Bill reflects on Empathy
About the speaker
As president and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its divisions Bidwell Training Center, MCG Jazz, MCG Youth & Arts and National Center for Arts and Technology, Bill Strickland has created an educational model designed to create empowering educational environments for adults-in-transition as well as urban and at-risk youth, enriching Southwestern Pennsylvania and, eventually, the world.
In 1968, Bill founded Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Youth & Arts to give the youth of his neighborhood a safe alternative to the streets. What started as a few ceramics wheels in a basement has become four world-class art studios. In 1972, he assumed leadership of a struggling building trade school. During Strickland’s tenure, Bidwell Training Center evolved to offer programs in fields ranging from horticulture to medical. Over the years, other organizations were added to the family, including GRAMMY®-winning MCG Jazz, one of the longest-running jazz subscription series in America and National Center for Arts and Technology, which leads Strickland’s dream of replicating the Manchester Bidwell model in cities across the US and internationally.
Mr. Strickland is also the author of Make the Impossible Possible, which includes his story of how a kid from a disadvantaged Pittsburgh community would go on to lecture at Harvard and serve on the National Endowment of the Arts board.
Favorite quotes from this talk See all
I believe people are born into the world as assets, not liabilities. — Bill Strickland
If you treat people like world-class citizens, they act like world-class citizens. — Bill Strickland
Poor white folks look just like poor black folks, there is no difference, they're poor. — Bill Strickland
Don't give up on the poor kids because they might end up as a commencement speaker. — Bill Strickland
Welfare is a state of mind, not just an economic condition. — Bill Strickland