Official presentation will be part of Celebration of Freedom Ceremony, presented by Freedom Mortgage, supported by Visit Philadelphia during Wawa Welcome America festival on July 4

PHILADELPHIA –  Mayor Jim Kenney today announced that the recipient of the annual Philadelphia Magis Award will be the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium. Presented on July 4th each year as part of the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony at Independence Hall, Dr. Ala Stanford will accept the award on behalf of the Consortium.

The Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium identified the need for advocacy and action for Black and Brown communities who were contracting COVID and dying at greater rates than other Philadelphians. The Consortium created a mobile COVID-19 testing and vaccination operation in Philadelphia, with strong data to support their model: after passing the 25,000 dose mark in mid-March providing vaccines, the Consortium reported that 82 percent of those served were people of color, with 75 percent being African Americans, compared to the citywide vaccinations during the same time that were distributed to 24 percent African Americans. The effectiveness of their testing and vaccination efforts has greatly benefitted Philadelphia residents and has led to national media attention as the leader in this model of service provision. With the help of the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium, FEMA, our City’s Public Health Department and many other partner organizations, Philadelphia has exceeded President Biden’s ambitious goal for 70 percent of adults who got at least one COVID shot by July 4th.

The Latin Magis roughly translates into “the more universal good,” and the City of Philadelphia honor is awarded to a person or an organization that does and achieves more.

“Independence Day is a special holiday in America and particularly here in Philadelphia where the Declaration of Independence was written and signed on July 4, 1776,” said Mayor Kenney. “Although we celebrate our nation’s freedom and independence, we also know that these principles have evolved and mean different things to us now,” Mayor Kenney added. “And so, on Independence Day, it will be my honor to present the sixth annual Philadelphia Magis Award to the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium for identifying and meeting a critical need to help our residents who needed it the most.”

Mayor Kenney officially will present the Philadelphia Magis Award at the City of Philadelphia’s Celebration of Freedom Ceremony produced by the Office of the City Representative at Independence National Historical Park during the annual Wawa Welcome America festival, on Sunday, July 4th.

The Celebration of Freedom Ceremony presented by Freedom Mortgage, supported by Visit Philadelphia, will take place at 10:30 a.m., on the south side of Independence Square (the south side of Independence Hall) and feature performances by The Philly POPS and new talent, soulful R&B artist Saleka. In addition, an abbreviated reading of the Declaration of Independence will include Marley Dias — a purpose-driven 16-year-old who founded 1000 Black Girl Books and who is the youngest recipient of Forbes 30 Under 30 among other honors—and homegrown performing artist Cam Anthony who recently was named the winner of the 2021 season of NBC’s hit show The Voice.  Also, the Wawa Foundation Hero Award will be presented to a local nonprofit organization, and the Celebrate Freedom Award presented by Freedom Mortgage will be presented to a U.S. military veteran or frontline worker chosen from entries across the nation.

“Our Office of the City Representative is beyond proud to produce this very special edition of the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony this year,” said City Representative Sheila Hess. “After more than a year of producing and participating in everything virtually, we are excited to bring this live, free event to our City again on the nation’s most important holiday, Independence Day, in the city where it all began.”

The Celebration of Freedom Ceremony will broadcast on NBC10 and TeleXitos at 6 p.m. or you can watch on your device at, followed by the live broadcast of the Wawa Welcome America evening concert starting at 7 p.m. on July 4th at the Mann Center for Performing Arts.

The Office of the City Representative (OCR) serves as the premier marketing and promotional agency of the City of Philadelphia. OCR’s vision is to celebrate and foster Philadelphia’s visibility and diversity through citywide event creation, community engagement, and innovative experiences.