Harrisburg City Council will honor four community service leaders at the start of its September 27 legislative session meeting.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Matt Maisel
Director of Communications, City of Harrisburg
September 27, 2022
HARRISBURG – Four city residents who have devoted countless hours to volunteerism and community service will be honored at the start of Tuesday’s City Council Legislative Session.
Angel Fox, Rafiyqa Muhammad, Eugene Spells, and Cynthia Watkins have been recognized by council members for their exemplary work serving others. They have been named the recipients of the 2022 City Council “Unsung Heroes” award.
The annual honor goes to city residents who have volunteered their time to make the Harrisburg community better. Nominees are selected by City Council members. The award makes its return in 2022 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was last presented in 2019.
“Each of these people truly embody what it means to be an ‘Unsung Hero’,” said City of Harrisburg Council President Danielle Bowers. “Our city wouldn’t be able to function without the work they do, most, if not all of the time, behind the scenes. We want to make sure that everyone sees how much we appreciate them.”
The Tuesday, September 27 legislative session is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
Angel Fox is a longtime community activist, coach, and community leader. While working as District Director for State Representative Patty Kim, Angel started her own business; Fox’s Wash & Go full-service laundromat on Market Street. Angel’s path towards community activism changed in 2011, when she says her best friend was murdered due to domestic violence. She started the non-profit, Tears for Tarina, to help bring awareness and provide assistance to victims of domestic violence. She says her toughest job, though, is being a single mother “of three young men and a new princess.”
For nearly four decades, Rafiqya Muhammad has been one of Harrisburg’s most pre-eminent advocates of African American culture. In 1985, she established Ngozi, Inc., a 501 (C-3) non-profit which provides training and education to the African American community in basic academics, cultural awareness, physical fitness, food & nutrition, economics, and African/African American studies. Her work as purveyor of the Camp Curtin YMCA community garden has been featured across multiple media outlets in the city. She is a member of the DEP Environmental Advisory Board and Harrisburg Environmental Advisory Council, and is working with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to get city youth more involved in environmental programs.
A life-long resident of Harrisburg, Eugene Spells has devoted his entire career to helping children. Currently the Principal at Camp Curtin Academy, Mr. Spells has has worked in the Harrisburg School District for 25 years and has been Principal at four additional schools: John Harris High School, Scott Elementary, Melrose Elementary, and Rowland Academy. He has also dedicated the last 20 years to coaching little league football for the Harrisburg Broncos/Cougars football program. His role as Basileus of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Kappa Omega Chapter promotes voter registration, community health initiatives, support for womens’ shelters, and fatherhood initiatives.
Ms. Watkins has been a leader in local Democratic policies for more than three decades, and most recently, one of Harrisburg’s leading community activists. A lifelong resident of the Harrisburg area, Cynthia worked as a long time employee for the Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus, including former Democratic Leader Dr. Ivan Itkin, Rep. Mark Cohen, and Rep. LeAnna M. Washington, the first female chair of the PA Legislative Black Caucus. Most recently, Ms. Watkins has served as an administrative assistant for PA Legal Services, ARC of PA, Harrisburg Uptown Neighbors Together (HUNT), Neighborhood Day Care Centers, Tressler Lutheran Services, County Commissioners Association of PA, direct care worker for Keystone Mental Health, and Chaplain’s Clerk at Dauphin County Prison.