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Temple’s Hope Center for College, Community and Justice Celebrates Strategic Growth

POSTED ON October 28, 2020

Dr. Sara Goldrick-RabThe Hope Center for College, Community and Justice recently celebrated its second anniversary with the announcement of strategic organizational growth, five new teammates, and a new home within the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.

The Hope Center’s project-based work in the national #RealCollege movement centers around students facing basic needs insecurity, including access to food, affordable housing, transportation and childcare—all of which are central conditions for learning. Led by President and Founder Sara Goldrick-Rab, PhD, a Professor of Sociology & Medicine at Temple, the Center moved to Philadelphia and joined Temple University in 2018, refocusing its strategy to recognize the complexity of the challenges facing today’s students. 

The Center’s current projects and research includes partnerships with educational institutions across the country and explores diverse areas of need including college housing assistance, transportation solutions, food scholarships and emergency aid. The organization also administers the #RealCollege survey—the nation’s largest, longest-running annual assessment of basic needs insecurity among college students.

The Hope Center’s work generates concrete improvements in college and university practices, and instigates changes in state and federal policy. For example the Center is leading #RealCollegePHL, an effort to support higher education in the city. As a result of its work, Temple University now offers students information about supports for their basic needs and is home to two emergency aid funds, the City of Philadelphia is prioritizing basic needs security among undergraduates, and Pennsylvania State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta is advancing a hunger-free campus bill.

“Our work is fundamentally about the social determinants of health. Students do not learn and succeed in college if their basic needs as humans are not centered. Moving the Hope Center to the Lewis Katz School of Medicine underlines those facts and strengthens our efforts to transform higher education at all levels,” said Dr. Goldrick-Rab.

“We are both honored and inspired by the partnership between the Hope Center and the Lewis Katz School of Medicine. We understand all too well the fundamental struggles that many students face, and the potential that is lost when those struggles overcome the pursuit of higher education," said John M. Daly, MD '73, Interim Dean and Dean Emeritus at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine.

“The Hope Center embodies the spirit and soul of the Lewis Katz School of Medicine. Infusing a wealth of public health and community resources into their work will help to fortify the Hope Center's advocacy and action for systemic change. We will support the Center to the fullest.” 

Leading Voices in the Fight Against Food Insecurity in Education

The Hope Center and its Director Sara Goldrick-Rab, PhD have been leading the charge in addressing the critical issue of food insecurity facing college students in the United States. The Center’s research, policy advocacy and thought leadership have been prominently featured in national media, including recent pieces in The New York TimesThe New Yorker and the Washington Post, as well as the 2019 documentary film Hungry to Learn, executive produced by Soledad O’Brien and directed by Emmy-award winning and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Geeta Gandbhir. The Center also helped to craft federal legislation to address campus hunger, including bills from Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, and inspired Florida legislation to support student athletes with the food they need.

Make a Gift to Help Build Hope

Philanthropic support for the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice helps advocate for the important systemic changes required to help all students succeed in college through evidence-driven improvements in practice and policy. 

Make your gift to help build hope