Need in Deed has announced its first-ever Educational Equity Forum, scheduled for Monday, February 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown (FUMCOG) and aims to spark a conversation about the pressing issues surrounding funding in Philadelphia’s public schools.

Founded in 1987, Need in Deed seeks to transform teaching and learning in Philadelphia’s public school classrooms for grades 3 through 8. It achieves this mission by supporting teachers in engaging their students in year-long service-learning projects, providing a Need In Deed-specific framework, curriculum aid, training, professional development, and connections with community partners.

The forum will bring together significant figures in the local battle for educational equity. Among the panelists are Councilmember Kendra Brooks of the Working Families Party, Kyra Atterbury, Executive Director of Need in Deed, Dr. Erika Kitzmiller, author of The Roots of Educational Inequality: Philadelphia’s Germantown High School, 1907-2014, and Dr. Roseann Liu, Visiting Assistant Professor of Educational Studies and Asian American Studies at Swarthmore College.

Debbie Wei, a founding member of Asian Americans United, will moderate the discussion. The panelists will explore the challenges arising from a history of inadequate and unfair funding policies in Philadelphia’s education system and propose actionable solutions.

The event will include a panel discussion and a Q&A session, allowing guests to dig into the historical context of Philadelphia’s funding allocation practices and learn about contemporary issues. The panelists will share knowledge of the roots of educational inequality and discuss methods to tackle the problem effectively.

Need in Deed Executive Director Kyra Atterbury emphasized the gravity of educational equity, stating, “The importance of equity in our education system cannot be understated. Every child, regardless of background or circumstance, should be afforded the opportunity to live up to their full potential in schools that educate, uplift, and support them.”

The event will be live-streamed for those who cannot attend in person. Guests can connect with other individuals and organizations interested in moving toward educational equity.
Registration for the event is open through this Friday, February 2, but space is limited. Tickets are free, and registration is required. FUMCOG is located at 6001 Germantown Avenue, across from the old Germantown High School building.