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Introducing the Year of Civic Engagement

Brandon Baker

Penn Today

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The latest theme year was ushered in last week with the Penn Reading Project. In a time of great distance, the University asks the community to think about how it can enact great engagement....

“I think what’s empowering about the theme this year is that it’s for everybody,” says Ira Harkavy, founding director of the Netter Center. “The hope is it will involve the whole campus. … We’re working on common concerns, common problems, and making a difference, and developing our own civic, ethical, and democratic skills, and that’s important for everyone—not just first-year students.
 
Harkavy notes that Penn alumni have been engaged in the Penn Reading Project through facilitators. He also adds that the collaboration with Civic House and SNF Paideia has been crucial.  

“It is a genuine team effort, in which the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts,” Harkavy emphasizes.

The Netter Center, Civic House, and Paideia, for example, put together a curated list of civic engagement opportunities to serve as an entry point to learn more about how to get involved with the Philadelphia community through existing programming and partnerships. All of the activities have been adapted for virtual engagement.

Read the full article (and watch the video!) from Penn Today here.