CONGRATULATIONS to all of our honorees. CLICK HERE for photos of this fabulous event! Our eternal gratitude to our extraordinary photographer, Sam Zolten, Photo/Facts.
CLICK HERE to watch the 6 Over 60 video featuring interviews with our 6 OVER 60 honorees! Our gratitude to filmmaker Malcolm Alston, who created this extraordinary film.
This year SeniorLAW Center has launched new 6 OVER 60 awards, honoring six remarkable older Pennsylvanians over 60 years of age, from all walks of life, who have had an extraordinary impact on their community. We received nominations from far corners of Pennsylvania and the selection process was challenging. THANK YOU to all of you who took the time to thoughtfully nominate so many inspiring seniors.
SeniorLAW Center is proud to announce the extraordinary winners of our 2015 awards, to be presented at our May 14th gala.
“Donate in honor of one of our remarkable honorees.”
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6 OVER 60:
Remarkable older Pennsylvanians who have had an extraordinary impact on their community
Donate in honor of one of our remarkable honorees.
The inaugural winners of this new award, selected from a statewide public nomination process are:
Teacher, professor, life-long advocate for kids & public education
Shelly Beaser is an unsung hero who has dedicated her life to education, the welfare of kids, immigrants, and the disenfranchised. She has been a teacher in the trenches in a myriad of roles in public education in diverse parts of PA, from rural schools to at-risk kids in Harrisburg, urban Philadelphia public schools, an Orthodox Jewish high school for girls and teacher of IndoChinese teenagers. She is a sought after and much loved professor also at the university level, a teacher of new and student teachers, preparing the next generation of leaders in education. Shelly has also been an ESL instructor to refugees and an advocate for housing rights, directing a federally funded study of housing discrimination. She has served as a leader on boards, for the Institute for Leadership Education, Advancement and Development from 1998 to 2003 and for KIPP Philadelphia Charter Schools for the past 6 years.
Shelly’s reach goes beyond education with her several roles in the legal community, including a citizen representative on the Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention of the Philadelphia Bar Association to help us discern the quality of judicial candidates. As a lecturer and author of materials for the Bar’s ACE (Advancing Civic Education) project she helped promote the understanding of the rights, responsibilities and privileges of American citizenship, a priority of Judge Midge Rendell and many leaders in our legal community. Shelly has also served the arts, as Educational Director of the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, from 1999 to 2003. As a volunteer, she also worked with Nationalities Service Center as a tutor for Vietnamese immigrants in the 70s and 80s, on the National Governor’s Conference in the 70s as Coordinator of youth activities and on the Governor’s Action Center as telephone counselor for statewide hot line.
In retirement, Shelly continues to be a vibrant voice for progressive causes and a friend to the legal and nonprofit communities with passion, conviction and humor. She is a delight and a model for aging well and for never agreeing to tone down one’s opinions when it comes to education, justice and equality.
Honorable Phyllis Beck
Honorable Phyllis Beck
Lawyer, judge, law professor, dean, philanthropist
Before she was 60, Judge Phyllis W. Beck (Ret.) was elected to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. The Superior Court was founded in 1896, and Judge Beck was the first woman to serve on the court. She was also the third woman in Pennsylvania history to be elected to state-wide office.
Before she was 60, she practiced law and taught law at Temple Law School and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she also served as Vice Dean.
After she retired from the court, she again briefly practiced law. During that time, she was invited by the Barnes Foundation to become their general counsel. She abandoned the private practice of law and became a soldier in the war to support the Barnes’ move from Merion to the Parkway.
Today, her home base is the Independence Foundation, where she is the Chair of the Board. She also has many other community activities; Mayor Michael Nutter appointed her to the Ethics Board of the City of Philadelphia, where she serves as Vice Chair. She is President of the Beck Institute, which is a center for both training and clinical help in cognitive therapy. She is Chair of the Advisory Board for Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, an organization that advocates for an appointive system in selecting judges.
Her most important achievement, she advises, happened before she was 30. She had four children; Judy, Daniel, Roy & Judge Alice Beck Dubow, who is currently running for the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, the court from which she retired. (She also advises that you vote in the primary on May 19.)
Make a donation in her honor
Tobey Gordon Dichter
Tobey Gordon Dichter
Founder, leader, advocate for digital literacy for older adults
Tobey is the founder and unpaid CEO of Philadelphia based not-for-profit Generations on Line (GoL), dedicated to digital literacy for older adults.
GoL simplifies the Internet for seniors and was founded in response to older adults being left behind in the “new” era of technology. GoL has helped more than 80,000 people over age 65 get online through an on-screen tutorial available free to seniors in 1800 facilities across the US.
Founded in 1999, Tobey continues her dedication to digital literacy today for although “newer” older adults use the Internet, the oldest and especially the poorest elderly are still being left behind. The organization has grown to include two additional teachings for older adults: tablet technology and using the Internet to seek and apply for jobs online.
