Karen L. Black
Karen L. Black is the Principal of May 8 Consulting, Inc., a policy analysis firm located in Media, Pennsylvania. In addition, Ms. Black teaches urban studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Prior to beginning her consulting practice, Ms. Black was the founding director of the Metropolitan Philadelphia Policy Center, a region-wide policy center founded to research issues significant to Southeastern Pennsylvania and connect expert knowledge and other jurisdiction’s experience to regional policymakers. The Center successfully animated conversation around the challenges confronting communities within the region and produced compelling data towards the need to change and refine state land use, tax, and urban abandonment and housing policies in order to restore vibrancy to Metropolitan Philadelphia.
Ms. Black came to the Policy Center having completed a two year fellowship with Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as a HUD Community Builder to improve HUD’s delivery of services to the region. This unique fellowship provided Ms. Black with an extraordinary opportunity to work within government and playing an active role in reforms that HUD’s Secretary and Harvard’s experts believed were critical to the agency’s ability to serve the community.
Prior to that, Ms. Black practiced law for eleven years in the area of civil rights. Ms. Black joined the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, a non-profit, non-partisan legal organization dedicated to equal justice in 1989. She founded and directed the Housing and Police Projects at the Center. For a decade, Ms. Black pursued a well-respected legal career where she was responsible for significant reforms in the lending, rental and sales practices by numerous area property owners, real estate agents, lenders and homeowners’ insurance providers. Her work has caused entire industries to redefine their practices.
Ms. Black is the author of numerous reports and professional articles. 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.
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
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