Resilience Education | Wharton WORKS

Expanding the role and impact of next-generation business leaders in addressing mass incarceration inequities.


Launching in April 2023, the Wharton Opportunities for Reentry, Knowledge, and Skills (WORKS) program, created in partnership with Resilience Education and Wharton’s Coalition for Equity and Opportunity (CEO), develops a pathway to economic mobility for individuals affected by the justice system.

WORKS offers dual impact:

Support incarcerated individuals in gaining the skills needed to forge a path of professional and personal success as they reintegrate into the workforce and society.
Provide MBA students with insights into the issues affecting incarcerated populations to widen students’ perspectives on the transformative power of business education and expand their capacity for compassionate leadership.


Robert Steinberg Professor; Professor of Management

Damon J. Phillips is a Robert Steinberg Professor of Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania with a secondary appointment at the Annenberg School for Communication.

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Prior to joining Wharton, he was the Lambert Family Professor of Social Enterprise at Columbia University Business School.

He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University. Before joining Columbia in 2011, he was on the faculty of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (from 1998-2011). During the 2010-2011 academic year he was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Phillips has expertise in social structural approaches to labor and product markets, entrepreneurship, innovation, organizational change, strategy and structure, as well as social network theory and analysis. His industry specialties are markets for professional services (law, consulting, investment banking) and culture (music industry).

Managing Director, Wharton Coalition for Equity and Opportunity

Fareeda Griffith is the Managing Director for Wharton’s Coalition for Equity and Opportunity (CEO) and the Interim Director for Wharton WORKS.

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Dr. Fareeda Griffith is the Managing Director of the Wharton CEO Initiative at the Wharton School. With over a decade of experience in higher education, she is helping to launch Wharton CEO with the creation of the CEO Lab while promoting and addressing issues of equity and opportunity, and community engagement. As a quantitatively trained sociologist and demographer, Griffith received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania and worked for the last thirteen years at Denison University as an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociology and Director of Global Health.

“Formerly incarcerated people often face discrimination when trying to reenter the workforce. This is compounded by other significant barriers. For instance, they may lack the skills to qualify for well-paying jobs; companies often do not proactively seek to hire from this group; and incarcerated individuals are usually prevented from staying abreast of rapidly changing technology. These are key reasons why, although over 600,000 people return from prison each year, two-thirds of them will recidivate within three years.”

– Damon J. Phillips

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