We are reaching out to all of you during this incredibly turbulent and painful time to offer our support and resources and to hold ourselves accountable for those pledges.
We condemn the injustices that continue to devastate our community – the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and thousands of others; the perpetuation of white supremacy and police brutality; all amidst the backdrop of healthcare inequity and tragic losses from COVID-19.
We are inspired by the work of our campus partners to create spaces to address these injustices. We cannot pretend to imagine what each of you is feeling, but we want to make sure you know that we are here and listening. You are seen, and you are heard, and you are valid.
In acknowledging the pain of our community, we must also acknowledge that silence is harmful. During the time that it has taken for our staff to process; to listen; to coordinate and craft our message; and to check in on each other, our friends, and our students – this public platform has been silent, and therefore we have been complicit in this harm. We must do better.
Artists have the power to inform, create empathy, and offer healing to individuals and communities. In times of joy, in times of anger, in times of need, in times of pain, we look to artists to lift us, to create space for us, to provide meaning for us. As artists, each of you has a tremendous gift. You may not be in a place to use it right now, and you should not feel pressured to. Each person needs something different in the midst of tragedy. Listen to yourself and to what you need. We simply want to remind you of the power within.
As we all continue to process, Platt House staff is here to listen. If you want to articulate things you need from us or things you would like to see happen, you can reach our full team at platthouse[at]pobox.upenn.edu.
In the meantime, Platt House and PAC-Exec are collaborating to create spaces for open discussion among Penn students, beginning with a live, digital space to check in and talk about anything that may be on your mind. We plan to follow this event with additional check-ins in different formats and the opportunity for our students to offer written feedback, to help inform further programming. Our goal is to build programs that don’t simply address our own impulse to help, but that are thoughtful, thorough, and responsive to your needs. We will do this work with our student leaders, our peers and our campus partners, holding ourselves and each other accountable for continuing this work.
While we prepare more helpful guides and programs, please do not hesitate to contact us and other campus centers. We’re all processing this moment differently, and we will look to a variety of resources that may help us to listen, to speak, to understand, and to heal.
We stand in solidarity with anyone who is experiencing this trauma and with those who are fighting back. Black lives matter.
Sincerely and with respect,
Platt Student Performing Arts House
The following University resources remain available to you while campus operates remotely:
Office of the Chaplain
Makuu Black Cultural Center
La Casa Latina
Pan Asian-American Community House
Greenfield Intercultural Center
Penn Women’s Center
Graduate Student Center
Family Resource Center
Restorative Justice Book Club & Optional Discussion Sessions (details below)
- Restorative Justice Book Club Meetings – Second Fridays June, July and August (6/12, 7/10, and 8/14 from 1-2:30pm EDT)
- Optional Discussion Sessions from Restorative Practices @ Penn – 6/26, 7/24, and 8/28, from 1-2pm EDT
- Are you interested in Restorative, Transformative, or Healing Justice? Would you like to build community with classmates and work to bring this movement to Penn? Restorative Practices @ Penn is hosting a monthly book discussion this summer, open to anyone interested, no commitment required!
- Sign up to share your book preferences and to be notified about the book that is chosen, and the articles/videos selected for the additional conversations. Feel free to drop in or invite friends along the way! Please reach out to pcerdera[at]upenn.edu for information about financial support. Space may be limited, so please indicate your interest soon! https://forms.gle/7kLBexw7SvhfLsBd7