Several community residents — mostly those leading advocacy efforts against the proposed football stadium — oppose Temple University’s proposed Alpha Center. If completed, the center will include a daycare for 130 children, a dental clinic run by the Kornberg School of Dentistry and behavioral health services for North Philadelphia residents.
We’re disappointed that the most vocal community residents — often quoted in our own publication — are letting their issues with the proposed football stadium outweigh others’ benefits.
One voice belongs to Jackie Wiggins, a leader of the Stadium Stompers who lives on 20th Street near Diamond, who led the opposition to the service-filled center.
“The reality is that Black children and Black families do not need to be test specimens or guinea pigs to advance Temple University’s College of Education goal to secure continuing research funding,” Wiggins said at City Council’s public meeting on Sept. 13. “How cagey, how deceptive.”
That’s ridiculous to suggest — the center will provide services, not experiment on children. It’ll provide much-needed, low-cost aid to a community where many residents face economic hardship. Another incorrect narrative is that the Alpha Center will put local daycares out of business. College of Education Dean Gregory Anderson refuted this and said research shows there are not enough early education centers in the city.
While not always true, most of the officials at Temple are attempting to live up to our founder’s mission. The Alpha Center is a perfect example of a genuine effort to improve the lives of North Philadelphia residents and we hope City Council swiftly signs off on the project.
Editor’s Note: News Editor Lindsay Bowen, who reported the Alpha Center story did not play any part in the writing or editing of this story.