Heights Graduation Celebration Honored 500+ Students 

Heights Philadelphia & Wharton Undergraduate Division Inspires Next Generation of Advocates at 2nd Annual Equity Summit

Fostering Connections, Passion, and Equity-Centered Work Among Students

Heights Philadelphia (Heights) and the Wharton Undergraduate Division of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) hosted its 2nd Annual Equity Summit on Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at the University of Pennsylvania. With more than 200 high school students in attendance, the Summit provided a unique platform for fostering connections and cultivating passions around the important themes of justice, mental health and wellness, and advocacy. Students were encouraged to engage with experts in the field including keynote speakers Tracy Wood, Executive Director, Black Doctors Consortium; Dr. Renita Miller, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer at Wharton; and Dr. Sabriya K. Jubilee, Chief of Equity, School District of Philadelphia. They also learned the principles of equity-centered work, explored ways to implement these principles in their communities, and reflected on the value of equity in nurturing inclusive and equitable environments.

“We are so grateful to our partners at Wharton for helping Heights bring this Equity Summit back for its second year,” said Sara L. Woods, Esq., co-president, Heights Philadelphia. “These high school students are Philadelphia’s next generation of leaders
and this Summit continues to be a powerful catalyst for empowering them to work toward creating a more equitable Philadelphia.”

“This Summit continues to be an opportunity to show our students that they are worthy,” said Sean E. Vereen, Ed.D., co-president, Heights Philadelphia. “When students hear from people that look like them, learn about how they may have overcome
racial barriers and succeeded in their communities and careers, our students can see the opportunities that are before them and know that they are achievable.”

“It was a privilege to host such an impressive group of high school students on our campus,” said Dr. Renita Miller, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer at Wharton. “Initiatives like the Equity Summit play a critical role in driving students’ enthusiasm for equity-centered work. We are proud to help them make valuable connections and ignite that spark,” said Dr. Renita Miller, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer at Wharton.

Through the Equity Summit, Heights and Wharton Undergraduate Division have fostered a space where students could reflect on the value of equity in their communities and be inspired to become change-makers in creating a more just and equitable society.
In addition to keynote speakers, the students had the chance to meet with and engage in
workshops provided by:

  • Nicole Maloy, Penn Office of Social Equity & Community
  • Monica Calkins, University of Pennsylvania
  • Jayne ODonnell, Youthcast Media Group
  • Sam Gerlach, Philly Children’s Movement
  • Octavia Clarkson, Thomas Jefferson University
  • Frank Jackson, Mr. Positive LLC
  • Timethius J. Terrell & Eric Yang, Divulge Alliance, Inc.
  • Angelique Holmes Hinton, PA Youth Vote
  • Brittany L. Bronson, M.S., CI&T
  • Christina Rodriguez, Family Resource Center at Penn
  • Alaina Ewins, Mural Arts Philadelphia
  • Heights Collegians
  • Keisha Gabbidon-Howell Bebashi, Transition to Hope
  • Qiaira Riley, Philadelphia Student Union
  • Maria Mendez, JUNTOS
  • Monique Curry-Mims, Civic Capital
  • Ahmeta Selim Tekeliogulu, PhD CAIR , Philadelphia

For more information about Heights Philadelphia and its Annual Equity Summit, please visit Heights.org.