Penn Coalition to Save the University City Townhomes

Located at 3900-3990 Market Street, the University City Townhomes were built in 1983 with the explicit goal of providing affordable housing in response to the displacement of the Black Bottom neighborhood by Penn-supported racist urban renewal practices. Today, these homes, currently owned by Altman Group, stand to be redeveloped with no obligation to build any affordable housing, once again displacing dozens of working-class Black residents. As Penn students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members, we have an urgent responsibility to prevent these evictions--to act on behalf of those impacted by persistent economic violence. During the late 60’s and 70’s, the city demolished hundreds of neighborhood homes in the Black Bottom to make way for more campus space and a science and technology hub — what today is known as the University City Science Center. As an outcome of strong community organizing, neighborhood residents and activists, with the help of some Penn students, won control of the area along Market Street between 39th and 40th Streets; the city rezoned it for residential use, offering it to HUD for affordable housing.


It’s no illusion that what we are seeing is the continuation of decades of institution-supported displacement practices, intensifying the trend of acute gentrification championed by former Penn President Judith Rodin and Chief Operating Officer John Fry throughout his time with Penn in the late 90’s and now as the president of Drexel University. Fry is instituting policies nearly identical to those first deployed at Penn 20 years ago, policies that produced some of the most intense neighborhood displacement Philadelphia has ever seen, as the 20-year, $3.5 billion-dollar Schuylkill Yards development project continues to reshape West Philadelphia. We are reminded that between 2001 and 2011, the neighborhood’s Black population declined by more than half.The sale of the University City Townhomes only further reinforces that Black displacement is required in order to achieve what Penn determines to be “progress” and “moving forward”.

However, we refuse to let this violence continue to happen in our names. It is our passionate belief that inclusive communities make all our lives better. If the institution we call home truly intends to make real on its promise to “propel progress in our University, city, and society toward a more inclusive and impactful university and community,” it can immediately and urgently do so by taking a stand against development projects which further displace and push out working-class Black residents in one of the most economically-and-racially segregated cities in the U.S.

***You can learn about the current status of the the organizing around stopping the sale here**

We call on University to:

1) Make a public statement standing with the residents of the University City Townhomes against the Altman Group redevelopment of the site, in acknowledgment that the sale furthers the housing crisis for Black families in Philadelphia and impacts our ability to realize an inclusive, equitable, just Philadelphia.

2) Intervene to help HALT the sale, PROTECT high-quality affordable housing, and STOP the displacement of Black Philadelphians.


