APM and Esperanza teams, along with COVID-19 ambassadors, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and some of the event assistants, gather at the end of the Community Catalyst event at Izlas Latin Cuisine Restaurant.

Philadelphia, PA – On September 29, 2023, APM (Asociación de Puertorriqueños en Marcha for Everyone) and Esperanza joined efforts to bring more information and resources to the community they serve. APM hosted the Community Catalyst Kick-Off event. 

This event aimed to unite diverse COVID-19 ambassadors and leaders so they could share their experiences. Additionally, they hope to foster positive change within the community, maintaining a neutral ground that welcomes individuals from all walks of life to have all the best possible health options to build a healthy life beyond COVID-19.

The event started with an opening address highlighting APM and Esperanza’s shared vision. The organizations hope to continue creating a platform where community members engage in meaningful conversations and collaborative efforts to develop a healthy community. 

Attendees were greeted with an inclusive atmosphere, emphasizing the importance of unity in addressing everyday challenges and aspirations. Erica Bates, Director of Community Services, and Emily Cordero, Director of Communications from APM, ensured the attendees received the correct information. Dr. Jamileth TellezLiberman, Senior Vice President, Community Engagement, Research, and Health Equity, and Christina Gareis, Community Public Health Coordinator, explained Esperanza is working in this area to contribute to the North Philadelphians.

APM designed various interactive activities where participants from diverse fields exchanged insights on community development, social issues, and sustainable practices. These discussions prompted individuals to discuss their challenges, highlighting community struggles and innovative contributions during the global pandemic.

One of the aspects of the event was the emphasis on diversity and inclusivity. APM and Esperanza made concerted efforts to ensure representation from various demographic groups, ensuring that the event reflected the population they supported. 

For them, offering support to the community in their language is necessary because it helps them have a clear message and make the right decisions for themselves and their families. The organizers facilitated open dialogue, allowing attendees to express their perspectives and experiences.

The Community Catalyst event also served as a platform for local businesses, nonprofits, health departments, and community organizations to showcase their initiatives. Attendees had the opportunity to connect with these entities, fostering potential collaborations that could further enhance community well-being. 

The Community Catalyst event hosted by APM shows the power of collaboration and partnership that benefit the community on a large scale. Tellez Lieberman expressed optimism in partnering with APM to conduct public health programming in the community. The event successfully laid the groundwork for ongoing positive transformations within the community by providing a neutral and inclusive space for dialogue and action.

Lili Daliessio is the Community Information Manager at Esperanza Housing and Economic Development.


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