Category Archives: In The News

Racial Justice Campaign and 13th Panel Explore Indiana Diversity

Thanks to our panelists March 3 for our discussion about race and policing here in Indiana County preceding the screening of the Netflix documentary, 13th.

The discussion ranged from the reorganization of the Indiana County Chapter of the NAACP, to how to connect young students of color to careers in law enforcement. The upshot is to just do it.

The Racial Justice Campaign is engaged with the Indiana Police department to expand their internship program, focusing on students of color, and also to offer annual regional training on diversity and inclusion for police in our region. The Campaign meets again 3/22, 7pm at Commonplace Coffee shop. You are welcome.

You can watch the entire panel from last Friday right here.

Left to right, Gerald Smith – Codirector and moderator, Kelly Patchell – Racial Justice Campaign Chair, Dr. Carolyn Princes – NAACP of Indiana County, Amirah Macon – NAACP IUP President and Indiana Borough Police Intern, Stanford Webb – Former PA State Police


Part 1 was incredible! Part 2 starts in August!

Thanks so much for everyone who came out to the first half of this year’s film series, Getting Local! Check out our Facebook and Twitter feeds for pictures!

Getting Local Part 2 starts in August! Our first film is so fresh and new it’s not event titled yet, but we know you’re going to love it

 8/26 – “Title TBA” from Tea Parties to Hellbenders; grassroots organizing in Indiana County. 

 9/30 – “The Mask You Live In” Boys and men navigate narrow visions of masculinity.

 10/28 – “The Invisible Hand” PA stories challenging democracy, human rights, and economic prosperity.



2016 Film Series Launches Friday!

And we’re back!

Friday, January 29, 6:30pm; The Center for Community Growth launches our 2016 Film Series, Getting Local.

Please join us for a screening of the 2015 documentary by Tim Wise, White Like Me, followed by a panel discussion to include IUP President, Dr. Mike Driscoll, Indiana Borough Police Chief, William Sutton, and Indiana County Commissioner, Sherene Hess.

Our hope is to identify race conscious public policy  that can dismantle white privilege and combat racism. This event is co-sponsored by the Indiana County NAACP, and will be held at the Chevy Chase Community Center.


In February, we turn our attention to sustainability, and will partner with IUP’s new Sustainability Program to bring the documentary based on Naomi Kline’s book, This Changes Everything. Again, we’ll be inviting local policy makers to the stage to identify local solutions to the global problems of climate change. We’ll be breaking in the new humanities building at IUP, so please join us!

In March we will partner with the Indiana Food Co-Op, with a screening of Food For Change, a documentary about Food Co-ops. The bonus for this event, there’ll be delicious, locally sourced food, served from the kitchen of the Chevy Chase Community Center.

When we come back in August, we’ll feature two films shot locally that include footage of the fight for local authority over gas companies in Grant Township, and a third that asks what it takes to be a man. We’re still looking for a home for this second half, so stay tuned!

January 29 – White Like Me, Chevy Chase Community Center, 640 N 5th Ave.; co-sponsored by NAACP


February 26 – This Changes Everything – IUP Humanities building, co-sponsored by Sustainability Studies Program

March  25 –  Food For Change –  Chevy Chase Community Center; co-sponsored by Food Co-Op of Indiana, PA

August 26 – Ziesche film (about grassroots organizing in Indiana County) – title TBC/under production

September 30 – The Mask You Live In – Missrepresentation Project

October 28 – Invisible Hand – Melissa Troutman, Josh Prebanic


Listen to 2015 Indiana Borough Council Candidate Forum

The Center for Community Growth and the Center Radio continue to bring local, relevant issues to you. As election day nears, be sure to educate yourself on the local candidates.

Thanks to Chauncey Ross and the Indiana Gazette for moderating, and co-hosting today’s Indiana Borough Council Candidate Forum. Listen below:

And don’t forget, election day is right around the corner! Tuesday, November 3!12039656_906664336074680_4429726392863114381_n

Center Co-Director pushes for living wage!

April 05, 2015 1:29 AM

Economics is complicated and any road that leads Indiana County residents out of poverty will be multifaceted and interrelated. On this point Rep. Dave Reed and I agree.

Representing UUPLAN (Unitarian Universalist Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network) and with members of the local Center for Community Growth, I visited Rep. Reed in his office recently. He was a gracious host, listened to our concerns and agreed there was still room for conversation on several of our points.

To Rep. Reed, I am asking for more commitment. Therefore, I am not giving up on asking him, my state representative, to support a raise in the minimum wage.

This raise is not an easy fix to poverty, but it is an important step forward. To the citizens of the 62nd District, I am asking you too to contact Rep. Reed with the same request.

Those who work for minimum wage represent the working poor. The average minimum wage worker is 35 years old and 88 percent are not teens. Fifty-six percent are women and 28 percent have children. A remarkable 55 percent work full time and still fall below the poverty level. A raise in the state minimum wage would help over 1 million Pennsylvania workers.

Businesses like McDonald’s, Target, the Gap and now Walmart have learned that a raise in the minimum wage helps to sustain workers and improve customer satisfaction, thereby lowering the cost of doing business. Additionally, while businesses may raise the prices of their goods marginally to accommodate for this wage increase, research shows that these raises are minimal and easily absorbed by the consumer.

In my Unitarian Universalist faith tradition, our first principle calls me to promote and affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person. This is a moral issue.

All Pennsylvanians deserve a living wage. Low-wage working people in this state need and deserve increased pay, and I request that Rep. Reed support a long overdue increase in the state minimum wage.

The Rev. Joan M. Sabatino

Minister, First Unitarian Universalist Church of Indiana