Local Leaders: Growing from Grassroots

By State of Young Philly (other events)

Wednesday, October 17 2018 6:00 PM 8:00 PM

Each fall, Young Involved Philadelphia (YIP) hosts State of Young Philly (SOYP), a dynamic 10-day event series filled with programming designed to connect young Philadelphians of every background, showcase their positive impact, and amplify their voices. SOYP 2018 brings together nonprofits, government entities, civic leaders, and local businesses to help young Philadelphians identify what civic engagement means to them and the role each individual can play in driving change in their communities.

Join our panel discussion with local community leaders and get inspired to start your movement from the ground up, no matter how small or large your cause. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided! 


Rebecca Rhynhart, City Controller

Rebecca Rhynhart is the first woman ever elected in as Philadelphia's City Controller in January 2018.  Her first time holding elected office, Controller Rhynhart brings private sector experience and nearly a decade of government service to the role of chief auditor and financial watchdog for the City of Philadelphia. 

Jason L. Goodman, Executive Director, PA Youth Congress

A fifth-generation Pennsylvanian, Jason is the founding Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Youth Congress, PA’s first and only statewide LGBTQ youth organization. In his role as Executive Director, he has organized numerous statewide campaigns, presented at dozens of state and national conferences, delivered testimony before city councils and state legislative committees, and drafted policies to advance the welfare of Pennsylvania LGBTQ youth. He has been involved with social justice activism for over 8 years as the first person to work at the statewide level with LGBTQ youth in Pennsylvania. 

Wei Chen, Civic Engagement Coordinator, Asian Americans United

Wei comes from years of work as a youth leader and youth organizer.  He was one of the youth leaders of the South Philadelphia High School student organizing in 2009, whose anti-bias and racial healing work has won national recognition.  In 2014, Wei was one of ten people nationally awarded a Peace First Prize fellowship to continue his organizing work in peace studies and addressing bias harassment.  On February 2015, he was appointed by Mayor of Philadelphia to serve as Commissioner of Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.  Wei is also an accomplished Chinese Opera performer and has been a long-time volunteer with AAU’s Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival.

Nefertari Sloan, Sex Educator

Nefertari Sloan has been facilitating conversations with young people about healthy relationships, gender & sexuality, affirmative consent, sex positivity, and self esteem through Mazzoni Center since January 2016. Her primary inspirations are rooted in a passion for the continued empowerment of marginalized communities in America through resistance to countless societal constructs. Committed to unpacking the influences of racism, sexism, and erotophobia, Tari aims make learning about sexuality above all things a comfortable, consensual, and exciting experience.


Michelle Freeman, Founder & President, Witty Gritty

Michelle Freeman has over 15 years experience in marketing and events in Greater Philadelphia. As a lifelong resident, Michelle is strongly committed to Philadelphia and dedicates much of her work and focus around projects and initiatives that highlight economic growth and strengthen identity in neighborhoods and across sectors.

Michelle was named one of Drexel University's "40 Under 40" in 2015 and a top “Keeper and Connector” by Leadership Philadelphia in 2014. She was also identified as an Emerging Leader by the Philly DoGooder Awards in 2013, received the Emerging Leader Award from the Forum of Executive Women in 2011 and is part of the Economy League’s Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange.

Mailing Address

Young Involved Philadelphia PO Box 40699 Philadelphia, PA 19107