Forum Series on Coping in COVID
FOCUS is presenting a series of free virtual public forums on the impact of the pandemic on life in Central New York. The March forum featured Blueprint 15 and the reimagining of the East Adams neighborhood bordered by I-81. The January forum was on the resilient response of the immigrant community in a time of pandemic. The February Forum on the Future 2021 was an interactive Forum to discuss ideas for future Forums.
1-28-2022 FOCUS Forum on the Future
11-19-2021 Empowerment, Accessibility, and Disability Services in CNY
10-8-2021 Mayoral Candidate Forum
9-24-2021 Bridging the Digital Divide in CNY
7-16-2021 Child Care in Onondaga County
6-30-2021 Priorities for Making Our Community A Better Place To Live For All
5-21-2021 Workforce Development for the Individual
4-16-2021 Higher Education in a Time of COVID
3-19-2021 Forum on Blueprint 15
To see more of our past Forum videos, click the link below!
CITIZENS ACADEMY 2021
Applications for Citizens Academy 2021 are now OPEN!
FOCUS Greater Syracuse and Syracuse University are now accepting applications for Citizens Academy 2021! Applications for open from now until Saturday, July 31, 2021.
The Citizens Academy is an interactive educational program that informs citizens about how local governments are organized, and how services are funded and delivered. It is a place to learn about citizen involvement through an integrated approach to economic vitality, social equity, and a healthy environment.
Consider applying and share this information with anyone interested in building a better community with this National Award-Winning and enriching experience.
WISDOM KEEPER 2020
The year 2020 was unique and arduous time as the COVID-19 pandemic placed immense strain on our community and way of life. However, our community demonstrated strength, compassion, and cooperation through their sacrifices and perseverance during this difficult time to preserve our quality of life and the future of this region.
Therefore, FOCUS Greater Syracuse honors for 2020 the Central New York Community for Service, Resilience & Innovation in the face of COVID. FOCUS invited the entire community to acknowledge the accomplishment in a virtual recognition event January 27, 2021.
The Wisdom Keepers honored for 2019 were Melanie Littlejohn and Maarten Jacobs. Learn more about the Oct. 2, 2019 celebration, the Wisdom Keepers, and sponsors at this LINK.
FOCUS convenes a free public forum on issues of immediate and long-range concern in Central New York and beyond. Forums that had been held in person in the atrium of City Hall Commons in Syracuse are offered online during pandemic. Click here for current forums.
SPECIAL FORUM JANUARY 31, 2019
National Grid provided the setting for a special Forum Jan. 31 with Onondaga County Executive J. Ryan McMahon and Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh. Registration maxed out for this event and filled the hall despite the snow and cold. This was a joint FOCUS and Leadership Greater Syracuse event with support from National Grid. Thanks to the Central New York community for the great interest.
Time and locations for Forums vary with events in some of the new meetings spaces available around Syracuse.
Congratulations to the Citizens Academy class of 2020!
Through the flexibility, determination, and patience displayed by the Class of 2020, we were able to execute a successful program despite the obstacles faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are excited to resume our Citizens Academy 2021 program, following new guidelines from the CDC, New York State, and Onondaga County.
Each year FOCUS with Syracuse University offers a ten-week academy for people who live or work in Onondaga County and want to learn more about local government. The class meets each week with public officials to learn how decisions are made from those who have to make them. The dialogue over dinner is informative for both the citizens and officials participating. More than 400 people have graduated from this national award-winning program. LEARN MORE HERE.
TWO SPECIAL EVENTS IN JUNE 2018
The CNY-CAN collaboration established by FOCUS, SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Department of Geriatrics, Southwest Community Center, and HealtheConnections was host to Dr. Joe Selby, Executive Director of the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute Thursday June 14, 2018, at SUNY Upstate Medical University and for a FOCUS Forum on the importance of patients in the research process Friday, June 15, 2018, at Loretto. To learn more about these events CLICK HERE.
WISDOM KEEPER GARDEN 2018
WISDOM KEEPER PLAQUE UNVEILING May 25
Wisdom Keeper Sean Kirst joined FOCUS and previous Wisdom Keepers for the unveiling of the Wisdom Keeper plaque at the Wisdom Keeper Garden near City Hall and City Hall Commons.
Sean made the Wisdom Keeper celebration April 4, 2018, a very special event by honoring the people of Central New York who made his storytelling career possible. The Finger Lakes Ballroom of the Marriott Downtown Syracuse was the setting for this event in the historic Hotel Syracuse.
The Wisdom Keeper celebration has traditionally been the sole fundraiser of the year for FOCUS to support continuing programs such as the FOCUS Forums and Citizens Academy. SEE SPONSORS HERE.
Each year FOCUS celebrates and honors community leaders whose continual caring and understanding of the vision for tomorrow has been an inspiration. LEARN MORE ABOUT WISDOM KEEPERS AT THIS LINK.
The 2019 Wisdom Keepers are Melanie Littlejohn and Maarten Jacobs
The 2018 Wisdom Keeper is story teller Sean Kirst – More about Sean
They join our other Wisdom Keepers:
Charlotte “Chuckie” Holstein
Rev. James Mathews
Dr. Sharon Brangman
Bethaida “Bea” Gonzalez