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The Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice Supports Transparent Conversations About the Trauma Caused by Displacement of Philadelphia Residents as a Result of Continued Gentrification and Overdevelopment

March 28, 2023

As stated in our mission, the Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice (CNSJ) “promotes health equity and a racially just world. Our ultimate goal is to inspire hope and healing in young people to prevent future violence and trauma, while transforming health and public health systems toward trauma-informed, healing-centered, equitable, and racially just practices.”

CNSJ staff work tirelessly to reduce community violence and help people heal from the impacts of trauma. We are aware of the social determinants of health that impact low-income communities of color. Living in safe, high-quality affordable housing allows all Philadelphians, including residents of the University City (UC) Townhomes community, to maintain healthy, productive, and dignified lives. We believe that housing is health care and housing is violence prevention.

As such, CNSJ supports the residents of the UC Townhomes in their fight to preserve their homes and encourages meaningful, transparent, and ongoing communication regarding the continued gentrification of University City (and other areas) and the resulting decades of displacement of marginalized Black and brown residents.

We feel that this position aligns with the University’s stated anti-racism goal of implementing an “active process of identifying and ending racism by changing our organizational systems, policies and structures to redistribute power and resources more equitably among all individuals, both at the personal and systemic levels.”

As proud members of the most civically engaged University in the country, we embrace a core value of advocacy involving students, faculty, professional staff, AND the community. We place our full support behind Drexel’s stated commitment to “encourage free inquiry, open discussion and robust debate — with mutual respect.” We look forward to continuing to be part of that discussion.

The future is a place we make.

David C. Dunbeck, LSW
Executive Director, Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice

Annette Gadegbeku, MD
Associate Dean of Community Health, Drexel University College of Medicine
Medical Director, Healing Hurt People

Arturo Zinny, LPC
Interim Executive Director, Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice (effective 4/10/23)