University and Community Relations: A Talk with Bill Generett Jr.

by | August 2, 2021 | Past Events | 0 comments

The Forbes Funds was joined today by special guest Bill Generett Jr., Esq, the Senior Vice President for Civic Engagement and External Relations at Duquesne University, where he oversees the University’s office of community engagement, government affairs. In addition, he oversees the office of corporate and foundation relations and is an active member of the Pittsburgh community. Access the recording of this community call here.

University and Community Engagement

In this short and engaging talk, Bill Generett Jr. discussed how universities need to invest their resources and assets in local communities in meaningful and considerate ways. He spoke against the general attitude of academics, who think they know best, and instead urged everyone to listen to the local community’s needs.

To illustrate this point, he pointed towards the productive collaboration between Center of Life, a local nonprofit in the Hazelwood community, and the Center for Integrative Medicine. Bill was adamant that universities need to work with robust community partners instead of over them in they wanted to make a substantial and beneficial impact on the local community. Due to this collaboration, Bill noted thatDuquesne University could deploy resources and assets that aided already existing infrastructure developed by locals.

During the Q & A, Bill Generett Jr. emphasized the role of checking in with community partners to measure the success of collaborative work between the university and local community organizations.

GPNP Public Policy Updates with Colleen Young


Housing Slide

Colleen Young noted that the CDC moratorium on evictions has ended but encourages to apply for $847 million in federal aid to cover rental and utility assistance.

Infrastructure Bills

US senators have introduced $1 trillion bipartisan to invest in physical in roads, ports, highways, bridges, and so forth. However, human infrastructure is left unfunded, with some American senators calling for a separate $3.5 trillion bill for social support.

Fraud Update

The state of Pennsylvania encourages everyone to watch out for fraud with bad actors stealing personal identities to access unemployment benefits. For more information, please visit these sites:


Governor Tom Wolf has announced Penn Parks for All plan to make parks accessible for all. In addition, the plan calls for the conservation of resources, telling correct cultural stories, and preparation for climate change.


Covid-19 Slide

Colleen Young noted that Covid-19 cases have been increasing all across the United States, including Pennsylvania, and hence the CDC has recommended masks for all areas with significant community spread.

She also observed that vaccinated individuals may have breakthrough infections but without showing any symptoms.

2021 GPNP Summit

2021 GPNP Summit Speakers Slide

Colleen Young advertised the upcoming 2021 GPNP Summit. They are currently looking for interested speakers with innovative content. The deadline to submit a Request for Proposal (RFP) is 30 August. The 2021 summit takes place on the 13, 14, and 15 of October.

Innovation Lab and Equity Hackathon

Innovation and Equity Lab Hackathon

The Innovation Lab is looking for potential participants to brainstorm innovative solutions to existing challenges and advance equity in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region, emphasizing cross-sectoral teams. Specifically, she is looking for participants in the neighborhood & built environment, social context determinants, healthcare quality & access fields. Get more information on how to sign up for the Innovation Lab here. 

Academy for Cause and Community Engagement Leadership (ACCEL)

Academy for Cause and Community Engagement Leadership (ACCEL) Slide

Maria Paula Quintero announced that the Academy for Cause and Community Engagement Leadership (ACCEL) applications are open for ACCEL Fundamentals and ACCEL Advanced. Nonprofits interested in boosting their marketing & communication skills and creating better fundraising plans should take these courses. You may sign up for Fundamentals via this form or sign up for Advanced via this form.

Moreover, graduates earn a professional digital badge from The Forbes Funds, gain access to future ACCEL special events, and join a network of local ACCEL alumni.

Future Events

Be sure to register for future Community Solutions Calls here. See you at the next Community Solutions Call or a number of our upcoming events here!


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