Social Justice Resources

SP2 students are always watching, reading, and listening to content that informs the ways in which they view the world, educates them on issues they have not had as much exposure to and inspires them to do the jobs they want to do. SP2 students recommended the following resources on race, social justice, and inclusion during the 2020-2021 academic year.

The Code Switch Podcast (“Safety-Pin Solidarity: With Allies, Who Benefits?” and “‘Racial Imposter Syndrome’: Here Are Your Stories”)

The Manic Episodes Podcast

Immigration Nation (Netflix)

Atypical (Netflix)

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (Netflix)

Lovecraft Country (HBO)

Shrill (Hulu)

Ramy (Hulu)

Harvest of Empire: The Untold Story of Latinos in America

120 BPM



Hannah Gadsby: Nanette

Franco, D. (2019). This Land Is Our Land: Exploring the Impact of U.S. Immigration Policies on Social Work Practice. Journal of Progressive Human Services, 31(1), 21–40.

Hardy, K. (2013). Healing the Hidden Wounds of Racial Trauma. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 22, 24-28.

Okun, T. White Supremacy Culture. _white_sup_culture.pdf. 

Taiwo, O. O. Being in the Room Privilege: Elite Capture and Epistemic Deference. The Philosopher, 108(4).

One Book, One SP2 Resources

Each year, SP2 selects a book to be read by students, faculty, and staff prior to the start of the academic year. View current and past selections here.

Know Your Rights

Non-Profit Organizations Providing Immigration Legal Services in Philadelphia Area

Catholic Social Services
Immigration legal services and other social support programs

Immigration legal services; educational, art, and community economic development services

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
Provides social, legal, and citizenship services to immigrants

Justice at Work (Friend of Farmworkers)
Provide free legal aid, community education, and advocacy for farmworkers

Justice for Our Neighbors of the Delaware Valley
Low-cost and free immigration legal services

Nationalities Service Center (NSC)
Provides comprehensive services for immigrants and refugees

Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC Law)
For immigration legal services in York, PA

Locate pro bono legal service providers nationally.

Legal Clinics Serving Immigrants and Refugees in Philadelphia Area

Border Organizations

National Organizations

Philadelphia Organizations

National Advocacy Organizations

Advocacy Initiatives in Pennsylvania

Driving PA Forward: advocating for driver’s licenses for all regardless of immigration status

Movement of Immigrant Leaders in Pennsylvania

Shut Down Berks: advocating for the permanent closure of Berks Family Detention Facility

For Social Workers

For Students

Art & Culture



General Immigration Issues

  • Debating Immigration (Carol M. Swain)
  • International Population Movements in the Modern World (Hein de Haas, Stephen Castles, & Mark J. Miller)
  • “They Take Our Jobs!”: And 20 Other Myths about Immigration (Aviva Chomsky) 

US Interventions in Latin America & Forced Migration

  • Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America (Juan González)
  • Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent Eduardo Galeano)


  • Making Foreigners: Immigration and Citizenship Law in America, 1600-2000 (Kunal Parker)
  • Inventing the Immigration Problem: The Dillingham Commission and Its Legacy (Katherine Benton-Cohen)
  • Ringside Seat to a Revolution: An Underground Cultural History of El Paso and Juárez, 1893-1923 (David Dorado Romo)
  • The Law that Changed the Face of America: The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (Margaret Sands Orchowski) 

Ethics, Morality, & Political Theory

  • Against Borders: Why the World Needs Free Movement of People (Alex Sager)
  • Migration in Political Theory: The Ethics of Movement and Membership (Sarah Fine & Lea Ypi)
  • The Moral and Political Philosophy of Immigration: Liberty, Security, and Equality (José Jorge Mendoza)
  • Strangers in Our Midst: The Political Philosophy of Immigration (David Miller)

Memoirs & Testimonials

  • Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza (Gloria Anzaldúa)
  • Dreams & Nightmares / Sueños y Pesadillas (Liliana Velásquez)
  • Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen (Jose Antonio Vargas)
  • No Human is Illegal: An Attorney on the Front Lines of the Immigration War (J. J. Mulligan Sepulveda)
  • Tell Me How It Ends: A Essay in 40 Questions (Valeria Luiselli)
  • The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona Borderlands (Margaret Regan)
  • The Distance Between Us: A Memoir (Reyna Grande)
  • The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border (Francisco Cantú)
  • Trails of Hope and Terror: Testimonies on Immigration (Miguel A. De La Torre)

Refugee Experience

  • On the Margins of the World: The Refugee Experience Today (Michel Agier)
  • The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You (Dina Nayeri)

Black & African Immigrants

  • Immigration and the Remaking of Black America (Tod G. Hamilton)
  • Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire (Annette Joseph-Gabriel)

DACA/DREAMers & Living Undocumented

  • Perchance to DREAM: A Legal and Political History of the DREAM Act and DACA (Michael A. Olivas)
  • Socially Undocumented: Identity and Immigration Justice (Amy Reed-Sandoval)

