NEW YORK, Sept. 23, 2019 — A forum during the 74th United Nations General Assembly today featured Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto and leaders from Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University, the University of Pittsburgh and The Pittsburgh Foundation. Speakers highlighted regional accomplishments to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for a more peaceful, prosperous planet with just and inclusive societies.
The efforts were summarized during a “Spotlight on Pittsburgh” panel discussion to showcase the best of American leadership and innovation to achieve the SDGs. The goals were adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2015 after years of discussion and input from millions of people – especially young people – around the world. The SDGs include 17 global goals to realize “The Future We Want.”
In addition to Mayor Peduto, other participants included James H. Garrett, provost and chief academic officer of Carnegie Mellon University; David Finegold, president of Chatham University; Ann Cudd, provost and senior vice chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh; and Lisa Schroeder, president and CEO of The Pittsburgh Foundation.
“In the last five years, the City of Pittsburgh has established its first Office of Sustainability and Resilience, its Office of Equity and its Gender Equity Commission, all of which work with city departments to promote the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Peduto. “I know that by working with our university and foundation partners we will keep building momentum to make Pittsburgh a better city for all.”
The University of Pittsburgh’s commitments include: the Millennium Fellowship, with 14 students selected for this United Nations Academic Impact/MCN program who will focus on SDG projects; two Community Engagement Centers established in partnership with residents and stakeholders in traditionally underserved Pittsburgh neighborhoods where the university has made long-term commitments of investment, infrastructure, programming and staffing; and the Pitt Success Program to expand access and affordability through a new financial aid program that has already dramatically increased the percentage of Pell students.
“The University of Pittsburgh is proud to work together with city leadership and our neighboring universities to advance a common and powerful commitment to participate in active, effective and transformative efforts framed by the UN Sustainable Development Goals —all meant to benefit our students, our region, and the world,” said Cudd.
Carnegie Mellon announced that it is committed to educating, empowering and aligning its community around the world to address the SDGs. The university also committed to creating a Voluntary University Review of work, parts of which are either already underway or being planned, to advance the SDGs.
Chatham University was an early pioneer in the university sustainability movement as one of the charter signatories of the Climate Leadership Network pledging to pursue carbon neutrality. Today, Chatham has committed to connecting the SDGs to curriculum, learning outcomes and programs across the university. In addition, Chatham’s Eden Hall Campus, a nearly 400-acre living-learning laboratory, demonstrates best practices in the SDGs around food, energy and water systems.
As a community philanthropy, The Pittsburgh Foundation has committed to ramping up its convening power to develop partnerships with stakeholders, including thousands of donors who reflect many of the SDGs in their personal giving. There is a sharp focus on the goal of ending poverty in all its forms. As part of that, the foundation will be a community leader in efforts to ensure that all residents are able to benefit from a strong economy.
Together, these partners are setting an important tone to find innovative and collaborative ways to work toward a better future that aligns with the SDGs and improves the quality of life for those in the Pittsburgh region and beyond.