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School of Social Policy & Practice Launches SP2 Social Justice Scholars Program

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Authored by: Jessica Bautista

Faculty & Research, Student Life


Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) has established the first ever SP2 Social Justice Scholars Program, geared towards funding and fostering an eminent education for graduate students, preferably those graduating from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs).

The SP2 Social Justice Scholars Program includes full-tuition scholarships and uniquely-focused, rigorous academic programming. Constructing a deep, distinctive, and impactful learning environment while removing the financial burden of a graduate education at Penn—the Social Justice Scholars Program simultaneously empowers and enhances the entire student experience and underscores SP2’s keen eye on racial justice, anti-colonialism, and abolitionist futures.

At the outset of 2021, three exceptional students, who are poised to enter one of SP2’s master’s degree programs will be selected for the scholarships; the scholarship recipients will be notified by March 15, 2021 and will matriculate at SP2 in the Fall of 2021. The long-term intention and goal of the Program is to expand its pool of recipients each year and fully fund the graduate education for 12 students over the next five years.

“Once selected, SP2 Social Justice Scholars will be assigned an alumni mentor and a faculty advisor. They will also receive funding for travel to a national conference and will have access to two pro-seminars, among other opportunities. Ultimately, our scholars will become the social work, social policy, and nonprofit leaders our world indisputably needs at this moment, and for many years to come,” said Dean Sara S. Bachman, PhD.

The SP2 Social Justice Scholars Program will quickly prove to be an essential addition to the School’s continuing efforts to affirm diversity, create systemic change within the curriculum and culture of the School, and use its academic assets to combat racism, oppression, and White supremacy.

The Program reflects the School’s commitment to its mission of the passionate pursuit of social innovation, impact, and justice. Long after their time at SP2, graduates of the program will profoundly enrich the diverse SP2 alumni community, as well as the national and international communities that SP2 constituents serve.

Prospective students who request financial aid and apply to their chosen SP2 master’s degree program by February 1, 2021 will be considered for this program if they demonstrate merit and financial need. The SP2 Social Justice Scholars Program selection committee will identify finalists; a separate application is not needed. To learn more, visit