Panel reviews pardons as a strategy for fighting poverty

Please join Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity and the Scattergood Foundation for a discussion on how the Pennsylvania Pardon System could be the road out of poverty for the City of Philadelphia.


Monday, May 17, 2021
Register Now

Despite the very best efforts of so many over many years, Philadelphia remains the poorest big city in America. There’s one program that could bring millions into distressed neighborhoods, for free, but none of us are taking advantage of it: Pardons.

Pennsylvania may have the most progressive pardon system in the country.  The Economy League has called pardons a “no-cost community development and neighborhood investment policy." Their April 2020 study showed $16.5 million flowing across Pennsylvania, most going to low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.

With tens of thousands of potential recipients, Philadelphia saw fewer than 50 apply last year.  Come hear from the people who have helped to revolutionize the system, and from those who have used it. Plan to brainstorm and leave with ideas for how to take advantage of what is an amazing opportunity.


  • Larry Krasner, Philadelphia District Attorney
  • Jeff Brown, President & CEO of Brown’s Super Stores, Inc.
  • Evan Figueroa-Vargas, Employment Systems Program Analyst for the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health & Intellectual disAbility Services
  • Carl (Tobey) Oxholm III, Executive Director Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity
  • Rev. Michelle Simmons, Founder & CEO of Why Not Prosper

Register here. If you have any questions or comments please email the Scattergood Foundation.