Dean John Jackson takes SP2’s expertise on 11-city U.S. tour

Less than three months into his deanship of Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2), John L. Jackson, Jr. is embarking on an 11-city U.S. tour to plant the seeds of social change.

The Future of Social Change Tour attempts to bring alumni, prospective students, and other people together in one room to talk about the future of the School’s impact on the University and beyond,” says Jackson, a Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor with appointments in the Annenberg School for Communication, the School of Arts & Sciences, and SP2. “In many ways, we want the tour to embody the three main goals of Penn Compact 2020 by reaching a diverse audience and demonstrating to them how creatively our faculty, students, and alumni are tackling important social concerns.”

The tour launched on Friday, Sept. 12, with a campus event that drew more than 150 alumni, friends, current and prospective students, and members of the local community to the Caster Building to hear presentations on admissions, financial aid, and student field placement in the local community.

The evening’s main speaker was Jackson himself, a renowned cultural anthropologist, filmmaker, and teacher. The event concluded with a Q&A and a networking session for faculty, alumni, and other professionals in the field.

On Saturday, Sept. 13, SP2’s Community Teamworks (CTW) program hosted an initiative writing letters to veterans in collaboration with the American Red Cross. CTW Coordinator Erica Zaveloff says the event attracted “the most diverse group of volunteers to date—alums, current students, prospective students, and community members.”

Similar CTW volunteer service opportunities will be arranged in conjunction with select stops on the Future of Social Change tour, which will travel to New York City, Tampa, and Washington, D.C., this fall, and to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Atlanta, and New Orleans in the spring.

Already generating enthusiasm among Penn graduates, parents, and prospective students across the country, the tour will allow Jackson to showcase the talented students, faculty, and staff at SP2, who, he says, “truly embody the future of social change.”

Jackson Tour