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We, the undersigned, call on the university to: 1) Make a public statement standing with the residents of the University City Townhomes against the IBID Limited Partnership redevelopment of the site, in acknowledgment that the sale furthers the housing crisis for Black families in Philadelphia and impacts our ability to realize an inclusive, equitable, just Philadelphia. 2) Intervene to help HALT THE SALE!
Police Free Penn
Fossil Free Penn
Mill Creek Community Partnership
AAPI in Social Work
Black Cultural Studies Collective
Executive Committee, AAUP-Penn
Penn Justice Democrats
Penn Students Against the Occupation
Drexel Community for Justice
Penn Association for Gender Equity
Penn Housing For All
Philly SWARM
Philadelphia Liberation Center
Inclusion in Design
Penn Latinx Coalition
Penn Housing Rights Project - Penn LAW

Charles H.F. Davis III, Founder & Director, Scholars for Black Lives
Valerie Bai, Alumna 2018, School of Nursing
Marissa Ephron, UPenn Undergraduate Student
Anne Berg, Assistant Professor of History
Christopher Rogers, Ph.D Candidate, PennGSE
Amanda Hall, Student
Christina Egan, Philadelphia resident
Kay McGuffin, SP2 '19 Alum
Chi-ming Yang, Associate Professor of English, UPenn
Nina Chung
Mack Finkel, Alumnus
Jake Nussbaum, PhD student, Anthropology
Kim, MS
Andrew Lamas, Faculty, University of Pennsylvania
Suvir Kaul, A M Rosenthal Professor, University of Pennsylvania
HS, Neighbor
Kelly Cary, Graduate Student, University of Pennsylvania
Mary Ebeling, Drexel University
Tammer Ibrahim, IT staff
Jolyon Thomas, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, SAS
Justin McDaniel, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania
Ollie Kim Dupuy, CAS '23
Gerald Campano, Professor at Penn
KC Legacion, Master of Environmental Studies candidate, University of Pennsylvania
Rebecca Fishman, PhD student, SAS
Jessa Lingel, Associate Professor
Catherine McCoubrey, Spruce Hill homeowner
David Eng, Professor of English
Ann de Forest, Writer
Emily Steinlight , Associate Professor of English
David Kazanjian , Professor of English
Kristen Stenson, SP2 '19 Alumni
Sonia M. Rosen, ISTR Associate Director, PennGSE
Andi Johnson, Senior Lecturer, HSSC, SAS
Tremain Smith, Artist and community member
Nyomi Thompson , SP2 '19 Alum
David Yang, Alumni
Naomi Zucker, PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology
Kinjal Dave, PhD Student
Sharon Jacobs, PhD Candidate in Anthropology
Leniqueca Welcome, Alumnus
Joshua Pirl, Penn Medical Student
Amber Henry, PhD Student, Anthropology
Mary Summers, Lecturer, Political Science, UPenn
Mariama Diallo, LSW CAS ‘19, SP2 ‘21
Jessica Zipin, 2020 Alum, School of Social Policy and Practice
Nico Millman, PhD Candidate in English, University of Pennsylvania
Michael Sullivan, Language Specialist, English Language Programs
Claudia Lovell, MD-PhD Candidate, University of Pennsylvania
Carter Merenstein, PhD Student, Perelman School of Medicine
Jesse Soto, UPenn Student
Dana Kayser, Alumni, Fels Institute of Government ‘21
Michelle Shuman , Alum
Olivia Palmer, MD Candidate
Kelsea Gustavson, Senior Fellow and Alumni - University of Pennsylvania
Amy Campbell , Student
Becca Orton, Penn Law '22
Jason E., Student @ UPenn
Margaret O. Kirk , Concerned Citizen
Charlotte Edelstein, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School JD Candidate 2023
Edward H. Skipton III, Esq., Esquire
Christina Sharpe, PhD, Canada Research Chair in Black Studies in the Humanties at York University, Penn Alum 1987
Collin Kawan-Hemler, former neighbor
Andrew Bernstein, Penn Law Class of 2023
Gabriel Gutierrez, UPenn Undergraduate 24'
Joceline Perez Hernandez, College of Arts and Science, C'22
