We wrote it down, we believed it, we spoke it to life, and now it’s execution time. That’s the phase where we’re at right now.”
DeWayne Drummond is a CPI graduate from Fall 2012, and a CPI instructor for both Fall 2014 and Spring 2019.
DeWayne is President of the Mantua Civic Association. He has been in this role for the past 7 years, ever since the Association’s origin.
In 2018, DeWayne helped get Mantua rezoned from multi-family to single-family. The Mantua Civic Association worked with other community groups to do this. DeWayne emphasized community voice. People wanted to keep their community’s character in the face of new development.
A lot of residents in the area were advocating for this change. We wanted to slow down development so the community is also a part of this development.
DeWayne organized an Indego Bike Ride for Citizen Planners in 2017.
DeWayne helped host an event with free paper-shredding services for residents. The guest speaker was Donna Bullock, State Representative for the 195th District.
DeWayne also helped install age-friendly benches in Mantua with the Ralston Center. The benches are accessible to seniors. For example, the benches are on an incline, and there is a pole next to the bench. These adjustments make it easier for seniors to sit down and get up.
DeWayne has also helped with the new Mantua Greenway. The project envisions a beautiful community trail. DeWayne sees the greenway as community-owned infrastructure that will bring Mantua residents together.
DeWayne helped Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) staff during the Phila2035 West District Plan. He facilitated exercises and gave an opening speech. He helped PCPC build trust with the community. CPI helped DeWayne educate and mobilize his community.
People ask, ‘What does CMX mean?’ Understanding terminology that developers use is helpful. Thanks to CPI, I can try to break it down in layman terms for the community.
For his work in the community, DeWayne was recognized by McMichael Elementary School. He was one of the honorees of the 2019 “Knowing Your Neighborhood Heroes” Wall of Fame.
In May 2014, DeWayne assisted with “Funeral for a Home.” Mantua Civic Association, community groups, and Temple University created the project together. The event was a public funeral for an abandoned Mantua rowhome. The project reflects on the history of Philadelphia’s rowhomes, which are declining as new housing is built around the city.
Now, DeWayne is helping to create an anti-displacement strategy. This strategy targets the neighborhoods around the upcoming Schuylkill Yards development. The focus is on affordable housing and education.
The Board of Directors of this project includes:
- Mantua Civic Association
- Powelton Village Civic Association
- Mount Vernon Manor CDC
- People’s Emergency Center.
Shameless plug: Citizen Planners and CPI instructors work or volunteer at all these organizations.
The development will impact the neighboring communities of Powelton Village and Mantua. We want to stabilize the economic rise that might cost people their homes. The community is trying to be proactive. It’s better to be proactive even though [developments] are down the pipe.
DeWayne is also involved as Parent Engagement Specialist of Head Start. Head Start is a Philadelphia School District program that prepares children to enter kindergarten. In his role, DeWayne runs trainings and workshops for parents. He also helps organize parent groups, with a focus on involving fathers.
My job is to help the parents build capacity in their everyday life skills. The parents gain experience.
DeWayne is also an Indego Community Ambassador. He initiated Indego Street Skills classes for parents. Parents helped plan the whole event. The goal was to spread information about how to ride bikes safely. The events also helped connect staff to the families they serve.
DeWayne organized a community bike ride to raise awareness for youth homelessness.
The Mantua Civic Association collaborated with Youth Service Inc. (YSI) and the Better Bike Share Partnership.
In 2018, Dewayne became a member of the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee (PADSC) for the 7th Senatorial District.
DeWayne became a member of the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee Black Caucus. In February 2019, he fought for more elections of African-American candidates to the PADSC, with a focus on African-American women.
The resolution was passed! This will open the door for all women of color in general.
This year, the Philadelphia Crosstown Coalition chose DeWayne for an Executive Board position. The Crosstown Coalition is a group of Registered Community Organizations (RCOs) around Philadelphia. Members brainstorm and promote policy changes, updates, and revisions. Issues include schools and education, zoning and land use, taxes and city finance, and anti SLAPP legislation.
I like to play connect the dots. [At Cross-Town Coalition,] everybody is not from the same community. I’m from Mantua. If I meet someone from Logan Square, they might have a key to a door that I can’t unlock. This brings something bigger than equality, it brings equity.
Connections to CPI
DeWayne uses his learnings from CPI on a daily basis.
CPI helped me to understand that we have to organize and not agonize. You get caught up on that agony, you’re not focused. So how can you set aside that agony and focus on the bigger picture?
DeWayne continues to return to CPI as an instructor (twice now!) and for special topic classes.
[CPI is] not a one-and-done course. They have special topic classes. You can always improve your leadership skills for organizing or networking. There’s a real positive energy that flows through CPI. Through the instructors who do programming for the students.
DeWayne also stays in touch with fellow CPI graduates. DeWayne has worked with Bettye Ferguson, president of Belmont Alliance Civic Association Community Development Corporation.
I walk down the street, and people might say, ‘Hey! You were one of them CPI instructors!’ It’s good to have alumnus. Some are in Mantua. You can lead the community side by side.