EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL COMMUNITY RELATIONS
The College serves a vast and integral role in helping Philadelphia grow and succeed. As the only open-admissions institution in the city, we make higher education accessible for those facing barriers, and our broadest goal is twofold: increase the number of Philadelphians with degrees, and enable citizens to use their knowledge to obtain careers that end the cycle of poverty.
We cannot achieve this mission alone; partnerships with organizations, city government and business leaders are vital to our progress, as are efforts to interconnect our services, programs, faculty and staff so that we are all aligned toward student success. As we demonstrate and communicate our commitment to students and the community, we all move forward. Ahead, find some of the ways the College has worked this year to fulfill this strategic pillar.
Donations to Hospitals Making a Difference
The Respiratory Care Technology, Biomedical Equipment Technology (BMET) and Nursing programs all donated either ventilators or personal protective gear, both of which were in short supply and used to treat patients with coronavirus.
The Respiratory Care Technology program loaned four ventilators and one BiPAP, a less invasive type of ventilator to help patients breathe, to the Temple University Hospital System. The BMET program, which prepares students to learn how to test and repair medical equipment used in hospitals, also donated its ventilator to the system
In addition, the Nursing program donated 75 personal protective equipment packets, including a hospital mask, gown and gloves, each to Temple University Hospital -- Jeanes Campus and Fox Chase Cancer Center. Nursing faculty also used the protective gear to show students how to properly use and remove the garments.
Illuminating an International Crisis:
Human Trafficking Awareness Day
Educating others through a survivors’ panel, discussions with law professionals, resource tables and a documentary, this fourth annual event on Oct. 10 provided facts and statistics surrounding this worldwide problem.
Nicole Vadino, associate professor of Sociology who helped to organize the day’s events, along with faculty and staff Faye Allard, Ph.D.; Edite Birnbaum; Rosetta Robinson; Ari Bank; Deirdre Garrity-Benjamin; and William Love, J.D., stated, “Today we want to talk about breaking the chains and bringing awareness because people think it’s everywhere else, not in this country, but it’s happening [everywhere]."
During the Break the Chains event held on the Mint steps to raise awareness in our community, supporters raised signs and held a 26-second moment of silence. Individuals are trafficked every 26 seconds.
“Everything is on the line right now. The machines would be sitting there, not being used, so why not use them to help?”
Highlighting Our City:
Fresh Food to Fight Hunger
A greenhouse at the College, tended to by student and staff volunteers, is providing fresh vegetables to students and their families in need of assistance. The College is addressing life challenges and barriers that prevent students from focusing on their education.
The mission of Grady’s Community Garden is to combat food insecurity within the urban environment by providing access to fresh produce, and education in sustainability and self-sufficiency.
A cooking demonstration, the planting of vegetable seeds by students and staff, and a vegetable giveaway marked the garden’s first-year anniversary on Oct. 24, 2019.
The College’s food pantry locations have also provided students with nonperishable goods and other essential items throughout the year.
“I believe if they are hungry, they can’t hear you. I used this as my guiding principle to take steps toward creating an opportunity to achieve food sovereignty for all.”
Registering and Educating Students with #CCP Votes
The Institute and partners marked Voter Registration Day on Sept. 24, 2019, with an event to increase registration among students and discuss the benefits of voting. New voting machines were on hand for students to operate and ask questions.
Investing in Your Community and Yourself Through Volunteering
As the City’s college, part of our mission is instilling the lifelong benefit of giving back and practicing good citizenship. Students have several opportunities to volunteer for initiatives at the College or in the community, as do faculty and staff.
The College participated in the annual MLK Day of Service on Jan. 20, 2020, at Girard College, which hosts the nation’s largest MLK Day event. The more than 140 projects, workshops and trainings at the campus draw thousands of volunteers.
Our Institute for Community Engagement and Civic Leadership offers several volunteering possibilities on-site and around Philadelphia. This year, highlights included First Book Donation Drive, the MLK Day of Service, and Junior Achievement Steps to Success Day, which brought 300 third graders to the College for an early introduction to higher education. Efforts were organized around five categories: environmental engagement, civic engagement, donation drives, homelessness and hunger, and youth and education.
Enough Is Enough:
The teach-in sessions featured panelists from the College and the community, and focused on different topics, such as police reform, violence against the transgender community, and next steps.
Expression Sessions followed the teach-ins, where participants had the opportunity to talk with College counselors, in small groups, about their fear, anger and how to process the recent traumatic events.
“The Enough is Enough series created the necessary space for us all to process and unpack some hard truths about racial injustice, police brutality, and systemic inequities that plague Black communities in Philadelphia and nationwide. Moderating the first teach-in was daunting because I was acutely aware of how raw everyone’s emotions still were after the George Floyd killing, but it also felt like a continuation of a dialogue I have with my students in my classes every semester about the cyclical nature of structural oppression.”