Councilwoman Helen Gym to be Fels 2018 Commencement Speaker

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Helen Gym
February 13, 2018

The Fels Institute of Government is pleased to announce that Helen Gym, Councilwoman-at-Large and the first Asian American woman to ever serve on Philadelphia’s City Council, will be the Commencement Speaker for Fels’ 2018 Graduation Ceremony.


Councilwoman Gym, a Penn alumna, assumed office in 2016 following more than two decades as one of Philadelphia’s leading community organizers in the areas of public education and immigrant rights. Throughout her career, Councilwoman Gym has relied on the ideas of context, analysis, and practice to fuel her action and advocacy on behalf of vulnerable communities within the Philadelphia region, and has been an active voice for social justice in Philadelphia and across the nation. Additionally, throughout her career, Gym has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Philadelphia Inquirer Citizen of the Year, the White House Cesar Chavez Champion of Change award, and the 2017 Rising Star Award from EMILY’s List, a national organization that supports women in public office.


“We are thrilled that Councilwoman Gym, who has demonstrated impressive tenacity in a career spanning the classroom, the community, and now the council chamber, has agreed to speak at our Graduation Ceremony,” said Fels Executive Director Nelson Lim, “We eagerly look forward to this important day.”


This year’s Fels Graduation Ceremony is scheduled to be held on Sunday, May 13th, 2018. The Fels staff encourages future graduates to keep an eye out for further details regarding the ceremony, including information on regalia, guests, times, and more.

Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326

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