Penn and Drexel Must Fund Communities Not Cops

#PhillySchoolDeserve Protest, March 2021

We demand Penn and Drexel:

  • Defund Penn and Drexel Police and work with community and campus violence prevention organizations to institute police-free alternatives for community safety, both on and off campus. This includes safely holding University events without armed officials.
  • Immediately and Permanently divest from the prison industrial complex and other industries, such as fossil fuels, known to perpetuate harm against Black, Indigenous, and other communities, while reporting fully transparent and public accounts of the university’s investments and contributions. This includes ending all financial and other contributions to the Philadelphia Police Foundation.
  • 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.
  • Penn — release the Public Safety Review and Outreach Initiative report with actionable steps outlining how the university will meet the community demand for transparency, accountability and a transition plan to implement police free alternatives. Drexel — appoint a committee of law scholars and community stakeholders to conduct an independent investigation of Drexel University Police practices.
  • Penn and Drexel should 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.
  • Penn and Drexel should publicly condemn the human rights abuses perpetuated by the Police Department of Philadelphia during the unrest of 2020. They should use their power and influence to demand the city cooperate with the United Nations investigation currently underway.

Philly Can’t Afford to Settle for Charity or Empty Platitudes

Both Drexel and Penn have their own police departments, making up two of the five patrol units in the University City area. These private police forces are historically used as mechanisms for university driven gentrification and disproportionately target non-student community members. Often campus police are used to maintain bubbles of affluence for the consumption of university affiliates in neighborhoods that are otherwise disenfranchised. Penn and Drexel have exploited this systemic deprivation in their well documented land grab of once taxable property which they now use for exorbitantly priced student housing and tuition.

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Penn Community for Justice

Penn Community for Justice

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