Demand Sanctuary At Temple U

Dear President Englert and Temple University Board of Trustees                              

Temple University claims to pride itself on its dedication to diversity and access. But how can it value these things if its students live in fear of deportation, fear of violence from police, fear of sexual assault from fellow students, fear of not being able to afford classes, or fear of losing the community they grew up in? Temple’s responsibility as a institution of higher education should be to provide safety to its students so that they can get the best education possible. Temple has an obligation to declare itself a sanctuary, a safe-haven not only for immigrants, but for all.

A true sanctuary campus would guarantee a living wage of at least $15/hr, unobstructed union rights, and increased mental health services. A sanctuary university would be a university that prioritizes the safety of women, LGBTQI people, and people of color rather than breeding a culture of sexual and racial violence. A sanctuary university would respect and uplift the surrounding Black community rather than aggressively gentrifying the neighborhood and pushing people out of their homes.

The students and faculty have spoken, we support undocumented immigrants. If Temple wants to support its student body, and support vulnerable populations in this dangerous political climate, these are the steps your students are demanding. Temple has the opportunity to be a truly inclusive institution, showing in practice that you care about the humanity of each member of the diverse Temple community, and we are demanding that you take this opportunity to openly demonstrate your commitment to making Temple University an institution that values its student body and the people it employs.

Although Philadelphia is considered a sanctuary city, we call on Temple University to publicly declare itself a sanctuary campus. Students and workers on campus need to know that Temple will remain committed to their safety regardless of the city’s sanctuary status. But we do not think that Temple calling itself a sanctuary is enough; we encourage the Temple administration to take direct steps to make the university more accessible to undocumented people. Our university should function as a safe haven where undocumented people and all marginalized communities can turn for support and sanctuary.

We demand that Temple …

  1. Publicly declare Temple a Sanctuary Campus
  2. Cut ties with all law enforcement agencies that collaborate with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) and refuse law enforcement agencies who collaborate with ICE access to any Temple properties or information
  3. Institute a policy prohibiting campus police from inquiring about immigration status, enforcing immigration laws, participating with ICE/CBP in actions and refusing to cooperate with any ‘registration’ system that seeks to target or surveil Muslims.
  4. Revise the code of conduct to make sure anti-discrimination policy includes immigration status.
  5. Provide resources including legal services for undocumented students and their families.
  6. Grant in-state tuition to undocumented students who are Pennsylvania residents.

We would be happy to discuss this further with the administration so that collectively we can create the best possible plan to make Temple a sanctuary for all.

Asociación de Estudiantes Latinos

Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance

15 Now of Temple University

Philadelphia Socialist Alternative

Stadium Stompers

Temple Socialists

Black Law Students Association

Activate TU

Indivisible Temple

Organization of African American Studies Undergraduate Students

Temple Association of University Professionals

GenUN Temple

Babel Poetry Collective

Temple Refugee Outreach

Struggle for $15 Minimum Wage Gains Local Endorsers

15 Now Philly, the group advocating for a $15 an hour minimum wage in Philadelphia, has recently secured important new endorsements from local allies in the fight for 15. Momentum has grown tremendously over the past two months after 15 Now held a large rally outside city hall on November 19th. Just days later, in Philadelphia and across the country, dozens of fast food workers walked off their jobs and took the streets demanding $15 an hour and a union.  These worker-driven mass actions demonstrated to low wage employers and local politicians that it is time for big changes to local minimum wage laws.


City Council didn’t take long to act. On December 11th, 2nd District City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson introduced a resolution to hold a hearing on the $15 minimum wage. The resolution was passed unanimously by City Council, and 15 Now anticipates the hearing on lifting the minimum wage will be held near the end of February.

In addition to growing traction in City Hall, new community endorsers have backed the $15 an hour minimum wage in Philly. The Martin Luther King Day of Action Resistance and Empowerment Coalition of faith and #BlackLivesMatter organizations has lifted the $15 an hour minimum wage demand as one of three key demands. Thousands of people will march on Center City on MLK Day (January 19th) to demand racial, economic and legal justice for people of color.

Additionally, the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS), a powerful alliance of community and labor groups in the city, has endorsed ’15 Now.’ The Philadelphia Restaurant Opportunities Center, a restaurant worker organizing group fighting along to eliminate the tipped minimum wage, is backing 15 Now.

Northwest Philadelphia movers-and-shakers Neighborhood Networks endorsed 15 Now. Neighborhood Networks has already begun applying pressure to City Council representatives, and has kicked off a massive petition drive in Germantown and Mt Airy.

The $15 an hour demand is gaining support rapidly as members push towards the February hearings. Other endorsed include the Temple Nurses Union, Youth United for Change (YUC),  the PFT Caucus of Working Educators, Councilwoman Janie Blackwell, the Coalition of Labor Union Women, the Jewish Labor Committees, the PA Postal Workers union and others.

If your group would like to endorse ’15 Now Philly,’ please e-mail

And help us turn the heat up on City Council by making a phone call to your Council member today!

 You can donate critical resources directly to the Philly campaign here 

Or become a National Sustainer to help with the Philadelphia work and campaigns across the country1798048_701500889883806_1888545724_n