Building Change Friday Workshops

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Workshops – Friday, October 14, 2011 – 1:15-2:45 PM

•   Affordable Housing Crisis and Local Responses in SWPA– George Moses (Housing Alliance), Ronell Guy (Northside Coalition for Fair Housing), Cheryl Hurt (Clairton Economic Development Corporation)

This workshop will lay out the nature and scope of the affordable rental housing crisis that exists in Southwestern PA. In addition, the workshop will provide two ground-breaking models of how tenants and community advocates saved, improved and built new affordable housing that benefited the current or local residents in two, struggling neighborhoods in Pittsburgh and Clairton.

•    Animal Rights and Veganism as Integral to Social Justice– Anne Lynch (Three Rivers Vegan Society), David Meieran, and Leila Fusfeld (Peace Advocacy Network)

Human rights, environmental justice, and other activists have more in common with animal rights activists than you may think.  More than a food choice, vegan principles build the foundations for eliminating violence and oppression in the lives of humans and nonhumans alike.  This workshop explores the intersectionality of issues and missed opportunities and challenges here in SWPA for making these connections.  The session will conclude with ways we can work together to bring about a just world for all beings.

•    Defining the Impact of Energy Extraction in SW PA– Jacie Carter (Center for Coalfield Justice)

The Center for Coalfield Justice will present an overview of the citizen response to energy extraction practices in southwestern Pennsylvania. Addressing the impact of coal mining and gas drilling activities, including a hands-on demonstration of water testing conducted by a growing movement of water quality monitors in the region.

•    Developing Your Organization’s Diversity Philosophy– Paul H. Hawkins (Working Diversity, Inc.)

Every organization has a diversity philosophy.  But few organizations know what it is, let alone how to improve it.  In this workshop we will explore the compelling case for developing your organization’s diversity philosophy, and the amazing benefits that can come to you and your organization by doing so.

•    The Firefly Tunnel Project– Tavia LaFollette (ArtUp)

To present The Firefly Tunnel Project (, an international art exchange between Cairo and Pittsburgh, creating a new dialogue between cultures.  We promote tolerance of beliefs and ideals between societies as we near the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, building a language of peace through the actions of art.

•    Green Building Strategies for Neighborhood Development– Jenna Cramer (Green Building Alliance)

Join us for an interactive discussion/brainstorm about neighborhood development from a green building perspective.  Jenna Cramer from the Green Building Alliance will lead a panel of local community leaders through the current issues facing green development.  Come learn about the LEED for Neighborhood Development Rating System, the Living Building Challenge, Sustainable Sites Initiative and other greening standards helping to redefine sustainable redevelopment for the future.

•    Increase the Peace in Our Communities!– Kevin May, Brittany Bankert, Julie Charles, Annie Derek, Chad Mosesso, and Susan Richter (Peaceful Gathering of Hands)
A workshop on fun, inclusive community building activities, bridging the connection between inner and outer peace.

•    Meet Your Progressive Grantmakers!– organized by TRCF

Come and meet progressive grantmakers who will discuss pertinent funding initiatives and how these initiatives address the social justice issues important to their foundations. Learn about the unique perspectives and grant opportunities from the Falk Foundation, FISA Foundation, the Funding Exchange (FEX), Jewish Women’s FoundationPOISE FoundationSprout FundTRCF, and the Women and Girls Foundation.

•    Poverty and Hunger: Thinking Nationally/Acting Locally– Tara Marks (Just Harvest) and  (SW PA Food Security Partnership)

This interactive workshop will focus on advocacy efforts to end hunger and address actions and policies that perpetuate hunger and poverty in America.  The workshop will contrast the conditions of the poor and the wealthy and policies benefiting or harming them.  Participants will leave with a plan of action.

•    Public Relations for Non-Profits and Special Interest Groups– Marjorie Bing Stanislaw (Strategic Circles Corporation)

This workshop will give an overview of public relations functions, how they differ from development and tips on operating without a budget while still getting information to the public.  Topics covered will include how participants can identify their market universe, how to create a winning press release and why a logo is important.

•    Solutions to Our Deep Crisis at the Climate-Energy-Poverty Nexus– Mark Dixon (3 Rivers Bioneers) and Barton Kirk (ecoSEEDS)

Bioneers seek transcendent solutions to today’s complex and interconnected social and environmental problems. This workshop will screen a short interview with renowned Bioneer, David Orr and engage participants and panelists through art, science, and dialog on the looming energy and climate crisis – examining risks and opportunities facing our region’s most vulnerable citizens.

•    “We Are Here, We Are Here, We Are Here!”: Building an Advocacy Voice in the Mental Health Community– Dayna Shallenberger, Sheyanne Reynolds, Laurie Reynolds, and Debbie Marshall (Mental Health America)

People living in congregate settings often lack a voice and opportunities to speak for themselves.  Our workshop will tell how we have helped to develop a strong advocacy voice for and with people living in personal care homes in Washington, Fayette, Beaver and Armstrong Counties.

