"Walking the Wissahickon" by Brian Ames (Instagram/@vedabrown)

Black clergy and biz leaders throw support behind Sixers arena

The Sixers have a new ally in their push to build a Center City arena: Philly’s powerful Black clergy and the African American Chamber of Commerce.

  • Initiatives to boost Black firms’ and entrepreneurs’ involvement in construction and concessions for the arena helped get the new partners on board — despite the widespread opposition seen in Chinatown.

“We pray for all other communities, but we want to focus on the African American community,” one pastor told Jordan Levy.

→ Who’s for and who’s against?

David Gould, the Sixers’ chief diversity and impact officer, speaks at a press conference at South Kitchen & Bar. (Jordan Levy/Billy Penn)

How a senior pen pal turned a Flyers exec into a lifelong friend

Philadelphia Flyers exec Valerie Camillo and 94-year-old Harvey Ballen have known each other for 3 years. This week, they met for the very first time.

  • The duo connected during the pandemic as part of the Flyers’ virtual “pen pal” program to help senior living residents deal with lockdown isolation — and they really hit it off.

“Harvey was one of the number one things in my life that I count as a blessing from that time,” Camillo told Asha Prihar.

→ Like gaining a new “family member”

Flyers CEO Valerie Camillo and Horsham Center resident Harvey Ballen at their first face-to-face meeting after 3 years of friendship. (Asha Prihar/Billy Penn)

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled


The city’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) today hosts its inaugural Trauma, Equity & Community Conference at 801 Market St. and Mayor Kenney helps kick things off (9 a.m.).


🗳️ Meet two dozen candidates for City Council’s at-large seats at Rodeph Shalom, at a forum hosted by the People’s Platform for a Just Philadelphia. (3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 26)

🎻 Music for Food hosts a chamber concert benefiting the Sunday Love Project, featuring performers on viola and violin at Mitchell Hall in Rittenhouse. Tickets start at $30. (3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 26)

🎷 Stop by LOVE Park to help the city set a new world record for the most jazz hands at once. The first 500 people get complimentary white gloves; the current record is 477. (12 to 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 28)