IMPACT is a community dedicated to creating social change, beginning on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus and reaching individuals with Penn connections all over the world. Founded in the spring of 2013 by two Penn students, we have grown from a group of social justice-minded students to a community of students making a difference through a magazine, blog, and calendar of events. Our mission is to cultivate a culture of involvement in social issues at Penn; give students the tools to become active, impactful members of their communities; and bring awareness to students, faculty, alumni, and organizations working toward equality, rights, and a positive social impact.
Impact was born in the middle of the night. Valentina Raman and Frances Starn, now Penn alumni, were talking one night about social justice and change. Frustrated about their role in social impact on Penn’s campus, they realized they had all the tools they needed to make a change—and thus IMPACT was born.
Initially seen as a social impact-focused magazine and website, the IMPACT team began to assemble and organize in the spring of 2013. During the following summer, funds were raised and teams were built to get IMPACT up and running. A Kickstarter campaign allowed donations to support IMPACT financially, and in 46 days, we raised $5,001 from 66 supporters to fund the magazine and blog. We began the 2013-2014 school year with an online pre-issue focusing on a variety of social change topics we hoped to cover in more depth in the future.
Our first print issue was published in November of 2013, focusing on education. With this issue, IMPACT established itself as a magazine that would explore tough issues with quality articles, and we have continued to publish an issue a semester since.
At the same time, IMPACT launched a blog to complement the magazine, bringing readers more up-to-date, engaging blog posts and articles to continue to foster conversation between issues. The blog continues to be an important avenue for discussion, engagement, and change within the IMPACT community.
Since then, our mission has grown to encompass a community of members engaged in events, including volunteer and community outreach events, speakers, and “social impact” trainings. IMPACT aims to reach as many students, faculty, alumni, and residents of Philadelphia as possible through a wide variety of events catering not only to IMPACT members but to anyone interested in social impact.
As the IMPACT community continues to grow, we strive to increase participation, diversify our interests, and push the boundaries of our exploration of social issues. Through a high quality magazine, dynamic blog, and series of events, we hope to continue to foster a relationship with the greater Penn community in which we can learn from each other and create a positive social impact as we do.