Our Mission

Founded in 1992, the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships is Penn’s primary vehicle for bringing to bear the broad range of human knowledge needed to solve the complex, comprehensive, and interconnected problems of the American city so that West Philadelphia (Penn’s local geographic community), Philadelphia, the University itself, and society benefit. The Netter Center is based on three core propositions:

  • Penn’s future and the future of West Philadelphia/Philadelphia are intertwined
  • Penn can make a significant contribution to improving the quality of life in West Philadelphia/Philadelphia
  • Penn can enhance its overall mission of advancing and transmitting knowledge by helping to improve the quality of life in West Philadelphia/Philadelphia.

The Netter Center, which is housed in the Office of Government and Community Affairs, works to achieve the following objectives:

  • Improve the internal coordination and collaboration of all university-wide community service programs
  • Develop democratic, mutually beneficial, mutually respectful partnerships between the University and the community 
  • Create and strengthen local, national and international networks of institutions of higher education committed to engagement with their local communities.

Read more about Our Approach.

Francis Bacon

"It is not possible to run a course aright when the goal itself has not been rightly placed."

Francis Bacon (1620)