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Summit in Scranton to explore increasing civic engagement

Supporters of the Scranton Area Foundation's Women in Philanthropy Initiative
Scranton Area Community Foundation
A group of Women in Philanthropy Supporters, including WVIA President and CEO Carla McCabe, gather during a recent networking event.

The Scranton Area Community Foundation found that since the pandemic began in 2020 civic engagement is down locally.

“Civic engagement is so important, especially at the community level," said Brittany Pagnotti, communications manager for the Scranton Area Community Foundation. "That can look like a lot of different things. It can look like volunteering, it can look like community service, it can look like being a public official."

The foundation is a charitable resource that manages more than 200 charitable funds.

To foster a conversation and get more people involved in the community, the foundation’s Women in Philanthropy initiative is hosting a Civic Engagement Summit on Thursday.

The summit will explore different topics and feature round table discussions.

“There'll be a session about understanding the role that government plays in civic education," said Pagnotti. "We'll also be talking about how to remove the barriers that exist, and understanding the civic needs of the underserved.”

WVIA’s News Director Julie Sidoni is the keynote speaker. Vince Stango, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the National Constitution Center, is the guest speaker.

Part of the summit, which around 50 people have already signed up to attend, is discussing how to get youth engaged.

“We know it's hard for students to break away for for this chunk of time, but even if they can be involved for just a portion of the day, we'd be happy to have students bring their voices to the table and be inspired by by what we'll be discussing," said Pagnotti.

The summit from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Century Club on Jefferson Avenue in Scranton. Registration is $30; $10 for students; and free for Women in Philanthropy supporters. Cost includes lunch, refreshments and a networking reception from 4 to 5 p.m.

“We really want people to leave inspired and ready to make a difference at the community level," she said.

To register, visit safdn.org.

Kat Bolus is the community reporter for the newly-formed WVIA News Team. She is a former reporter and columnist at The Times-Tribune, a Scrantonian and cat mom.