Margie Maria Harris-Austin was born on July 10, 1955 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to the Late Willie James Harris and Dorthel Jenkins. Born in her father’s hands en route to the hospital, Margie was the fourth of five siblings, Ricky Harris, the Late Vinklin Earl Harris, Aundry Harris, James Harris and Sandra Harris-Brown.
Margie accepted Christ at a young age, and was baptized at Mount Olive Freewill Baptist Church by the Late Reverend A.E. Cooper, who also baptized her father.
Margie grew up in South Philadelphia Passyunk Homes. Always the socialite, Margie loved her ‘Passyunk Crew”, as she often referred to and maintained close relationships over the years.
Margie, attended and received her formal education in the Philadelphia Public School System. With heart felt compassion for the health and well-being of others, shortly after high school, Margie attended a Medical School of Training and earned her Medical Assistant Certification, which began her career in the Heath Care field.
In 1972, Margie was united in holy matrimony to Calvin Austin Jr., which produced three of her four children, Tameka Austin, Calvin Austin III and Christin Austin.
In 1992, Margie welcomed news that she was pregnant with her fourth child - albeit she endured a high-risk pregnancy with challenges ahead. Isaiah Emmanuel Baker, was born into our world and changed the trajectory of her life’s mission and purpose.
Margie first job was at Crowne Nursing Home. She then went on to work at St. Agnes Hospital, Dr. Cianci, Record Center, Simpson House, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, and Medical College of Pennsylvania.
In her pursuit to include her son in typical children and youth programs, Margie started her own program, CAIP “Change Agent for Inclusive Programs”. Margie was a graduate of Temple University Institute on Disabilities, United Affiliated Programs, “Confidence and Competence, Partners & Policymaker, and the Advance Leadership Training Program. Margie also served on the board of Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) and the Governor’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities. Margie was a member of the Philadelphia Parent Support Group, Representative of The Heart of the Family Support Group which serve families in the South Philadelphia area. Margie advocated relentlessly with the support of city and state officials and spoke at many legislative meetings, rallies and conferences in her pursuit to change state and federal laws of Inclusion of Adult and Children with Physical and Intellectual Disabilities. In her final moments, she stood before Congress and did what she did best before leaving the platform, speaking on her tireless efforts for Inclusion of the Disability Community. Due to her efforts, she was awarded many Local, State and Federal Citations.
Margie’s energy and efforts did not stop there. Her Civic and Political journey was just as expansive. She went on to touch lives with many others, and was an integral part in helping with “The Million Woman March 1997” in Philadelphia, Pa. For the last several years, she worked closely with State Representatives including now, Congressman Dwight Evans and his campaign committee within her community.
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