Community Conversations Creating Impact Through Listening

Public events. Face-to-face forums. Real dialogue.

WESA has hosted many community forums featuring expert panelists together with the public, to discuss important topics and issues of interest to our audiences. Here are some of the community-conversations and events we have convened.

Life of Learning: Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline

November 2014

The adoption of zero-tolerance policies in schools has risen sharply since the 1999 Columbine shootings. But are those policies making schools safer? Many education stakeholders in Pittsburgh say the widespread use of zero tolerance policies has increased the likelihood of students entering the criminal justice system as a result of school incidents.

Life of Learning: Education Achievement Gap

October 2013

According to the Nation’s Report Card from the U.S. Department of Education, the gap in math between white students and African-American students in Pennsylvania is 38 percentage points compared to the national average of 30 percentage points. A panel of experts assembled to address the problem of Pittsburgh’s educational achievement gap.

Essential Pittsburgh Special: Police/Community Relations

October 2014

Mayor Bill Peduto, Acting Police Chief Cameron McLay, former police officer Sheldon Williams and Brandi Fisher, president of Alliance for Police Accountability, were panelists for a special live-broadcast community forum.

Life of Learning Public Forum: What Should Pittsburgh’s Future Education System Look Like?

March 2014

This public forum explored the evolving roles of teachers, parents, support organizations and technology in developing and implementing a world-class learning system.

Life of Learning Forum: Investment in Pre-K Critical to Future Educational Success

March 2014

A one-hour Essential Pittsburgh special focused on universal Pre-K in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania. About 25,000 children are enrolled in state-funded Pre-K programs based on income. There are 40 states that offer at least some state-funded Pre-K. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has called for greater access for our city children. This program featured a discussion about what is working in other states, what is needed here, and why.

Essential Pittsburgh Public Forum: The Affordable Care Act

September 2013

Representatives from various health access groups came together at the Community Broadcast Center to talk about how the new healthcare and insurance plans would affect individuals and businesses.

Candidates Talk City Finances, Transportation and Corruption in Mayoral Forum

May 2013

One week before Pittsburgh’s primary election, three of the city’s mayoral candidates gathered at 90.5 WESA for an issues forum.

Essential Pittsburgh: The Black Middle Class Experience in Pittsburgh: A Public Dialogue

April 2013

The forum addressed the history and current experiences of the Black middle class in Pittsburgh.

Panel Gathers to Explore Veteran Transition

April 2012

Veterans and veterans’ advocates gathered to hash-out some of the issues facing GIs as they return from combat zones and try to assimilate back into stateside life.

WESA-Community1Audience members at “Ask Me Another” event

WESA-Community2Audience members at “Ask Me Another” event

WESA-Community9Members / David Greene major donor event

WESA-Community10Members / David Greene major donor event

WESA-Community5Mayor Bill Peduto and Paul Guggenheimer at WESA studios

WESA-Community6Jarl Mohn, President and CEO of NPR at WESA studios

WESA-Community7Sold-out crowd at Benedum for “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me!” event

WESA-Community8Forum on Pittsburgh community/police relations at WESA studios