Work shops – Friday, October 14, 2011 – 3:00-4:30 PM

•    Addressing Gun Violence– Kerry O’Donnell (Falk Funds)

Given the epidemic nature of gun violence—in the form of homicides, suicides, and unintentional shootings in our region and state, what can be done to prevent it?  Learn what you can do on a daily basis and how to get involved.

•    Advocacy andAction WITH (Not About…)– Rev. Sally Jo Snyder (Consumer Health Coalition)

Receive resources and learn how to grow from self-advocacy of marginalized populations to creation of a movement of broader-based community advocacy leading to effective policy change.  Learn how to focus the powerful personal stories, creative advocacy projects, connection with key community stakeholders, and growing self-esteem along the shared journey.

•    Best Practices for Successful Grants– Martha Riecks (Martha Riecks Consulting)

Set your organization up for fundraising success!  Together we’ll review best practices to drafting grant applications and creating concise communications while discussing a range of topics, including: outputs vs. outcomes; utilizing logic models, organizations charts and strategic plans; answering the ever-important unasked questions; and sharing your success with your funders.

•    Community-Driven Master Planning: Educating Residents to Full Participation– Bonnie Young Laing (Hill District Consensus Group)

This presentation will review strategies to ensure valid and informed community engagement in community development efforts. We will also review how residents may use their knowledge to ensure developments will benefit their communities. This will include anti-displacement approaches.

•    Disability, Cultural Change, and True Diversity– Lucy Spruill (UCP/CLASS)

This workshop presents a paradigm for understanding disability through oppression theory, social group memberships and social justice.  The negative social consequences of labeling people with disabilities with such concepts as limitation, deviance, and disease will be discussed.  Strategies for positively approaching disability as a diversity issue will be presented.

•    Dismantling the Market-State Monopoly: How to Reclaim a Democracy By and For the People –  discussionJames Quilligan (Global Commons Trust) and Ben Price (Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund)

For people wanting information for solutions.  It will provide success stories, strategies and new innovations for legal and grass-roots political and economic means of transforming our broken system to sustainability and justice from the ground up… ie. Informing people-power to enable solutions by and for the people.

Handouts on the Global Commons can be found here and here.

•    Interfaith Views on LGBTQ Rights– Wayne Paul (Grove of Gaia), Rev. Tom Bodie (Unitarian Universalist Church), Kyoki Rogers (Zen Center of Pittsburgh)

Faith traditions have a stigma of being anti-LGBTQ rights.  In this interfaith panel discussion, representatives from LGBTQ-welcoming churches, synagogues, and other faith congregations will speak about LGBTQ people of faith, and how different traditions can be better advocates for equality.

•    Media Go-Round: The Speed Consulting Workshop for Your Next Video– Organized by Will Zavala (Pittsburgh Filmmakers)

Activist and organization attendees will meet filmmakers, funders, and media specialists to discuss how to make and use videos to advance their causes.  Attendees will choose the expert they want to consult with, and will have 15 minutes to sit down with them before rotating to another expert.

•    Men Becoming Better Allies to Sexual Assault Survivors– Cary Miller (Philly Dudes Collective)

Participants will familiarize themselves with dynamics of sexual assault situations, build an understanding of gender justice and community accountability, and gain practical skills for supporting survivors.  All genders are welcome, but men are highly encouraged.

•    Obtaining and Maintaining Tax Exemption– Leila Fusfeld (Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP)

This seminar will include an overview of what’s involved in obtaining tax-exemption and certain important issues that tax-exempt organizations face in maintaining exemption, including filing requirements, lobbying, political campaigns.  Participants will have the opportunity to suggest fact patterns for discussion and ask questions.

•    PA is Not Arizona: Immigration Legislation and Opportunities for Action– Scilla Wahrhaftig (American Friends Service Committee), ACLU, Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network

Pennsylvania is in the process of passing draconian immigration laws similar to Arizona. In the workshop we will explore the impact this legislation will have on individual people’s lives and actions we can take to move towards a fair comprehensive immigration policy.

•    Real Nonprofits of Social Media: Pittsburgh Edition– Cindy Leonard (Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management), Tom Beagan (Charter Oak Church), Angela Garcia (Global Links), Shannon McCarty (UCP/CLASS), Susan Smith (Together We Flourish)

Do you wonder how local nonprofits are using social media to communicate, collaborate, fundraise, and meet their missions?  In this panel session, meet staff from four local organizations that have lots of social media experience and are willing to share their stories of success, failure, and lessons learned along the way.

•    The Restorative Potential of the Arts for Prison Inmates– Bernie Wilke and Walt Peterson (ArtsPath)

Our workshop will focus on the vital role that arts engagement has in fostering restoration for prison inmates.  The current prison model based on separation and deprivation isn’t working — with recidivism rates hovering around 66%.  We will share our own and others’ experiences creating art with offenders and make the case for increased presence of the arts in prisons.