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Weitzman Welcomes Marcus Samuelsson for A Conversation on Food, Equity, and Social Justice with Provost Wendell Pritchett

The Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design presents “The Moelis Lecture: Marcus Samuelsson in Conversation with Penn Provost Wendell Pritchett.” The evening brings together the acclaimed New York City chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, philanthropist and activist and the award-winning scholar, author, lawyer, professor, and civic and academic leader from Philadelphia for a dialogue about the many ways in which food culture strengthens communities—from facilitating new alliances to revitalizing neighborhoods. Featuring an audience Q&A and reception, the event takes place from 6:00 – 7:30pm on March 16, 2020 at Meyerson Hall, 210 South 34th Street. Admission is free and open to the public; advance online registration is required. 

Economic inequality is more widespread and more severe than it has been in decades. Low-income communities suffer from a dearth of good jobs and a lack of healthy food. Contemporary food culture in the U.S. offers essential examples for how the business community, educational institutions, and policy makers can creatively combat these problems while also celebrating local cultures.

The Moelis Lecture is part of a wide-ranging effort led by the Department of City and Regional Planning at the Weitzman School to increase diversity in community economic development and real estate development. The Moelis Scholars Program provides generous fellowships, mentoring, and professional development to encourage students with a commitment to diversity to pursue careers in housing and community and economic development. The Department is also home to the Penn Planning Equity Initiative (PPEI), which aims to redefine planning research and practice, promote action research and its application, and stimulate public dialogue.

Marcus Samuelsson is the acclaimed chef behind many restaurants worldwide including Red Rooster Harlem, MARCUS Montreal, and Marcus B&P in Newark, New Jersey. Samuelsson was the youngest person to ever receive a three-star review from The New York Times and has won multiple James Beard Foundation Awards including Best Chef: New York City. He was tasked with planning and executing the Obama Administration’s first State dinner honoring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Samuelsson was also crowned champion of television shows Top Chef Masters and Chopped All Stars, and was the winning mentor on ABC’s The Taste. Samuelsson received the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Personality for his TV series titled No Passport Required with VOX/Eater and he is an executive producer of Viceland’s show HUSTLE

Penn Provost Wendell Pritchett, Presidential Professor in the Law School and the Graduate School of Education, began his tenure on July 1, 2017. He served from 2009-2014 as chancellor of Rutgers University-Camden, and in the City of Philadelphia, he has been deputy chief of staff and director of policy for Mayor Michael Nutter, chair of the redevelopment authority, member of the School Reform Commission, president of the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation, board chair of the Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, and executive director of the district offices of Congressman Thomas Foglietta, among many other board and leadership positions. His scholarly work focuses on urban history, especially housing, race relations, and economic development. He is the author of Brownsville, Brooklyn: Blacks, Jews and the Changing Face of the Ghetto and Robert Clifton Weaver and the American City: The Life and Times of an Urban Reformer.

The mission of the Weitzman School of Design is to prepare students to address complex sociocultural and environmental issues through thoughtful inquiry, creative expression, and innovation. As a diverse community of scholars and practitioners, we are committed to advancing the public good–locally and globally–through art, design, planning, and preservation.

Media Contact: Michael Grant, senior director of communications,, 215.898.2539.