By Linda Wright Moore
To the 2023 Participants in the Acel Moore High School Journalism Workshop:
By participating in this workshop experience, you’ve gotten a jumpstart on a
potential career in the field of journalism. Further, you’ve begun learning
about why reporting matters: that without reliable sources of accurate and
factual information, our democracy cannot function.
We have seen proof of that, as we watched a U.S. President who lost re-
election by millions of votes tell a “Big Lie” claiming he won. Thousands of
Americans believed him and – at his urging – stormed the US Capitol in an
attempt to overthrow the government, by preventing certification of President
Biden’s election victory.
Here in Philadelphia, the local news is much closer to your lives, but just as
challenging. Gun violence has turned too many streets into killing fields;
public schools face ongoing staffing and funding problems; and persistent
poverty threatens the health and wellbeing of too many Philadelphians.
My late husband, Acel Moore, would have had plenty to say about all that bad
news. But he also recognized that some of the news is always good. He wrote
frequently about resilient, caring neighbors and determined activists who
were making a positive difference in their communities.
He also cared deeply about young people like you: he wanted to introduce you
to the profession of reporting he loved. He hoped some of you would follow in
his footsteps. He understood that even if you choose another career path, the
critical thinking and storytelling skills you’ve begun to learn here will serve
you well as you become full citizens in our democracy.
My congratulations to all of you on completing the workshop! I regret that I
was unable to attend your luncheon and meet you in person, however I wish
each of you the very best in the future.