Penn Community for Justice Mission, Values and Demands

Penn Community for Justice
2 min readSep 8, 2020


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 to transformative change

We accept that there are multiple ways to approach this work and uplift other organizations that choose another path while respecting and welcoming strategic differences.


  1. Establish an indefinite agreement with the City of Philadelphia, through a Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program, to pay at least 40% of the university’s yearly property tax obligation into a publicly accountable Education Equity Fund.
  2. Permanently divest from the prison industrial complex and other industries, such as fossil fuels, known to perpetuate harm against Black, Indigenous, and other minority communities, while reporting fully transparent and public accounts of the university’s investments and contributions.
  3. Defund Penn Police and work with community and campus violence prevention organizations to institute police-free alternatives for community safety, both on and off campus.

We are also invested in a longer-term reimagining of Penn’s relationship to Philadelphia, based on an equitable partnership, which would necessitate that Penn:

4. Establish a genuine, open and ongoing dialogue with Philadelphia community members in order to heal and address community needs through solutions grounded in restorative justice principles and public accountability.

5. Democratize Penn’s amassed resources to truly serve the Philadelphia community. Essential changes include, but are not limited to, eliminating physical and psychological barriers to community assets on Penn’s campus, and engaging in good faith with labor demands for economic justice.

Activist and PCJ supporter Samantha Rise speaking at our March on University City on August 9th. Photo Credit: Ximena Conde/WHYY



Penn Community for Justice

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