UAC Celebrates 84th Birthday of Founding Executive Director Charles "Charlie" Bowser

Date: 
October 15, 2014

On Thursday, October 9, 2014 The Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC) celebrated the late Charles "Charlie" Bowser's 84th birthday, remembering the positive impact that Charles had not only on the city of Philadelphia, but at UAC. Charlie Bowser was the founding Executive Director of the Philadelphia Urban Coalition, now the Urban Affairs Coalition in 1968. He worked tirelessly as a civil rights lawyer and advocate for African American rights. With his knowledge of the issues that faced Philadelphia, Charlie was chosen to lead this organization that would bring together businesses, the community and the government to make gains across the city.

Charlie fought to ensure minority inclusion in contracting opportunities, develop commercial corridors for low-income areas, and train and place young people in corporate positions. By doing so, Charles set the tone for what UAC would do for the next 40 years. In only two years as Executive Director, Charles increased the total value of the Coalition's programs from $3.9 million dollars to over $12 million dollars. During his seven years, he established a black housing rehabilitation program, secured federal funding to assist Hispanic businesses and created the High School Academy Program which provided necessary job training to high school students and became a national model. Charlie is still remembered by many as one of the most important non-elected people in Philadelphia.

Charlie was recently featured in an article in Philadelphia Magazine where one write recalled his fond memories of the civil rights leader. To read the article, click here.