Jefferson Forum 2019: Recognizing and Inspiring Resilience


5th Annual Jefferson Forum:

Recognizing & Inspiring Resilience


The 5th Annual Jefferson Forum: Recognizing and Inspiring Resilience, attracted 275 participants from 150 organizations on May 8th, 2018 at the Crowne Plaza Pittsburgh South. The daylong conference for community organizations and leaders was designed to explore the impacts of trauma and the power of resilience at the individual, organizational, and community levels. Participants had the opportunity to learn and network with other passionate individuals working to improve the Jefferson area. Participants rated this event highly, noting beneficial networking opportunities, relevant and informative workshops, a timely theme, and compelling speakers.


100% of Forum participants found the event to be productive, and 99% of attendees responded that they are likely to attend another Forum in the future! This overview contains a summary of attendee feedback from the Forum.


The Forum lineup included:

  • A powerful opening discussion by Whitehall Mayor James Nowalk & Tim Hindes, creator of the Stronger than Hate Logo, on the importance of community resilience in the face of tragedy.


  • A panel of local experts, who helped attendees to understand the causes and symptoms of trauma and the power of resilience.

Thank you to our panelists, including:


  • 7 Different Workshops desgigned to build professional, organizational, and community resilience. Our fantastic workshop presenters have provided additional resources and opportunities to help continue to build your knowledge and answer questions that may have come up during your workshop session. Click the links below for each workshop to access additional resources:
  • Cultural Humility: Challenging Assumptions for Life-Long Learning

Dr. Azadeh Masalehdan Block, California University of PA

Joe Martin & Colleen Davis-Maxwell, Allegheny County Dept. of Human Services

Joe Kuklis & Luc Montminy, Wellington Strategies

Wayne Jones, Wayne A. Jones Consulting

Mila Sanina, PublicSource

Stephanie Walsh, Center for Victims

Leslie Bonner, Bonner Consulting


  • The Jefferson Photo Gallery, which featured the inspiring resilient activities of local people, programs, and organizations.


  • Spotlight Presenters, who shared compelling presentations highlighting individual, community, & organizational resilience.

Presenters included:

  • Todd Wolynn CEO, Kids Plus Pediatrics on Resiliency Through Advocacy
  • Colleen Fedor Executive Director, The Mentoring Partnership on The Power of Relationships
  • Caitlin Griffiths Family Literacy Program Manager, Literacy Pittsburgh on Resilience Through Empowerment
  • Josh Berman Director of Community Food Initiatives, Economic Development South on Community Engagement & Resilience
  • Eric Ewell Director of Continuing Education, Penn State Greater Allegheny on Ensuring Resiliency Counts in the 2020 Census


  • A Multigenerational Mixer, which explored the power of resilience through the lenses of different generations. A handout which explores the shared traits of each generation and tips for working across generations is viewable here.



Photos From this Year’s Jefferson Forum

Thanks to J.E. Gamble of AxnFgrVisuals for providing photography at this year’s Forum.