Trinity alumna Gloria M. Guard ’67, president of People’s Emergency Center, Pennsylvania’s oldest and most comprehensive organization serving homeless women, children and teenaged girls, will present the fifth Sower’s Seed Lecture on Wednesday, February 11, at 4:00 p.m. in Social Hall. Trinity students, faculty, staff, alumnae and friends are invited to attend the lecture.
Guard has devoted her life to social justice and the public interest and is a relentless advocate for the inclusion of impoverished inner city residents into the mainstream of the economic and social fabric. She believes that Philadelphia’s most vulnerable citizens should have the best possible housing, education, jobs, social services and technology. To this end, she builds partnerships, shares resources and provides leadership and encouragement to neighborhood groups, social service agencies, businesses, local and national political leaders, and — perhaps most important to her — students and young people, who will embody the principles of equity, opportunity and social justice well beyond her lifetime.
Guard is one of the most respected champions of social justice citywide – “a major artery in this town’s heart,” Philadelphia Daily News columnist Dan Geringer once wrote. As president of the People’s Emergency Center, she raises and administers a $9 million annual budget and supervises more than 80 staff. Her relentless work on behalf of the city’s most vulnerable citizens earned her The 2004 Philadelphia Award, an honor reserved for the city’s most notable philanthropists, artists, political visionaries and social activists. Most recently, she received the Gold Coin Award from Inglis Foundation and was named one of the 75 Greatest Living Philadelphians by the Philadelphia Eagles and Dunkin Donuts (2007).
Guard has cultivated the People’s Emergency Center into a nationally-recognized model serving more than 400 homeless women and children each year. More than 90 percent of the Center’s graduates remain self-sufficient after leaving the agency’s shelter, transitional-housing and job-training programs. The agency also works hand-in-hand with its affiliated Community Development Corporation, which Guard founded in 1983, which has a growing inventory of developed properties and community programs, totaling almost 200 units of affordable and special needs housing. Just as the Center has implemented many historic “firsts” in Pennsylvania (including the first parent-child education program for homeless families and the first homeless-family homeownership program), the Community Development Corporation is drawing national acclaim for its pioneering efforts. In conjunction with One Economy, the Corporation has launched Philadelphia’s first neighborhood-based Digital Inclusion Program, bringing computers, training and internet service to more than 250 low-income neighborhood families and creating the city’s first neighborhood-based wireless hotspot. Guard is now a member of the One Economy Board of Directors in Washington D.C.
Prior to becoming president of the People’s Emergency Center in 1983, Guard was the Pennsylvania state coordinator for refugees and was a community organizer for International Alcohol and Mental Health Associates.
After attending Trinity for three years, Guard earned her bachelor of arts from Marietta College in Ohio. She earned a master of law and social policy and master of social service from Byn Mawr College’s Graduate School of Social Work and participated in a program for senior executives at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Guard serves on numerous boards and advisory boards, including the Bryn Mawr School of Social Work’s Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh’s Affordable Housing Advisory Council, Homeless Assistance Fund, Inc., the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice’s Master of Science in Nonprofit/NGO Leadership Advisory Committee.
Established by Kelly Snider Dunn ’64 and her family, the Sower’s Seed program highlights alumnae who have incorporated the Catholic traditions of service and social justice that are central to the Trinity experience into their lives. The mission and teachings of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur are a special gift at Trinity, and through the generosity of the Sower’s Seed Fund, Trinity is able to share these gifts with new generations of Trinity students. This lecture series plants seeds of perspective, inspiration, and invitation as the Trinity community explores the experiences of Trinity graduates who have led lives in the service of others.
For more information, contact Ann Pauley, 202/884-9725, firstname.lastname@example.org