b'FIRST C O N V E N I N G F O R ACT I O NAMENDMENT FIRST Last year, two Pittsburgh As a community foundation, our way forward Foundationled conferencesmust be to convert todays heat into tomorrows light, commanded public attention onsays King, and accomplishing that involves long-term threats to fundamental Americaneducational initiatives.freedoms. This year, local andHe sees the community foundation mission of national programs are expandingimproving quality of life as doomed without the under-remedies from convention hallspinning of democratic institutions. And the strength of to town halls, libraries andthose institutions, he says, depends on an enlightened, community centers.activist and educated citizenry. That conviction led to the Foundation partnering with Duquesne University to present the second conference on its campus in IN THE LAST TWO YEARSof his Pittsburgh FoundationOctober 2018. presidency, Maxwell King was shocked at the degree toDuquesne President Ken Gormley, a constitutional which appreciation for fundamental American valueslaw expert who moderated some of the conference had erodeda poisonous outcome, he believes, ofsessions, argued in his opening address that the antidote one of the most politically and ideologically divisiveto the toxic partisanship and political divisiveness rending periods in the countrys history. He took action. the country israllying around principles that unite Determined to make Pittsburgh the staging groundus. And what better than those that come first in the for reawakening appreciation for basic freedomsBill of Rights, expressed in a succinct, 45-word promise? and protecting civic democracy, Kings final publicGiven the raging divisiveness in the months leading initiative as president came last year in developing andup to the 2018 election, the timing of the conferences convening two conferences focused on galvanizingwas prescient, says Dr. Jeanne Pearlman, senior vice public attention on First Amendment rights in thepresident for Program and Policy at the Foundation. The U.S. Constitutionfreedoms of religion, expression,first event in June, which she designed in collaboration the press, public assembly and government petition. with a committee of national subject matter experts, 8'