The Lead

Philly radio station WURD Founders Day celebration honors richness of Black culture

By: - August 30, 2022 10:04 am

Sara Lomax-Reese, far left, discusses the legacy of her father and WURD founder Dr. Walter Lomax during the station’s Founder’s Day program in 2019 at the Free Library of Philadelphia-Parkway Central (Philadelphia Tribune photo).

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PHILADELPHIA — WURD-AM is holding its ninth annual Founder’s Day community celebration to honor the station’s founder, Dr. Walter P. Lomax Jr.

Lomax was a prominent physician, entrepreneur and philanthropist in Philadelphia. The festivities will take place this Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Free Library of Philadelphia Parkway Central branch at 1901 Vine St.

This year’s Founder’s Day marks the station’s return to an in-person celebration, which has been a popular event since 2013. In 2021, there was a virtual Founder’s Day celebration. In honor of Lomax, the site of the first medical center on 18th and Wharton streets was renamed.

“Founder’s Day is one of the most significant events on WURD’s robust calendar of community events,” said WURD President/CEO Sara Lomax-Reese. “It’s an opportunity to celebrate the importance of Black-owned media outlets like WURD, which my father acquired 20 years ago in order to ensure that Black Philadelphians always had a voice. On Founder’s Day, we center all of our programming and activities on three of my father’s deepest passions: independent media, community health, and Black wealth creation.”

Founder’s Day is a free community celebration open to the public. The festivities will be broadcast live from the library on 96.1 FM/900 AM, wurdradio.com, the WURD app, and WURDTV live streaming on Facebook and Twitch.

The main draw of Founder’s Day is the discussion with Philadelphia community and business leaders about issues affecting the city’s Black community and beyond. Land ownership and generational wealth, in particular. The programming will also address Black women in technology and innovation, as well as discuss the city’s violence as a public health issue.

WURD show hosts will moderate roundtable discussions on the state of Black independent media and its role in these difficult times as the country prepares for midterm elections. Pennsylvania is one of the states attracting national attention for its Senate and gubernatorial races.

Attendees have the opportunity to participate in a job and resource fair, a mindful movement class, and enjoy live musical performances. WURD members will have access to exclusive opportunities. Members of WURD will have access to special opportunities.

Among the day’s events, WURD will hand out its second annual Community Impact Awards.

“Founder’s Day is not only a celebration of my father’s core values and his impact in Philadelphia, it is an opportunity to engage WURD listeners and the broader Philadelphia community,” Lomax-Reese said. “Whether you attend Founder’s Day in person or listen to programming on air or online, you will gain an appreciation for the richness, diversity, and influence of Black people and culture in Philadelphia.”

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