An open letter to the administrations of Penn and Drexel University

#PhillySchoolDeserve Protest, March 2021

Dear President Gutmann, President Fry, and Board of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University,

We are approaching a year since community and student activists came together to demand that Penn and Drexel Universities become responsible neighbors to Philadelphia by funding communities not cops. Last year forced the city to its knees, proving that the enabling of wealthy tax-exempt institutions to exploit working-class Philadelphians can no longer stand. As stakeholders, we marched, petitioned, testified and campaigned for Penn and Drexel to transform the way they do business…

Originally posted on the Inquirer: Protesters gather in front of the Philadelphia Police headquarters on Race Street in Philadelphia, Pa. on Sunday, May 31, 2020. MONICA HERNDON / Staff Photographer

The Controller’s report on the city’s response to civil unrest during summer of 2020 proves that negligence and poor decision making of city leadership put residents at risk for widespread police brutality. As a member of the Community Advisory Accountability Council for the Controller’s report who supports calls to hold our mayor and police commissioner accountable, I ask, what happens when we get these toxic leaders out of office?

While the investigating firms, Ballard Spahr and At Risk International, focused on failed leadership as the ultimate culprit for the city’s poor response, the Call to Action directly influenced by the…

From article, “‘Great Deal For Me To Learn’: Mayor Jim Kenney Kneels With Protesters, Hopes Demonstrations Spark ‘Real Change’ In US”. Photo originally published on CBS News

The city’s response to the Controller’s report on the use of tear gas last summer was disappointing and suspect. It was disappointing that Mayor Kenney has not responded. It is suspect that the only one speaking out is Police Commissioner Outlaw. Could she perhaps be a convenient scapegoat? Regardless of the repeated deflections and deafening silence, the facts speak for themselves. The city failed us, plain and simple. The inept response to last summer’s unrest deserves acknowledgment from our leaders and a specific plan on how they will do better.

The report confirms that the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) was…

Visit our new website

Greetings Penn Community for Justice (PCJ) Members!

We have had an incredible summer and fall. Checkout all we have been up to on our new website This winter, PCJ is starting a new chapter and we would love to have you join us as we build our plan for the spring. You are invited to any of our up-coming planning meetings to join our community and participate in the work ahead. Details of what each meeting will cover are below.

  1. Reflection Meeting — Friday, December 11th 4:30PM-5:30PM
  • Learn about what we accomplished at this end of year review. Reflect…

Penn to donate $100 million to Philadelphia School District to help with asbestos, lead abatement

Today Penn announced that it would pay $10 million a year for the next 10 years to the School District of Philadelphia. The funds will go towards remediating the toxic public school infrastructure that the City and Penn have long neglected, despite students, educators, parents, and community members raising the alarm about unsafe conditions for decades.

This is a huge win for the PILOTs movement. Without the tireless organizing of Philadelphia Jobs with Justice, Penn Community for Justice, Penn for PILOTS, Penn SLAP, Philadelphia Student Union, Caucus of Working Educators, Our City Our Schools campaign, and many more, Penn would…

Dear Community:

There have been some questions as to who Penn Community for Justice (PCJ) is and what we stand for. Let us tell you!

Who We Are

We are a racially and socioeconomically diverse group of Penn staff, alumni, students and Philadelphia residents.

What We Stand For

  • We organize to demand that Penn defund and eventually disband Penn Police and make Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOTs) to the Education Equity Fund in support of Philadelphia public schools.
  • We believe in multifaceted, intersectional activism that implores a wide array of tactics and allows a multitude of voices to be…

Penn Community for Justice Banner


Penn Community for Justice (PCJ) provides a platform for Penn and Philadelphia community members who are committed to direct action to organize for racial and economic justice, and an equitable redistribution of Penn’s hoarded wealth and influence.


We believe that this work can only be accomplished by building an intentional organizing community that mirrors the humane society we strive to live within.

To empower ourselves through care, and deepen the impact of our work, we aim to uphold these values:

Creativity in collaboration

Transparency and engagement with constructive feedback

Shared ownership

Empathy and compassion

Transformative care that leads…

Penn Community for Justice

A group of UPENN and Philadelphia community members who are committed to fighting for racial and economic justice. Join here:

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store