Welcome to Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love!

The Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) will host its 68th Annual Meeting
Abolitionist Approaches to Social Problems –
at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown
August 10-12, 2018

Philadelphia, PA

Photo Credit: Google Images

Welcome to Philly!

Philadelphia is known as many things, including the Cradle of Liberty, a critical part of the Abolitionist movement, and more recently as the nation’s 1st World Heritage City.  Philadelphia is situated on land that was originally settled by the Lenape almost 10,000 years ago, and we would like to acknowledge this, and express our sincere appreciation and respect for the history and culture of the Lenape people.

Rich in history, resistance and movement building, there are many inspirational people from Philadelphia, including cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead and Marian Anderson, one of the most celebrated singers of the 20th Century.  Carolyn Davenport Moore https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6ZYtRwNHjIa local civil rights leader from the 1940s through the 1960s, was also from Philadelphia, as was movie star (and Princess of Monaco) Grace Kelly.  Philly was also home to Betsy Ross, and you can visit her house, which has been turned into a local museum (http://historicphiladelphia.org/what-to-see/).

As the nation’s birthplace, Philadelphia is rich in history – both historically and contemporarily – and has been called home by many activists challenging social inequities and demanding freedom.  For instance, Richard Allen, Absalom Jones, William Still and Robert Purvis set free roots deep in the city and helped countless people escape bondage.  Philadelphia is also the birthplace of MOVE (founded in 1972) and is famous for the bombing of the MOVE compound on Osage Avenue (May 1985) killing 11 people – 5 of whom were children – and destroying over 61 homes.  More recently we have seen organized social resistance created by students criticizing the defunding of public education, battles against gentrification http://phillyaffordablecommunities.org, the building of the Temple Stadium in North Philadelphia https://www.facebook.com/StadiumStompersPhilly/ and http://www.philly.com/philly/news/temple-football-stadium-neighbors-englert-20180202.html, and the Black Lives Matter Movement https://www.facebook.com/blacklivesmatterphilly/ protesting continued police brutality and violence.  Protest sparks many things, including music and art, so check out our vibrant arts scene including our magnificent murals https://www.muralarts.org and the Painted Bride https://paintedbride.org, and remember that it is from this city that the legendary Roots crew hails – so I encourage you to check out their music for a glimpse into Philly’s soul.

Philadelphia also has a thriving gay community with a long history.  In 1965, four years before the Stonewall Riots in New York ignited the worldwide modern gay rights movement, a group of protesters began an annual July 4th pride march in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia http://www.phillygaypride.org/annual-reminders-50th-anniversary/Since then, the LGBTQ community has come out in increasing numbers to claim their rightful place in Philadelphia.  One can walk through the Gayborhood, a section of Center City’s Washington Square District, and see rainbow flags adorning the street signs.  Philadelphia hosts many highly visible and important LGBTQ events, such as Equality Forum, Blue Ball, Black Pride, Pride Parade, and OutFest, the largest National Coming Out Day festival in the world.  Please check out  http://PhillyGayCalendar.com for events during your stay in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia is alive!  We are bursting with art, activism, resistance, poetry, people, and our insistence that creating a more just and humanitarian society is not only necessary, but possible.  I hope you enjoy your stay with us.


Adriana Leela Bohm, Ph.D.
Delaware County Community College
Chair, Local Arrangements Committee, 2017-2018

Things to do in Philadelphia


Public Art

All of the following attractions are public art works in local parks – I strongly encourage taking a walk to view these famous and beautiful spaces in Philadelphia:


If you would like to go see a show, there are lots of theatres from which to choose:


Philadelphia is known for its many neighborhoods and most offer great restaurants and shopping:

Relax, Shop and Eat

The following attractions are outside spaces (except for Reading Terminal Market) where you can eat, hang out, people watch, and maybe even do a bit of shopping:

Historical Sites (within one square mile of each other)

  • Independence Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that changed the world when the fathers of our nation used the location to debate and adopt both the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.
  • The Liberty Bell, a symbol of freedom that predates our nation’s birth.  Legend holds it sustained its trademark crack when it was rung to announce the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
  • The Museum of the American Revolution, which opened in April 2017, explores the dynamic story of the American Revolution using its rich collection of Revolutionary-era artifacts, personal items, letters, diaries and works of art.
  • The President’s House, where both George Washington and John Adams spent most of their presidencies before the White House was built in Washington, D.C.
  • National Museum of American Jewish History, the only major National Museum dedicated to telling the story of the Jewish people in America from 1654 to present.
  • African American Museum in Philadelphia, where visitors can explore the history and stories of African-American people and those of the African Diaspora.
  • The National Constitution Center, an interactive museum dedicated to the document on which our nation was founded.
  • Carpenter’s Hall, the meeting place of the First Continental Congress in 1774. The seeds of the American Revolution were planted here when delegates from 12 of the 13 colonies agreed to boycott British imports.
  • Franklin Court, the Philadelphia home of statesman, author, printer, inventor, postmaster, activist and more. The building also is the nation’s first post office.