The site westphillyhistory.com, is a collaboration between the Islamic Cultural Preservation and Information Council and People’s Emergency Center
People’s Emergency Center (PEC) and the Islamic Cultural Preservation and Information Council (ICPIC) launched westphillyhistory.com this week. West Philadelphia has often attracted national and international attention for its prominent role in our nation’s history.
These neighborhoods west of the Schuylkill River have a rich cultural identity unique to the city of Philadelphia, making it a place of significance within a ‘city of firsts.’ The interactive map pinpoints sites of historic significance ranging from the Lenape Indian settlements in the 1600s to Malcom X and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960’s – up to the present day. Visitors to the site can take a virtual tour, filter events by categories such as arts and culture or social movements, or walk through history using the timeline.
PEC, ICPIC, and local historian Scott Maits worked with community members from all walks of life to research events of note. Visitors to the site are welcome to share their stories and photographs. The site was developed by the team at Interactive Mechanics.
This project emerged from PEC’s most recent neighborhood planning process, which took place in 2012 and resulted in the creation of the Make Your Mark! Lower Lancaster Revitalization Plan. During this process neighbors expressed their desire for more programming that highlights West Philadelphia’s rich history and celebrates the community’s cultural identity.
The People’s Emergency Center’s mission is to nurture families, strengthen neighborhoods and drive change in West Philadelphia. Through a community of more than 250 housing units and five educational centers offering job training, parenting and early childhood education, financial education and planning, life skills and technology coursework, PEC seeks to change the life trajectory for the women and children who seek its services and inspire them to aspire to new heights. PEC’s community development programs respond to community needs and build on neighborhood assets to help bridge the digital divide, expand mixed-income housing opportunities, stimulate economic growth, create wealth, and improve the quality of life for all West Philadelphia residents. For more information, visit pec-cares.org and lancasteravephilly.com.
Spanning the past two decades, the Islamic Cultural Preservation and Information Council (ICPIC) is the most progressive African-American Islamic cultural organization in the country. ICPIC is the organizer of the annual Islamic Heritage Festival and the New Africa Center museum. For more information please contact [email protected] or visit their website at www.newafricacenter.com.