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DO-GOODER Spotlight: The Philadelphia Urban Creators

The Do-Gooder Spotlight is GroundSwell's blog post spreading the word about individuals and organizations working to better their communities. Today we are giving a shout-out to our friends at The Philadelphia Urban Creators (PUC)!


Educate, Energize, Empower, and Unite are the principals PUC stands by. It all began in 2010, when Alex Epstein moved to Philly to attend Temple University. While at Temple, he facilitated a series of trips for students from both Temple and surrounding North Philly communities to volunteer in New Orleans, post Hurricane Katrina.  However, when he looked around his own neighborhood, he realized that Philly also needed transformation.

Through community organizing, service-learning, artistic expression, and urban agriculture, PUC has educated energized and empowered Philadelphia youth, ex-offenders, and communities with the skills, resources, networks, and analysis to become passionate leaders in the movement to transform blighted urban landscapes into models for community-based, social and environmental sustainability.

“We basically want to create an urban farm that has an educational component, so there would be farming and food produced for the neighborhood, but there would also be classes on community organizing and food justice for the youth in the neighborhood,” says Emily Kinsel, PUC’s farm Manager and Temple University student. “We want something that will still grow after the Temple and high school students graduate and move on with their lives.”

Presently, the students are considering collaborations with local farmers markets and restaurants. Ultimately, partnerships like these enhance the quality of life for everyone, not just for North Philly residents but for all Philadelphians. 

Philadelphia Urban Creators recruits a diverse group of volunteers. They may have a lot of energy but they could always use more help. You can volunteer for several of their sites and lend a helping hand during one of their events. If you’re interested in volunteer opportunities with the organization email:

To learn more or to join one of PUC’s work days, visit