School of Social Policy & Practice to host post-election talk

Many Americans will be relieved when the lengthy 2016 presidential race is finally over. The onslaught of political ads and wall-to-wall news coverage about the candidates has seemed never-ending.

But the social justice issues discussed during this election season aren’t going away. That’s why the SP2 Penn Top 10 Social Justice & Policy Issues for the 2016 Presidential Election project isn’t either.

The multimodal initiative of the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) that began more than a year ago analyzes and addresses 10 pressing policy matters facing the nation: homelessness, interventions for youth, gun policy, food deserts, youth aging out of foster care, measuring poverty and wellbeing, transforming “work,” mass incarceration, mandated mental health treatment, and child poverty and child maltreatment.

SP2 Penn Top 10 has brought the topics to the fore of America’s collective consciousness through a dynamic website, animations and interviews, high school presentations, two books, and a series of public events.

The next event, a post-election talk, will be held on Thursday, Nov. 10, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Penn Bookstore.

SP2 Dean John L. Jackson, Jr. and SP2 faculty members Toorjo Ghose, Roberta Rehner Iversen, and Antonio Garcia will participate in a panel discussion. Joseph Watkins, executive vice president of, will join them. He has served as a political analyst for MSNBC, CNBC, and Al Jazeera, and was an aide to former President George H. W. Bush.

“The overarching mission of the SP2 Penn Top 10 initiative has always been to educate, enlighten, and empower, and that will remain its mission no matter the outcome of the election,” says Jackson, also the Richard Perry University Professor and a Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor. “There exist in our society a number of social injustices that demand swift action and reform, issues that aren’t going to vanish after the final votes have been cast this November.”

The event will also serve as the campus launch of “Social Policy and Social Justice,” a new book edited by Jackson and published by Penn Press.

The event is free and open to the public with advance registration encouraged at

SP2 Communications and Public Relations Officer Jessica Bautista, project manager for the SP2 Penn Top 10, says two more talks are being planned to discuss evidence-based solutions and to get policy reform in front of policymakers and the people those policies affect.

“More than ever, we will need to be brainstorming how we can most effectively influence progress under a new presidential administration, and hold our elected leaders accountable for making changes our communities cannot afford to live without,” Jackson says.

SP2 Top 10