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In tumultuous times, Penn to debate race, firearms, immigration at public 'teach-in'

Susan Snyder

Philadelphia Inquirer

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Ira Harkavy, a longtime Penn employee who is founding director of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, was a Penn student at the time of the first teach-in, called a “Day of Conscience.” He said it followed a multi-day sit-in held by Penn students who were concerned about the role of research at Penn. Students wanted it to focus on “the betterment of human life” and the university’s relationship with and responsibility to its surrounding neighborhood.

“It helped make students more conscious, more reflective about their own education, and what they wanted to do after they finished their education,” he said.

He’s pleased with the university’s decision to hold another one, especially its efforts to reach out to the community.

“The most difficult problems can’t be solved by universities alone,” he said. “They require working with and learning from the community you’re a part of.”