Blake Discusses Community Diversity at Inclusion Initiative Summit

IMG_5076SCRANTON, April 27, 2015 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today joined local business and nonprofit leaders at Marywood University for his first Inclusion Initiative Summit.

The Inclusion Initiative Summit presented an opportunity for local business, nonprofit and community leaders to openly discuss the changing demographics in northeastern Pennsylvania and begin to forge a plan to take advantage of the benefits of diversity in the community.

“Today’s event was a prime opportunity to showcase the diversity in our region and begin to make strides toward becoming a more welcoming community that embraces diverse cultures from across the globe,” Blake said. “Working together with government officials, educators, nonprofit leaders and local entrepreneurs, we can leverage diversity to create jobs and generate economic growth.”

IMG_5091Betty Cruz, nonprofit and faith-based manager in the office of Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, discussed how the city of Pittsburgh has utilized a program called Welcoming America to create a more welcoming, immigrant-friendly environment that maximizes opportunities for economic growth and cultural vitality

Currently in Pennsylvania, Allegheny County and the cities of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and York participate in the Welcoming American initiative. Cruz discussed how the program can benefit a city like Scranton by supporting long-term immigrant integration in a way that benefits all members of the community.

Other local participants included Dr. Stephanie Bressler from the United Neighborhood Centers; Dr. Ibrahim Almeky from the Medical Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania; and Juan Mendez from Pennsylvania CareerLink Lackawanna County.

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Blake Set to Host First Inclusion Initiative Summit Monday at Marywood

SCRANTON, April 24, 2015 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced that he will host his first “Inclusion Initiative Summit” on Monday afternoon at Marywood University.

“With growing minority populations in the City of Scranton and all throughout northeastern Pennsylvania, we need to begin to understand and to embrace diverse cultures from around the world,” Blake said. “Our first Inclusion Initiative Summit will offer citizens from our community and local leaders an opportunity to discuss the initiatives, proposals and best practices that are most likely to advance a cohesive, collaborative and welcoming community. We must work together to take advantage of the benefits of diversity in our community.”

The event will be held on Monday, April 27 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Swartz Center on the campus of Marywood University. Registration begins at 10 a.m.

Featured speakers who will join Senator Blake at the Inclusion Initiative Summit are Betty Cruz, Office of Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto; Dr. Stephanie Bressler, United Neighborhood Centers; Dr. Ibrahim Almeky, Medical Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania; and Juan Mendez, Pennsylvania CareerLink Lackawanna County.

Anyone interested in attending the Summit can call Sen. Blake’s office at 570-207-2881.

Media coverage is welcome and encouraged.

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