The Power of Partnerships

Understanding the impact of the past to create an inclusive dialogue for the future.

As a man who’s dedicated his life to public service, it’s no surprise that in retirement, Dr. Andy Dinniman’s efforts to effect positive change have only picked up steam.

During his time at West Chester University, the former State Senator taught undergraduate courses including African American History, Racial and Ethnic Understanding, Global Studies, and graduate courses in public policy; he received the President’s Medallion for Service at WCU in 2015.

In 2022, he delivered the third annual Dr. Clifford E. DeBaptiste Frederick Douglass Institute Lecture entitled “The Life and Legacy of Frederick Douglass in the America of 2022.”

His latest accomplishment?

A spirited fundraising effort — jumpstarted by his generous initial gift — that raised over $112,000 for his newly established Together Endowment, culminating in the unveiling of “Diversity Walk,” a WCU campus walkway, and the First Annual Gathering for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Opportunity.

“Our goal is to take the philosophy and principles of Frederick Douglass and make them meaningful today,” he says.

The Together Endowment, through its Annual Community Gatherings and its local initiatives and other programs, will facilitate much-needed community discussions that also share the research and teaching knowledge of WCU faculty with the greater Chester County community.

“We need to respect the Earth and the people who live on the Earth; that is what our forum is all about.”

Professor Emerita Anita Foeman and Professor Bessie Lawton, both from WCU’s Department of Communication Studies, shared their work with the DNA Discussion Project; the nationally-acclaimed research project has encouraged thousands of people to engage in genetic testing followed by reveal results and post-dialogues that challenge deeply entrenched stereotypes.

Also conveying the importance about commonalities was Professor Emeritus Charles Hardy, III, who detailed how historical research, through the form of the story, can help people make sense of each other’s life experiences.

Senator Andrew Dinniman

Creator, The Together Endowment

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