Senator Casey Honors Pittsburgh Entrepreneur and Philanthropist Bill Strickland

Senator Commemorates Black History Month with Symposium, Floor Statement

Strickland Commended for His Dedication to Improving Lives Through Social Entrepreneurship 

WASHINGTON, DC - To commemorate Black History Month, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today honored William E. Strickland, Jr. in a speech on the Senate floor and through a symposium on Mr. Strickland and his work with the Manchester Bidwell Corporation and the National Centers for Arts and Technology.

“From the day he founded the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in 1968, Bill Strickland has been a testament to the power of social entrepreneurship and the possibilities imaginable when you offer people hope and meaning for a better life,” Senator Casey said. “In the Senate today, we express our gratitude for Bill Strickland’s commitment to provide those Americans most in need with an environment they can thrive in and a future they can take pride in, a commitment that has produced success stories across Pennsylvania and the Nation.”

In his floor speech, Senator Casey highlighted Bill Strickland’s work with the Manchester Bidwell Corporation and the National Centers for Arts and Technology to bring about positive change and to ensure that a future of opportunity is accessible to all.

Following his speech on the Senate floor, Senator Casey hosted a symposium to discuss Bill Strickland’s contributions to his neighborhood, his home state of Pennsylvania and the Nation.

Symposium panelists included:

  • Chris Moore, a producer and host at WQED Multimedia in Pittsburgh best known for his work on Black Horizons. The Emmy-winning series, which he co-produces and hosts, is the longest running minority affairs show on public television.
  • Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation.  Ms. Osberg heads the organization’s team in identifying and supporting innovators pioneering scalable solutions to global challenges. She is a proponent of thought leadership, research, and alliances that advance the work of social entrepreneurs solving the world’s most pressing problems.
  • Kathryn E. Merchant, President of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Ms. Merchant was previously the director of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Neighborhood Preservation Initiative and a partner in the New Haven-based consulting firm Holt, Wexler & Merchant. She has also served as the director of planning for the United Way of Greater New Haven and as planner/grants manager for the South Central Connecticut Area Agency on Aging.
  • Carlton L. Highsmith, Chairman of the Board for the Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology (CONNCAT), a non-profit organization based on the model of the National Center for Arts and Technology.
  • Dr. Bruce Jones, PhD, is a Professor of Education and Political Science in the Department of Special Education at the University of South Florida.   At the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Jones held assistant and associate professor posts, was Program Chair of Educational Leadership and served as the Associate Director of the Institute for Practice and Research in Education. 
  • Germaine Watkins, a graduate of the Apprenticeship Training Program at Manchester-Bidwell and of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Watkins has worked at MCG for more than a decade, and is passionate about sharing his love of photography with the students. 

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