Mayor Kenney, Councilmember Gym to Be Among Those Present to Honor 2019’s Recipients –Including First Ever Male Ally Award


Lutheran Settlement House (LSH), one of Philadelphia’s longest continually run nonprofit agencies, is thrilled to announce the return of their annual Women of Courage awards ceremony and breakfast, Wednesday, May 8, 8-10 a.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia Center City, 237 S. Broad Street.

The Women of Courage awards and breakfast serves to honor and raise awareness of the work done in Philadelphia to empower adults, children and families as well as to raise funds for future LSH programming. Each year, LSH honors a community advocate alongside a standout individual from each scope of their services that has used the facilities programs to make truly live-changing moves. These services include: Jane Addams Place, a homeless shelter for mothers and their children; bilingual domestic violence programs, including a 24-hour domestic violence hotline; a senior center, and adult education and career development programs. For the first year ever, LSH will also be awarding the Male Ally Award to a male member of the community that has made an impact in the lives of at-risk families, adults and children.

This year, Councilmember Helen Gym will host the ceremony. Councilmember Gym is a longtime education and community organizer and the first Asian American woman elected to the Philadelphia City Council. She established the city’s first legal defense fund for tenants facing eviction and the first budget fund to address youth homelessness – two causes that directly support the work of LSH. Mayor Kenney will also be present to provide remarks and recognize the recipients.

Markita Morris-Louis, Esq. will receive the Visionary Leader award. Ms. Morris-Louis is the Executive Director of the Arts + Business Council (ABC) for Greater Philadelphia, overseeing programs that support arts and culture organizations and the larger Philadelphia creative community. Additionally, she serves on the Affordable Housing Advisory Council of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh where she is Vice Chair. In 2018, Markita was appointed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to the Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts Board to support the provision of legal services to Pennsylvania’s underserved. She’s dedicated to helping young women shatter glass ceilings and is determined to eradicate the scourge of imposter syndrome, particularly for women of color.

The first ever Male Ally Award will be presented to Dr. Joel Fein, the co-director of CHOP’s Violence Prevention Initiative, a multi-tiered, trauma informed approach to violence prevention that addresses bullying, intimate partner violence and peer youth violence. Dr. Fein is a professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the director of Advocacy and Health Policy for the Division of Emergency Medicine. He is also the director of outreach for The Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress, an intervention development center within the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

“Honoring our program participants’ hard work and resiliency is extremely gratifying,” said Katharyn Christian McGee, LSH board member/Development Committee chair and Duane Morris’ Pro Bono Counsel. “These tenacious women and men — who not only have overcome obstacles but extended their hands back to their communities — along with visionaries like Markita and Joel truly embody the spirit of Women of Courage. We look forward to celebrating their achievements.”

The funds raised during the Women of Courage awards and breakfast support services that provide housing and services to empower Philadelphia’s homeless population, bilingual domestic violence services, social supports to low-income seniors, and adult education and career development services. Tickets are on-sale now at

Social: @LSHPhilly #WomenofCourage2019 #SupportCourage

Photos: Markita Morris-Louis headshot; Joel Fein headshotMayor Kenney at 2018 Awards

Established in 1902, Lutheran Settlement House is a community-based nonprofit that was founded on the principles of the settlement house movement and originally served communities of newly arrived immigrants. Today, LSH continues to empower children, adults, and families living in Philadelphia through four main program areas: Jane Addams Place, a homeless shelter for mothers and their children, Bilingual Domestic Violence Program, Senior Center, and Adult Education & Career Development Program.

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