Sister's Recognition Luncheon & Fashion Show
Founder Recognition Luncheon & Fashion Show
We have all heard the adage “Behind Every Successful Man is a Wise Woman.” According to Kenneth Gamble, famed Grammy award winning record producer/songwriter turned community activist, it was his wife Faatimah who encouraged him to pioneer the revitalization effort of the South Philadelphia neighborhood he grew up in. “In the late 1980’s we would often talk about the devastation just south of Center City Philadelphia, always commenting that someone has to correct it,” said Kenneth. “It wasn’t until my wife said ‘Well maybe that someone is us’ that we decided to take a proactive, holistic approach to community redevelopment.” It was then that the couple relocated from the quiet suburbs of Philadelphia to South-Central Philadelphia to rebuild a community taken over by crime and impoverished conditions.
Utilizing her background and extensive experience in real estate investment, Faatimah Gamble co-founded Universal Companies, a group of organizations that provides a wide range of comprehensive services to rebuild urban America. These services include real estate development, construction, property management, vocational skills training, adult basic education, job preparation and placement, case management, technology networking and management, business training, business services, technical assistance, elementary education and after school programs.
In addition to planning and financing, Universal oversees the construction and management of all of its projects. Universal implements far-reaching public education initiatives through the management of six public charter schools, thereby serving 3,700 students and their families directly each year. Faatimah was the only female involved in the actual construction of the United Muslim Masjid. She was one of several women involved in the formation of the United Muslim Movement.
One thing that was missing amongst Universal’s repertoire was health education, something Faatimah had grown very passionate about. Therefore, in 1996, she founded The Wellness of You, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission of introducing healthy lifestyle practices to medically underserved communities. Since its inception, over 25,000 individuals have benefited from the programs, workshops and events implemented by The Wellness of You. In addition to the Celebrate Wellness Expo and the “Annual Wellness Breakfast for Men Only”, The Wellness of You program implements Character Building/Self Esteem training programs for adolescents as well as an Annual Children's Wellness Health Fair for nearly 3,000 students and their families. In fact, The Wellness of You was the first organization of its kind in the nation to recognize medical professionals committed to making a difference in community health.
How did she do it? Faatimah’s acumen for business began early as a student at Bok Vocational School in South Philadelphia. Faatimah continued education at Temple University and later become certified as a Protocol and Etiquette Consultant from the International School of Protocol in Washington, D.C. Faatimah developed the Pearls of Wisdom and From Boys to Men character building and social etiquette programs which she has implemented with hundreds of adolescents over the last thirty years, encouraging self-esteem and refinement among inner-city males and females. She also taught girls Social Grace and Etiquette Program at Clara Muhammad School here in Philadelphia.
Self described as adventurous, this former model/actress was a member of the Philadelphia Theatre Company who sky-dived and travelled the world as a young adult. Faatimah is also credited for growing the Health and Welfare Plan of a local union from start-up to a $1 Million plan early in her career. This mother and grandmother has also founded a private real estate firm, Salaam Enterprises, Inc. which has owned and managed over 100 properties in the Greater Philadelphia region to date.
Faatimah created the first Muslim Women’s radio program in Philadelphia; “Women In Islam;” a program she hosted for seven years. Also, a former restaurateur, Faatimah is the recipient of many awards for her community and philanthropic efforts. Faatimah currently serves as President of The Wellness of You, Inc.; Co-Chairperson of Universal Companies and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Universal Institute Charter School.
Faatimah’s plans for the future are to focus on youth programming and health advocacy, specifically in the areas of preventative medicine and obesity reduction.