b'CONVENING FOR ACTIONRabbi Ron Symons interviews NPRlegal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg at a Sept. 23 forum on religious freedom and the First Amendment. The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh event was one of the community programs funded by the Foundation and occurred as the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to reconsider landmark cases that could, says Totenberg, tear down some of that wall of separation between church and state.focused on how local communities can counter threatsThe community foundation, through these con-to First Amendment freedoms. That conference wasferences, was using its convening power to invigorate co-presented with The Heinz Endowments, anothercommunities to respond and inspire leaders to act, regionally focused foundation, and Media Impactsays Pearlman. And they have.Funders, a network that informs, engages and inspires.In addition to the second phase of the Change Activities were held at Pittsburgh Creative and PerformingAgents in Education: Youth and Social Justice program, Arts High School (CAPA) and the August Wilson Africanfunded programs include: American Cultural Center, both in downtown Pittsburgh. The Duquesne conference focused on the essentialIN THE LIBRARIESnature of the First Amendment across the political andThe Pittsburgh Foundation, in partnership with Carnegie ideological landscape. Library of Pittsburgh, has developed a years worth of The need for community responses, says Pearlman,programming about the First Amendment, including was urgent. In recent years, most school districts havea public lecture series to bring the ideas about the five eliminated civics classes from middle school and highfundamental freedoms directly into neighborhoods school curricula. The result, she says: People in the nationby way of the public learning spaces in local libraries. are unfamiliar or misinformed about their rights; they are fearful of freely speaking their truth; those of faithIN THE CONFERENCE HALLSare understandably afraid to worship in public for fearOn Sept. 23, the Jewish Community Centers Center of violence; and people who work for news organizationsfor Loving Kindness sponsored by way of Pittsburgh find themselves under attack. Foundation funding The First Amendment for the 10'