grassroots organizers with the skills and tools they need to succeed. With Iron Sharpens Iron - an original podcast from the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations - they aim to build a network of Philadelphians making a difference in their neighborhoods. In each episode, Leon and De'Wayne will interview their peers about what's happening in their communities, what they're doing to change the status quo, and what they've learned in the process. Leon and De'Wayne believe that, "As Iron Sharpens Iron, so one person sharpens another," and they hope to become sharper with every conversation. Sound Editor: Andrew Heppard Cover Art: Jennifer Selpa Music: Needed You by Will Ellsworth 
02:54
January 12, 2021