Keith J. Caldwell remembers his first two Inclusive Voices -- the annual event that connects Burghers with some of the region's more prominent citizens for lunch and conversation about the future of the city.
Caldwell, director of career services and alumni affairs at Pitt's School of Social Work, sat first with Rabbi Aaron Bisno of Rodef Shalom, whose group talked about reaching out to young people in the city; the next year he sat with Rod Doss, editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier
, who "interviewed each of us, going around the table, about our experiences in Pittsburgh."
At his table, he recalls others from United Way, EQT, and the organization that runs the event: PACE
, the Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise, which provides grants and technical assistance to local nonprofits in neglected areas of the city and county.
"It really becomes a table-wide conversation," says Caldwell, who is now a PACE board member. "The spirit of the event is informal, positive conversations with diverse people. We create a space where these folks can do what our tag line says: Converse, listen and learn."
Among this year's conversationalists at the March 30 event are:
- Eric Shiner, Director, The Andy Warhol Museum
- Kelly Kochamba, FBI Community Outreach Specialist
- Etta Cox, Jazz Vocalist
- Carmen Lee & Melanie Brown, The Heinz Endowments
- Michelle Bisno, Founder, Achievement in Motion
- Chaz Kellem, Pittsburgh Pirates
- Mario Browne, University of Pittsburgh Office of Health Science Diversity
- D. Jermaine Husser, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
- Reverend Glenn Grayson, Wesley Center AME Church
- Bob Fragasso, Fragasso Financial
- Steven Sokol, World Affairs Council
- Fred Thieman, Buhl Foundation
- Julie Hughes, President, Fifth-Third Bank of Western Pennsylvania
Individual tickets are still available, as well as tables for sponsoring groups. Caldwell knows of one table from his first year of Inclusive Voices whose members still
get together. The value, he says, is in the unexpected mix of people and views from the featured guests and
Writer: Marty Levine
Source: Keith J. Caldwell, PACE