Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blog Post: Pittsburgh Welcomes One Young World

If you're walking around Pittsburgh today through Sunday and it feels like our city just got a little bit bigger - in the number of people, in the sense of global spirit - there's a good reason for that.

It has.

Today, Pittsburgh officially welcomes more than 1,500 delegates from almost every country in the world for the One Young World summit. This is an international, four-day summit designed to bring a youthful perspective to global issues - not to mention, President Bill Clinton will be in town to give the keynote speech - and it is all being held right here in the City of Bridges!

It is a tremendous accomplishment for Pittsburgh, and as Bill Flanagan of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development writes in his article "Best of the World Welcomes One Young World," many entities made this happen.

As Bill also says, One Young World also presents an opportunity for Pittsburgh, which has struggled with issues of diversity. Partners such as the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Vibrant Pittsburgh (which I am involved in as a participant in their New Arrivals Bridge Program 2012) and Visit Pittsburgh - and more - are working diligently, creatively, and collaboratively to find solutions to these and other issues.

When I first heard that One Young World was coming to Pittsburgh, I knew I wanted to find a way to become involved. I've gained a lot from my experience so far with Vibrant Pittsburgh, so when they asked for volunteers at a related event tomorrow, I offered to help out as a small way to give back.

The good thing is that we can all be part of the spirit of global goodwill, understanding and peace during the next few days by doing the very things we as 'Burghers do best:

Smile. Be helpful if someone needs directions or assistance. Welcome a stranger. Lend a hand.

The whole world is watching.

Melissa M. Firman is a writer, fundraising professional, editor and blogger based in Pittsburgh, PA. 

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