Meredith Blakely | staff writer
William Generett, the vice president of community engagement at Duquesne was recently appointed to the Pittsburgh Foundation board of directors.
The Pittsburgh Foundation, established in 1945, was created in order to improve the lives of the residents of Pittsburgh by creating programs that resolve different community issues, such as poverty, while also promoting philanthropy.
The board of directors offers guidance and assistance to the foundation. Members of the board range from all different careers; currently there are 13 members.
They appointed a new member, William Generett, “despite the Pittsburgh region’s success at transforming its economy, about one-third of the people in the region still live in poverty. For me, this is not only an alarming statistic, but a very sad one,” Generett said. “Because of the work I do here at the university and have done since I returned to Pittsburgh in 2004, I know many people living in poverty. Some are my friends and some are my colleagues. In other words, for me this isn’t just a depressing statistic, it continues to hit home for me because of the many people I know and care about living in poverty.”
“The Pittsburgh Foundation is a regional leader in addressing this problem. They are doing it through an exciting and innovative initiative called ‘100 Percent Pittsburgh.’ The goal of 100 Percent Pittsburgh is to create a Pittsburgh region in which all people have the opportunity to have a good quality of life,” Generett said.
The Pittsburgh Foundation has created 100 Percent Pittsburgh, which, according to their website, focuses on working with non-profit organizations to “meet the basic needs of individuals and families who find themselves facing what may seem like insurmountable economic and social challenges.”
“This means eliminating chronic problems like food insecurity and housing insecurity, providing jobs that pay a living wage, making sure every kid has access to high quality education, and giving all people access to things many of us take for granted like clean water and air,” Generett said.
The 100 Percent Pittsburgh program, as well as the Pittsburgh Foundation overall, strive to solve the problem of poverty by working with both large institutions and small grassroots organizations as well.
”I am excited because the work of the Pittsburgh Foundation is totally aligned and complimentary to Duquesne’s Spiritan mission and the community engagement work that the university has done since it was founded in 1878 and that we are bolstering under the leadership of President Gormley,” Generett said.
The foundation also helps connect donors to the needs of the community and also give grants to those looking to improve communities in some way.
Generett said that his work is to ensure that everyone is capable of achieving the “American Dream.”
“I am honored to be on the Pittsburgh Foundation board because it provides me with another venue to do the work I love to do, and most importantly, the work our region desperately needs,” Generett said.