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Umoja

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NEWS
September 28, 1991 | E.W. FAIRCLOTH/ DAILY NEWS
Firefighter Gregory Pridgen shows children how to handle a real fire hose, as Steve Galante looks on yesterday on North Frazier Street, where the two members of Engine 41, Ladder 24, joined a block party to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the founding of the House of UMOJA, under the leadership of Sister Falaka Fattah. The block party was followed by a celebration at the Penn Towers Ballroom at 34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard.
NEWS
June 17, 1987 | By Dick Polman, Inquirer Staff Writer
She had never heard of Paul Simon, but she's happy to take his money. The phone call came earlier this spring to her West Philadelphia office. Julian Bond, the civil-rights activist, wanted to speak with Sister Falaka Fattah. She figured it was a joke. She has spent the last 19 years helping bad kids go straight, and sometimes they play pranks. But she took the call. Julian Bond told her that singer Paul Simon was adding eight cities to his Graceland tour and that Philadelphia would host two gigs, beginning tonight.
NEWS
November 25, 1994 | by Marc Meltzer, Daily News Staff Writer
The House of Umoja, the West Philadelphia foster home and enrichment center founded by Sister Falaka Fattah for urban youth, is getting a special award from the charitable arm of the Philadelphia Bar Association. "Sister Fattah and the House of Umoja have done more at the grass-roots level than anyone else I know to prevent crime and save the youth of this city," said Benjamin Lerner, chairman of the committee for the Philadelphia Bar Foundation's 1994 Louis D. Apothaker Award.
NEWS
February 13, 1988 | By LEON TAYLOR, Daily News Staff Writer
The city fire marshal's office continues to investigate a one-alarm fire that damaged a residence and cultural center at the House of Umoja complex on Frazier Street near Master in West Philadelphia yesterday, fire officials said. Ten youths escaped the 10:04 a.m. fire at the Martin Luther King Cultural Center, said House of Umoja founder Sister Falaka Fattah. The building was badly damaged and an exhibit featuring a model of the West African city of Jenne - considered to be among the world's most beautiful cities during the 12th Century - suffered severe smoke and water damage.
NEWS
April 10, 2012 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer
FRANCES ELLEN Brown Davenport was a journalist in Philadelphia back in the bad old days of the '60s, when violent teenage gangs were running wild in the city streets. And she had a journalist's curiosity. "I wanted to know why children were killing each other," she said. "I asked my husband to do some research for me. I wanted to get a handle on the problem. " Then came a shock. Her husband, David Fattah Sr., discovered that her 16-year-old son, Robin, was a gang member.
NEWS
February 15, 1988 | By GINA BOUBION, Daily News Staff Writer
The boys at the House of Umoja are counting their blessings. First, nobody was hurt when a Friday morning fire destroyed their belongings and their home on Frazier Street near Master in West Philadelphia. And secondly, their television miraculously survived. "They were so excited when they plugged it in and it worked," House of Umoja founder Sister Falaka Fattah said yesterday. "We were thinking about calling the manufacturer so they could do a commercial about it. " The boys, aged 15 to 18, spent the weekend clearing smoked-out debris from their second-floor dwelling.
NEWS
August 18, 1995 | by Valerie M. Russ, Daily News Staff Writer Staff writer Joe O'Dowd contributed to this report
Lanky young men gathered on the porch of the House of Umoja yesterday were silent and glum. They were beyond sad. Beyond distraught. "They're devastated," said Sharif Fattah, one of the counselors for the teen-agers who live at the house in West Philadelphia. Alan Cromwell, the "baby" of their group, who at 14 was the youngest of the young residents at Philadelphia's own "Boys Town" had been killed only two hours earlier. Details were sketchy, but police said the killing appeared accidental.
NEWS
July 23, 2003 | By Acel Moore
On Sept. 13, Falaka and David Fattah will celebrate their 35th anniversary as directors of the House of Umoja, the first urban "Boys Town" in this city and possibly the nation. The House of Umoja - a Swahili word that means unity - is contained in 23 row homes on the 1400 block of N. Frazier Street, a narrow, West Philadelphia block. The House of Umoja is home to 15 boys from 15 to 18 years of age in a residential treatment program. The staff of Umoja numbers seven, two of whom have been with Umoja since the beginning.
NEWS
June 27, 1994 | By Marie McCullough, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Sister Falaka Fattah, famed for helping tame youth gangs two decades ago, was in a hospital being treated for pneumonia last winter when she read yet another study about violence among young African American men in West Philadelphia. "I was in the intensive-care unit, and I thought: That's what our community needs. Intensive care," said the founder of the House of Umoja, a sort of urban boys town for troubled youths. Her idea for fighting violence by providing intensive care and attention to African American boys took shape Saturday.
