ctober 16, 2021

A Day for All Ages

There are civic-themed programs scheduled throughout the day.  The theme are youth or what we call our future leaders.  This day will have leaders pour into our youth with innovative, fun, educational programming to help them discover how important their involvement in civics is important to our community.

In the spirit of applied civic engagement, there is a state-wide judicial candidate forum.  

Check out the programming below and RSVP for those you are interested in.  This  day of events will take place at a location within the historic Independence National Park.  Exact location will be provided upon registration.






October 16, 2021

Independence National Park (Exact Location Provided After Registration)

A Day for All Ages

There are civic-themed programs scheduled throughout the day.  The theme are youth or what we call our future leaders.  This day will have adult and youth leaders pour into our youth with innovative, fun, educational programming to help them discover how important civic engagement is important to our community.

Check out the programming below and RSVP for those you are interested in.  You can sign up for one or more!  Bring a buddy.

This  day of events will take place at the National Constitution Center.  Please do not contact the National Constitution Center directly.  For all questions, please email nicole@communityheropa.org.

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10:00 am

Specific instructions provided with registration confirmation.  Location is easy to find and ADA accessible.   

10:20 am
Health and Safety

Masks are required for all attendees over age of two (2).  The venue is enclosed, however, seating is being reduced to allow for distancing.  There is also access to outdoor patio area.


10:45 am
Food & Drink

Continental Breakfast from 9:30a-10:30a, Snack Break w/soft pretzels and goodies at 11:30p, and box lunch buffet with fruits and salad at 2pm.  No outside food or drink allowed.


The Day's Agenda

10:00AM-11:30AM   Youth Mock Court



The best of the best will be facilitating this engaging 1.5 hr mock court session.  Watch some of our area's youth take the stand, defend justice, or be the judge.  REGISTER TODAY.

The Honorable Judge CAROLYN NICHOLS

Judge Carolyn Nichols serves on the Pennsylvania Superior Court. Nichols is currently the only black woman to hold one of the 31 appellate court seats in Pennsylvania. She is a strong proponent of equal access to justice.


  • Eastern University, MBA, 2002
  • Temple University School of Law, Masters in Law Degree (LLM) in Trial Advocacy, 1994
  • Temple University School of Law, J.D. 1985
  • Temple University Tyler School of Art, BFA, 1978

Professional Experience

  • Elected as Common Pleas Court Judge, Philadelphia County, 2011
  • Private law practice, 2008 - 2011; and 1996 - 1999
  • Deputy Finance Director, and MBEC Director, City of Philadelphia, 2006 - 2008
  • Deputy Secretary of External Affairs, Mayor's Office, City of Philadelphia, 2005 - 2006
  • General Counsel, Philadelphia Parking Authority, 1999 - 2005
  • PHDC Legal Counsel, City of Philadelphia, 1995 - 1996
  • Legislative Assistant to Philadelphia Councilwoman Augusta Clarke, 1994-1995
  • Assistant City Solicitor, City of Philadelphia, 1991 -1994
Keisha Hudson-Brooks, Esq

Keisha is currently a Professor at Temple Law School, teaching courses on Legal Research and Writing and Criminal Procedure.   She was previously the Managing Director at the Appeal.  Prior to the Appeal, she was the Deputy Chief Defender of the Montgomery County Defender Office in Montgomery  County, PA.

Prior to joining the Montgomery County Defenders, Ms. Hudson spent ten years as an attorney with the Federal Defender, Capital Habeas Unit (Eastern District of Pennsylvania) where she represented clients sentenced to death in their state-post conviction and federal habeas appeals.  She began her public defense career at the Defender Association of Philadelphia.

Ms. Hudson received both her undergraduate and law degrees from Cornell University.

12:00PM-1:30PM   Youth Theatre Performance


"How's Your Vote Gonna Count if YOu Don't Vote"

These amazing teens are using Forum Theatre as an artistic call to action to increase voter education and registration in their piece, "How's your Voice Gonna Matter if You Don't Vote."

This creation is directed by Just Act  )and is proudly supported by Philly Neighborhood Networks, and The Center for Artistic Activism.

Don't miss out on this fun and informative performance.


LEARN MORE ABOUT pa youth vote ensemble

Through youth programming and peer-to-peer voter registration, teacher and organizational partnerships, and advocacy across the state, we work to ensure youth are prepared to vote on election day and become civic leaders.  Learn more about PA Youth Vote at payouthvote.org.


Just Act creates brave spaces for individuals and communities who experience systematic discrimination and those in solidarity with them, to think critically about inequality and injustice, and to create and practice new ways for making personal and collective change.  To learn more visit justact.org.

2:00PM-4:00PM   Lunch and a Movie with a Twist
Lunch and movie, with a twist

Bring a friend and come watch an excerpt of the funny Chris Rock documentary, "Good Hair," and offer a safe space for discussion.

Lunch, learning, and fun is served at this fun event in which we will watch Chris Rock's popular documentary to get to the root of the internal pressure in the Black community regarding natural styles and also the discrimination that exists externally and what actions can be taken.

IGNITE and PRHC will both be on hand to discuss your rights to wear your hair natural without discrimination at school and in the workplace.

The forum will end with a short natural hair workshop where attendees can learn how to braid.  Did we mention that lunch will be served?  REGISTER NOW.  Seats are limited.

