Category: Metro Written by Rebecca Nuttall - Courier Staff Writer
VANESSA GERMAN (Photo by J.L. Martello)
In some cities, business ventures are launched in backroom deals at exclusive clubs where powerbrokers make decisions without community input. But in Pittsburgh, business relationships are developed at the Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise’s Annual Inclusive Voices community exchange where corporate executives, nonprofit professionals and activists come together to improve their city.
On April 12, PACE held their 5th Annual Inclusive Voices at the Omni William Penn, where prominent Pittsburgh leaders led table conversations. The event is designed to advance PACE’s mission to strengthen nonprofit organizations that can assist African-Americans and economically disadvantaged communities.
“I was actually there at the inception of PACE. It was a sad time in our society, but there was a great urgency and a great hope that we could bring about change,” said the event’s master of ceremonies Robert Nelkin, president and chief professional officer of United Way of Allegheny County. “As a community we have a vision for change.”
Though the conversationalists were not directed by any singular theme, the conversations at many tables seemed to mirror Nelkin’s words. The conversations focused on shaping the future of Pittsburgh.
“Right now Pittsburgh is known as the ‘Most Livable City.’ That’s the narrative that’s really powerful now,” said Germaine Williams, a table conversationalist and senior program officer for arts and culture at the Pittsburgh Foundation. “If we could look out ten years what should the narrative be?”
With an important mayoral election coming up for the city, conversations also shifted to the political future of Pittsburgh. At retired city councilman Sala Udin’s table he asked guests to put themselves in the future mayor’s shoes. How would they handle issues like the police department?
At other tables, the conversation turned to the problem of Black-on-Black gun violence. While some argued for greater gun control, others looked at ways to improve the socioeconomic status of the African-American community.
“The people at the table are all deeply invested in developing the Black communities in Pittsburgh,” said table conversationalist Jesse Washington, a journalist with the Associated Press, before illustrating a point made by fellow table member Mark Lewis, executive director of the Poise Foundation. “We’re in the business of helping people. How do we change people or solve the problems?”
PACE was founded following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in an effort to continue the struggle for social change. Over the years the organization has made $10 million in grants to over 300 community-based organizations.
“We are also celebrating this year our 45th anniversary,” Peggy Harris, chair of the PACE Board of Commissioners. “PACE was founded out of the civil rights movement so this is an important year for us.”
P.A.C.E. 5th Annual Inclusive Voices Event 2013 Video SlideShow
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 14:55
Category: Metro Written by Courier Newsroom
Career Development Class
APRIL 19—Pennsylvania Women Work will host a New Choices Career Development Class at the Homewood YWCA, 6907 Frankstown Ave., Homewood. There will be a free five-week Career Development and Computer Class that will give attendees the tools needed to get back into the workforce. Registration is required. For more information, call 412-391-5101.
Gospel Liturgical Dance Festival
Cancer Survivors Conference
APRIL 20—The American Cancer Society of Western Region will host its 25th annual Cancer Survivors Conference from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 101 Mall Blvd., Monroeville. The theme is “Celebrating 25 years through music, laughter and courage. The guest speakers will be Charlie Lustman, a singer, songwriter, producer and cancers survivor, and Ronda Hartzel, U.S. Navy operating room nurse and cancer survivor. For more information, call 412-919-1100 or visit www.cancer.org/wrsurvivorconference.
Project Prom Shop
APRIL 23—The Allegheny County Department of Human Services will host its Project Prom Shop from 3-7 p.m. at Century III Mall, 3075 Clairton Rd., West Mifflin. This is a one-day extension of its offer to eligible high school girls to choose a free gown and accessories. For more information, call 412-350-3428 or visit www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/projectprom.
Free Health Expo
Beer Tasting Fundraiser
APRIL 25—The National Association of Black Accountants Inc. Pittsburgh Chapter will host the 2nd Annual “Cultivate & Brew” Beer Tasting Fundraiser from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Sharp Edge Bistro, 922 Penn Ave., Strip District. The tasting will feature four exclusive beers and will be paired with hors d’oeuvres. Proceeds will benefit the Chapter of Operations and scholarship funds. For more information, visit www.nabapittsburgh.org.
