For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development

Library Launches Philadelphia Partnership for Peace

Free Library of Philadelphia, and the House of Umoja, WXPN FM, and the Atwater Kent Museum, Receive Grant to Address Youth Violence

PHILADELPHIA, PA - The Free Library of Philadelphia today announced it has received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services*, a federal agency, to fund the Partnership for Peace Project, a two-year program in collaboration with the House of Umoja, WXPN FM’s Kids Corner, and the Atwater Kent Museum, to address youth violence.

“The Free Library of Philadelphia, the House of Umoja, WXPN FM, and the Atwater Kent Museum will use the grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to establish a multifaceted program to address the issue of youth violence in a way no single agency could accomplish,” said Reverend Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr., chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Free Library of Philadelphia and founder of Amachi, a national mentoring program for children of incarcerated parents. “Each institution will bring to the project its own unique expertise and audience and we will use the established infrastructures of the Free Library’s LEAP after-school programs and WXPN’s ‘Kids Corner’ programming to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of the program.”

While other metropolitan cities have seen a decrease in violence over the past several years,

Philadelphia has already seen 290 murders since January 1, 2006. Even more alarming is that a greater percentage of these crimes were perpetrated by youths under the age of 24.

The Philadelphia Partnership for Peace will explore and make use of the House of Umoja’s history and their successful 1970s antiviolence campaign which significantly reduced youth participation in gang violence. The House of Umoja draws from the history of the ancient West African city of Djenné, famous for its commitment to nonviolence. With the recent crime in Philadelphia, youth taking part in the program will be encouraged to commit to peaceful resolution by signing the IMANI nonviolence pledge.

Designed to accommodate different modes of learning, the Philadelphia Partnership for Peace will develop lessons in various formats using an educational DVD; special Free Library of Philadelphia after-school programming; historical exhibitions at branch libraries and the Atwater Kent Museum; and storyteller segments on Kids Corner. The grant period will begin October 1, 2006, and run for two years.

The Free Library of Philadelphia system consists of 49 branches, three regional libraries, the Central Library, and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. With more than six million visits annually, the Free Library is one of the most widely-used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia.

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*Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.


Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850