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WHYY will broadcast The 82nd Philadelphia Award ceremony honoring Lorene Cary, on Sunday, August 24 at 6:00 pm. THE PHILADELPHIA AWARD features Cary, one of Philadelphia’s most respected authors, university lecturer and social activist, accepting the award last June at the Church of the Advocate in North Philadelphia. The prestigious award is presented to a citizen of the region who has done the most to “advance the best and largest interest” of the community.

Cary, author of the critically acclaimed book The Price of a Child , was recognized for being a respected writer, dedicated educator, cultural leader and social activist.

Cary’s friends, family and colleagues, including politicians, educators, business and cultural leaders, and community activists, gathered in the Church of the Advocate to help celebrate her achievement. The Church of the Advocate is home of Art Sanctuary, an organization founded by Cary that brings prominent minority writers and authors, musicians and poets to perform in North Philadelphia. Cary will create an endowment for Art Sanctuary with the $25,000 honorarium bestowed by The Award.

The Mistress of Ceremony was Michel Martin, ABC News Nightline Correspondent and Guest Anchor, who attended preparatory school with Cary in New England. “I don’t know where I would have been without her,” said Martin of her relationship with Cary during their school days together.

Keynote Speaker Charles Fuller, playwright and winner of the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for drama, described Cary as a whirlwind. “She is that rare person who’s commitment to her cause, Art Sanctuary, and the cultural revitalization and revival of North Philadelphia through art, poetry, music and literature…can sweep you up and carry you away,” Naomi Post Street, wife of Philadelphia Mayor John Street, also participated in the ceremony and stated to Cary,   “We are so blessed to have you in our city.”

The program features an electrifying performance by The Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble which left the audience members breathless.

“Lorene Cary is a writer with a unique and powerful voice, a community champion and local heroine,” said William J. Marrazzo, chair of the Philadelphia Award Trustees and President and CEO of WHYY, who presented the award to Cary.   “She is being honored because she is a visionary in arts and culture leadership, a respected educator and gifted storyteller who conveys the powerful themes of

family, spirituality, race and slavery.”

Cary joins a prestigious group of distinguished leaders who have won The Philadelphia Award, established in 1921 to honor the achievements of the men and women of Philadelphia, from many walks of life, who, while not pursing greatness, have achieved great things. Other winners include such luminaries as Marian Anderson, Eugene Ormandy, Edmund Bacon, Sister Mary Scullion, Ed Rendell and John Street.   Last year’s winner was Bernard C. Watson.

This program was produced by WHYY-TV. Trudi Brown is executive producer and Ed Cunningham is producer.

Funding for THE PHILADELPHIA AWARD was provided by Edward W. Bok Trust Fund.

Visit WHYY's Philadelphia Award website for more information and photos.

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