Monica Allison Recognized for Changing Spaces, Places and Lives

Cedar Park Neighbors was thrilled to learn in early January the good news that our esteemed President, Monica Allison, was chosen as a recipient of the University of Pennsylvania 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Involvement Recognition Award. The award is presented annually to several community members for their involvement and contributions to building community in one or more of the following ways:

• Promoting nonviolence

• Combining religious beliefs with positive social action

• Working toward racial equality and harmony

• Advocating for/working with disenfranchised people

The award was presented at a special Interfaith Program and Awards Commemoration on January 19th, 2012 in Houston Hall at the University of Pennsylvania. The program also included poetry and musical performances from the Penn community and an inspirational address from guest speaker Eboo Patel, Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core. The following introduction was read about Monica at the awards presentation:

Peacemaker, advocate for the voiceless, logical, achiever, socially conscious, tolerant, tactful, unselfish, and adept are a few adjectives that describe Monica Allison. These are the qualities that have made it possible for Monica to change spaces, places, and lives in theWest Philadelphiaarea. Currently she serves as President of Cedar Park Neighbors (CPN), a community association that serves the West Philadelphia ­neighborhood ofCedarPark. As a member of CPN’s Park Improvement Committee, Monica has helped to transformCedarParkinto a warm and welcoming space that is currently home to the annual Cedar Park Jazz Series. Monica has been pivotal in making this series the much- anticipated event it is known for today. She has demonstrated extraordinary ­commitment to youth, anti-violence and addressing the needs of those returning to the community from the penal system. As a mother of a high school student and a college student herself, Monica takes great interest in the education of our youth. She runs her own tutoring and mentoring program for middle and high school students who are participating in cyber charter schools and is constantly involved in the ongoing work around the West Philadelphia High School.

Those of us who have worked with Monica can attest to the above qualities and accomplishments and many more. We are so proud of Monica and grateful for her leadership and service inCedarPark. Congratulations, Monica! This article is reprinted from our March 2012 newsletter.  Didn't receive the newsletter?  Please join CPN today.