Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships Honors Tuskegee Airmen and Women
This recap was put together with the help of Rachel Viddy, interim director of the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships, and Roxzine Scott, executive assistant and program manager in the Office of the President. Photos courtesy of Roxzine Scott.
On Oct. 17, Drexel University’s Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships hosted its monthly dinner for the Drexel community and West Philadelphia neighbors with a few special guests.
The Tuskegee Airmen and Women — specifically, the Greater Philadelphia Chapter Tuskegee Airmen — were honored at the Dornsife Center’s October dinner, an idea that was brought to the Dornsife Center by chapter member Henry Nesmith. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American military pilots, as well as navigators, mechanics, nurses, cooks and other support personnel, in the U.S. and served in World War II. The Greater Philadelphia Chapter Tuskegee Airmen is a group that includes people who participated in the Tuskegee Airmen experience from 1941–1946, as well as people who want to maintain the legacy of those men and women.
There are five original members of the Tuskegee Airmen and Women who live in West Philadelphia today, and one original team member was in attendance at the October dinner. Alma Elizabeth Bailey, a 98-year-old local resident who served as a cadet nurse during World War II, was presented with a Citation award from District 6 City Councilmember Michael J. Driscoll in recognition of her service.
As part of the community dinners, the Dornsife Center invites Drexel Athletics teams to attend, and this month, the wrestling, men’s squash and women’s basketball teams joined to meet and celebrate with the community. The Dornsife Center’s dinners provide a space where community members can meet neighbors, make new friends and find out about events at the Center and around the community.