Friday, May 15, 2015

Congratulations to Rev Jim Ley on being awarded honorary doctorate

Rev. James Ley to Receive Honorary DoctorateCongratulations to Rev Jim Ley, the Archdeacon from the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, on being awarded an honorary Doctorate of Public Service at Widener University today (May 15th). This is for Jim's work with the people of Chester, PA, one of the most disadvantaged cities in the US. Of the 33,000 population, 36.9% live in poverty and 13.2% are unemployed (compared to national average of 7%).
Jim has been involved in operating non-profit organizations in the Chester area, including establishing America's first non-profit supermarket, Fare and Square. 
Jim recognized his call to ordained ministry as part of his involvement in Chester Eastside Inc. (formally known as Chester Eastside Ministries). He was ordained in 2003 and the following year was appointed as the Archdeacon of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. He is currently the vice chair of Chester Eastside Inc. and president of the advisory board of Episcopal Place at Park Row, a low income housing project in Upland, Pa. He is a member of the Chester branch of the NAACP and the Chester Swarthmore Leadership Institute. In his 18 years of social justice advocacy, he has been associated with more than a dozen other organizations in Chester and the Episcopal Diocese and was the recipient of the John Shelton Sr. Freedom Award given to the Chester branch of the NAACP and the Liberty Bell Award given by the Delaware County Bar Association.
He also works very closely with Widener on the Community Based Learning Strategic Planning Taskforce, The Bonner High Impact Strategic Planning Committee, The Presidents Community Advisory Board and frequently guest lectures and provides administration, professors and students tours of Chester as seen through the lens of social justice.
Widener University, will award the honorary doctorate, is a metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Widener President James T. Harris III. “Rev Ley’s commitment to the community and social justice is an inspiration for all of us and a value that we strive to instill in our students before they graduate.”
33,000 - Population of Chester
36.9 - Percentage of Chester residents living in poverty
13.2 - Percentage of unemployed residents
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