Daughters of African Immigrants Use the Stage to Tell of Two Worlds

Onoso Imoagene of the School of Arts & Sciences is quoted on the expectation of success for the children of African migrants.

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Best Countries in the World 2018: U.S. Falls Again One Year After Trump Takes Office

A study on whether Trump’s presidency has affected perception of the United States by David Reibstein and Suneal Bedi of the Wharton School is sited.

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Penn Takes Part in Study of Faster PTSD Treatment for Military Personnel

Edna Foa of the Perelman School of Medicine is quoted about conducting a study that found a new, two-week therapy treatment that can help military service members suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Kimberly-Clark Cutting 5,000 Jobs Amid Pressure on Prices

Peter Cappelli of the Wharton School comments on the effects the restructuring at Kimberly-Clark will have on consumers and employees.

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Audio: New York’s Cuomo Plans Challenge Republican Tax Plan

Michael Knoll of the Law School shares his thoughts about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to challenge the Republican tax plan.

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How Kensington Got to Be the Center of Philly's Opioid Crisis

Walter Licht of the School of Arts and Sciences comments on the history of the Kensington section of Philadelphia.

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Audio: The Fed's Surprise Move 10 Years Ago Set the Tone for Its Crisis Response

Peter Conti-Brown of the Wharton School talks about the day the Federal Open Market Committee approved interest rate cuts in 2008.

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While the U.S. Waits, China Has Been CRISPRing Human Cancer Patients Since 2015

Carl June of the Perelman School of Medicine says, “It is hard to know what the ideal is between moving quickly and making sure patients are safe,” in regards to beginning human trials using the CRISPR medical technique.

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Latino Immigrants Across the U.S. Report Similar Levels of Discrimination

Dan Hopkins of the School of Arts and Sciences writes about discrimination of Latino immigrants in the U.S.

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University Forms Working Group to Examine the Role of Slavery in Penn’s Early Years

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A Message to the Penn Community
​​​​​​​On the Role of Slavery in Penn’s Early Years
From
Amy Gutmann, President
Wendell Pritchett, Provost

At the end of the fall semester, a group of Penn undergraduates delivered the results of important research they had undertaken as part of Professor Kathleen Brown’s Penn Slavery Project.  Their work, combined with recent University research, revealed that approximately half of Penn’s early Trustees owned slaves.  While it has long been known that Penn’s founder, Benjamin Franklin had owned slaves early in his life before becoming a leading abolitionist, the student’s work cast a new light on our historical understanding of the reach of slavery’s connections to Penn.

After meeting with the students to hear of their work firsthand, we agreed that the University would form a small working group to explore the matter further so that we might improve our community’s understanding of the impact and implications of slavery on Penn’s past and what it means for the present and the future.  Our intention is to seek the truth and acknowledge it, and to offer recommendations for any next steps.

Today we are announcing the formation of that group, which will be chaired by Provost Pritchett, and include Sr. Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Joann Mitchell; Kathleen Brown, the David Boies Professor of History and Director of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies; Heather Williams, Presidential Professor and Professor of Africana Studies; and Dorothy Roberts, Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor and the George A. Weiss Professor of Law and Sociology, the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights, and Professor of Africana Studies.

We also expect to engage students in Professor Brown’s class, as well as other undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty who may be able to assist with this important work. It is our expectation that the broad contours of the work could be completed this semester – at least sufficient to help us shape a set of next steps to allow a fuller illumination of this part of Penn’s history.

The institution of slavery is a profoundly shameful and deeply tragic part of American history.  It is important that we fully understand how it affected our University in its early years and that we reflect as a university about the current meaning of this history. We are grateful to our students and Professor Brown for their work in broadening our understanding. We will report on the group’s findings after their work has been completed.

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