Philadelphia Woman to be Honored By White House

white-house-north-2007-djPhiladelphia’s own Helen Gym will be honored by the White House as a Cesar Chavez Champion of Change this Monday, March 31.

Gym will be honored, along with 9 other community activists, for her tireless efforts to fight for social justice and enact change in her community.

The event coincides with Cesar Chavez Day as well as the release of the Cesar Chavez movie, which is set to hit theaters in the U.S. tomorrow.

After viewing the film, President Barack Obama discussed the important role that Chavez played in American history, and how he was a shining example of what individuals can achieve if they are dedicated to change.

“One of the great lessons of Cesar’s life (is) that you don’t give up the fight. No matter how long it takes, no matter how long the odds, you keep going, fueled by a simple creed – si se puede.”

Gym is being recognized for her tireless efforts as a community and education leader in Philadelphia. She is the co-founder of the Parents United for Public Education organization, a group that has successfully lobbied for millions of dollars in public school funding, and she is also the head of the board for Asian Americans United.

Gym is a former teacher and journalist, and that experience shaped much of her advocacy work. Aside from her involvement in education, she also helped to establish Philadelphia Public School Notebook, the first independent education newspaper in the city, and she is currently on the editorial board of Rethinking Schools, a social justice teaching journal. She is only 28 years old.

The Champions of Change program honors special individuals who are working to develop resources and build partnerships to strengthening causes for equality. The event itself can be viewed by visiting www.whitehouse.gov/live at 10 a.m. this upcoming Monday.

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