Sam Schirvar, Doctoral Candidate, UPenn History and Sociology of Science
Christina Bartzokis, Penn Law ‘24
Makayla Reynolds, Law student and Education student
Sophia M Weglarz, Student
Claire Migliore, Graduate student
Lauren Reich, PhD student
Sarah Sterinbach, University of Pennsylvania Student
Kathy Bi, PhD student
M.C. Overholt, Ph.D Architecture History & Theory
Madeline Bruning, Student
Evonna Moody, Student
Alex Graves, Engineering Class of 2019
Eleanor Grauke, Undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, lifelong Philadelphia resident  
Karla Terroba , MBDS student
Maddie Bird, Concerned Philadelphia Citizen and Patient at Penn Family Medicine
Sam Samore, PhD Student in English, UPenn
Devontae Torriente, Law Student
Shel Myers, Drexel student, MFT
Mary Henin, Community member
Jess C., Penn graduate student, MSW/ML
Brittany MacTaggart, UPenn CAMB graduate student
Christopher Brzovic, Masters of City and Regional Planning Student
Sade, Student at UPenn
Cass Green, Resident
Faith Kim, MSW Student, University of Pennsylvania
Kenya Mack, SP2 Alum ‘20
Jordan Kotler, LSW, SP2 2021
Andrew DePass, Third-Year Undergraduate and Philly Native
Karas Lamb
Joshua Park, Individual
Teresa Rodriguez
Justin Acheampong, Penn Student
Andrés Gonzalez-Bonillas, Penn ‘23
Jessica Tolbert, Penn SP2 Alumni ‘20
Paula Lamb
Clancy Murray, PhD Student, Political Science
Leo Wagner, CAS ‘23 (Urban Studies)
Katlyn Connor, Neighbor
Michaela Pommells, CoRaJus
Toluwalase Akinwunmi, Student
Indivar Jonnalagadda, Researcher, University of Pennsylvania
Adriana Discher, MPH Student, C.O. 2021 Grad
Amy Krimm, Undergraduate, Penn
Ericka Ekobeni , SEAS ‘23
Angelique , Student
Layla Murphy, Ms
Miru Osuga, SAS ‘18, MSSP ‘18
Sadye Stern, Penn Law/SP2 student
Ashley Robinson , Student
Yasmin Abusaif, Law Student and Philadelphia Resident
Andrew Bookbinder, Penn Law Student
Sue Kelly, Neighborhood resident
Samuel Cheever, College of Arts and Sciences ‘24
Bryan, Student
Molly Norris, Neighborhood Resident
Chanina Wong, AmeriCorps VISTA
Ikym Simon, Student
W. Anthony Pérez, Penn Student
Kaila B Cantens, Graduate student
Lucia Lavelle, Undergraduate Student
Gerald Bolling , Black Bottom member
Nick Hunsicker, Alumnus
Zane Pasha, SAS
Justin Seward, C ‘25
Amanda Swain, Physician, Penn Family Care
Lucia Gonzalez, CAS 2024
John Faller, SAS
Jen Locke, Penn Student
Stephanie Chang, Alumn
Bethany Monea, PhD Student, UPenn GSE
Samantha Donovan, Penn student
Hector Torres, Penn Student
Andrea Stroud Weaver, Neighbor
Amber Rose Johnson, PhD candidate, English and Africana Studies
Krystal Strong, Assistant Professor, Penn Grad School of Education
Maha Rahman, SAS 2024
Louis Lin, CAS ‘20, MPH ‘22
Nia Flynn, Student
Deborah Zhang, Undergraduate Student at Penn
Amy Mbawuike, Penn Undergraduate Student
Lily Black, Family Medicine Resident Physician
Hanna, Penn Student
Alana Davis, Penn Student
Wendy Lliguichuzhca, Undergraduate Student
Brianna Aguilar, Penn Student
Stephanie Hasford, Penn undergrad
Michael Konu, Student
Soma Umeozulu, MD Candidate
Alanna Ticali, Resident Physician, Family Medicine
Noah Jacobson-Carroll, Penn Libraries
Masha Morozov, Student at Perelman School of Medicine
Jacob Brown, SEAS ‘22
Sydney Ellman, Student
Adreeja GuhaRay, University of Pennsylvania
Racquelle Moxey, SAS
Meaghan Pogue, Philly resident
Jack Starobin , CAS ‘24
Jazmín , Community member/ UPenn Student
Fernando Villegas Negrete, Student, Class of 2022
Maerone Alfa, MEAM ‘22
