Friends of UrbEd,

The young organizers of UrbEd are not only the leaders of tomorrow, they are leading a movement today! We are fighting for schools, for our voices to be heard, and for our safety… As an organization that seeks to reimagine Philadelphia schools, it is crucial that we are led by those in it: those who know the community, the struggles, and beauty in a public school education. How can we reimagine public schools and not be in them? How can we share the voices of 200,000+ students and not be one ourselves? Our new leadership structure not only ensures UrbEd is an anti-racist and collaborative space but one that ensures we let students lead… one that turns student-energy, student-experiences, and student-power, into action. 

With the role of Co-ED of administration and strategy already filled, I am excited to introduce the selection from the committee for our Co-ED of Advocacy, Erin Gill-Wilson. The path to finding someone who could enter our space and through collaboration, create change, took us admittedly longer than expected… but it was beyond worth the wait. 

A current High School student in the Philadelphia School District, Erin has been an advocate for Philly youth long before she applied for the position. You may have seen her fight for students following the creation of her nonprofit organization, Mentally E.A.T. with Erin, or in her other endeavors: educating others about gun violence, equity in education, mental health inside and out of schools, and domestic violence. She has been an intern for the PA Attorney General’s office for community research purposes. Any space she occupies, Erin makes an impact on others, she moves the community forward. 

Erin says to the UrbEd family “With UrbEd I hope to have a huge impact on the quality of education students in the Philadelphia school system are getting. The education now is not equitable at all and it barely touches on topics we need to know as in reproductive justice, anti-racism strategies, financial literacy, and many more. Despite the acknowledgement, there is not much action being taken with the result of change. Therefore, I hope for UrbEd to organize and create strategies for action, working for students to get the education that we long deserve. Moving forward for UrbEd, I hope for our voices to be heard. If not, doing everything in our power to make them heard. I also hope for us to advocate for others who cannot advocate for themselves. I am excited to be considered for this role. Being able to work with others to create the change that I want to see in my education is a beautiful opportunity. As I mentioned before, I see great things continuing for UrbEd, and being a part of that in any way possible will be wonderful to me.” 

Support Erin and the UrbEd community as we change the lives of young people by donating today to UrbEd or joining us in our fight for schools. 

Brandon Archer, Co-Executive Director Administration and Strategy 
Erin Gill-Wilson, Co-Executive Director Advocacy

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