Facilitator- IGNITE & Kaya Jones

Kaya Jones is a Temple University alum and former IGNITE fellow.

She was the Vice President of Temple University Student Government, making history as the first all-women's ticket, a member of the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success, Diversity Peer, Dean’s List Scholar, and Temple University Diamond Award recipient.

She dedicates a lot of her time to advance equity, equality, diversity, and inclusion for women and minorities in leadership positions.

After studying abroad in Rome, Italy, Kaya gained a passion for traveling to different countries and experiencing new cultures. In her spare time, Kaya’s hobbies include recreational boxing, cooking new recipes, and real estate.

Presentation-PA Human Relations Commission

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) enforces state laws that prohibit discrimination:  the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, which covers discrimination in employment, housing, commercial property, education and public accommodations; and the Pennsylvania Fair Educational Opportunities Act, which is specific to postsecondary education and secondary vocational and trade schools. 

Chad Dion Lassiter, MSW

Chad Dion Lassiter, MSW

Chad Dion Lassiter, MSW | Executive Director, PA Human Relations Commission

Kaya Jones

Kaya Jones

Kaya Jones, BA Community Leader, IGNITE Fellow

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4:00PM-5:15PM  Power Talk:  The Fight for Fair Funding in Our Schools

This forum will discuss how urban communities will be impacted by Pennsylvania's School Funding Lawsuit.  The panel will focus on the current lawsuit including the history, implications, and how black and brown communities may be impacted by this historic lawsuit.  Panelists to be announced.  This talk will be led by the Urban League of Philadelphia's Director of  Advocacy and Communication, Tomas J. Varela Jr.

Power talk: The fight for fair funding in our Schools

This virtual forum will discuss the impact of an upcoming historic lawsuit on urban communities.  The panel will focus on the history, and implications on Black and Brown communities.  Panelists to be announced.  Please register for the forum and submit any questions that you may have for the panelists.

Tomas Varela, Jr., MPH | Moderator

Tomas C. Varela Jr. currently holds the position of Director of Advocacy & Communication for The Urban League of Philadelphia where he leads the advocacy and communications needs for the 103-year-old civil rights organization. Previous roles included Health Professions Advisor at Rowan University, Assistant Director at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Assistant Director at George Washington University School of Medicine. He holds a Master of Public Health degree from The George Washington University and is also a graduate of Temple University.

Outside of work, Tomas has maintained a commitment to the community through his professional affiliations. He currently serves on the board of Freedom Prep Charter School. Past service included board service with the Urban League of Philadelphia, President of NExT Philadelphia – Urban League of Philadelphia, Temple University Black Alumni Alliance, and the Chester Alumni Foundation. He is a graduate of the National Urban League Emerging Leaders Program, DiverseForce Board Governance program, and the Philadelphia chapter of New Leaders Council.

A native of Providence, Rhode Island, he is the eldest of three children raised by Cape Verdean immigrants. He currently lives with his wife and two children in Sicklerville, NJ. As a first-generation college graduate, the opportunity to work with students who share similar experiences and challenges has been a great motivating factor. Seeing that he is someone who benefitted from opportunities presented to him, he hopes to inspire other students to maximize their potential and push towards “Achievement in Every Field of Human Endeavor”.

Tomeo Sippio-Smith, Esq | presenter

Angelique is the co-founder and executive director of PA Youth Vote, where she is building coalitions among young voters across Pennsylvania to give them the tools they need to become advocates in their communities.  She is also a Board Member of Community Hero Pennsylvania and President of the Norristown NAACP.

She is a relationship builder and community leader with expertise in creating enthusiasm for voting and civic engagement. By teaching my community about voting and helping folks register.  She has a track record of driving high voter turnout in traditionally underserved communities. Her feet-on-the-street approach to understanding voters’ needs ensures that she develops advocacy and outreach programs that resonate and motivate.

She also served as the Philadelphia Regional Organizer for “My School Votes," an initiative of Michelle Obama’s organization, When We All Vote.

She is a hands-on leader that has been featured nationally on a riveting piece on 60 Minutes, "Battle for the Ballot" to spotlight the grassroots works she was doing in Pennsylvania.

Angelique Hinton | guest speaker

Angelique Hinton, the co-founder of PA Youth Vote, encourages young people ages 18 to 24 to choose their elected leaders wisely. As a political and community organizer, she has created winning outreach and voter and volunteer mobilization programs for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, state-wide elected officials, and My School Votes, an initiative of Michelle Obama’s nonpartisan nonprofit organization, When We All Vote. 

Before transitioning into civic engagement, Angelique managed client services at the financial services company Vanguard.

Additionally, Angelique is the President of Norristown NAACP and a board member of Expressive Path, and Community Hero Action Group. She is also a member of the advisory board of the New Pennsylvania Project.

Tomas Varela Jr., MPH

Tomas Varela Jr., MPH

Tomas Varela, Director of Advocacy and Communication, Urban League of Philadelphia

tomeo sippio-smith, esq

tomeo sippio-smith, esq

K-12 Education Policy Director, Children First (Formerly PCCY)

Tomas Varela Jr., MPH

Tomas Varela Jr., MPH

Angelique Hinton, Executive Director PA Youth Votes & Board Member Community Hero Action Group

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