A new initiative developed by Duquesne's Center for Catholic Faith and Culture (CCFC) combines academic courses with a free public speaker series and focuses on collaboration with the community, providing new insights into Catholic social teaching and promoting civic awareness among the University's students, faculty and staff.

"United Pittsburgh contributes to Duquesne University's strategic imperative to become the region's flagship institution for community engagement, and it embodies a Catholic and Spiritan commitment to work for the common good by listening to and learning from others," Dr. Darlene Weaver, director of the CCFC, said.

Launched this semester, United Pittsburgh includes undergraduates and graduate courses offered through the theology department for Duquesne students in any major that are team-taught by University faculty and well-known social justice advocates from the community.

"The United Pittsburgh courses foster dialogue between Christian ethics and curricular material on a variety of social issues," Weaver said. "The dialogue will help students understand what Christian ethics can contribute to understanding and addressing contemporary social issues impacting our region and elsewhere. Students will also learn how perspectives from secular disciplines can inform and enrich Christian ethical inquiry."

The 10-week United Pittsburgh public speaker series, which runs Monday, Feb. 4, through Monday, April 15, features prominent government, education, faith-based and community leaders who will discuss some of Pittsburgh's most pressing challenges and meaningful solutions.

Rabbi James Gibson of Temple Sinai and the Rev. John C. Welch of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary kick off the series on Feb. 4 with an interfaith discussion on the theme Who is My Neighbor?. Bus transportation will be available to bring campus members to and from the Hill House Association's Kaufman Center.

"This speaker series is a terrific opportunity to hear from a range of Pittsburgh leaders, to understand why citizens' experience of Pittsburgh can vary greatly and to learn about emerging opportunities to forge a more inclusive and equitable future for the region," Weaver said. "It's also a chance for our students at Duquesne to learn about potential career pathways focused on making a positive impact."

Topics cover issues such as healing a community, the difference between charity and equity, and how to work together, among others. Among the series' 13 speakers are Samuel W. Black, director of African-American Programs at the Senator John Heinz History Center, and Grant Oliphant, president of The Heinz Endowments.

The series concludes April 15 with a presentation by Duquesne President Ken Gormley and Carlow University President Dr. Suzanne Mellon titled What Can Universities Contribute to a United Pittsburgh. William Generett, Jr., vice president for community engagement at Duquesne, will serve as moderator.

Details about United Pittsburgh, the speaker series and registration are available online or by contacting the CCFC at (412) 396-1595 or ccfcFREEDUQUESNE.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,000 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

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January 31, 2019