PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Board of Trustees of the Philadelphia Award is proud to announce Sharmain Matlock-Turner as the recipient of its esteemed Philadelphia Award for 2022. A tireless champion for underserved communities, Matlock-Turner has served as CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in and around Philadelphia, since 1999.
The award ceremony will take place on June 6, 2023, at The Market at the Comcast Technology Center at 5:30 pm.
“Sharmain Matlock-Turner has never been afraid to confront seemingly insurmountable challenges in order to improve lives,” said Philadelphia Award Board Chair Pedro A. Ramos. “While all of Sharmain’s career accomplishments are worthy of recognition, it was the courage of leadership she displayed throughout 2022 as a founding member of The Civic Coalition to Save Lives that made her a unanimous pick for this year’s award.”
“The trauma of gun violence devastates individuals and our communities every single day,” said Matlock-Turner. “None of us can confront this public health crisis alone. I am proud of our work as a growing regional coalition dedicated to bringing all voices to the table and finding solutions.”
In 2022, the Philadelphia Foundation and the William Penn Foundation, in partnership with Urban Affairs Coalition, The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Equity Alliance, brought together a coalition of more than 70 civic, business, philanthropic, non-profit and faith-based organizations to address the issue of gun violence in Philadelphia. The Coalition, which now includes more than 90 organizations, is partnering with the City of Philadelphia and has catalyzed a broad civic effort to drive the adoption of evidence-based, human-centered, sustainable strategies to address gun violence.
A recent poll by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism found that 64% of Philadelphians reported hearing a gunshot in their neighborhood over the previous year, and nearly half (49%) say that gun violence has a major negative impact on the quality of life in their neighborhood.
“I have had the privilege of calling Sharmain a friend for more than a decade, and have seen the incredible impact her work has had on Philadelphia and the people who live here,” said Susan Jacobson, president of Jacobson Strategic Communications and Immediate Past Chair of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber Board.
As CEO, Matlock-Turner has grown UAC’s budget from $20 million to over $100 million, and the organization has become the nation’s largest Black-led fiscal sponsor, bridging the gap between low-income communities and financial services.
Her work to confront gun violence is one of many notable and complex challenges that Matlock-Turner has confronted during her career. UAC’s priorities include building wealth in urban communities, investing in financial education, advocating for underserved communities, developing youth and young adult resources and education, and civic engagement. She has worked tirelessly to provide the same opportunities for everyone, especially people of color and individuals within low-income communities.
Ms. Matlock-Turner is co-founder and chair emeritus of the 24-year-old West Oak Lane Charter School in Northwest Philadelphia. She also serves on the boards of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Uplift Solutions, Entrepreneur Works, and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. She serves on the board of trustees of Peirce College and the Foundations Inc. National Advisory Board, and is a founding member of the National Network of Fiscal Sponsors.
About the Philadelphia Award: Founded by editor, philanthropist, community leader, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward W. Bok in 1921, the annual Philadelphia Award recognizes citizens of the Philadelphia region who acted and served on behalf of the best interests of the community in the previous year. Since its inception, the Philadelphia Award has recognized the achievements of more than 80 distinguished individuals, including industrialists, educators, lawyers, political figures, scientists, physicians, members of the clergy, social activists philosophers, musicians, artists, architects, and writers. The Philadelphia Award is administered by a Board of Trustees and carries an honorarium of $25,000. Visit philadelphiaaward.org.
About the Urban Affairs Coalition: The Urban Affairs Coalition unites government, business, neighborhoods, and individual initiatives to improve the quality of life in the region, build wealth in urban communities, and solve emerging issues. Visit UAC.org for more information.