After 40 years, AIDS still devastates communities of color | Opinion

On June 5, 1981, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the Center for Disease Control shared that five otherwise healthy gay cisgender men had been diagnosed with pneumocystis pneumonia—a rare pneumonia that typically shows up in people with suppressed or compromised immunity—and two had died. Then on July 3 of that year, the New York Times reported that 41 cisgender gay men had been diagnosed with a rare cancer, Kaposi’s Sarcoma. This was when it hit the fan for LGBTQ communities, Black and Latinx communities, injection drug users, and people with blood disorders who require transfusion. | From The Philadelphia Inquirer (Read more.)

Civic and Community Engagement

Philly’s new budget includes mini cut to wage tax, more anti-violence funding

City Council and Mayor Jim Kenney agreed on a final $5.26 billion budget for the coming fiscal year after weeks of negotiations — with a bit more spending and fewer tax cuts than originally proposed. The revised operating budget includes $89 million more in spending which will go towards anti-violence programs, arts funding, and dollars for police and prisons. | From: WHYY (Read more.)


People experiencing homelessness receive original artwork

Artists from Da Vinci Art Alliance and ARTsisters donated nearly 200 original art pieces to SELF Inc., a human services agency that helps transition people experiencing homelessness into new homes. Current and former SELF participants will be able to attend an art exhibit at Ife Wellness Center Wednesday, June 16, and select pieces from the show for their new places. | From WHYY (Read more.)

Community and Family

A path to citizenship would put more dollars in Pa. coffers, new study says

For Pennsylvania, the Biden administration’s proposal to create a legal pathway for millions of undocumented people would mean more than lots of new citizens — it would mean more money in state coffers.

Undocumented residents now pay about $135 million a year in state and local taxes. But granting them citizenship would boost that figure by 38%, more than $51 million, according to a new study. | From The Philadelphia Inquirer (Read more.)


Philly’s district should spend less money on contractors and more on the schools | Opinion

The School District of Philadelphia Board of Education has developed a pattern of spending millions on contracts to outside consultants, such as last month considering $6.5 million to Renaissance and Illuminate Education for K-12 assessments, $550,000 to KJR Consulting for professional development training, and $100,000 to GaileyMurray, LLP Communications Consultant for public relations, as reported by the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools (APPS). Such outsourcing is expensive and does not build institutional knowledge or establish new ways of doing things. The district should instead pursue “unlearning” old ways of relying on contracts and relearning new ways to provide students and teachers what they need, while keeping resources within the district. | From The Philadelphia Inquirer (Read more.)


Not only is this 65-year-old grandmother finally graduating from high school, she’s also class valedictorian

This is also a story about persistence and resilience and a 65-year-old woman’s long-ago whispered promise to herself that one day, somehow, some way, she would go back to school and earn a high school diploma. Twyanna Williams, who dropped out to help financially when her parents split, didn’t know how or when, just that she wanted to do it. | From The Philadelphia Inquirer (Read more.)