TIP Fellow Drives Change through Advocacy and Education February 28, 2024 – Posted in: Uncategorized

Deborah Wei, TIP fellow and Social Studies Curriculum Specialist at the School District of Philadelphia, has been making strides as an educator and community activist in Philadelphia.

This past year, Wei’s impact contributions to the city earned her a feature on Philadelphia Magazine “150 Most Influential Philadelphians”” in 2023. She was highlighted for her work as co-founder of Asian Americans United, which in collaboration with other groups in the Save Chinatown Coalition, are actively working to defend Chinatown from the intrusive development of the 76ers future arena.

Wei’s efforts garnered national recognition as she was featured in the New York Times article titled In a City Defined by History, Chinatown’s Champions Fear New Arena for 76ers for her role as a leading activist fighting against the development of the 76ers basketball arena near Chinatown.

Furthermore, Philadelphia Councilmember Kendra Brooks awarded Wei the Philadelphia City Council Commendation for Outstanding Contributions to the City in 2023, an honor acknowledging Wei’s commitment to improving her community.

Through it all, Wei has been actively engaged with TIP as a fellow in two previous seminars: Social Justice, Monuments, Museums, and Heritage where she wrote Blood Money – The Making of Philadelphia’s Heroes and Planning for a Sustainable, Environmentally Just, and Climate-Ready Philadelphia where she wrote Environmental Justice in Philadelphia. Wei is currently enrolled in spring 2024 TIP seminar Asian Meditation Traditions Past and Present taught by the University of Pennsylvania’s Associate Professor of South Asia Studies Deven Patel.

Wei’s contributions as a TIP fellow, district administrator and community activist have had a significant social and educational impact. As she continues her advocacy, her passion and dedication will undoubtedly inspire positive change within the School District and throughout the Philadelphia community.