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PHRC employee honored as Philadelphia “Champion of the Week”

05/25/2023


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 25, 2023

PHRC employee honored as Philadelphia "Champion of the Week"
Ronnessa Edwards joins eight other Philadelphians recognized for their service

Philadelphia, PA- Today, Philadelphia City Council presented Ronnessa Edwards, Human Relations Representative III with a citation naming her as a 'Champion of the Week.' Edwards joins eight other Philadelphians recognized for devoting their careers to working as public servants in the City of Philadelphia and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson and a representative from Councilmember Isaiah Thomas' office presented the citation to the nine awardees during a city council meeting at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 25.

"At PHRC, Ronnessa is a tireless advocate, someone who constantly fights for justice, and a civil rights superstar," said Joel M. Bolstein, PHRC Chair. "And we congratulate her on this important and well-deserved recognition."

"Ronnessa Edwards is an amazing social justice warrior, and this is a wonderful accomplishment on so many humanitarian levels, said PHRC Executive Director, Chad Dion Lassiter. "The PHRC is proud of her not solely because of this recognition but also because of this recognition. Congratulations, I know you will continue to fight for justice and social change."

Ronnessa Edwards worked as a Behavioral Specialist for a non-profit organization and a Youth Studies Counselor for the City of Philadelphia's Youth Study Center, a detention center for delinquent youth. In these roles, Ronnessa often mentored black and brown youth who identified as members of the LGBTQ community. She has spent most of her career as a civil servant with the Pennsylvania State Government, serving in the capacities of Income Maintenance Caseworker, Corrections Counselor, and currently as a Human Relations Representative III with the PA Human Relations Commission (PHRC), where her primary duties are to supervise investigations of civil rights' complaints and facilitate trainings to educate the private and public sector about implicit bias, unlawful discrimination, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Ronnessa is devoted to SEIU Local 668, currently serving as the Vice Chairperson in SEIU's Chapter 12 Philadelphia location. She also holds the position of Chairperson for Local 668's Civil Rights committee— facilitating community outreach efforts such as GOTV and voter registration.

"As a public servant in Philadelphia, I do this work because I believe it makes a difference and because I want to help the marginalized citizens of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania," said Ronnessa Edwards. "It is an honor to be recognized for my work and I will continue to fight for justice and equality for all."

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