Tag Archives: Helen Edison

Universities and Cities Working Together to Build Strong Communities

32240As the former president of the University of Pennsylvania, Judith Rodin understands first-hand the power of universities to impact surrounding neighborhoods and communities. In this Helen Edison presentation, Rodin explores their transformative potential.

“Over the last few decades, a host of anchor institutions have breathed new life into communities and they have forged new pathways for economic growth in their cities,” says Rodin.

As she explains when she became president at Penn State, “The blight of the local neighborhood became the plight of the university. Students didn’t feel safe, and parents didn’t feel safe sending them there.” At the time, crime rates had soared, many people lived below the poverty level, businesses closed, and drug dealers moved in. “We knew that we could never have a future as a truly great university in a disintegrating community in an economically weakening city,” says Rodin. “We needed to become a force for strengthening our community.”

Most importantly, she learned that “in the process of transforming the university and its surrounding neighborhoods, we demonstrated just what a powerful impact a university can have when it accepts that its destiny is intertwined with that of its neighbors.”

Learn more about how cities and universities can work together to build a strong and inclusive future. Watch Resilient Cities: A Conversation with Judith Rodin.

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Hilda Solis and the Value of Higher Education

Hilda Solis was the first Latina to serve as Secretary of Labor and that is just one of her many “firsts.”

She was the first member in her family to go to college, earning degrees from California State Polytechnic University and University of Southern California. She was the first Latina elected into the California State Senate in 1994 and was re-elected in 1998. Solis was the first Latina to become a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee in congress and her nomination as Secretary of Labor made her the first Latina to serve in the U.S. cabinet.

Solis’ triumph for Latin’s across the nation made her an ideal candidate to speak at this Helen Edison Lecture in honor of Cesar Chavez at UC San Diego. In “A Look at What Cesar Chavez Symbolizes in the 21st Century with Hilda Solis,” Solis discusses the importance of higher education in the creation of a diverse and skilled workforce.

Click here for more videos of Helen Edison Lectures and don’t forget to check out our other videos on Economy and Labor Issues.

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