NEWS
November 30, 1998 | By Karen E. Quinones Miller, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Lateef Johnson needed a tie. The 20-year-old West Philadelphia resident had a job interview two weeks ago, and although he had a suit and a good pair of shoes, he didn't have a brown tie. So early that morning - on the way to the job interview - he stopped at the House of Umoja, as have thousands of young men over the last 30 years. Sister Falaka Fattah, 67, who founded the House of Umoja in West Philadelphia in 1968, reached into the bottom left-hand drawer of a beat-up desk and pulled out an assortment of ties.
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NEWS
June 23, 2016 | By Ronnie Polaneczky
DECADES AGO, Chaka Fattah's mother was so scared that one of her six sons would succumb to the street culture gutting the city that she opened her West Philly home to gang members. Sister Falaka Fattah's House of Umoja eventually offered shelter, counseling, and job training to thousands of boys who'd have landed in prison or the grave if they'd continued to hang out with the wrong crowd. She knew the power of peers on a young man's decisions. Change the peers, change the kid, change the trajectory of his life.
NEWS
February 16, 2015 | By Sarai A. Flores, Inquirer Staff Writer
Falaka Fattah woke up on her 83d birthday, Dec. 28, knowing what she wanted for Valentine's Day: A giant "I Love Philly" party. That's what brought 100 people to LOVE Park on Saturday for four hours of music, some speeches, and a shot of civic self-esteem. Fattah is the cocreator of the House of Umoja, an "urban boys town" that has been operating in West Philadelphia for more than four decades. Partnering with the Mayor's Office of Faith Based Initiatives, Fattah wanted to stage an event that focused on the positives of the City of Brotherly Love.
NEWS
September 8, 2014 | BY PATRICIA MADEJ, Daily News Staff Writer madejp@phillynews.com, 215-854-5938
WHEN SCHOOL bells ring on Monday, one organization is hoping to see thousands of children walking to school with backpacks on their shoulders and fathers by their sides. The House of Umoja, a nonprofit working for education and against violence in Philadelphia, is organizing the Million Father March for its seventh year. The march - a national effort started in Chicago in 2004 - works to redefine parental roles in their children's education by having fathers walk their sons and daughters to school.
NEWS
September 7, 2012 | BY JAN RANSOM, Daily News Staff Writer
CALLING ALL fathers, it's that time of the year again. As part of the 2012 National Million Father March, men across the country are asked to walk their children to school for the first day of class Friday and again on Monday as part of an effort to encourage fathers to get involved in their children's lives. "You can no longer afford to let our children be less than their best," march coordinator David Fattah, of the House of Umoja, said during a news conference at City Hall.
NEWS
April 10, 2012 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer
FRANCES ELLEN Brown Davenport was a journalist in Philadelphia back in the bad old days of the '60s, when violent teenage gangs were running wild in the city streets. And she had a journalist's curiosity. "I wanted to know why children were killing each other," she said. "I asked my husband to do some research for me. I wanted to get a handle on the problem. " Then came a shock. Her husband, David Fattah Sr., discovered that her 16-year-old son, Robin, was a gang member.
NEWS
December 28, 2011
PENNSYLVANIA Crash victim ID'd A man who was hit by a car and killed on the Schuylkill Expressway in Montgomery County yesterday afternoon was identified by state police as Joseph McHenrey, of Drexel Hill. Police said McHenrey climbed over a concrete median in Upper Merion Township about 1:45 p.m. holding a gas can. He was trying to cross the eastbound expressway to get to the right shoulder of the road. Meanwhile, Robert Clark, of Downingtown, was driving his white Toyota Tundra pickup truck about 50 mph, pulling a single-axle trailer and heading toward McHenrey, police said.
NEWS
September 8, 2010 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
Storyee Robinson couldn't believe what she saw when she stepped inside the new, $30.3 million Willard Elementary School in Kensington Tuesday morning. There was a gymnasium. An instructional music room. A science lab. An auditorium. Classrooms with electronic whiteboards. And an inviting cafeteria with soaring, clerestory windows. It had taken more than a decade to replace the outmoded and overcrowded 1907 Willard School where children had to eat lunch at their desks and were tutored in hallways.
NEWS
September 7, 2010 | By Martha Woodall, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Storyee Robinson couldn't believe what she saw when she stepped inside the new, $30.3 million Willard Elementary School in Kensington Tuesday morning. There was a gymnasium. An instructional music room. A science lab. An auditorium. Classrooms with electronic white boards. And an inviting cafeteria with soaring, clerestory windows. It had taken more than a decade to replace the outmoded and overcrowded 1907 Willard School where children had to eat lunch at their desks and were tutored in hallways.
NEWS
September 2, 2009 | By DAFNEY TALES, talesd@phillynews.com 215-854-5084
Fathers have again been asked to walk the walk, both figuratively and literally, as their youngsters get ready to return to school. Every year at back-to-school time, David Fattah gears up for the national Million Father March, in which fathers across the country take their children to school on the first day. They're urged to continue to engage in their kids' school lives, join the home and school association, and sign a pledge of nonviolence....
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