Contact: Barbara Beck
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APM CELEBRATES 50 YEARS AND COUNTING
Landmark anniversary to unfold throughout the year with new initiatives, community events and a star-studded speaker series
PHILADELPHIA—(February 3, 2020)—In 1970, a group of Puerto Rican veterans of the Vietnam War returned home to Philadelphia and saw that many basic social services were unavailable to the city’s Hispanic residents. They founded the Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (Association of Puerto Ricans on the Move or APM) with the goal of bringing these services and other opportunities to the community. Still going strong in 2020, APM is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a yearlong slate of special events and programs.
Today’s APM serves more than 40,000 people a year and runs programs in housing assistance, employment training, physical and mental health, early childhood education, family counseling and other community services.
“This is a remarkable milestone for the residents of the neighborhoods we serve,” said Nilda Ruiz, APM’s president and chief executive officer. “APM has now brought life-programs to thousands of people. We’re everywhere our families are, and we never stop innovating and growing. That’s what keeps us timeless.”
Throughout 2020, APM will bring people together around the lessons that it has lived by: everyone, no matter who they are or where they come from, is equally deserving of respect and opportunity.
Throughout 2020, the anniversary will bring people together through social impact initiatives and community events that reflect APM’s unifying messages.
One highlight will be APM’s 2020 Speaker Series, featuring thought leaders, experts and activists in public panel discussions on key current issues. The panels will be held at WHYY (150 N 6th Street) from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tickets are available at APM’s website at apmphila.org; go to the “Newsroom and Events” tab and click on “APM Speaker Series.”
The series will include the following panels:
Behavioral Health: Actress and author Mackenzie Phillips will speak at a Feb. 13 panel on behavioral health issues facing communities, including access to mental health care, substance abuse and rising suicide rates. This discussion will bring together professionals in health care and academia with public policy and community stakeholders.
Education: Sonia Manzano, who brought a Latina voice to “Sesame Street” as “Maria” from 1971 to 2015, will join panelists discussing early childhood education on March 19. Panelists will identify the best tools and resources as APM invests in children and their families.
Community and Economic Development: John Quinones, an ABC News correspondent and host of “What Would You Do?”, will highlight a panel of experts on community and economic development on April 22. Non-profit organizations throughout Philadelphia have worked for decades to create homeownership, affordable rentals and economic opportunities for low-income residents. This panel will examine the effectiveness of these efforts.
Child Protective Services: Child safety activist Elizabeth Smart joins a panel on child protective care services on May 21. Those in the foster care community work to improve the safety, permanency and well-being of children and families. Nonetheless, children in foster care often experience long-lasting trauma. This panel will look at possibilities and solutions.