In Memory of Richard Murphy

February 14, 2013

Richard Murphy

It is with deep sadness that we mourn the loss of Richard Murphy who passed away Thursday, February 14, 2013 surrounded by family and friends.

The following, excerpted from a letter by Alison Overseth of Partnership for After School Education (PASE) gives an overview of some of Richard’s many contributions to youth services and the after school community:

“Richard’s extraordinary impact on the youth of NYC and on our field cannot be overstated…and his friendship and support of many of us – certainly me – provided us the certainty that we had a role to play in significantly improving children’s lives in this city.  He brought this inspiring energy to every interaction and was willing to deal with extremely serious and challenging issues honestly.  He was also a remarkably approachable, personable, warm man…and he was very funny!

Richard had so many accomplishments, a few of which are noted below

Richard served as Commissioner of the Department of Youth Services (the predecessor to the Department of Youth and Community Development) under the Dinkins administration.  A visionary leader for doing the right thing for young people, he had previously founded the Rheedlen Foundation, initially a small, community-based agency, now known as the Harlem Children’s Zone.

Richard’s impact on the field of youth services is deep and wide.  Under his leadership, and with his impressive ability to negotiate with previously intractable groups, NYC opened the Beacon Centers: school based community centers for children and families which remain an important national model for youth development and community supports and engagement.

Richard also helped found the Neighborhood Family Services Coalition, a critical advocacy group in NYC.  While Commissioner, he began YouthLine, a 24/7 call center for teens needing answers, resources and someone to talk to….and in setting it up, he trained teens to be the “researchers” in the city to uncover resources that they might find useful.   YouthLine helped inspire the 311 initiative.”