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Karen L. Black

Karen L. Black is the CEO of May 8 Consulting, Inc. a firm that performs policy research, analysis, facilitation and coalition building to form innovative and creative solutions to seemingly intractable problems facing communities. Whether trying to revitalize a city, preserve open space, stop abandonment and blight, create environmental sustainability, or promote regional equity, her goal is to work with May 8's clients to create an action plan to address these issues that is innovative, collaborative, high-impact, and politically feasible. Black does not stop at creating the action plan, however; often, she works with clients to implement the necessary changes.

Ms. Black has taught in the Urban Studies Department of the University of Pennsylvania since 2002. In Fall 2015, Ms. Black additionally taught a graduate level course at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs on issues of gentrification and displacement. Prior to beginning her consulting practice, Black was the founding director of the Metropolitan Philadelphia Policy Center, a region-wide policy center founded to research issues impacting the economy, environment and equity within the Philadelphia metropolitan region. Before that, Black spent 12 years as a practicing civil rights attorney. Black is the author of numerous reports and professional articles and a frequent commentator for television and radio programs. She received a Bachelor’s from Williams College and a Doctorate of Law from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Awards and Involvement
Karen Black has received a number of awards and honors in recognition for her work over the years.

Philadelphia Bar Association Good Deed Award, Real Property Section
November 7, 2013 to Philly Land Bank Alliance. (May 8 coordinates Alliance.)
Award of Excellence Winner for Special Purpose Brochures, Manuals and Reports, “Taking Care of Business” 2012
Chair of Mayor Nutter’s Licenses and Inspections Transition Team
November – December 2007
Philadelphia Bar Association’s “Good Deed Award” in recognition of and appreciation for her continuing effort to bring zoning reform to the city of Philadelphia. November 29, 2007
PepperPot Award for Issues Management from the Public Relations Association of America, Philadelphia Chapter for long-term program to address public policy December, 2002
American Society of Landscape Architects Award for Communications
October, 2002
Grand Award Winner for Publication Excellence for a Special Publication by APEX June, 2002
Governmental Research Associations 2002 Award for “Most Effective Education” August 2002
Award from Delaware Valley Fair Housing Partnership for Contribution to Furthering Fair Housing in the Region 1998
Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Outstanding Community Service by Fair Housing Council of Montgomery County 1998
Client List
We are excited to have the opportunity to work with the following clients: