Category Archives: Racial Justice

The Center’s Annual Meeting – Thursday, 11/16

Join us for What’s Next 2018 – The annual meeting of the The Center for Community Growth, Indiana PA, Each year we bring together members to help determine the organization’s direction for the next year.

Our mission continues to be to support individuals and organizations in advocating for social justice. This year was a big one for us – two Center built projects have a life of their own, and are creating real policy change in Indiana County. A third significantly reduces barriers to healthy, local produce for low-income residents of Indiana County. 

Your petition let to the creation of the Indiana County Sustainabe Economy Task Force – a government led body tasked with diversifying our region’s industry, and to identify and pursue opportunities in the expanding renuable energy field.

No kidding, that was your petition, right here in the middle of coal country.

Also, have you been to the Food Co-op of Indiana PA on Philly street – right in the middle of freaking town!?! It’s real, and this organization built the movement to give it power.

Lastly, your donations and long term support helped launch the Indiana County Farmers’ Market program, where customers on food assistance double their buying power at the Farmers’ Market.

What’s Next in 2018 is an opportunity for new leadership to focus the direction of the Center for Community Growth, an organization that has built progressive power in Indiana County.

We are recruiting board members to take us in to 2018. Please join us.

Gerald Smith
Co-Director, Center for Community Growth


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


What’s Next 2017 – Thursday 11/17


This year’s elections have highlighted the ever growing need for progressive minded individuals and organizations to come together and fight for social justice.

That’s what we do.

Join us Thursday, 11/17 6pm at the Artist’s Hand for What’s Next 2017.

Friends and members are invited to consider the last year, the policy implications of the 2016 election results, and to look forward in how to promote social justice in 2017. We’ll also have board elections, and figure out how to focus the work we do. And of course, we’ll have plenty of opportunities for you to renew and join the Center!

Let us come together to ensure our communities are supported, protected, and actively engaged in promoting better policy.



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