Sam George was Stoneleigh Foundation's first Emerging Leader Fellow. A native of Philadelphia, he graduated from Oberlin College in 2007 with honors in history. He was awarded the George and Carrie Life Fund Prize for Excellence in American history for his final honors thesis, The Commonwealth vs. Mr. Browne: The Roots and Consequences of the Code of Silence in Inner City Philadelphia. Stoneleigh Foundation, in conjunction with the United Way, supported Sam as an Emerging Leader Fellow to develop this work and use it as the basis of discussion that United Way is organizing to address the current upsurge in violence throughout the city.
With the United Way, Sam hosted a public forum in which leaders from a variety of Philadelphia social service systems shared their perspective on witness intimidation in the city. On May 16, 2008, Philadelphia judges, DHS leaders, homicide district attorneys, and other community leaders came together to discuss the complex social roots that create an atmosphere of fear, as well as how the intimidation has affected courtroom proceedings in Philadelphia.
Click here to watch a short video from the forum.
As a Stoneleigh Emerging Leader Fellow, Sam also worked with Congreso de Latinos Unidos, a community based non-profit organization that primarily serves Eastern North Philadelphia, where a majority of Philadelphia's Latino population resides. Congreso hosts a division of the Latino Juvenile Justice Network (LJJN) which is investigating disproportionate Latino contact with the juvenile justice system. With Congreso, Sam conducted interview-based research to determine if a lack of Spanish language access throughout the juvenile justice system creates a disadvantage for Latino youth and parents in Philadelphia. For this project, Sam conducted numerous interviews, including Chief of Juvenile Probation James Sharp, as well as North Philadelphia parents who do not speak English. Sam's conclusions have been published by Congreso de Latinos Unidos.