Yanet Wossenseged, SAS 2022
Alyssa Chandler, Penn ‘24
Curtis Kuo, C'18, SAS'18
Mary McDonnell
Amory Park, Penn Student
Nikita Venugopal, Undergraduate Student at Penn
Khue Tran, Student at the University of Pennsylvania
Ashley Novotny, Graduate student
Lily Applebaum, alumna and Penn staff
Mara Imms, Penn Alumnus
Alessandro Tallini, SAS ‘23
Emma Sunog, Penn GSE ‘20
Catalina Ruiz, Undergraduate student, Penn
Christina Wooden, College of Arts and Sciences 2024
Tajah Ebram, PhD, Penn Graduate Alumn, 2020
Lily Cheng, Penn Design Alumn
Stanley Morgan, Community organizer
Sharai Dottin, Supporter
Qrescent Mali Mason, Chair of community engagement, Paul Robeson House and Museum/West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
Megan Brady, MPH Candidate
Francesca Ciampa, Student
Taylor Buie, Student
Madeleine Weko, Community Member
Sharon , Student
Riley Bence, West Philadelphia Resident
Austin Kelley, Tenants' Rights Advocate
Husnaa Hashim, CAS’22
Mia D’Avanza, Penn staff
Chelsea Cohen, PhD student, Anthropology
Jessica Richardson, N/A
Ayiti Maharaj-Best, Assistant Professor, Perelman School of Medicine
Mary Jepson, FNP
Johnny Kuprionis, Penn Grad Student
Lex Gilbert, Student
Margaret Tebbe, CAS 2021
Raines Taylor, GSE Alum
Dan Cannon
Charles Logan
Claire Nguyen, Penn Undergraduate
Destini Mccrory, CAS ‘22
Elizabeth Cannon, EdD Student, GSE Higher Ed, UPenn
Gabriella Nguyen, UPenn Nursing Student
Emily Urban, Penn alumni
Andrea Ngan, Lecturer
Zoe Morrison, School of Design MLA Student ‘23
Eug Xu, Student
M. Asli Dukan, Faculty, University of Pennsylvania
Kara Cloud, Student
Alysha Ravendran, Alum
Laura McCorry, LSW
Stephanie Gibson, Penn graduate student
Alice Wang, Penn Alumna, SP2 and GSE 2019
Olivia Errico, West Philly Resident
Ania Loomba, Professor English department
Sahily Reyes-Esteves, MD, PhD, Resident Physician at Penn Neurology
Yin Ling Irene Wong, Professor and School of Social Policy & Practice
Tim Kearney, Tenant Union Representative Network
Fahvyon D. jimenez, Masters candidate
Maya Afilalo, Alum, College/SAS '16
Judy Chertok, MD, University of Pennsylvania
Taylor Goldberg, SP2 ‘21; HUP Social Worker
Ashton Yount, West Philly Resident and Penn Alum
Wenxi Chen, University of Pennsylvania student
Emily Sullivan, Penn SP2 '23
Phillip Suitts, Community member
Jack Thornton, Sociology
Sarah Bousquet, MSW/MSSP
Mckayla Warwick, UPenn alum, co-founder of Collective Climb
Gabriel Salgado, PhD Candidate, University of Pennsylvania
Daniel Connolly, MD/PhD Student
Anna Russell, MSW program SP2 at UPenn
Connie Pan, Penn student
Sarah Auerbach, UPenn Alumna
Griffin Ayres, Alumna and lifelong neighborhood resident
Katherine Scahill, PhD candidate
Nathan, Resident
Emmaline Kelly
Jane Robbins Mize PhD Candidate in English, University of Pennsylvania
Humza Kazmi Penn Law 2012
Persia-Ali Pierce CAS ‘20, Graduate student GSE
Matty Hemming PhD Candidate, UPenn
Michelle Johnson Staff/Graduate Student
Amanpreet Kaur Staff, Penn Libraries
Tayeba Batool UPenn/PhD Student
Adrianne Jones-Alston Philadelphia affiliation-Advocate
Sara Outing Alumn and Penn Staff
Jeanette Elstein UPenn alumnus
Eric Baratt Department Coordinator
Emily Cribas Microbiology PhD candidate
Alex Cartwright Master of City Planning/Master of Environmental Studies '23
Hannah Paquet C’ 21 Graduate
Brendan Mahoney PhD Student
Jisoo Kim C '18
Sarah Pallivalapil-Karerat MSW' 23
Sylvie Tuder student, member of police free penn
Jenna Boccher Undergraduate Student
Tucker Rogers MSW student, former Med School Employee
