Universal companies co-founder Faatimah Gamble, second from left, at the group's 25th anniversary benefit on Dec. 7 with, from left: City Councilman Derek Green and Fox29 co-anchors Alex Holley and Mike Jerrick. (Martin Regusters)
Since 1993, famed Philly music producer Kenny Gamble, half of Philly International’s famed Gamble & Huff duo (along with Leon Huff) and his wife Faatimah Gamble have devoted themselves to education and housing through their nonprofit, Universal Companies.
Universal celebrated its 25th anniversary last week with its fifth annual star-studded, gala fashion show and benefit on Dec. 7, attended by a veritable who's who of Philly VIPs.
Titled “An Evening of Style and Grace,” the fashion show featured local celebrities modeling the “latest fashions of Main Line Designer, Frank Agostino along with Les Richard Menswear and Philadelphia Eagles Malcolm Jenkins’ bow tie line.”
The benefit went to support Universal Pearls of Wisdom (for adolescent females), From Boys to Men (for adolescent males), which are character building and social etiquette programs, as well as Universal Audenried Culinary Academy.
"We teach young men and women about consequences. We help them to aspire," Faatimah Gamble previously told Metro of the programs, which she first designed some 35 years ago. "We give our young scholars proper tools to navigate life's waters, be it culinary arts or dressing properly. All they have to do is be willing to receive the information and process it appropriately."
Universal “has built over 1,500 units of housing and currently manages eight charter schools in Philadelphia and educating over 4,000 children” the organization stated. “Universal’s mission is to create educational, cultural and entrepreneurial opportunities that will stimulate the development of wealth within historically disenfranchised communities.”