Bayard Rustin Lecture Series
APRIL 25—Deryck Tines will host the 2013 Bayard Rustin Lecture Series with Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright at 7 p.m. at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, 980 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. Reservations are required and there is VIP available, which will include a reception. For more information, call 412-983-8895.
Youth at Work
APRIL 26—YouthWorks will host “Youth at Work: Building Dreams and Futures” from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Rivers Club, One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant St., Downtown. This is a celebration of the region’s future workforce. Brittny McGraw will be the mistress of ceremonies and producer, mentor and entrepreneur Emmai Aliquiva will be the special guest speaker. He will speak on “The sky is not the limit.” For more information, call 412-281-6629.
Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 10:14
Category: Metro Written by Christian Morrow - Courier Staff Writer
by Christian Morrow
Courier Staff Writer
Back when steel ruled the local economy and Pittsburgh boast multiple corporate headquarters, the NAACP Pittsburgh Unit could always count on corporate support for its single largest fundraiser, the annual Human Rights Dinner.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 April 2013 14:14
Category: Metro Written by Associated Press
HELPING THE INJURED--Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The explosions at the Boston Marathon have city police and organizers of the Pittsburgh Marathon reviewing security for the May 5 race, though officials said security is already pretty tight because of a bomb scare in 2010.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 April 2013 11:37
Category: Metro Written by Rebecca Nuttall - Courier Staff Writer
On Dec. 14, 2012, 26 people, including 20 children were shot and killed at a school in Newtown, Conn. The tragedy thrust the gun control debate to center stage across the nation and many in the Black community believed the government would finally address the issue of gun violence that plagues them everyday.
After four months some states have already begun to pass gun control legislation, including Connecticut where the governor recently signed a law restricting the sale of high capacity ammunition clips and requiring background checks on gun sales. However, while President Barack Obama has attempted to mirror Connecticut’s landmark bill at the federal level, he and supporters are being met with strong opposition.
“I’m concerned that there has been a weakening of the will. We’ve actually lost some ground since the Newton tragedy,” said Black Political Empowerment Project Chairman Tim Stevens at a forum on gun violence April 2. “When you consider that sending a child to school could be a death sentence to any child in America, it’s frightening.”
The forum at East Liberty Presbyterian Church invited politicians, candidates running for office, and gun violence experts and activists to voice their positions on gun control, solutions to ending gun violence and how to fight against the National Rifle Association, which is resistant to gun control. Among the most popular views were support for universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons.
“The founding fathers did not foresee these weapons of mass destruction where as fast as you can pull your finger you can fire out 50 bullets,” said local Congressman Mike Doyle, who added that he wears his F rating from the NRA with pride.
While many focused on federal gun control legislation, Pittsburgh City Council already passed their own gun control legislation in 2008. However, the lost and stolen handgun ordinance has yet to be enforced due to questions of its legality against state law.
“The statistics of gun violence taking place in my district were staggering; they were appalling,” said District 3 City Councilman Bruce Kraus about why he supported the legislation. “Those personal stories of people who are facing the slaughter of their loved ones keep me up at night.”
Others on the panel said government should look at the causes behind gun violence, especially the lack of economic opportunity in many Black communities.
“If we’re going to change this we can’t forget about the everyday violence in our streets,” said State Rep. Jake Wheatley who is a candidate for mayor. “The harder part is how do we get at the culture of violence and do we put our resources behind it.”
This culture also includes a “no-snitching” code prevalent in many communities. This code accounts in some part for the many unsolved murders in the city, including the death of Charlene Walters who was shot and killed at a crowded youth football game in October.
“There’s a reason why there are so many homicides in some neighborhoods and not others and part of that is telling the truth,” said Jay Gilmer, director of the Pittsburgh Initiative to Reduce Crime. “There are a lot of unsolved homicides in Pittsburgh. There’s a lot of killers walking the street.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 April 2013 06:00
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