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Tommy Caison, North Philly Peace Park

photo of Tommy Caison, North Philly Peace Park

Tommy Caison
North Philly Peace Park
Philadelphia, PA
Visit North Peace Park’s Facebook page

SDOH Health Impact Areas:
Public Health | Medical | Behavioral | Psychosocial

When I was 11 I started my first social enterprise building custom made basketball courts made from milkcrates. In response to violence and drug activity preventing us from accessing the neighborhood basketball courts I had organized my friends to build our own. The concept quickly took off, with other children emulating our project, and a league of sorts developed outside my front porch. At these games, my older sisters would sell hot dogs and homemade water ice. From this money my sisters were able to buy their own new clothes and I received a new bike.

This ability to bring folks together to solve problems continues with my work with the North Philly Peace Park. The approach is innovative because it is a humanitarian, collaborative effort between community activists, farmers, educators and trained designers engaged in an ethical redevelopment process. It takes the grass roots organizing skills of activists and combines design to create beautiful, equitable spaces for underserved communities and is truly in the interest of the public good. The redevelopment keeps the people in the communities solving their own problems through access, design and education.