As Tobey once described GoL: “It is the story of changing lives of people who are being left behind by new technologies we take for granted. It is helping those unable to communicate because of a stroke and now able to email… It’s about people dependent on others now empowered to research benefits, health, news, and support groups independently.”
Tobey is a leader on many Boards, including as chair of the Board of the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Maternity Care Coalition, The Philadelphia School, 21st Century League, and Wilma Theater.
Make a donation in her honor
LGBT and AIDS advocate, activist, and groundbreaker, nonprofit leader
David Fair has had a long career in both the public and nonprofit health and human services sector, having led major projects in the AIDS, child welfare and behavioral health fields. David has had a major impact on his communities throughout his life. In his younger years he was the founder of several early LGBT organizations in the 1970s, including the first Philadelphia Gay Cultural Festival and the Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force, and in the 1980s he was a visionary leader who built one of the strongest local AIDS service systems in the nation, one designed to serve the most vulnerable among those at risk of HIV disease. He was at the time also a fierce advocate for the homeless, leading a major effort to engage homeless people with AIDS in the early 90s through We The People Living with AIDS/HIV.
In the late 90s David built an extensive school-based mental health services program that ultimately served over 100 public schools, helping to organize the first publicly-funded efforts to support kinship families. In the early 2000s he led the creation of a $100m network of community based youth services aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect, creating over 200 programs offering after school, truancy prevention, family support and parenting education programs. At United Way starting in 2005 he led a major transformation in the organization’s funding methods, aimed at supporting agencies with high quality outcomes. He currently is a leader in the creation of an innovate initiative to reform child welfare efforts in Philadelphia, focusing on children and families in West, Southwest and Lower Northeast Philadelphia. David has served on many nonprofit boards and in addition to several government roles, as Senior Vice President for Community Impact of United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania. He is currently the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Turning Points for Children.
Make a donation in his honor
Jazz musician, founder, leader, teacher of music education for youth
Lovett Hines is Music Education Director at the Clef Club, and the developer of its world-class music education program. Since 1985, students in the program have participated in a broad range of activities including private instruction, master classes, ensembles, summer jazz camp and live performances around the US. Many graduates of the program have gone on to successful careers in music. The curriculum includes the Berklee PULSE method; the Club has strong partnerships with both the Berklee City Music Network and Tufts University. Students emerge from this program not only schooled in music theory and practice, but also fluent in the jazz idiom and proficient on the instruments of their choice. Lovett’s program has produced some of today’s top players. Lately, in the Club’s “take it to the schools” initiative, it has also provided music education to young people in Philadelphia city schools who, because of city budget cuts, would otherwise have no access to it.
Lovett has a rich and storied history in music and leadership. He served as Musical Director/Creator of “The Roots of Music Show”, Jazz Band Director for the Better Break Summer Camp and Director of Settlement Music School Jazz Ensemble. At the Trane Stop Resource Institute, Lovett served as Program Director/Musical Director for the ‘ Change of the Century Orchestra’ that performed at the Berlin Jazz Festival and became the Musical Director for the Jerry McCleary Revue at Club Harlem in Atlantic City. Lovett has played with numerous performance groups that included the 76th Army Band in Orleans, France with Maceo Parker and the House Band at Atlantic City Wonder Gardens with artists B.B. King and Al Gray. In addition, he has performed with Motown Revue artists, Martha & The Vandellas, Smokey Robinson, The O’Jays, Florence Ballad, King Curtis, Gary US Bond and Lionel Hampton,
A highlight of his music career was his performance as Musical Director of the Heavenly Horns, who performed with the Grammy Nominated Dixie Hummingbirds at the “Music in the Air” 70th Anniversary Celebration, which included Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and Isaac Hayes
Lovett is a major force in keeping music alive and accessible to both aspiring musicians and audiences nationwide.
Make a donation in his honor
Community advocate, voting and housing rights activist for the poor
Juanita Ramos has worked for the advancement of the Latino community and all low-income residents of North Philadelphia for more than thirty years, using her inimitable personality and drive as a tool to increase community involvement and political participation. At age 74, she has not slowed down a bit.
Juanita was born in Puerto Rico’s city of Humacao, and was raised and educated in its city of Juncos. She moved to Chicago after high school, where she worked for that city’s department of education for fifteen years, and was an instrumental volunteer in the mayor’s summer program for youth, increasing access to employment and mentoring for teens.
Juanita moved to Philadelphia, and turned her attention to increasing voter registration and participation, to ensure that her community’s vote truly counts. She has personally registered over 15,000 residents in Philadelphia and New Jersey, knocking on countless doors and engaging voters on the issues that matter to them. In 2012 Juanita was presented with an AARP Leaders of Hope award at the “No Mas Hambre” forum on the problem of hunger in Philadelphia’s Latino communities and was honored by City Council for her tireless work registering voters and empowering her community.
Juanita continues to advocate for those who cannot fight for themselves, helping to resolve numerous housing, employment, and neighborhood safety matters for her large network of registered voters and strongly advocating for protection and equal opportunities for seniors. Juanita is known for her clear convictions and for always being willing to “speak truth to power.”
Make a donation in her honor