In her new position, Beverly Coleman continues dialogue with the community.
Last month, Beverly Coleman, who was recently announced the Office of Community Relations’ vice president, began to get to know Main Campus and its surrounding community.
Coleman’s new position was announced by Ken Lawrence, the senior vice president for Government, Community and Public Affairs at Temple.
Coleman’s new position allows Temple to open dialogue with the community that surrounds Main Campus and listen to what community members have to say.
“Temple has such a spirit of volunteerism, and I’m excited to see what the university can help with in the community,” Coleman said.
Coleman is an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania and the creator of NeighborhoodsNow, a nonprofit that helps bring financial assistance and increases living in urban communities that have been neglected, which she worked with for eight years.
For nine months, she also worked with Urban Ventures Group, an urban consulting organization that works with nonprofit groups and foundations to help community development and revitalization.
“In college, I started out wanting to do something with architecture, but I quickly discovered that I wasn’t as interested in building houses as I was helping people and the community. So my major quickly changed and brought me to where I am today,” Coleman said.
“Beverly Coleman is a wonderful candidate for this position because she has a ton of experience in the Northern Philadelphia region. Her diverse background of job experiences and knowledge of working with communities will help her succeed at Temple University,” Lawrence said.
In her new post, Coleman said, she will act as a liaison between the community and the university. In this position, the university can work alongside the community with organizations and groups, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters.
The main responsibility in Coleman’s new position is to reach out to the pre-existing resources at Temple and to help include the community.
“An example of something I might do as a Community Relations vice president is work with programs like University Community Collaborative Philadelphia, which is a program for young people from [ages] 14 to 24 that teaches them leadership,” Coleman said. “I would try and recruit students and Temple groups and see if they would be available to help them.”
“An important part of my job is to integrate or synthesize ideas that are out there in the community and bring them to the university, or bring organizations and activities that are already out there to Temple and make more of an impact,” she added.
Tree House Books, a small nonprofit that acts as a community library that hosts activities for children and provides after-school services, is an example of the kind of organization Coleman will be communicating with in her new position.
“I’ve been working with communities for a while now, and I have a pretty good understanding of community-based organizations and what they are trying to achieve,” Coleman said. “I’ve worked in Philadelphia a lot, and I’m familiar with multiple nonprofit organizations, and my experiences of what I’ve done in the past will help me with my work now.”
Coleman said new community-based organizations and activities will be visible in the upcoming months as she begins her career at Temple.
“I feel very fortunate to be here at a time where Temple is growing, not just in buildings but also in students. Temple students and staff give over 45,000 hours of community service a year and that’s huge,” Coleman said. “And it explains who Temple is as an institution.”
In the future, Coleman said, Temple will continue to be a great neighbor.
“Having a community relations post is the right thing to do,” Lawrence said. “Temple has been a part of the community now for 125 years, and we definitely want to be able to work with the community and have open ears.”
Alyssa Saylor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.