2021 President’s Engagement Prize Winner: Reading Marxism to Steel workers in Pennsylvania

Although the official application deadline for the 2020 President’s Engagement Prize is January 29th, 2021, President Amy Gutmann has preemptively announced one of the winning teams, so that the project may proceed immediately.

College seniors and sociology majors Tom Thompson and Jenny Jensen won the award for Liberate Pennsylvania. The group plans to travel across Pennsylvania, reading Marxist literature to steel workers during their working hours. 

“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles,” explained Jenny. “So, when these workers exclaim that illegal aliens are destroying this country, what they’re really experiencing is the anomie caused by the oppression of the bourgeois class in today’s neocolonial, postfeminist, and consumerist society. I, a cishet white woman from an upper middle class background, learned this in my introduction to sociology class, and henceforth have stopped caring about trying to work for this capitalist society.

The pathway to impact is startlingly simple. “Once the workers hear about how they are slaves of the bourgeois class and of the bourgeois state, they will surely quit their jobs to join the revolution,” explained Tom. 

Some critics of this non-profit venture were skeptical where the $100,000 dollars in funding would be used, but Liberate Pennsylvania was quick to reassure investors. “Every dollar will go towards the nonprofit, to better the lives of the workers,” started Jenny. “We’ll need money for gas, for buying two megaphones, and the rest of the money will go towards renting out a limo with a hot tub installation, so that we can be well rested during our revolutionary journey.” 

President Gutmann was heavily enthusiastic about this project in her announcement email. 

“The fact that our college students are able to take what they’ve learned in class, and directly attach it to real world problems, is nothing short of extraordinary,” she wrote.  “Liberate Pennsylvania truly embodies the Penn spirit, and I could not be prouder to put my money where my mouth is.”

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