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The 2024 OpportUNITY Summit took place on Wednesday, May 22nd !

Great ideas and grand visions are fleeting without tenacity and commitment. Transformation takes time, but undeterred, we stay with the vision. 

Engaged attendees heard from Mayor Cherelle Parker, Xavier McElrath-Bey, Carla Javits, and others to deepen their understanding of poverty and explore proven approaches to expanding opportunity. 

To build a better, stronger future for all people, families, and communities, it takes focus. And it takes us all. 





Wednesday, May 22nd 
8:00am – 12:30pm


Vie (600 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia)


8:00 am — 8:45 am: Registration & Breakfast 

8:45 am — 9:00 am: Welcome Remarks

9:00 am — 10:00 am: How Do You Stay with Your Vision?

10:00 am — 10:30 am: Pioneering Philanthropy: The REDF Model

10:30 am — 10:45 am: Break 

10:45 am — 11:30 am: My Inspirement

11:30 am — 12:00 pm: Keynote Address: Xavier McElrath-Bey

12:00 pm — 12:15 pm: Closing Remarks


How Do You Stay with Your Vision?

Mayor Cherelle L. Parker was elected Philadelphia’s 100th mayor and is the first woman to hold the office. In an intimate conversation with Rev. Dr. Alyn Waller, Mayor Parker shared her personal journey, offering insights into the challenges she has faced and the triumphs she has celebrated along the way. Attendees heard firsthand how, despite the demands and pressures of public office, Mayor Parker has stayed true to the guiding principles that shaped her path and fueled her passion for making meaningful change for the people of Philadelphia.

Pioneering Philanthropy: The REDF Model

What does it take to grow a movement? Carla Javits discussed REDF’s pioneering venture philanthropy work, which galvanized a national movement of social enterprises—purpose-driven, revenue-generating businesses—that help people overcome employment barriers and build better lives. In conversation with Omar Woodard, Carla shared lessons learned on what it takes to stay true to the vision to create an investment model supporting 100,000 people and earning $2B in revenues. 

My Inspirement

No matter how you contribute to your company or organization, or where you are in your vision or career, this session will encourage self-reflection and deepen your community connections. Co-facilitated by Danielle Cohn, Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer, My Inspirement, and David Brown, Assistant Dean of Community and Communication, Klein College, Temple University, this session taught us practices to design our best life’s work. This workshop inspired us all to challenge our status quo, shine a light on our value and potential, helped us tap into what fuels our souls.   

Keynote Address

Xavier McElrath-Bey shared his personal story of transformation and perseverance in the face of immense challenges. At the age of 13, Xavier was sentenced to 25 years in prison for a gang-related murder. After serving 13 years in prison, he came out with a remorseful heart, a bachelor’s degree, and a mission to advocate for poor, disadvantaged, and at-risk youth. In his inspiring speech, we learned how Xavier found the inspiration to put his remorse into action and work to help children like him. 




Xavier McElrath-Bey
Executive Director,  Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth


Mayor Cherelle L. Parker 
Mayor, City of Philadelphia 


Reverend Dr. Alyn E. Waller 
Senior Pastor, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church 


Carla Javits
Senior Advisor & Former CEO and President, REDF


Omar Woodard 
Executive Director, HRS Management


Danielle Cohn
Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer, My Inspirement


David Brown 
Assistant Dean of Community and Communication, Klein College, Temple University






Holman  |  M&T Bank  |  PECO  |  PNC Bank



Cescaphe  |  Comcast  |  Connelly Foundation  |  Deloitte  |  Glenmede  |  Salveson Leadership Advisors


Handraiser SPONSORS

BDO USA, P.C.  |  Essential Utilities  |  EY  |  Guidehouse  |  Hilco Redevelopment Partners  |  Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld  |  Vector Group Consulting  |  WSFS

Thank you to our sponsors

Your support is a large part of what makes the OpportUNITY Summit such a success.

Thanks to a generous donor, this year’s Summit costs are fully covered. That means all sponsorship proceeds will go directly to United Way’s Partnership Grant Program (PGP), which supports 100 poverty-fighting nonprofits throughout our region.


Throughout our history, United Way has brought people together to strengthen communities.

Look back at past OpportUNITY Summits when hundreds of business, civic, and community leaders gathered for a day of learning, connection, and action.

2023: Collaboration is key

2022: A Legacy of 100 Years



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