Immigration Law & Policy

  • Banned: Immigration Enforcement in the Time of Trump (Shob Sivaprasad Wadhia)
  • Reform without Justice: Latino Migrant Politics and the Homeland Security State (Alfonso González)
  • The Immigration Crucible: Transforming Race, Nation, and the Limits of the Law (Philip Kretsedemas)
  • The President and Immigration Law (Adam B. Cox & Cristina M. Rodríguez)

Crimmigration & Criminalizing Immigrants

  • Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (David Bacon)
  • No Justice in the Shadows: How America Criminalizes Immigrants (Alina Das)
  • Policing Immigrants: Local Law Enforcement on the Front Lines (Doris Marie Provine, Monica W. Varsanyi, Paul G. Lewis, & Scott H. Decker)
  • Protect, Serve, and Deport: The Rise of Policing as Immigration Enforcement (Amada Armenta)
  • Race, Criminal Justice, and Migration Control: Enforcing the Boundaries of Belonging (eds. Mary Bosworth, Alpa Parmar, & Yolanda Vasquez)
  • Social Death: Racialized Rightlessness and the Criminalization of the Unprotected (Lisa Marie Cacho)
  • Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal (Aviva Chomsky)

Immigrant Detention & Deportation

  • Baby Jails: The Fight to End the Incarceration of Refugee Children in American (Philip Schrag)
  • Border Watch: Cultures of Immigration, Detention, and Control (Alexandra Hall)
  • Caging Borders and Carceral States: Incarcerations, Immigration Detentions, and Resistance (Robert T. Chase)
  • Deported: Immigrant Policing, Disposable Labor, and Global Capitalism (Tonya Maria Golash-Boza)
  • Extreme Punishment: Comparative Studies in Detention, Incarceration, and Solitary Confinement (eds. Keramet Reiter & Alexa Koenig)
  • Forever Prisoners: How the United States Made the World’s Largest Immigrant Detention System (Elliot Young)
  • Inside Immigration Detention (Mary Bosworth)
  • Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants (César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández)

Social Work

  • Social Work with Latinos: Social, Economic, Political, and Cultural Perspectives (Melvin Delgado)
  • Social Work with Immigrants and Refugees: Legal Issues, Clinical Skills, and Advocacy (eds. Fernando Chang-Muy & Elaine Congress)

Student Resources

Student Body

SP2 actively recruits students with diverse academic experiences. Our students earn their undergraduate—and sometimes master’s—degrees from a wide variety of institutions (including public and private Historically Black College or Universities, Minority Serving Institutions, Hispanic Serving Institutions, community colleges, and liberal arts colleges) and engage in full-time, part-time, non-degree, transfer, study abroad, and submatriculate coursework. Additionally, students major in a variety of fields at their undergraduate institutions, enabling SP2 students to offer and encounter cross-disciplinary perspectives in every class.

We welcome students of all identities and experiences to SP2 and are dedicated to reviewing all applications holistically, without merely relying on GPA or standardized test scores. The interview is a critical step in our admission process, as it allows us a better understanding of each student’s singularity and wholeness and helps students, in turn, to discover if SP2 will empower them to meet their goals. We aim to be transparent throughout the admissions process and are dedicated to sharing information with any interested students through scheduled information sessions, recruitment events, and personal pre-application appointments.

At SP2, we are dedicated to creating a supportive and responsive environment where our students can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. Our faculty, staff and students try to actively nurture a culture of diversity and inclusion so that students feel welcomed and respected. Our student services and support team works closely with students, and our faculty and staff are always available to provide informal support, individualized advising, and linkages to the many resources on Penn’s campus.

Extracurricular Opportunities

There are many opportunities for students to enhance their academic experience at SP2, enabling them to interact with diverse groups of peers and faculty and address issues related to diversity, inclusion, oppression, and social justice. These opportunities include, but are not limited, to participation in student government and SP2 student organizations—listed above—and representation on program governance committees.

SP2 students are also able to engage with the wider University’s diverse body of students through lectures, student groups, films, and other Penn-sponsored events. These interdisciplinary opportunities enable students to consider issues that cross disciplinary boundaries. Each of SP2’s programs is collaborative in nature, and engaging with others at the University allows students to begin to build meaningful connections with those who may be future colleagues in efforts for social justice.

Scholarship Opportunities

Fontaine Fellowships support the education of the most underrepresented groups in PhD education. In 1970, an endowment was established posthumously in honor of Dr. William Fontaine, Professor of Philosophy, the first African-American appointed to the standing faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. From its inception, the endowment, known as the “Fontaine Fellowship” has been used to advance the University’s goals related to diversity. Originally restricted to students from groups “traditionally and historically underrepresented” in higher education–specifically U.S. African American, Native American, and Hispanic students–diversity is now more broadly defined, and may include, for example, first-generation college students who are from low-income families or students whose backgrounds are most underrepresented in a specific discipline or field.

Fontaine funding, in combination with other resources, is used by the schools to recruit a diverse class of PhD students. Fontaine Fellows receive graduate financial aid that is identical to all other funded students in their respective doctoral programs. In addition, the Fontaine Society provides members with opportunities to come together throughout the year to support one another’s academic progress and enhance the University campus as a whole, through their contributions to the scholarly community.

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