Speaker: Jackie Congedo and Steve Coppel 
Topic: The Persistence of Antisemitism and the Upsurge in Hate Crimes Against All Minorities
Date: Tuesday, February 18, at 7:00 p.m
Location: Terwilliger Lodge
Registration Deadline: Friday, February 14

The City of Montgomery Diversity and Inclusion Committee launched a community education series on the diverse cultures of Montgomery residents.  The lecture and discussion series will cover a range of timely human relations and cultural topics.  It is free and open to the public. The fourth speaker in the “Know Your Neighbor” series will be Jackie Congedo and Steve Coppel.

Jackie Congedo is the Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, the public affairs arm of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, which works to ensure Jewish security by building a more just society for all people. Prior to her work in Cincinnati’s Jewish community, Jackie spent eight years as a broadcast journalist, working for stations in Washington, D.C., Lexington Kentucky and here in Cincinnati Ohio. Jackie and her family are proud new Montgomery residents.

Steve Coppel and his wife Ruth have lived in Montgomery for 32 years and have raised two children. He is retired from a 34-year career in manufacturing. Steve was the board president for two organizations and is currently a volunteer with the Holocaust and Humanity Center. Steve is a founding member of the Montgomery Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

The “Know Your Neighbor” series, sponsored by the City of Montgomery’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, is a part of the City’s #IamMontgomery campaign.  Now in its second year, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee promotes community awareness, education, and appreciation of Montgomery’s diverse cultures, positive intercultural relations among Montgomery residents, and a welcoming environment for all those who live, work, visit and recreate in Montgomery. The committee is inclusively composed of more than two dozen Montgomery residents.

Past Speakers

Learning about Islam and Muslim Americans by Umama Alam

Umama Alam, is an outreach speaker for the Tours and Talks program at the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati.  Originally, from Pakistan, she came to the United States at the age of four and grew up in New York.  Umama, her husband and four children have been Montgomery residents for 7 years. She is an educator and was the former Principal of the International Academy of Cincinnati.  She currently serves on their Board and is an educational consultant. She is a Board member of Cincinnati’s Bridges of Faith Trialogue, a steering committee member for Cincinnati’s Festival of Faith, works with Sycamore Schools Culturally Responsive Practices Committee.

Turning Adversity Into Opportunity

Shane DiGiovanna spoke about turning adversity into opportunity. Shane was born with an extremely rare genetic skin condition called Epidermolysis Bullosa, which causes fragile skin to open in large wounds requiring hours of painful bandaging each day. He is also deaf and has cochlear implants. His passion for exploring and contributing to the world has allowed him to endure these debilitating conditions, which have required dozens of surgeries. Despite all odds, DiGiovanna is now in college at Rice University, striving to help people and design the world of tomorrow.

Importance of the Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati USA for growth of our metro-region

Alfonso was born in Mexico and has lived in Montgomery for the last 31 years. He has been the President of the Hispanic Chamber for 15 years.  In his presentation, he shared information about the Hispanic population in the USA, the Mid-West States, Ohio and our Metro-area.  He also talked about why Hispanics are essential to provide the human energy we need to ignite the population growth we need to increase our regional economic output (GDP) and be able to attract and retain global talent.