Featured Event | Film Screening

West Philadelphia Teach-In Part 2: Partnerships for Environmental Health and Justice (as We Face Climate Change) in West Philadelphia

September 23, 2020
4:00pm - 5:30pm

The Netter Center is organizing two Teach-Ins on West Philadelphia environmental and climate health, social justice, and the intersection of these issues. In these teach-ins, community leaders will share their perspectives on current challenges, priorities and hopes for the future.  Panelists will discuss opportunities for Penn partnerships and practical ways to engage in democratic, collaborative problem-solving that advances community health and resiliency in the face of climate change.

In “West Philadelphia Teach-In Part 2: Partnerships for Environmental Health and Justice (as We Face Climate Change) in West Philadelphia,” program leaders who confront environmental health, climate change, and environmental injustice in West Philadelphia will share their lessons learned and ideas about next steps.  

We will then transition into a participatory roundtable format where, through breakout rooms, discussion will be guided by the following prompts:

Prompt 1: What partnerships and activities in environmental health and justice are working now? What needs developing? How do we sustain? Improve? Grow? 

Prompt 2: How can universities work democratically and collaboratively with community partners to improve environmental health? 

Prompt 3: What next steps need to be taken? 


Phil Forsyth Headshot

Phil Forsyth

Co-Executive Director Philadelphia Orchard Project

Phil has led POP’s orchard design and development since the organization's first plantings in the spring of 2007. As Co-Executive Director, he works with POP’s board and staff to design and plant orchards, coordinate volunteers, lead educational programs, write grants and organize fundraising activities. Phil has eighteen years of experience in urban farming, gardening, and landscaping. He holds a BS in Horticulture and Landscape Design from Colorado State University and a Certificate in Permaculture Design & Teaching from the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute. In 2017, Phil received the first ever Mary Seton Corboy Award for Public Horticulture from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

Andy Huemmler

Andrew Huemmler

Senior Lecturer School of Engineering and Applied Science

Dr. Huemmler worked for Exelon and its predecessor, PECO Energy, for 20 years. He started his career at PECO as an energy conservation analyst and finished at Exelon's Power Team as a senior power transactor buying and selling electricity in wholesale power markets. He was a member of the New England Power Pool's Transmission Operations Committee and participated in the rulemaking process which created electricity markets in the northeast U.S. Prior to joining PECO Energy, Andy worked in the City of Philadelphia's Energy Office during Mayor William J. Green III’s administration. He authored an Energy Emergency Operations Plan for the City of Philadelphia and implemented the City's first neighborhood-based energy education program. Early in his career, Andy worked for a small hydropower developer and the Philadelphia Water Department, was elected to the Board of Directors of the Queen Village Neighbors Association for eight years and served as a Democratic committeeman in Philadelphia’s 2nd Ward. Currently he is on the Board of Directors of the Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia having served as Board President from 2014-2017. ECA provides community-based energy efficiency services and assistance to low-income families in Philadelphia, the poorest of America’s ten largest cities.

Tonya Green

Tonya Green

Teacher Henry C. Lea Elementary School
Susan Haidar

Susan Haidar

Environmental Education Planner Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Center, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation
Mayvish Ilyas

Mahvish Ilyas 

Solar Projects Coordinator Solarize Philly


Regina Bynum

Regina Bynum

Director of Teaching and Learning for University-Assisted Community School Programs The Netter Center for Community Partnerships
Anna Balfanz Headshot

Anna Balfanz

Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) Coordinator Netter Center for Community Partnerships

Anna Balfanz works at the Netter Center for Community Partnerships as their  Academically-Based Community Service (ABCS) Coordinator. In her previous role as an Emerson Fellow at the Netter Center, she coordinated and supported environmental health and environmental justice partnerships between the University of Pennsylvania and University-Assisted Community Schools (UACS) in West Philadelphia. Anna graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2019 with a degree in Environmental Studies.