What is PittsFORWARD?
PittsFORWARD promotes sustained community conversations about race and diversity through resource assessment and outreach, a monthly meeting, and ongoing programming.
How is PittsFORWARD Organized?
- PittsFORWARD will be led by a volunteer steering committee, meeting monthly to ensure that the necessary organization, resources and logistics are in place to meet the mission
- Committees will be developed to deliver mission work, with immediate priorities being: community resource assessment and outreach; monthly meetings; and ongoing programming
What Work Will PittsFORWARD Undertake?
Some organizations in Pittsford and across Rochester are leading efforts that focus directly on race and diversity or seek to address correlating issues. We do not seek to replicate this work, but to ensure the issue remains front-and-center, to coordinate resources, and fill gaps that exist. PittsFORWARD will focus on the following core efforts:
Undertake a Pittsford (and Rochester at-large) community resource assessment to identify and catalogue organizations and existing programs that are driving or connected to issues of race and diversity; and leverage the findings for potential partnerships, promotion of existing efforts, or filling in gaps
A standing monthly meeting that will begin with a brief organizational update, followed by a program that could take various forms, including: community discussion about immediate concerns; facilitated conversations on race; and speakers, etc.
The organization will co-sponsor or create periodic programming to raise awareness, further dialogue and spur action, including: yard signs; an art exhibit; plugging into existing efforts; vigils, walks, etc.
PittsFORWARD began in late-September 2016 in direct response to instances of hatemongering in the Pittsford community. Concerned citizens activated neighbors in an effort to show that hatred does not reflect the values of our community, nor would it be tolerated. They stood up to racism, claiming unity instead, and held a march on Sunday, October 2, 2016 to send a message that Pittsford celebrates and demands inclusion, a sense of safety, and opportunity for all who live, visit and work in Pittsford.
The underlying principles of ensuring that Pittsford was a place residents felt safe, and were proud to call home has turned a march into a series of conversations. And conversations have become active consideration of what else a group of concerned and engaged residents can, and should do with their unified voices to continue forward.