PITTSBURGH—The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) will wrap up a month-long community dialogue promoting literacy, reading and community engagement with an event at 3:00 p.m. December 5 at the August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Avenue. The “One College, One Community” discourse is an innovative partnership among CCAC and local school districts, libraries, correctional facilities and other organizations.
The initiative focused on Ernest Gaines’ novel A Lesson Before Dying. A study of the relationship between a teacher and an unjustly convicted African American man awaiting execution, the novel explores themes of race, justice and reconciliation.
The closing event will include welcome remarks from both the president and CEO of the August Wilson Center, Andre Kimo Stone Guess, and the president of the Community College of Allegheny County, Alex Johnson, PhD. A viewing of the student-made documentary film “Our Lesson” will begin the program, followed by a musical selection from the Pittsburgh Gospel Choir. Awards for student contest winners will also be presented.
Throughout October, 10th-grade students in several Allegheny County high schools and English and criminal justice students at CCAC studied the book. Libraries hosted book discussions and screenings of a film based on the novel. CCAC faculty and administrators also facilitated discussions among inmates at the State Correctional Institution of Pittsburgh and Shuman Detention Center as well.
Besides CCAC and the August Wilson Center, the “One College, One Community” partnership includes Pittsburgh Public Schools, Steel Valley High School, Andrew Street High School, Communities in Schools, Imani Christian Academy, Pleasant Hills Library, Carnegie Library of Homestead, Monroeville Public Library, the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council, Kelly Strayhorn Theatre, the State Correctional Institution of Pittsburgh, Shuman Detention Center and the Educational Opportunity Center at Penn State Greater Allegheny.
For further information regarding “One College, One Community,” please call 412.469.6301 or email OneCollege@ccac.edu.
The Community College of Allegheny County is the largest institution of postsecondary higher education in Pennsylvania. The college serves 30,000 credit students through 170 degree and certificate programs and offers thousands of lifelong learning non-credit and workforce development courses to 35,000 students annually. Incorporating a learning-centered environment committed to the future of the region, CCAC continues to expand its reach through innovative programming and accessible instruction offered via convenient day, evening, weekend and online courses. With four campuses and six centers serving Allegheny County and surrounding communities, CCAC endeavors to fulfill its mission to provide affordable access to quality education and offer a dynamic, diverse and supportive learning environment that prepares the region’s residents for academic, professional and personal success in our changing global society.