Episode 39: A Memorial to the
Great Richard Murphy

Richard MurphyThis is a very special episode of Please Speak Freely, a memorial to the great Richard Murphy. Murphy was a friend and a mentor to me and countless others, and he passed away on Valentine’s Day, 2013. He was a true lion in the field of youth development. Among many other accomplishments, he founded Rheedlen Centers for Children and Families which became the Harlem Children’s Zone, created the Beacon Programs when he was Commissioner of Youth Services under Mayor David Dinkins, cofounded the Neighborhood Family Services Coalition, helped to create Food and Finance High School, and founded iMapVentures.

I had hoped to interview Richard for Please Speak Freely, but I never got the chance. For this episode, I recorded a memorial event held on February 14, 2014 at Food and Finance High School and edited a few clips together so you could hear what people had to say about Murphy. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to record the actual memorial service held in 2013 where luminaries such as Mayor Dinkins and Ambassador Patrick Gaspard shared funny and warm memories of Murphy. Hopefully this will give you some idea of the incredible esteem people hold Murphy in. Mostly it’s my chance to say, “Murphy, we love you.”

Here is a list of the people whose voices you will hear on this podcast:
Rev. Alfonso Wyatt, Vice President of the Fund for the City of New York
Gail Brewer, Manhattan Borough President
Jessica Mates, Chief of Staff for Manhattan Borough President
Aldrin Bonilla, Deputy Manhattan Borough President
Pierina de la Cruz
Leydis de la Cruz
Raul Radcliffe
Roger Turgeon, Principal of Food and Finance High School
Jim Marley, Assistant Executive Director of  Good Shepherd Services
Carla Sanger, President & CEO of LA’s BEST Afterschool Enrichment Program
Robert Newman, Chair of iMapVentures and Executive Vice President and COO of AmeriDream
Katrice Walker, Singer

Here are some links to remembrances of Richard Murphy:
Richard L. Murphy, Who Aided Disadvantaged Youths, Dies at 68, New York Times Obituary 2/15/13
In the End, He Stole Nothing and Gave Plenty, New York Time 2/19/13
Mourning the Loss of Richard Murphy, NY Nonprofit Press 2/15/13
Richard Murphy, A Powerful Example of Servant Leadership 4/10/13

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Please Speak Freely

On Please Speak Freely, Eric Gurna, founder of Development Without Limits interviews leading thinkers, artists and others to shed light on key issues and explore different perspectives about youth development and education. The idea is to get past the platitudes and institutional positions, and have honest, nuanced conversations about things that really matter to young people and communities. Please Speak Freely guests include:

  • Raffi, Children’s Troubadour and Founder of the Centre for Child Honouring
  • Alfie Kohn, Author of several books including Punished By Rewards and The Schools Our Children Deserve
  • Dr. Pedro Noguera, Professor of Education at New York University
  • Karen Pittman, President & CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment
  • Tony Smith, Former Superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District
  • Lenore Skenazy, “America’s Worst Mom” and Author of Free-Range Kids

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