Change Agency event brings professional and communal discussion on region-wide immigration integration.

By: NSC Staff

The first-ever All for All Summit will be held next week at City of Asylum’s Alphabet City. The All for All Summit aims to educate local residents and professionals on the values of immigrant inclusion for the region.

“Far too often we are not coming out of our corner of this area – our area. Whether that is our physical space in part of the city or region that we occupy or whether that is our professional space,” said Change Agency director, Betty Cruz. “We want to see something that gets people out of their space and builds those connections and exposes them to a counter narrative around the immigrant experience.”

According to New American Economy, there are 80, 639 immigrants in the Greater Pittsburgh Metro Area* a only 3.4 percent share of the entire region’s population. A figure Cruz believes to be quite small in comparison to other cities nationwide.

Cruz, a first-generation Cuban-American started the All for All campaign as part of an outreach program for her nonprofit social organization Change Agency. Change Agency became the umbrella organization about after Cruz’s work with Mayor Peduto on civic initiatives throughout the city. The All for All Summit is a response to the year-long efforts of the program and its work through the Immigrant Community Blueprint.

“The Immigrant Community Blueprint is a comprehensive plan to advance immigrant integration in our region,” said Cruz. “And that’s the plan that guides All for All.”

Photo courtesy of All for All team

All for All has worked collaboratively with City of Asylum before on their Kids without Borders project. For Cruz, the selection of a Northside location was symbolic rather than settling for a “stuffy, sterile” environment often associated with conventions.

“It was important to be in a place where you felt you were a part of a neighborhood or a part of the people and experiences,” said Cruz. “We didn’t want something that was detached from where we were talking about. And we wanted something that would be accessible to the heart of the region.”

The event will focus on educating participants and panel members on the importance of diversity through 90-minute interactive workshops and panel discussions. Each is designed to help engage the audience and prepare them to think outside their comfort zones.

“The diversity we’re looking to see from the attendees, are people who represent different sectors, mixed career professionals, executives and anyone in between who isn’t doing this work yet and want to learn how,” said Cruz. “The commonality amongst them is that they’re looking for a way to start taking action on immigrant inclusion, whether it is in their workplace or in their neighborhood.”

Registration for the All for All Summit ends Friday, September 15 at 5 p.m. The event will be held Wednesday, September 20 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on the event and Change Agency visit the event page.

*Area includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Lawrence and Washington counties.

All photos courtesy of All for All team

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