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OpportUNITY Summit
building a better, stronger future for all


To create a Greater Philadelphia region where access to opportunity is abundant and equitable, we must work together.

Despite efforts and interest, poverty rates in Philadelphia remain stubborn to budge. To build a better, stronger future for all people, families, and communities it takes new ideas. It takes new approaches. And it takes us all.

The 2023 OpportUNITY Summit took place on Thursday, May 11th.

Engaged attendees learned how leaders across sectors are working in partnership to create positive, lasting change.

The day included inspirational speakers and spotlight work happening locally and right now in American cities where racial equity, social justice, economic opportunity, and upward mobility can be achieved through transformational public-private collaborations.



  • 8–9am
    Breakfast and Registration

  • 9–9:15am
    Welcome Remarks

Featuring: Bill Golderer, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey; Emcee: Sara Lomax, WURD Radio

  • 9:15–10am
    Session One: Demystifying Systems Change: Prioritizing Real Collaboration

To make more than incremental progress on an issue as complex as poverty, we need new ways of working together that focus on empathy and connection. Grounded in research, this session will explore how we can prioritize people, relationships, and authenticity to achieve greater impact. Discover how deeper collaboration and connections can help us uncover new approaches to the most intractable challenges.

Featuring: John Kania, Collective Change Lab, and Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, Hamilton Family Charitable Trust


  • 10–10:15am 
    Group Activity
  • 10:15–10:30am
    Partnership Spotlight: Glenmede

Featuring: Gordon B. Fowler Jr., The Glenmede Trust Company, N.A. and Bill Golderer, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey 

  • 10:45-11:30am
    Session Two: Collaboration in Charlotte

In 2021, leaders in Charlotte, NC came together to launch the Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative, a public-private partnership to help address the region’s largest-in-the-nation opportunity gap. At the Summit, learn how they worked across sectors, built trust, and aligned stakeholder efforts to launch the $250M initiative. Hear about the clear and compelling vision Charlotte’s leaders have embraced and consider the potential path for other cities—including Philadelphia–to pursue greater collaboration.

Featuring: Clay Armbrister, Johnson C. Smith University, Malcomb Coley, EY Charlotte, and Blair Stanford, Charlotte Executive Leadership Council


  • 11:45am–12:30pm 
    How to Play Like a Team

Featuring: John Middleton, The Philadelphia Phillies


  • 12:30-1:30pm 
    Networking and Lunch



  • When: Thursday, May 11, 2023

  • Where: Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History (101 South Independence Mall East, Philadelphia, PA 19106)


Sara Lomax
President & CEO, WURD Radio

 Clay Armbrister
President, Johnson C. Smith University

 Malcomb Coley
Managing Partner, EY Charlotte

Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend
President, Hamilton Family Charitable Trust

John Kania
Founder, Collective Change Lab

John Middleton
Managing Partner & CEO, The Philadelphia Phillies

Blair Stanford
Executive Director, Charlotte Executive Leadership Council







Connelly Foundation   |   Holman
M&T Bank   |   PECO   |   PNC Bank



Comcast NBCUniversal  |   Deloitte   |   The William Penn Foundation


Handraiser SPONSOR

BDO   |   Envoy   |   Guidehouse   |   Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld