Happy August, Quakers!

See below for information about Fall 2021 ABCS courses, work-study and volunteer opportunities, and Penn Reading Project sign-ups.

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Attention Recent Graduates:

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Take an Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) Course this Fall!
Many courses fulfill Sector and Foundational requirements in the College!
Featured Fall 2021 Courses:
AUGUST WILSON AND BEYOND (AFRC-325-401 / ENGL-380-401) - Herman Beavers, Suzana Berger
  • The purpose of this course is to engage students in the rigorous process of mining experiences for material that can be transformed into a public performance piece. In-class writing, group discussions, and field work in the Philadelphia area. In this seminar, students will read groundbreaking playwright August Wilson's 20th Century Cycle: ten plays that form an iconic picture of African American traumas, triumphs, and traditions through the decades, told through the lens of Pittsburgh's Hill District neighborhood. Other readings include supporting material on Wilson's work and African American theatre, the works of contemporary playwrights whom Wilson has influenced (such as Suzan-Lori Parks and Tarell Alvin McCraney), and context on Penn's relationship with West Philadelphia. As an Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) course, this seminar gives students the opportunity to enhance their understanding of the plays, and history and culture that shaped them, by forming meaningful relationships with West Philadelphia residents. Wilson's plays provide the bridge between the two groups. The course culminates with students writing an original theatre piece inspired by the readings and relationships, which they will share at an end-of-semester performance.
  • In EAS242: for the first half of the semester, students will teach hands-on lesson plans developed by the Netter Center, ECA, and the School District on residential energy efficiency, healthy homes, and career pathways in energy to 9th graders at local West Philadelphia high schools. In the second half of the course, students will work on projects with Penn and local partners on topics including weatherization, indoor air quality, carbon offsets, renewable energy, and more.
MARKETING FOR SOCIAL IMPACT (MKTG-266-001/002) - Deborah Small
  • Private and public sector firms increasingly use marketing strategies to engage their customers and stakeholders around social impact. To do so, managers need to understand how best to engage and influence customers to behave in ways that have positive social effects. This course focuses on the strategies for changing the behavior of a target segment of consumers on key issues in the public interest (e.g., health behaviors, energy efficiency, poverty reduction, fundraising for social causes). How managers partner with organizations (e.g., non-profits, government) to achieve social impact will also be explored. For the first time, this course is being offered as an Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) course supported by the Netter Center for Community Partnerships. As an ABCS course, students will engage in practical, collaborative problem-solving with partner organizations as part of the learning experience.  
PARTICIPATORY CITIES (SOCI-314-401 / URBS-314-401) - Marisa Denker
  • What is a participatory city? What has that term meant in the past, what does it mean now, and what will it mean going forward? Against the backdrop of increasing inequality and inequity, and the rise in a search for solutions, what role can citizens play in co-creating more just cities and neighborhoods? How can citizens be engaged in the decision-making processes about the places where we live, work, and play? And most importantly, how can we work to make sure that all kinds of voices are meaningfully included, and that historically muted voices are elevated to help pave a better path forward? This course will connect theory with praxis as we explore together the history, challenges, methods, and approaches, and impact of bottom up and top down approaches to community participation and stakeholder involvement in cities. Multiple opportunities will be provided to be involved in community engagement work for real-world projects in Philadelphia. This course is an ABCS and SNF Paideia Program course. Hear more about the course from the instructor herself in conversation with colleagues: Political Empathy: Perspectives from Psychology and Urban Studies
TRANSPORT JUSTICE (CPLN-551-001) - Joshua H. Davidson
  • This course will explore the concept of transport justice and how this idea can inform changes to public transit infrastructure. The first half of the course will set theoretical foundations through close reading and discussion of spatial and social justice theories, emphasizing questions of transportation and mobility. The second half of the course will feature a project-based application of these theories. Students will develop analyses to inform a planning at the intersection of Broad/Germantown/Erie in North Philadelphia. Students will be encouraged to explore multiple analytic approaches including: interviews and qualitative data collection; GIS and spatial analysis; quantitative analysis and predictive modeling, and more. The course will culminate in written and oral presentations given to partners from SEPTA, OTIS, and other planning agencies in Philadelphia.

Volunteer and Work-Study Opportunities

Engage with the West Philadelphia community through the Netter Center! To learn more about engagement opportunities, visit https://www.nettercenter.upenn.edu/get-involved/student-engagement-opportunities.

Featured Programs

Penn Leads the Vote (PLTV) is a student-run, non-partisan program that increases voter engagement and voting while advancing Penn’s role of supporting the democratic and civic engagement of Penn students.  PLTV is university-wide and its leadership comes from both the undergraduate and graduate student bodies of the University of Pennsylvania. During election cycles, PLTV connects the Penn community with the resources needed to register and check registration, to be informed, and to get out to the polls.  Throughout the year, PLTV encourages students to learn about and engage with current issues and politics at the local, state, and national level.
PLTV is looking for committed students to join the team for 2021-2022! These paid opportunities are a great way for students interested in civic engagement to make a meaningful difference on campus and gain real-world experience. Please see www.vote.upenn.edu/job-opportunities for all open positions.
Questions? Email pennvotes@upenn.edu.

Research and develop materials for professional development!

The Netter Center is hiring student leaders as Professional Development and Reflection Associates for Fall 2021 and beyond. The Associates’ primary responsibilities are to develop and deliver professional development workshops integrated with critical reflection on interconnected social issues grounded in the Netter Center’s problem-solving learning framework. Associates conduct online research, consult community partners, and collaborate with appropriate Netter Center staff, faculty, and student leaders to create content and materials. Associates will receive training to facilitate workshops on topics related to the Netter Center’s work. Associates will be expected to co-facilitate at least one workshop in Fall 2021. Associates will work closely with Netter Center staff and student leaders to plan, develop, and implement all workshops. For more information about the position, please see HERE.

Support civic education and student governance!

Civic Youth Action Partnership (CYAP) seeks to increase civic education and engagement opportunities and build advocacy skills for middle schoolers in West Philadelphia. We meet as a group to collaboratively plan lessons and then teach 1-2x a week at school(s) in West Philly. We support student governments, run debates, and facilitate other games/activities, focusing on both classic civic topics (government) but also contemporary issues and local/current events. We also create educational videos/PSAs that we use in our lessons. Interested in joining the team? Apply on Workday at JR00037321 or email your resume to penncyap@gmail.com. 
Sign up to be a Penn Reading Project Group Facilitator!

New Student Orientation and Academic Initiatives (NSOAI) invites all members of the current Penn community, i.e. students, faculty, and staff, to sign up to be a 2021 Penn Reading Project (PRP) Group Facilitator! Read and discuss August Wilson’s landmark play, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, with a small group of first-year students on campus the afternoon of Friday, August 27th.
Ma Rainey is one of ten plays in Wilson’s so-called Pittsburgh Cycle, which explores connections between generations of Black families and their neighborhoods and communities. A particular thematic focus this year will be interaction with the Philadelphia community and beyond on projects that unite and enrich us all. A fuller description of both Ma Rainey and the Provost's Academic Theme of Civic Engagement can found here.
Since group discussions will be in-person on campus, Group Facilitators will need to be here, and willing and able to meet with small groups in classrooms; beyond that, it is open on a first-come, first-served basis to all who would like to participate.
Sign up through this form and receive a link to the complete Ma Rainey text online and some additional resources, including a video prep session with Herman Beavers, Professor of English and Africana Studies and the Faculty Director of Civic House, and Margit Edwards, Lecturer in the Penn Theatre Arts program. The small group discussions themselves last one hour.
Facilitator Sign-Up HERE
Faustine Sun
3819-33 Chestnut St, Suite 120
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