Thomas Collins PhD Student, UPenn English
Nahara Saballos, MD MPH University of Pennsylvania
Yansong Li Student
Donovan Schaefer Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Hallie Swanson PhD Student, Religious Studies
Brian Vivier Coordinator, Area Studies Collections, Penn Libraries
Akira Drake Rodriguez Assistant Professor
Karen Redrobe Professor
Aurora MacRae-Crerar Lecturer of Critical Writing (PhD Penn Bio ‘16)
Phillip Fackler Lecturer in Critical Writing
Elizabeth Cannon EdD Student, UPenn GSE
Jamie-Lee Josselyn C’05, Associate Director & Instructor, Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing
Melissa E Sanchez Donald T. Regan Professor of English, Director of FQT/GSWS
Pilar Gonalons-Pona Assistant Professor Sociology
Josephine Park Penn faculty
Emylee Fleshman Wellness at Penn Program Coordinator
Jessica A. Joseph Psychologist, Philly Resident
Sonia Williams-Joseph, MPH UPenn graduate, School of Public Health
Joseph Teel, MD School of Medicine Faculty
lexi welch UPenn MFA Candidate '23
Anne Pomerantz Professor of Practice
Alison Purcell, CRNP Penn Family Care
Isabelle Luzuriaga UPenn alumni
Athena Turek-Hankins Grad Student
Sarah Leng Concerned Citizen
Jaskiran Dhillon Penn Alumnus
Mark Davie West Chester University Graduate Assistant
Kim Braskl College Possible AmeriCorps
Apurva Tandon
Priyanka Padidam, SP2 Student
Matthew Mance, Neighbor
Victoria Sanchez, University of Pennsylvania J.D / M.S. '22
Rudy Gerson, Penn Grad student
Naomi Friedman, Drexel student
Emily Maroni, APPC staff, MES student ‘24, West Philly resident
Freda Anderson, Philadelphia high school teacher and lifetime resident
Erim Murat Direskeneli, Penn Undergrad student
Julie Berger, Penn GSE alum & staff
Annette Fierro, Associate Professor, Weitzman School of Design
Kemi Taiwo, Student
Leo Biehl, Penn Student
Jack Burgess, Penn Student
Jaden Cloobeck, Penn Student
Ben Regozin , Penn Student
Alex Moon, Student
Poe Browne, Community member
Madeline Barnhard, Penn student
Hannah Norman, Penn student
Taya Lowery-Williams, UPenn Class of '22
Charlie Townsley, UPenn MCP Candidate
Todd Margasak, Penn alum
Joel Fry, Penn alum, Philadelphia resident
Zachary Leder, Penn student
Mary R. McGettigan, West Philly resident and Penn Alumna
Suzanna Barucco, Former UPenn Lecturer
Kecia Fong, West Philadelphia resident; Penn Faculty
David Barnes, Penn faculty
Valerie Ross, Director, Critical Writing Program
Bonnie, 35 year west Philadelphia resident
Gilberto Gonzalez, Candidate for Congress
Keyana Johnson, TEC NAS
Jinx, Patient at PBH
Susan Nam, Artist
Jenny Chen, Penn Class of 2014
Diana Husanu, Outreach Worker and West Philadelphia resident
Libbie Hawes, UPenn HSPV 2010
Carol Fritz, MA '72
Emma Glasser, Penn student, School of Engineering and Applied Science
Alicia Jen, Penn C'20, MPH'21, Clinical Research Coordinator
Rochelle Nichols-Solomon, West Philly resident
Triona Hartman, Philadelphia citizen
Karen Falcon, Founder, Jubilee School
Cheryl Bai, Undergraduate student
Edward Epstein, UPenn TIP
Meghan Toth, Staff at UPenn
Michele Carrera, UC Townhomes resident
Christina Maddox, Philadelphia citizen
Gabrielle Geier, Philadelphia resident
Lisa Hairston, Philadelphia resident
Linda Our, Resident supporter
Charles Tyson, Jr., Resident Supporter
Janelle Black, Esq. Resident Supporter
Marty Peifer, MD, MSIS, School of Medicine Faculty
Laura Kurash, MD, School of Medicine Faculty
Shreya Singh, Student
Danielle Horridge, MD, UPenn
