Guiding Principles

The Elsie Hillman Civic Forum serves as a catalyst for the University of Pittsburgh’s efforts to develop our student's knowledge and understanding of civic leadership and democracy, as well as lifelong, active civic engagement for the common good.

The work of the Elsie Forum:

  • Engages students with the larger community in ways that actively improve social conditions.
  • Deepens students’ awareness and understanding of social and political issues.
  • Awakens and activate students, helping them to identify their purpose and passions, and apply these to bettering themselves and their own communities through civic action.
  • Teaches students to solve public problems collaboratively, across differences of identity, ideology and perspective.
  • Promotes the use of civic engagement and service-learning as integral and standard parts of the student experience.
  • Furthers the aim of sustainability and principles of sustainable development in everything we do.

The Elsie Forum’s definition of “the larger community” is broadly inclusive and includes the greater Pittsburgh region and is open to creative initiatives that best serve our students and advance the goals of civic engagement for the common good.

The Elsie Forum serves both the University community and the larger communities by acting as a resource and potential networking hub for service learning and civic engagement, facilitating relationships wherever they may advance the Forum’s mission and be mutually beneficial to the parties.

The Elsie Forum values diversity in all forms— including diversity of age, culture, disability, economic background, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, opinion, political affiliation, race, religious background, sexual orientation and veteran status. Therefore, the Elsie Forum creates a climate of acceptance and will promote the values of diversity and inclusiveness, knowing that these values strengthen our community and are essential to academic and institutional excellence.