10-time Grammy winner and 1999 College graduate John Legend visited campus on Thursday to speak to the Penn community about the development of opportunities and communities in low-income areas.
A large crowd gathered in Penn Law's Fitts Auditorium where Legend mediated a panel comprised of former Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter, as well as representatives from Goldman Sachs, Enterprise Now, Innovate Economy, and more.
The panel convened to discuss both the benefits and drawbacks of the Opportunity Zone tax incentive, a bill passed by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. An Opportunity Zone is defined as an “economically-distressed community" that could receive preferential tax treatment for business investments, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
The goal of the discussion was to dissect the policies in place to connect residents to affordable housing, jobs, healthcare, and community justice programs.
The event was hosted in conjunction with Enterprise Community Partners, the Penn Institute for Urban Research, and Penn Law’s Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice.
Legend, who has been known to advocate for a myriad of platforms regarding politics and political climate, is also a member of the advisory board for the Quattrone Center. The Center, a nonpartisan organization under Penn Law, conducts research towards a fairer criminal justice system.
The event reached capacity days before registration closed, with a waitlist for students still interested.