Keynote Speakers - PHFA Commonwealth Housing Forum 
Connections - 2024 Housing Forum - May 1 - 2, 2024

Keynote Speakers

Andre M. Perry, Ph.D.

Andre M. Perry is a Senior Fellow at Brookings Metro, a scholar-in-residence at American University, and a professor of practice of economics at Washington University. A nationally known and respected commentator on race, structural inequality, and education, Perry is the author of the book “Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities.” Perry is a regular contributor to MSNBC and has been published by numerous national media outlets, including The New York Times, The Nation, The Washington Post, and Perry has also made appearances on HBO, CNN, PBS, National Public Radio, NBC, and ABC. Perry’s research focuses on race and structural inequality, education, and economic inclusion. Perry’s recent scholarship at Brookings has analyzed Black-majority cities and institutions in America, focusing on valuable assets worthy of increased investment.

Perry’s pioneering work on asset devaluation has made him a go-to researcher for policymakers, community development professionals and civil rights groups. Perry co-authored the groundbreaking 2018 Brookings Institution report “The Devaluation of Assets in Black Neighborhoods” and has presented its findings on the price of homes in Black neighborhoods across the country, including to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee. He has extended that report’s focus on housing in Black neighborhoods to include other assets such as businesses, schools and banks.

A native of Pittsburgh, Perry earned his Ph.D. in education policy and leadership from the University of Maryland College Park.

LeSean McCoy

Two-time Super Bowl Champion LeSean McCoy remains one of the top NFL running backs for the last decade. During LeSean's senior year at Bishop McDevitt High School, he suffered a compound fracture to his ankle, which jeopardized his college career, but more importantly his hopes of playing in the NFL. LeSean overcame his injury and eventually attended the University of Pittsburgh. In just two seasons, LeSean left with titles of: Big East Rookie of the Year, Big East Offensive Player of the Year and two-time First-Team All-Big East. LeSean declared for the 2009 NFL draft after his sophomore year.

LeSean's NFL dreams came true when he was drafted in the second round by the Philadelphia Eagles. He went on to break the all-time Eagles rookie rushing record with 606 yards. His 2013 season was one for the books: he led the league in rushing and was awarded the NFC Offensive Player of the Year. LeSean continued to shine for the Eagles, appearing in three Pro Bowls during his six seasons with the Eagles.

After a run with the Buffalo Bills, LeSean landed in Kansas City where he made an immediate impact on the high-powered offense, finishing his season with five touchdowns. LeSean's veteran presence helped lead the Chiefs to victory in the 2020 Super Bowl!

LeSean didn't stop there. He took his talents to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he earned himself another Super Bowl title. This 12-year NFL legend's hard work, cut on a dime ability, and exceptional speed made him a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time First-Team All-Pro in his NFL career. In 2021, LeSean signed a one-day contract with the Eagles when he decided to officially retire as a Philadelphia Eagle.

Wanting to give back to his hometown, LeSean has begun developing affordable housing in Harrisburg.

"After I retired from the NFL, I thought, 10 years from now they will only know about me for the NFL football player I was. How can I still impact my community without shoulder pads, helmets or fans screaming my name? I realized it was real estate because I can make a difference in my community that helped raise me."

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