Making a Difference in Global Communities and Klein Family Social Justice Grants

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Penn Arts & Sciences has awarded grants to 15 projects through the Making a Difference in Global Communities and Klein Family Social Justice initiatives.

Making a Difference in Global Communities supports multidisciplinary projects led by Arts & Sciences faculty working with students to address global societal challenges, including inequities in race, gender, sexual identity, socioeconomic mobility, education, healthcare, and political representation, as well as climate change, poverty, and immigration.

The Klein Grants, a new initiative, are a component of the School’s commitment to contributing to the achievement of social justice through research, teaching and community engagement, rooted in the arts and sciences.

“I’m thrilled to see the range of projects in this class of Making a Difference and Klein awardees,” says Steven J. Fluharty, Dean and Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Professor of Psychology, Pharmacology, and Neuroscience. “The breadth of their geographic reach, intellectual inquiry, and creative production is indicative of the richness of the liberal arts. With projects gathering data on campus, teaching philosophy and math in prisons, and making music in high school classrooms, among other endeavors, each one of these seeks to empower learning and grow knowledge at Penn and beyond.”


The 2021 Making a Difference in Global Communities projects are:

  • Penn-in-Kenya II: Bringing the World’s Premiere Refugee Film School Online, led by Peter Decherney, Professor of English and Cinema and Media Studies.
  • Diverse Global Communities and Local Resource Allocation, led by Hans-Peter Kohler, Frederick J. Warren Professor of Demography and Co-Director of the Population Aging Research Center.
  • Reducing Inequalities in College Access in Latinx Communities in Philadelphia, led by Emilio Parrado, Dorothy Swaine Thomas Professor of Sociology.
  • Seeds of Understanding: Prejudice-Reduction via Inter-Cultural Contact, led by Nicholas Sambanis, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Political Science.
  • Sighting Black Girlhood, led by Deborah Thomas, R. Jean Brownlee Term Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Experimental Ethnography.
  • LAVA: Laboratorio para apreciar la vida y el ambiente, led by Michael Weisberg, Professor and Chair of Philosophy.
  • My Philadelphia Climate Story, led by Bethany Wiggin, Associate Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures and Founding Director of the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities.


The 2021 Klein Family Social Justice Grant awardees are:

  • Diversity and Equity Initiative (DivE In) for the Mind Sciences, led by Angela Duckworth, Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professor.
  • Community Assessment of Race-Related Experience of Stress for Black Mothers, led by Morgan K. Hoke, Assistant Professor of Anthropology.
  • Belonging, Daily Emotions, and Academic Performance in First-Generation Students, led by Sarah Jaffee, Professor of Psychology.
  • West Philadelphia Community Archaeology Project, led by Megan Kassabaum, Associate Professor of Anthropology.
  • Prison Teaching Initiative Collaboration, led by Mona Merling, Assistant Professor of Mathematics.
  • Words and Beats: Music Technology and Social Emotional Healing in Philly Schools, led by Carol Muller, Professor of Music.
  • Empowering Community Voices and Visions, led by Karen Redrobe, Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Endowed Professor in Film Studies.
  • Philosophy in Prisons and Jails, led by Daniel Wodak, Assistant Professor of Philosophy.