PRESS RELEASE: GPA Sustainable Development Goals Campaign

Global Philadelphia Association (GPA) is painting 17 Murals In neighborhoods across Philadelphia, in partnership with Mural Arts, area academic institutions and corporate sponsors to benefit Delaware Valley non-profit organizations.  Murals will reflect each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. 

PHILADELPHIA, PA (February 9, 2021) – Philadelphia is the first World Heritage City in the United States and the first city to dedicate public art through the completion of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In 2019, GPA completed its first mural, SDG#5 – Gender Equality with the sponsorship of Glenmede Trust. Well- known artist Barbara Smolen and her assistants, Brianna Hornberger and Ellis Rosenberg created the mural which was installed on the 17th Street side of Friends Select School. New Century Trust - now The Gender Justice Fund, a Philadelphia-based organization devoted to empowering women and girls, received the non-profit donation.

The United Nations developed the 17 Goals to “Transform Our World” and as a “call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection. The 17 Goals include: No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well Being, Quality Education Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Industry Innovation and Infrastructure, Reduced Inequalities, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water, Life on Land, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and Partnerships for Goals. 

“There is no time like the present to address the many global challenges we face. GPA is committed to fostering the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals as it also connects with our Philadelphia World Heritage City Project’s mission to raise awareness that Philadelphia’s city heritage is in fact globally connected,” said Zabeth Teelucksingh, Executive Director, Global Philadelphia Association. 

GPA has secured support for four additional SDG murals: 

#1 No Poverty - This project is being sponsored John and Susan Smith.  John Smith, a former partner at Reed Smith LLP, and former GPA Board Chair, currently serves as GPA Board Emeritus. A Philadelphia artist, Gabe Tiberino, has been commissioned to create the work of art reflecting the No Poverty Goal.  When completed, the work will be sited in West Philadelphia.  The non-profit recipient has not been selected. 

#4 Quality Education - This project is sponsored by St. Joseph's University. Two murals will be painted – on the SJU campus and Samuel Gompers School walls. Ann Nothrup and Isabella Akhtarshenas have been commissioned to create the works. The non-profit donation will go to Samuel Gompers School. 

#10 Reduced Inequalities - Temple University is the sponsor of this project.  Artist selection has not yet begun, but a site on the campus for the artwork to be installed, the Beury Building, has tentatively been selected.  The University has recently created an anti-racism initiative, the Center for Anti-Racism Research, and it is expected that that initiative will receive the project’s nonprofit donation.  

#16 Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions – The Harry and Katherine Halloran Family Foundation is the sponsor for this project.  Harry Halloran is a well-known business executive and philanthropist. The Hallorans have specified Project Home for the non-profit donation. 

GPA has tentatively secured support for three additional SDGS:

#7 Affordable and Clean Energy – The GPA project team is in discussion with the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy of the University of Pennsylvania about a prospective sponsorship

#11 Sustainable Cities and Communities – Discussion is currently underway with TD Bank for sponsorship, site selection and non-profit donation. 

#13 Climate Action – The GPA project team is working with The Academy of Natural Sciences and Drexel University to confirm their sponsorship.  

About the Global Philadelphia Association

The Global Philadelphia Association consists of more than 200 internationally involved organizations, businesses, and individuals in Greater Philadelphia. It was created to assist – and to encourage greater interaction among – the many organizations and people who are engaged in international activity in the Greater Philadelphia Region, to promote the development of an international consciousness within the area, and to enhance Philadelphia’s global profile. For more information, visit website: