If you are a mere mortal in Philadelphia—that is, someone neither employed by nor enrolled in any of our illustrious colleges and universities—it can often feel like The Land of Enlightened Education is hallowed ground, concentrated across the river and in pockets far yonder.
But Drexel University’s Pennoni Panels welcome Philadelphians of all ilks into its academic arms.
Launched in 2016, the panels are a series of timely, intellectually stimulating conversations that are held at venues around the city and are open to the public.
They grew out of and are named for the University’s Pennoni Honors College.
On Tuesday, they’ll host “Passing the Torch: Generational Shifts and the Politics of Change,” in partnership with and at The Rosenbach, at 20th and Delancey streets.
Both the theme and execution of this week’s program are in line with President John Fry’s bigger-picture goals for Drexel, one of which is to push students, staff and faculty to be more engaged with the greater Philadelphia community and the world.
In that spirit, Drexel has been expanding its nascent Center for Civil Discourse, with the goal of nurturing a civically engaged student base who knows what they’re talking about as they become the next generation of leaders in our world.
This Tuesday’s event will convene both students and community members to explore questions about disrupting the status quo—from both ends of the political spectrum—to create real “generational” change in our politics.
It will also consider how we can make those changes in a way that is collaborative, rather than combative.
“It seemed like a really perfect opportunity to have a conversation about these tensions, these possible negotiations, and these changes in how we’re even approaching institutions,” says Melinda Maureen Lewis, PhD, associate director of marketing and media at Pennoni Honors College. “How do we collaborate better? How do we work together? How do we approach these problems and ideas as a collective force?”
The panel, which will be moderated by Citizen Executive Editor/Co-Executive Director Roxanne Patel Shepelavy, will feature Nicolas O’Rourke, the new organizing director for the Pennsylvania Working Families Party; Gerald Bergen, the GOP Ward Leader for the 12th Ward in the Germantown Section of Northwest Philadelphia; and Patrick Christmas of Committee of Seventy.
Patel Shepelavy plans to emphasize the proverbial torch-passing at the local level, in particular.
Sponsored by Vivian and Mark Greenberg, Drexel’s former provost and its first dean of Pennoni Honors College, the event will include a reception beforehand and a Q&A after.
If you can’t make it to Tuesday’s panel, there are more opportunities for mortals to join the Drexel community:
- On February 12th, through its monthly Wednesdays at the Kline symposia, a partnership between Drexel University’s Pennoni Honors College and Thomas R. Kline School of Law, the topic at hand will be the panic versus reality over the cooronavirus
- The next Pennoni Panel will be on February 27 at the Free Library of Philadelphia, focusing on “The Electability Question: What Makes an Electable Woman?”
And whether you tote around a backpack and a student ID, are a card-carrying Medicare member or fall somewhere in between, all are welcome.
February 11, 6-7:30pm at The Rosenbach, 2008-2010 Delancey Place; tickets, from $0 to $15, here.