A DIVERSE AND WELCOMING STUDENT COMMUNITY
Inclusion is more than just a commitment; it’s at the very core of SP2.
Now and throughout our history, the School of Social Policy & Practice has been dedicated to the principles of anti-racism, anti-oppression, intersectionality, inclusion, diversity, and social justice. That commitment has never been as important as it is today.
Our students, from all identities and experiences, embody these values in both theory and practice. They bring them to life every day by engaging in innovative policy and research, doing work that makes a real difference here in Philadelphia and beyond, and tirelessly fighting for equity and justice.
The Racism Sequence
Learn more about SP2’s Racism Sequence, a groundbreaking curriculum that explores institutionalized forms of racism and discrimination in America, and how it informs the education of our students and the role we play in promoting social justice.
Research at SP2
Our students, faculty, and staff engage in ground-breaking research on topics related to identity, immigration, and racism, enhancing the School’s understanding of how personal, cultural, and social factors impact important issues within marginalized communities.
Connecting with Peers; Becoming Allies
SP2 is home to a variety of student organizations devoted to supporting one another, including: The Association of Black Social Workers, Asians for Justice, The Jewish Social Work Alliance, and Trans Student Union.
The Penn Experience: Racism, Reconciliation, and Engagement
This non-credit asynchronous online course aims to establish common language and concepts for incoming graduate and professional students to facilitate conversations about race, racism and difference in the classroom and beyond. Using video interviews, presentations, short readings and podcasts, the course highlights the significance of Penn’s and Philadelphia’s history of racism, Penn’s evolving relationship to West Philadelphia, and Penn’s efforts toward greater engagement and inclusion. Modules also focus on harm, healing and transformative justice; different forms of oppression; gender identity; equity and access to healthcare; and social determinants of health. One module designed primarily for white students addresses the antiracist work that must be done to dismantle white privilege and white supremacy while another module addresses racial literacy and racial stress for students of color.
Launched in June 2020, the course was developed through a partnership between the School of Social Policy & Practice and the School of Dental Medicine. In 2021 (version 2.0 of the course), additional schools/programs joined the partnership. The four course directors are responsible for developing and revising content based on feedback from colleagues and students.
Beverley Crawford, DDS
Director of Diversity & Inclusion
School of Dental Medicine
Jessie Harper, EdD
Assistant Dean, Faculty Affairs & Diversity
Graduate School of Education
Amy Hillier, MSW, PhD
School of Social Policy & Practice
Arlene Rivera Finkelstein, Esq
Associate Dean for Equity & Justice
Chief DEI Officer
Carey Law School
The course content is revised each year to reflect student feedback and new ideas and events at Penn and in the world. Version 3.0 includes 10 modules with an estimated completion time of 10-12 hours. Students are required to complete short assessments, including close-ended and open-ended questions designed to highlight key point and encourage personal reflection, at the end of each module.
These video clips provide examples of the voices and topics included in the course.
The Challenges of Reforming the Criminal Justice System – Taylor Pacheco
Taylor Pacheco is the Deputy Director of Philadelphia lawyers for Social Equity. She has a wide range of experience assisting clients in the criminal legal system including at Community Legal […]
The Movement for a Civil Right to Counsel – Len Reiser
Len Rieser is Program Coordinator for the Sheller Center for Social Justice, and also teaches the Access to Justice Clinic and Education Law at Temple University. He is the former […]
Faculty & Research
SP2 researchers recognized at Society for Social Work and Research conference
Researchers from Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice (SP2) were recognized for their leadership and scholarship at the 2023 Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research […]