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Do Something: What Monument Does Philly Deserve?

Catch a preview discussion of Mural Arts' citywide project, talk race post-Charlottesville, learn to be a better citizen and more ways to be an awesome Philadelphian this week.

Every Monday we round up a handful of fun ways to get involved throughout the week to make your city better. Have ideas for upcoming events? Email tips here. And find more evergreen ways to get engaged in our handy Do Something guides.

Confront White Supremacy

In the wake of Charlottesville, parents and educators have struggled with how best to talk to children about the abhorrent events of last month, the country’s racial impasse and the blatant divide in our society. On Wednesday, the Teacher Action Group offers a chance to brainstorm ideas for confronting white supremacy, in ourselves and in the society at large, both in the classroom and outside. The event will include breakout sessions, sharing of resources and planning for next steps. Wednesday September 12th, 5 p.m.-7 p.m., free, the U School, 2000 North 7th Street.

Make a case for Philly monuments

Mural Arts Project could not have anticipated just how perfect the moment would be for its much anticipated Monument Lab, a citywide exploration seeking to answer one question: What is an appropriate monument for Philadelphia? Set to launch September 16th, the installation will consist of monuments designed and constructed in 10 parks and public spaces over the course of nine weeks. MAP will hold a preview discussion on Wednesday evening with international artists Mel Chin, Tania Bruguera and Emeka Ogboh, to introduce and break down what it means to put up monuments in the city. Tickets are limited, so get yours soon. Wednesday September 13th, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m, $5 or free for Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts members, PAFA, 118-128 North Broad Street. 

Support criminal justice reform

Photo: Nina Subin

Could Pennsylvania be on the cusp of eliminating the death penalty? Advocates—who have worked hard to end the practice—are hopeful. Gov. Tom Wolf has enacted a moratorium on executions; a Senate task force is studying how the death penalty works in the state; and only one person was sentenced to death here in 2016. Some of that is thanks to the work of ACCR, the Atlantic Center for Capital Representation, which does consultations, trainings, work with clients and families, and systemic litigation in an effort to dramatically reduce the number of death sentences, improve the quality of capital representation, and change the conversation around the death penalty. This week, ACCR holds its third annual fundraiser gala, headlined by famed civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson. The gala will also honor The Reading Eagle investigative journalist Nicole C Brambila, and the wrongfully imprisoned Ricky Olds, who served 37 years. Tickets are $100 each, up to $400 for five. Friday September 15th, 7 p.m., $100, Luxe Home, 1308 Chestnut Street.

Give Power to the People

Photo: Eric Liu

Want to be a more engaged citizen? Eric Liu has ideas to help. Liu is CEO of Citizen University, executive director of the Aspen Institute Citizenship and American Identity Program and author of the recent You’re More Powerful than You Think: A Citizen’s Guide to Making Change Happen. Once speech writer to Bill Clinton and currently a regular columnist for CNN, Liu is bringing his book tour to Philadelphia for a seminar hosted by  Young Involved PhiladelphiaPan-Asian American Community House and the Committee of Seventy. The $10 ticket includes a copy of Liu’s book. Sunday September 17th, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., $10, University of Pennsylvania ARCH Auditorium, 3601 Locust Walk.

Downward Dog Swap

Photo: MaxPixel

The steps for Wake Up Yoga’s Yoga Closet Cleanout Benefit Class are simple. First, weed through your closet for gently-used clothes you no longer need. Then, head over to Wake Up in South Philly for some Sunday afternoon vinyasa. Finally, browse through the donated items to find something new for your closet. The best part? It’s all to support Philabundance, the city’s hunger-fighting agency as it heads into its tough winter season. Suggested donations of $15 will go to Philabundance, as will all leftover clothing. Sunday September 17th, 12:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m., $15, Wake Up Yoga, 1839 East Passyunk Avenue.

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