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Roundtable to focus on community improvement

Roundtable to focus on community improvement


The Opportunity Community model is a national movement designed to create the types of communities everyone would want to live in by increasing prosperity for people living in poverty.

Three local officials in Cortland, N.Y., will discuss what the program could offer the area during a community roundtable on Wednesday, Sept. 4, at SUNY Cortland.

Cortland Opportunity Community: Creating Opportunity for Everyone,” is the first 2019 presentation of the Victor G. and Ann Siegle College Community Roundtable Series. The event will be held from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. in the Park Center Hall of Fame Room.

The roundtable is free and open to the public. Refreshments will precede the presentation at 8:15 a.m. Please note that the event date was moved to Wednesday instead of the usual Thursday and that both the reception and presentation will take place later than usual.

Panelists will include Joyce Allen, adult education coordinator for Cortland County Community Action Program, Inc. (CAPCO); Lindy Glennon, executive director of CAPCO; and John Suarez, director of SUNY Cortland’s Institute for Civic Engagement.

The Opportunity Community program’s comprehensive approach builds on the existing strengths of the people it serves with support from businesses, social service, education, healthcare, justice, faith-based organizations and community members.

CAPCO is leading the effort to launch the program locally. Glennon and Allen will describe the Opportunity Community Program process, its benefits to this community and ways to help.

The university will leverage existing strengths of students working for community development.

Suarez will explain how faculty, staff and students can participate in the program and make a difference in the region.

“The university can be involved directly and indirectly,” Suarez said. “For example, faculty and staff can serve as facilitators — individuals who serve as resources for low-income people who have registered in the program. Students can help to promote the program. Faculty and students can design and conduct program-based research. And, faculty and students can partner with participants to design innovative applied learning projects that can serve as models for other SUNY campuses, while simultaneously promoting the Opportunity Community program.”

Hosted by the President’s Office since 2014, the ongoing community roundtable series has been presented with the support of an endowment created by Cortland College Foundation board member emeritus Victor Siegle and his wife, Ann. For his service, the College Council of SUNY Cortland honored Siegle in 2013 with its College Community Appreciation Award.

During the roundtable, public parking is available in the lots surrounding Park Center.

For more information about the roundtables, contact Samantha Howell, special events coordinator for the President’s Office, at 607-753-5453, or visit the Community Roundtables webpage.