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Meet Local Hero Nominee: Dr. Philip Lance

Philip Lance, Ph.D., is a psychoanalyst, community organizer, and Episcopalian priest. He began his career in 1988 when he became one of the first openly gay persons ordained in the Episcopal Church.
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Nominee Name: Dr. Philip Lance
Title: Founder and Board President Emeritus
Organization/Business: Pueblo Nuevo Education & Development Group/Camino Nuevo Academy
Website: Pueblo Nuevo Education & Development Group
Nominator: Rev. Michael Mata

“From the moment he set foot in the MacArthur Park neighborhood, for Dr. Philip Lance it was about the people and their well-being. And that has been reflected in the work of Pueblo Nuevo that has evolved over the decades. Rather than take the option of upward mobility or building an institution around a personality, Dr. Lance chose a path that would bring challenges, disappointment and struggle. Yet he never gave up hope that life can be better for one of the poorest communities in the county, if not the country.”

— Rev. Michael Mata, Nominator

About Dr. Philip Lance

Philip Lance, Ph.D., is a psychoanalyst, community organizer, and Episcopalian priest. He began his career in 1988 when he became one of the first openly gay persons ordained in the Episcopal Church. He led a Spanish speaking congregation in Echo Park for five years and he was a prominent clergy leader for the Justice for Janitorscampaign in the early 1990s. In 1993, he began meeting with undocumented immigrants for a “mass-in-the grass” in MacArthur Park. The group evolved into Pueblo Nuevo Development, a nonprofit community development organization established to create economic opportunities for residents of the neighborhood. Under Lance’s leadership, Pueblo Nuevo established several neighborhood-based businesses and a bilingual education-focused charter school named Camino Nuevo Charter Academy. The school grew to serve several thousand students and employs more than 400 people at multiple campuses. He earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 2013 and was qualified as a psychoanalyst by the International Psychoanalytic Association in 2020. He currently serves on the board of Pueblo Nuevo and works as a psychotherapist in full time private practice. His legacy of empowering others to uplift themselves and their communities continues to inspire all those affiliated with the Pueblo Nuevo organization.

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