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Inaugural Forum to Bring Collaboration to Public Education: Duquesne University, Educational and Community Leaders Charged with Seeking Social Justice in Public Education

The Duquesne University School of Education, funded by The Heinz Endowments, is spearheading the collaborative discussion with participants from communities, school districts, non-profit educational service organizations, governmental representatives, parents and students.

Framing the conversation will be:

  • Allegheny Conference CEO, Dennis Yablonsky, who will focus the conversation from an economic standpoint, including workforce development, job training and the 26,000 open jobs in the region waiting to be filled. 
  • Dr. Arnetha Ball, professor of education at Stanford University, and Dr. Pedro Noguera, the Peter Agnew Professor of Education at NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. Ball and Noguera will share research findings on the education of children and youth from under-represented populations to inform the subsequent dialogue among participants. 
  • President and CEO of The Pittsburgh Foundation, Grant Oliphant, who will offer closing remarks and set the stage for next steps in the process.

WHERE:  Duquesne University Power Center Ballroom, 1015 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh

WHEN:  Wednesday, Oct. 23, from 5-7 p.m.

WHAT:  This inaugural forum will engage stakeholders in dialogue on 21st century public education as a social justice right impacting all children, particularly those in under-represented populations. The goal is to gain a more accurate understanding of the work presently occurring that affects the education of all children in the region, to get the leaders as participants in the same room to discuss why there still are issues related to student achievement and success.

WHY:  "What can we share to gain a more accurate understanding of the work we are all doing in the region that affects education?" asked Dr. Olga Welch, dean of the School of Education at Duquesne. "Public education is a social justice issue, it is a social justice right, so as the School of Education, we're 'coming off the Bluff' to be a place not only where we educate, but a place where we can use our scholarship, resources and community partnerships and our leadership in education to engage the region's leaders in meaningful discourse and problem-solving in an environment that champions equity and social justice for everyone.

"Far too many of our children are ill-prepared educationally for either post-secondary opportunities or the world of work. Educating all of our children is a social justice imperative that the entire community shares. Why does this continue to happen when we have so many worthwhile programs and services? We need to learn how to share our vision for children's educational success by exploring what is and is not working, by sharing each other's ideas and visions, and by collaborating to help children become prepared for work and for success.

"Education must become the foundation that launches meaningful life-long learning," Welch said. 

HOW:  Two key questions will be addressed during the forum:

  • What does 21st century learning need to look like to achieve equity and excellence for all children?
  • What do we need to do, from our various positions, to make this happen, including ways to learn from each other?

The dialogue stemming from these questions will begin to answer:  What would transformation in public education in the 21st century look like? The forum will provide the basis for continuing dialogue among participants and other interested stakeholders.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.