Arts & Sciences Students and Faculty Receive Projects for Progress Grants

The LOVE statue at Penn

Projects created by students and faculty in Penn Arts & Sciences have been chosen for the fourth cohort of the University’s Projects for Progress (P4P) by Penn’s Office of Social Equity and Community (SEC). Unveiled in 2020, the initiative provides University funding up to $100,000 for Penn teams piloting practical projects that address social justice issues in Philadelphia.

The projects and teams are:

West Philadelphia Sanctuary: A daytime gathering place for all West Philadelphians—especially socially at-risk and unhoused individuals—to gain respite in a safe, climate-controlled environment and access resources including a food cupboard and living supplies pantry. The team aims to reduce stigma, address loneliness, and create a generative space in which community members of all backgrounds can connect and engage with each other.

The team:

  • Aravind Krishnan, C'25, W'25, studying molecular and cell biology, health care management and policy, and statistics
  • Neha Shetty, C'24, studying health and societies
  • Aurora Yuan, C'25, studying neuroscience and chemistry
  • Kent Bream, associate professor of family medicine and community health at the Perelman School of Medicine
  • Roopali Kulkarni, assistant professor in the Department of Oral Medicine at Penn Dental Medicine

CROPS for HEALING: Black and Brown youth face rising racial discrimination that diminishes their emotional health and academic productivity, which can linger into adulthood. CROPS for HEALING uses racial literacy to protect youth from the harm of hate, prepare them to use their identity stories to confront dehumanization in relationships and schools, teach their peers, and improve their academic engagement and achievement.

The team:

  • Howard Stevenson, Constance E. Clayton Professor of Urban Education & Africana Studies at the School of Arts & Sciences
  • Sasha Mejia-Bradford, graduate student in the Graduate School of Education, studying interdisciplinary studies in human development
  • KJ Mosley, graduate student in the Graduate School of Education, studying interdisciplinary studies in human development
  • Jai Smith, C'26, undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences studying psychology

The third P4P project in this cohort is the Homeless Outreach Project: Penn’s Mobile Street Medicine Clinic, with a team from the Perelman School of Medicine.

P4P, says Nicole Maloy, director of the Office of SEC, gives people a useful “seed,” in the form of support and funding, to thoughtfully move forward, and, in many instances, move more quickly than otherwise possible. In fact, one of the requirements is that award recipients begin embarking on their initiative within six months.

“Word is spreading about Projects for Progress, and it was inspiring to see such a strong group of applicants this year,” says Maloy. “P4P is a special opportunity for Penn community members with a passion for social equity to team up, hone an idea, flesh it out with a proposal, and bring it to life with funding.”

To read the full announcement from the University, click here.


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