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La Salle News

September 1, 2015

World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 and City of Philadelphia Announce Inaugural International Mayors Forum

Co-Sponsored by PwC and La Salle University,
this panel discussion will focus
on the role of government and public advocacy in addressing issues facing families globally

IMF Stage Set (FINAL 8.31.15)

Philadelphia, PA (September 1, 2015) – The World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 and the City of Philadelphia today announced the International Mayors Forum, which is a new event being  added to the World Meeting of Families Congress. Co-sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and La Salle University, the International Mayors Forum will be held on Wednesday, September 23 at 6:00 p.m. at La Salle University’s Tom Gola Arena. For the Forum, Mayors representing diverse cities around the world will come together to discuss the ways in which government at the local level can help strengthen and sustain families through public policy and advocacy.

The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family, which is the co-sponsor of the 2015 World Meeting of Families with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, made this special request of Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 in an effort to expand the global conversation about family.  Seeking to examine how city governance, in the United States and around the world, can help to address the diverse issues facing families today, this panel will be an intimate 90-minute discussion of how good governance can positively affect families around the globe.

Those Mayors participating in the inaugural International Mayors Forum of the World Meeting of Families include:

  • Mayor José Antonio Gali Fayad, Puebla, Mexico
  • Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu, City of New Orleans
  • Mayor Ignazio Marino, Rome, Italy
  • Mayor Michael A. Nutter, City of Philadelphia

Additional participating Mayors, as well as the moderator of the panel discussion, will be forthcoming in the next two weeks.

“Pope Francis has spurred positive dialogue about family across diverse faith traditions – and across borders,” said Donna Crilley Farrell, Executive Director of the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015. “The International Mayors Forum will not only add to an already spectacular week leading up to the Holy Father’s arrival in Philadelphia, but it will also continue the important discussion of family, showcasing the great work our city leaders do to keep families growing strong worldwide. It is an honor to join with Mayor Nutter, PwC and La Salle University to host this first-of-its-kind event for the World Meeting of Families.”

“The first conversations surrounding this event occurred on our first trip to Rome, when I was honored to have been asked by The Pontifical Council for the Family to assist in curating this Forum,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter, City of Philadelphia. “Almost eighteen months later, I am excited to welcome these influential and thoughtful leaders to Philadelphia for this special event. As I have often shared, I believe the family is the cornerstone of our society, and families thrive most when supported well by its government, especially its local government. The panel coming together shares that perspective and I am honored to have them help launch this important event.”

An invitation-only event, the International Mayors Forum will be attended by more than 1,700 guests, including government officials, religious leaders of many faiths, business professionals, educational leaders, college students and families, including World Meeting of Families Congress participants. Following the discussion, audience members will be provided the opportunity to engage with the panelists in Q&A.

“Rapid urbanization is bringing great attention to city leaders to create programs and policies that strengthen family ties and nurture the talent of the future,” said Ed Lovelidge, Managing Partner, PwC – Philadelphia Metro. “PwC’s CEO Survey demonstrates that talent is a key concern for businesses globally, so it’s important to have discussions that center on how to support families and professionals at every stage of their careers. We are excited to bring the International Mayors Forum to life, especially on La Salle’s campus, an urban university. PwC is proud to help cultivate this important discussion around issues of the global family, which is such an important aspect to the urbanization developments, and look forward to welcoming this outstanding panel of Mayors for this special event.”

Colleen Hanycz, Ph.D., President of La Salle University commented, “Often we encounter families from varied economic situations and many of our students are the first in their families to experience any form of higher education.  Today’s challenges in education, especially related to ensuring access to higher education, reflect a significant issue facing families around the world.  La Salle is delighted to host the International Mayors Forum, which aims to cultivate conversation around important topics such as this and we are proud to welcome these international leaders to our campus at 20th Street and Olney Avenue.”

For more information about the International Mayors Forum (#IMForum2015) and the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015, please visit For information regarding The Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family, which co-sponsors the World Meeting of Families, visit here. You can also engage the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 on Facebook (World Meeting of Families 2015) (Encuentro Mundial de las Familias – Filadelfia 2015), Twitter (@WMF2015) (@WMF2015ES) and Instagram (WMF2015).


About World Meetings of Families
Beginning with 1994, The Year of the Family, the Pontifical Council for the Family has been responsible for organizing the World Meetings of Families in Rome (1994); Rio de Janeiro (1997); Rome (2000); Manila (2003); Valencia (2006); Mexico City (2009); Milan (2012); and now, Philadelphia (2015).  Since its inception by Saint John Paul II, the World Meeting of Families has sought to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe.

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About La Salle University
La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values. In a national survey, Money magazine ranked La Salle as a top five college in the Philadelphia region for educational quality, affordability, and alumni earnings, and cited the University as a “Value All-Star.” Globally, the Lasallian educational network includes 1,000 schools (60 of which are institutions of higher education) serving 940,000 students in 80 countries.