This month, we said goodbye to Sylvia Watts McKinney, who departs Summer Search after leading our Philadelphia community, as Executive Director, since 2017.
It would take countless blogs, videos, posts, and pages to fully represent what Sylvia has meant to Summer Search, our young people, and the city of Philadelphia, but a few highlights are:
- Securing a transformational gift and stewarding the relationship with Philadelphia Eagles defensive end and Super Bowl Champion, Chris Long.
- Conceiving of and being one of the leaders of the network-wide Black Lives Matter series and Championing for Justice and Equity (CJE) initiative, which helped our larger community heal, knowledge-share, and act when it comes to topics of social justice.
- Spearheading Summer Search's partnership with Aon's Apprenticeship Program and modeling leadership for apprenticeships.
Navigating Race with Excellence
Did you know that in 2021, Sylvia had the opportunity to present at a TEDx Talk?!
Building on the momentum from our CJE series, Sylvia brings the conversation to the TEDx community about the two most difficult topics in America: Race and Racism.
We invite you to take some of her wisdom and perspective with you and watch her talk here, "Navigating Race with Excellence," via TEDxIntrepidAveStudio.
[An excerpt from Sylvia's TEDx Talk]
"In closing, to navigate this new world with grace and excellence, let’s unpack the past struggles and all of the successes from 400 years ago to today to show how we can love and live in a just and equitable society for all. Here are a few questions for you and all the people you know and love:
What have you done about all of this?
What do you intend to do about all of this – now and in the future?
Where have you shown grace and courage?
By the graces of the universe, this may not be your story, but it could have been and someday, it may actually be. Your words and your actions will take you where you need to be."
Thank you Sylvia for being a true champion for Summer Search's young people and for Philadelphia!
We send our heartfelt congratulations on your next venture as CEO of Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center (one of Summer Search's partners!).