Meet PHILADELPHIA250’s Two Newest Board Members

PHILADELPHIA250
4 min readApr 18, 2024

PHILADELPHIA250 is excited to announce that two new people have joined our Board of Directors: Maurice Goodman and Yocasta Lora. Maurice and Yocasta will play a crucial role in advancing our mission of igniting the passions of the people of Philadelphia and creating a commemoration that is truly by the people, for all people.

Read on to learn more about Maurice and Yocasta and what the nation’s semiquincentennial means to them.

Maurice Goodman works with Gordon Policy Group LLC as a Senior Consultant in Business Development and Government Relations. Maurice is a seasoned professional with over three decades of demonstrated interpersonal skills. His extensive background in sales, administration, customer service, and community service makes him a valuable asset to our board.

What does the 250th mean to you?

“Since I was about 11 years old and witnessing the 200th anniversary celebration on TV on a farm in North Carolina, I’ve wanted to be a part of helping the City and nation celebrate its milestone anniversaries. I knew even then how important it was that I, and my fellow citizens, understand that America is robustly and historically diverse… that many faces of different hues and backgrounds built the country, from the very beginning– even before there was a United States of America. That story has not been fully told. It’s in our national interest to do so now.”

Why did you want to join the PHL250 board? What do you hope to contribute to the success of our mission?

“Being asked to join PHL250’s Board is such a privilege — I get to live out my wish to help expand and push the dialogue of America as truly E Pluribus Unum (out of many, one). My hope is that every dot that can be connected and every loop that can be tied into this celebration. I want not just our region but the entire country to see how Philadelphia is setting the standard for an innovative, “no one left behind” inclusive vision for the 250th anniversary and the future of this nation.”

What PHL250 value/theme do you like best and tell us why it resonates with you.

#SharedProsperity. There are 1.6 million reasons in Philadelphia and 332 million reasons in the U.S. for institutionalizing it. Poverty and inequity, due to prejudice and bias, is an existential drag on the larger economy. Demographics demand that equal access to opportunity should be standard operating procedure for the next 250 years. No more of a nation of winners and losers, only variations of winners based on simple God-given abilities to pursue happiness and live out one’s boldest dreams.”

Yocasta Lora is the Associate State Director of Advocacy & Community Engagement for AARP and serves on the Pennsylvania Women’s Commission. Yocasta’s achievements in strategic alliances and business development have earned her widespread recognition. Her ability to enhance community well-being is a great addition to our board.

What does the 250th mean to you?

The United States was built on the premise that all people, no matter their race, religion, or place of origin, are welcome. As a person who immigrated from the Dominican Republic, being part of the planning for the 250th anniversary of the nation’s founding is a new milestone in my professional and personal life. When I came to this country as an immigrant, I was like a lot of newcomers to the U.S. I didn’t speak English, I didn’t understand American culture, and I was still learning what it meant to pursue the American Dream. Now, 23 years later, having a seat at the table allows me to make sure that the people of Philadelphia know that there are people who look like them, speak like them, and sound like them, who will represent and bring their voices to this celebration.”

What do you hope to contribute to the success of our mission?

“Words are pretty, but one thing I’ve learned as an advocate for the over 50 population in Greater Philadelphia is you have to get your hands dirty and walk the walk. Intentionality matters in how we celebrate this anniversary of our nation and celebrate the great nation we are still striving to become. ‘By the people, for all people’, to me, means equity, diversity, and intentionality. Advocates like myself must focus on listening to our communities to ensure their voices lead to tangible change. I will work to make sure community voices are at the heart of this celebration and no one is excluded because of issues like background, status, or income level.”

What PHL250 value/theme do you like best and tell us why it resonates with you.

#PeoplesHistories. When we allow a space for people to share their stories and their families and communities’ histories, it allows us to understand each other and feel connected at a deeper level.”

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PHILADELPHIA250

Coordinating the United States’ 250th anniversary in Philadelphia. Creating a commemoration that is truly by the people, for the people.