Dana Bernhaut, MSW/MSEd Graduate Student
Romi Butscher, Philadelphia resident
Alexandra Thomas, west philly resident
Caroline Gagne, Upenn Landscape Architecture
Alice Bell, Graduate Student
Audrey Genest, Graduate Student
Kelvin Vu, Graduate student in the Weitzman School of Design
Arisa Lohmeier, Landscape architecture
Terra Oliveira, West Philadelphia Resident
Audrey Sinclair, community member
Jodi Bosin
Mae Eskenazi, UPenn MFA ‘23 Candidate
Elicia Epstein, Neighbor
Talia Giles, West Philly NHCD
Olivia Rosenfeld, Upenn, undergraduate
Carmel Brown , MFA/MSW candidate  co/2023
Allison Amodea, philly resident
Susannah Yugler, MFA Candidate, Weitzman School of Design
Katie Collier , UPenn undergrad class of 2022
Yajaira Torres, Penn Alum, W’18
Kayla Trimble, Philadelphia Resident
Emily Shaw, Penn M. Arch ‘23
Janay Draughn, SAS 2024
Amy Krimm, Neighbor and Student
Madison Pettaway, CAS’22
Claire Medina, CAS ‘22
Justin Miller , MSW part-time student
Abigail Weinstein , UPenn student
Tess Jones, Student at Upenn
Eva Levy, Upenn
Ahmed Abdelhamid, Penn student
Melissa Murin, UPenn C/o 24
Miranda Doro, Class of ‘25
Michelle Chai, Student
Sydney Weinik-Brewer, Daughter of a staff member
Kyle Chastulik , Choral Scholar, Church of St. Mary’s at UPenn
Kiera Lucash, University of the Sciences student
Randi Delibertis, philadelphia resident
Hannah Skinner, MSW
Tess Christensen, UPenn student
Leah Baxter, UPenn alum
Jack Sliwa, Alumnus
Athena Turek, UPenn student
Maria Iacoponi
Lani Morris, MSW candidate
Erin Spross, Student and Philadelphia resident
Galia, MSW Student
Jacob Brown, UPenn SEAS ‘22
Sadie Butcher, UPenn student
Yajaira Torres, W’18
Leah Hopf, SAS 2025
Eleanor Zdancewic , West Philadelphia Resident
Emily Jacobs , Former West Philadelphia resident
Steph Barrale , West Philly Resident
Kiran Pande, SP2
Harry Weckel , Resident
Erica Messics, School of Arts and Sciences
Alasia Williams , C’24 Student
Allison Ricks
Cade Underwood, JD/MCP Student
Susset Tamayo, Student
Jackie Winsch, UPenn Student
Dana Dyer, Law Student
Edward Gomes, Medical student
Maria Penrice, Haverford College
Shanae Bradley, Penn GSE Student
Ronnie Nocella, UPenn Student
Ethan Blackwood, PhD candidate, Neuroscience
Elizabeth Szanton, Haverford College
Thomasina White, Adjunct Professor
Sherri Michalovic, Philadelphia Affiliation- West Philadelphia Mennonite Fellowship
Erin M. Purvis, PhD Candidate, Neuroscience Graduate Group
Christina Ly, Student
Haripriya Valayaputtur, Upenn
Joseph Conway, Family member of Penn student
Saida Harpi, Student
Sarah Maddux, BGS Graduate Student
Ellen Mulcahy, USciences, Resident
Isabel Yannatos, PhD Candidate, UPenn
Madeline Dahlin, C’18
Madison Stark, MSW Student, University of Pennsylvania
Nancy Wygant, neighbor
debra kimmelman, Neighbor
Jessica Strauss , Registered Nurse with UPHS
Rebecca Koppel, SP2 18, MPH 19
Karly Grossman, Penn Alum, C’02
Tara Rubinstein, University City Resident
Lynn Major, Resident of 19143 since 2008
Hannah Mogul-Adlin, West Philadelphia resident
Olivia Brown, dancer
Lauren Fine, Philadelphia homeowner
Rachel Profeta , West Philadelphia Resident
Benji, Alumn
Elizabeth Gross, UPenn A.B. 1982 and West Philly home owner
LaDonna Marrero, Penn Alumni
Katherine Kiefer Stark, The Naked Stark, modern dance company
Wamweni Shamambo, UPenn Student and Employee
Zarin Tabassum, PhD student
Susannah Holub, UPenn grad student
Audrika Thakuria, Graduate student, PennGSE
Amrita Sridhar, IEDP Penn GSE ‘22
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