2021 Forum

The 7th Annual Jefferson Forum 

Embracing Transformation

Registration is Open Now – Register Here!

The Jefferson Regional Foundation is excited to announce our 7th Annual Jefferson Forum, Embracing Transformation: a month-long series of virtual opportunities this May to connect, learn, and reflect on the many ways the past year has transformed our region and the way we do our work. Community organizations have risen more than ever before as a major force in keeping our region strong during the past year of change, adapting constantly to shifts in community needs and embracing creative new strategies and technologies to deliver impact. As we look towards the future, what have we learned from the past year? What big ideas must we continue to move forward? What will be forever changed?

The Jefferson Forum, Embracing Transformation will engage 300+ representatives of nonprofit and community organizations from across the Mon Valley and South Hills regions. We hope you’ll join us for an engaging Kick-Off morning including improv comedy, local leaders and Jefferson Café discussions, a must-see keynote on The Power of Asset Framing for Equity with nationally acclaimed thought leader Trabian Shorters, and a series of Transformation-Themed Workshops.


Highlights of this year’s Forum include:

Forum Morning Kick-Off | May 6th, 9am – 12pm

  • Welcoming Remarks by Austin Davis – PA State Rep, District 35
  • Local Leaders of Transformation Panel Discussion: Inspiration from local leaders reflecting on what transformation means to them and how it drives their work.
    • Austin Davis – PA State Rep, District 35
    • Angela Garcia – Executive Director, Global Links
    • Jim Guffey – Executive Director, South Hills Interfaith Movement
    • T Charles Howell – Director of Workforce Development, Mon Valley Initiative
    • Giulia Lozza Petrucci – Executive Director, Dragon’s Den
  • Nonprofits are Improv Geniuses – with Arcade Comedy: Join the team from Arcade Comedy to explore a new perspective on nonprofit work through an improv comedy show, followed by a talk-back session.
  • Jefferson Café Discussions: connect with other Jefferson movers and shakers through virtual small group discussions to explore lessons learned over the past year and how we might continue to embrace transformation in the future.

Transforming Your Mindset Keynote | May 20th, 10am – 12pm

Asset Framing for Equity with Nationally Acclaimed Thought Leader Trabian Shorters

Asset-framing has been recognized as a major innovation in fields of social impact. Based on insights from global authorities in cognition, decision-making, narrative and social impact, nationally acclaimed thought leader Trabian Shorters offers forward-thinking leaders a reliable way to increase engagement, support and impact for their enterprises across races, genders and economic classes.

Transformational Workshops | Throughout May 2021

Choose your own experience! Workshops will be held on different dates throughout May so that you can attend as many as you wish.

Our five workshop offerings include:

Tuesday, May 11th: 1-3pm | Transforming Work – People Practices in the New Normal With tHrive – People Practices for Nonprofits

Join nonprofit experts in “people practice” who will explore policy and practice issues. Our experts will review organizational policies such as flextime, leave of absences, vaccinations, new federally mandated employment programs, along with practices to guide and transform your organization and people through this new normal and beyond.

Friday, May 14th: 9am – 12pm | Transforming Influence & Policy – Digital Engagement & Government Funding 

This two-part session will feature the following:

  • Digital Advocacy Training with John Denny, Denny Civic Solutions: Learn to leverage your influence from an expert in using digital advocacy tools and social media to ensure your message is heard, to raise awareness of your organization, and to move legislators and key decision makers on your issue.
  • Transforming Influence & Government Funding, Moderated by Jay Costa (PA State Senator, District 43) and featuring Kathi Elliot (Executive Director, Gwen’s Girls); Rochelle Jackson (Executive Director, Black Women’s Policy Center); and Laura Weins (Executive Director, Pittsburghers for Public Transit) Gather insights about influencing policy with a panel of powerful advocates who will offer effective strategies in working with legislators and other key decision makers to ensure your message is heard and your capacity to elicit government funding support is enhanced.

Tuesday, May 18th: 9-11am | Transforming Community Health – Access & Technology

Featuring Rev. Paul Abernathy (CEO, Neighborhood Resilience Project); Dr. Elizabeth Cuevas (Division Director, AHN Center for Inclusion Health); Dr. Jenn Elliott (Associate Professor, Duquesne School of Pharmacy); and Dr. Jerome Gloster (CEO, Primary Care Health Services, Inc.)

The pandemic has drastically changed how health and behavioral health providers interact with communities, presenting both challenges and opportunities when it comes to providing equitable health access, addressing trauma and social variables, and leveraging telehealth and new technologies. Join this workshop to explore the broad and innovative ways that health providers are engaging with communities for tremendous impact.

Monday, May 24th 1-3pm | Transforming Data – Data as a Tool for Change 

Moderated by Carrie Tancraitor (Associate Director, Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management) and featuring Bobbi Watt-Geer (CEO, United Way of Southwestern PA); Rich Overmoyer (CEO & President, Fourth Economy), and Bhavini Patel (CEO and Co-Founder of Beam Data)

Data is a powerful tool for transformation. Key local leaders and analysts will offer insights and examples of how they are collecting and utilizing data in innovative ways to drive impact and change in the nonprofit sector and tips to build your capacity to utilize data.

Wednesday, May 26th 1-3pm OR Friday, June 4th 10am -12pm | Transforming Equity – Racial Wealth Gap Learning Simulation with LaTrenda Sherill at Common Cause Consulting

This interactive activity helps participants understand the connections between racial inequity, policy, and wealth in new ways. Recommended for all, this simulation is a good early step for people who are just learning about racism as well as an informative support tool for all participants in understanding the quantifiable economic impact of historical policies that have widened today’s racial, income, and wealth divides in the United States. Please note: this session is limited to 40 participants so two separate dates will be offered.

 Register Here!