What Makes Chester Home?What Makes Chester Home? was the theme for our very first effort to collect a set of digital stories in April and July 2020 and continuing into 2021. We teamed up with Lisa Nelson-Haynes, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Young Playwrights and expert storytelling facilitator, to host story circle events in the spring of 2020. We worked with a small group of Chester residents to develop their unique storylines based on the prompts “What Makes Chester Home to You?” and “How Do You Know You Are In Chester?” The end result is eight digital stories promoted through social media and made publicly available on the CDS page of the Chester Made website.
Women's Activism in Chester: The Legacy of Ruth L. Bennett -- FALL 2021CDS and Chester Made are joining up with Twyla "Ms. T" Simpkins and the YES Center to collect stories on the important legacy and ongoing influence of Chester’s own Ruth L. Bennett! One hundred years ago, Ruth Bennett took on the cause to improve the quality of life among black residents of this city and her work continues to inspire activists, organizers, social workers, and community advocates – especially women and girls. Acknowledging her past achievements and her legacy is important to today's efforts to rebuild Chester and the ongoing struggle for racial justice. To that end, we are calling on the people of Chester to share their stories of women activists and organizers in the community who embody the legacy of Ruth Bennett and her many achievements – founder of the Ruth L. Bennett Home for Women & Girls and the Wilson Nursery, originator of the Chester NAACP, president of Pennsylvania Federation of Black Women’s Clubs, supporter of the Tent Sisters, and namesake for the Bennett Homes and the Bennett Community Farm.