Senator Casey Honors Manchester Bidwell Corporation CEO Bill Strickland to Commemorate Black History Month
US Senate Proclamation Recognizes Strickland’s Contributions to His Community, the Nation, and as a Visionary Social Innovator
To commemorate Black History Month, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he would be honoring William E. "Bill" Strickland, Jr. on February 25th. Strickland is being recognized for his journey from disadvantaged minority in the civil rights era to social innovator and Founder, President and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation (MBC). Strickland’s organization, which began in 1968 in Pittsburgh, combines adult career training, youth arts education, and social enterprise in a positive educational and emotional environment. This powerful fusion has a proven record of giving disadvantaged youth and adults the opportunities and skills they need to build a better future by removing social and economic barriers to success.
“Bill Strickland has been a strong leader in the Pittsburgh business community for over 40 years,” said Senator Casey. “His own life has inspired others to make a positive difference in this world. By honoring Bill, we express our gratitude for his work and for the innovative educational and cultural opportunities he created that have empowered thousands of youth and adults.”
Throughout Strickland’s distinguished career, he has been honored with numerous prestigious awards for his contributions to the arts and the community, including the MacArthur “Genius” award. He is the author of Making the Impossible Possible, which includes his story of how a kid from a disadvantaged neighborhood in Pittsburgh would go on to lecture at Harvard and serve on the board of the National Endowment of the Arts. He is also founder of the GRAMMY® Award–winning MCG Jazz program, one of the most successful jazz subscription series in the United States. In 2010, President Obama appointed Strickland to the bipartisan White House Council for Community Solutions. In 2011, Strickland was awarded the international GOI Peace Award because of his outstanding contributions toward the realization of a peaceful and harmonious world for humanity and all life on earth.
Following his speech on the Senate floor, Senator Casey will host a symposium to discuss Strickland’s contributions to the Pittsburgh community, the nation, and as a visionary social innovator whose simple philosophy—environment shapes people’s lives—has been a catalyst for a proven model for innovation and success in education. Strickland’s pedagogical model has spread beyond Pennsylvania and is having a significant impact in a growing number of communities across the country. Currently, five MBC-affiliated centers are operational, at least two more will open in 2013, and many more are being planned in cities across the US.
“I am humbled by this honor and hope it leads more people to recognize what an impact one hopeful person can have on a struggling community,” says Strickland.
For more information about Bill Strickland and Manchester Bidwell Corporation: www.manchesterbidwell.org
About Bill Strickland
Bill Strickland currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Manchester Bidwell Corporation (MBC) and its affiliates, Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, Bidwell Training Center, and National Center for Arts and Technology. As President and CEO, Mr. Strickland's duties include developing and implementing major fund-raising plans of action, working with Boards of Directors and Industry Advisory Boards, and encouraging the participation of corporate executive officials from major multi-national Pittsburgh corporations. Mr. Strickland is also instrumental in the creation and maintenance of MBC's operational affiliate centers in Cincinnati and Cleveland, OH, Grand Rapids, MI, and San Francisco, CA. He holds a B.A., cum laude, in American History and Foreign Relations from the University of Pittsburgh.
About Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its affiliates
At Manchester Bidwell Corporation, we have a simple philosophy – environment shapes people’s lives. By constructing an atmosphere of art, light, music and supportive staff, we enable our students to become productive society members. We do this through two programs: Bidwell Training Center provides accredited and state licensed adult career training while Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild’s Youth & Arts program serves public school students by offering courses in our ceramics, design, digital and photography studios. We are so confident in our vision that we founded the National Center for Arts & Technology to create similar educational environments across the nation … and the world!
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