Community Briefs: Dining Out For Life; Feminist Flea Market; Morris Home; Philadelphia FIGHT

Illustration by Ash Cheshire.

Dining Out For Life returns  

Dining Out For Life, the annual fundraising program of Action Wellness that raises funds for people living with HIV, is set for April 28, 2022. Through the fundraiser, community members can have dinner out in a participating restaurant, which then donates a percentage of its sales to Action Wellness. 

“This event supports vital services for people living with HIV in the region,” Kevin Burns, executive director of Action Wellness, said in an email. “Funding from this event supports our volunteer Buddy Program and fills gaps in funding for medical case management and housing assistance programs at Action Wellness. We are very grateful for the support the community provides through this event. Dine out – end HIV!”

Some of the participating restaurants include Barbuzzo, City Winery, Continental Midtown, The Dandelion, Harp and Crown, Loco Pez Fishtown, Pizzeria Stella, Sampan, El Vez, Talula’s Garden and more. 

Action Wellness will also host the new event Dining Out For Life Trips of a Lifetime Auction, a virtual event that will contribute to the organization’s HIV care services. Donated by the organization’s nonprofit partner American Fundraising Foundation (AmFund), winners have three years to take their trips, which include luxurious accommodations, two roundtrip flights and a travel agent who will take care of the booking. The auction is open April 21 and closes April 29 at 12 p.m.   

Dining Out For Life sponsors this year include AmFund, Avita, Exude, PGN, Subaru and SunRay. Yard’s Brewing Company, which will rename its signature IPA to Action IPA on April 28, will donate a percentage of its sales to Action Wellness. More info about the event can be found at

Feminist Flea and Grant Blvd to host sustainable marketplace

Feminist Flea Market & Craft Fair is teaming up with the sustainable, Black woman-owned fashion brand Grant Blvd to produce the event A Sustainable Marketplace. Taking place on April 23 at Cherry Street Pier, the market will feature over 40 vendors selling items such as plant-dyed natural fibers, handmade paper, repurposed thrift store items and much more. 

A Sustainable Marketplace began as a pre-pandemic idea of Grant Blvd founder and CEO Kimberly McGlonn and Zissel Aronow, who runs the production company House Cat and organizes the Feminist Flea Market.

“This marketplace is one chapter in a long journey to organize organic responses to climate catastrophe and centuries of institutionalized marginalization,” McGlonn said in a press release. 

“I was wary of hosting something like this because the sustainability movement is full of greenwashing and an emphasis on individual actions and I don’t want the market to feel like an extension of that,” Aronow said in the release. “I truly want A Sustainable Marketplace to contribute to a reimagining of sustainability.” 

All Feminist Flea events are by and for creators who are marginalized because of their gender, especially trans and nonbinary individuals. Feminist Flea prioritizes BIPOC vendors. 

“We need this in Philadelphia,” vendor Melanie Hasan, CEO and founder of Modest Transitions, said in a press release. “I love doing artisan markets but sometimes feel like I don’t fit in because what I make is inspired by nature, and being in fiber arts as a Black Muslim woman, I run into very discriminating situations. Every time I have the pleasure to vend at Feminist Flea, I’m honored because it’s a group of people I fit in with.”

Proceeds from the market will support The Urban Creators, “a platform for radical and collaborative imagination.” The Rounds, a zero-waste delivery and refill business, is sponsoring the market. Entry costs $5, and attendees will be asked to wear masks, especially those who are unvaccinated. For more info, visit

Morris Home opens new facility in West Philly

Morris Home, a program of the human services organization Resources for Human Development (RHD) recently relocated to 23 S. 44th St. in West Philadelphia. Morris Home is the only rehabilitation facility in the U.S. that’s designed to provide treatment for trans and gender nonconforming people experiencing addiction. 

To mark the occasion, Morris Home held a grand re-opening ceremony on April 12, which featured multiple speakers including RHD CEO Marco Giordano; ACLU Trans Rights Organizer Naiymah Sanchez, who spoke about what she would like to see for the future based on her own experiences; and “graduated” residents of Morris Home. A current Morris Home resident shared a performance with attendees. 

The reason for the relocation, according to Morris Home Program Director Laura Sorensen, is the ability to serve 14 members instead of nine, as well as providing increased safety for residents. 

In a press release, Sorensen communicated residents’ thoughts on the new space, saying that they find it to be therapeutic. “The new location creates the environment our members deserve,” Sorensen said in the release. 

One feature of Morris Home’s new, state-of-the-art complex is a SMART (Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Therapy) room, which includes different stimulation tools to be used during therapy sessions. A monetary donation from the clothing brand Anthropologie contributed to Morris Home’s new, modernized location. 

FIGHT promotes staff members of color

Four people of color were promoted to chief or director positions at Philadelphia FIGHT: Winner Bell, Akia Feggans, Catrina Peeples and Assata Thomas. The four have substantial experience working in the nonprofit sector, and are accomplished employees of FIGHT. 

Bell, MSW, was promoted to chief education officer. Over their last half decade at FIGHT, they have managed Project TEACH and helmed its expansion to Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and Delaware, Montgomery and Barto Counties; led the first and now annual virtual AIDS Education Month Prevention Summit; incorporated digital literacy into all education department programs and advocated for the creation of learning management system programming to bolster the effectiveness of remote learning.

Feggans, MSW, LCSW, is now the chief integrated behavioral health officer of Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers. She started out at FIGHT’s Diana Baldwin Clinic (DBC) where she provided outpatient therapy to people living with HIV, and quickly gained a reputation for being a passionate, direct and caring provider. She became clinical supervisor of DBC, and was later promoted to director of behavioral health, where she managed DBC and the TREE Intensive Outpatient Program for those in recovery from chronic mental illness and substance abuse. 

Peeples was promoted to director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. With 22 years of progressive experience in Human Resources, she previously worked as FIGHT’s Human Resources operations manager, and first joined the organization as the Human Resources Information System/Benefits administrator. She is known for her forward-thinking leadership, interpersonal skills and trustworthiness in handling sensitive HR issues. 

Thomas is the new chief community justice officer for FIGHT’s Institute for Community Justice program. She manages the provision of support, education and advocacy for individuals, families and communities affected by mass incarceration. Thomas’s two decades of experience in social services started with her work as a corrections officer in New Jersey. She is devoted to social justice “and building a society emancipated from the socially inequitable (and calloused/profoundly destructive) system of mass incarceration.”

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