Visioning Our Collective Alternative Liberation (VOCAL) SP2 is focused on building knowledge of community-led efforts to pursue a just redistribution of power, resources, and access in Philadelphia. As a collective, we are member-led, member-inspired, and member-driven. We invite community members to participate through sharing events, information, and resources in pursuit of these goals, and to attend our next general and/or planning meeting or VOCAL sponsored events.


In our first year of formation in the 2019-2020 school year, we hosted an opening potluck. People gathered over shared food to engage in a community conversation about what abolition looks like, prompted by watching a video about abolition created by VOCAL members.

Members also contribute to and spread the word about various community organizations and initiatives, including the Youth Advocacy Project (YAP)Walk-In Re-Entry Services (WIRES) ClinicCoalition to Abolish Death by Incarceration (CADBI)Youth Participatory Defense HubPhiladelphia Community Bail Fund,Association of Black Social Workers (ABSW)Asians for Social Justice (ASJ)Social Work Advocates for Immigrants and International Rights (SWAIIR)New Sanctuary Movement (NSM) of PhiladelphiaCaucus of Working Educators (CWE), and PHILLY THRIVE.


WIRES is the Walk In Reentry Services Clinic run by SP2 volunteers through VOCAL. WIRES offers brief case management on a walk-in basis for individuals who have experienced incarceration. Support services include referrals to services, strategic planning for short and long term goal attainment, and resume review. The clinic seeks to enable SP2 student involvement in the criminal justice service community, providing students with experience or interest in criminal justice to apply their skills, and further develop their expertise. WIRES is held every Tuesday evening from 5:30-7:30 at the People’s Paper Co-Op 2558 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA. 19133. For more information email vocalsp2@gmail.com. SP2 students interested in signing up to staff the clinic can do so here.


To find out more information, forward along community events to other VOCAL members, learn about how you can get involved, or for the date of our next meeting, please contact our planning committee at vocalsp2@gmail.com, and someone will get back to you and add you to the listserv.

2020 Officers


Hannah Spielberg, MSW ’21

YAP Liason

Sadye Stern

WIRES Liason

Chris Copelin

VOCAL Staff Advisor/GRI

Ruth Shefner, MPH, MSW

SP2 News

Ezekiel Dixon-Roman at his book launch and discussion in fall 2017.

Faculty & Research

New Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computational, & Mixed Methodologies

This month, Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) Associate Professor Ezekiel Dixon-Román, PhD, and others announced the launch...

Richard Gelles Receives SSWR Award

Faculty & Research

Richard Gelles Receives SSWR Social Policy Researcher Award

Richard J. Gelles, PhD, former dean of Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2), was honored for his distinguished...

Jeff Oppenheimer at ALS Association Dinner

Student Life

NPL Student Shares Advocacy Story at Annual ALS Dinner

“I bear witness to the strength of people who can’t move a muscle,” said Jeff Oppenheimer, addressing a gathering of...

Ram Cnaan of The University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice

Faculty & Research

SP2 Professor Selected as Best Reviewer

Professor Ram Cnaan, MSW, PhD, director for the Program for Religion and Social Policy Research, was recently chosen as Best...

Discover More