Category: Metro Written by Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) — James Kirwa of Kenya has won his second straight Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday amid heightened security following the Boston Marathon bombings and with a contingent of runners unable to finish the Boston race.
Last Updated on Sunday, 05 May 2013 19:26
Category: Metro Written by Christian Morrow - Courier Staff Writer
Joined by representatives from federal, state and local government agencies, community groups and educational institutions, the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh celebrated their united Stand Against Racism as they have on the last Friday in April every year since 2007.
As Donna Imhoff, president of Community College of Allegheny County Allegheny Campus, welcomed speakers and students to the Forrester Center for the event, she told the story of Iowa teacher Jane Elliot, who essentially invented diversity training with her 1960s “blue eyed/brown eyed” experiment.
YMCA Senior Director Dina Clark kept with that theme in her remarks reminding everyone racism is learned.
“That means it can be unlearned,” she said. “We stand because racism and discrimination hurt everyone and has a profound effect on children, adults, communities and institutions. The legacy of racism affects our lives every day.”
YWCA Executive Director Magdeline Jensen said since its conception, Stand Against Racism has grown each year.
“Last year we had 30 organizations participating, this year it’s 50,” she said. “And this is happening all over the country. We project well over 300,000 people will be participating today.”
Clyde Pickett, CCAC’s diversity and inclusion officer, said the school is and will continue to be an institute of higher education for all people.
“We all have great gifts, but we need an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere in which to express them and flourish,” he said. “
The remainder of the speakers focused mostly on how and to whom people should report incidents of discrimination. Adam Stalcyznski from Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission explained, in terms of housing or employment discrimination in western Pennsylvania, his office handles everything outside the city of Pittsburgh.
Charles Morrison, who heads the Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission, explained that all their complaints are cross-filed with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in the case of workplace discrimination and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, when dealing with housing discrimination.
“It’s also good to be here because April is Fair Housing Month and this year marks the 45th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act,” he said.
Tracy McCants Lewis of the Duquesne University School of Law recounted her work with elderly Blacks who, due to overt racism and Jim Crow laws in the south, could not provide the proof of age that Pennsylvania’s now-suspended Voter ID law required.
But the star of the afternoon was FBI Special Agent Brad Orsini, who displayed a charred cross that had been used to convict three people of a hate crime after it had been set on fire in the yard of an African-American.
“We put those people in jail. Since then we’ve prosecuted 6 more for burning crosses,” he said. “So, not only do I stand against racism—I will put people in jail.”
He received boisterous cheers and applauds from everyone.
Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2013 10:26
Category: Metro Written by Courier Newsroom
UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH VICE CHANCELLOR OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS ROBERT HILL
After 14 years of serving as the University of Pittsburgh’s vice chancellor of Public Affairs, Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg announced that Robert Hill will retire at the end of the month. He headed the office since 1999.
“The University of Pittsburgh provided me with a wonderful opportunity to contribute to its early-21stcentury momentum and progress,” Hill said in a press release. “I am fortunate to have led the effort to tell the remarkable Pitt story to its multiple audiences through simple media. Now I look forward to volunteering in support of worthy community causes.”
In his position, Hill is the chief communications officer, supervising the Departments of Executive Communications, National Media Relations, University Marketing Communications and University News and Magazines. He also oversees the university’s web presence, advertising, video communications, local media relations and many of the school’s publications.
Some of Hill’s many accomplishments include establishing and co-hosting the annual Black History Month program, later named the K. Leroy Irvis Black History Month Program, where he featured many premieres of historical documentaries including “Fly Boys: Western Pennsylvania’s Tuskegee Airmen,” “Blue Gold & Black: From Doorway to Distinction, ” “Newspaper of Record: The Pittsburgh Courier, 1707-1965;” and the Telly Award-winning documentary “K. Leroy Irvis: The Lion of Pennsylvania,” which he executive produced. He alsofounded the university’s first weekly newspaper the “Pitt Chronicle,” which he is currently the publisher of; received national and international attention for “Pitt Magazine” and “Pitt Med;” and serving as executive-in-charge for the 2008-09 Pitt exhibition “Free at Last? Slavery in Pittsburgh in the 18th and 19th Centuries,” among many other things. The exhibition exposed the story of slavery in Pittsburgh during those times.
“Vice Chancellor Hill has brought a unique set of talents to his work, and together we have shared many satisfying victories. Among other advances, both the quality or our institutional publications and the impact of our community efforts stand out,” said Nordenberg in a press release. “To become even more specific, his leadership efforts in creating the ongoing K. Leroy Irvis Black History Month Program pushed well beyond most such efforts in identifying, presenting, and preserving important aspects of the Black history of our University and its home region.”
During Hill’s time at the school the University’s fundraising campaign grew to be the largest and most successful campaign in southwestern Pennsylvania due to the branding and communications support; the motto, “Leader in Education, Pioneer in Research, and Partner in Regional Development” was coined; the university’s advertising display presence was inaugurated at not only the Pittsburgh International Airport, but a lot of other newspaper publications; and the award-winning 2001 public information campaign supporting the Booster Booster program, which documented the second immunization of 11,000 Pittsburgh Public School District students.
Hill has been a higher education administrator since 1969. Prior to joining the University of Pittsburgh team, Hill served as vice president for university advancement at California University of Pennsylvania and he spent 21 years at Syracuse University, as the vice president for public relations. He earned a certificate in Management at Harvard; a Master of Science degree with honors from Manhattan College; a Bachelor of Science in marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business; and an associate’s degree in Applied Science from the Borough of Manhattan Community College, where he was awarded the Dean’s Prize. In 1979 he was inducted into Delta Mu Delta and in 2009 he was admitted to Junta.
Recognitions for Hill’s work include being named the Renaissance Communicator of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America Pittsburgh Chapter;numerous Council for Advancement and Support of Education awards; and he was the 2010 Pittsburgh Black Media Federation Robert L. Vann Communicator of the Year Award recipient, just to name a few.
Hill has written articles for many publications such, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the New Pittsburgh Courier, and served as publisher of several school publication series.
In his little free time, Hill serves as a board member of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and a member of the NAACP Pittsburgh Branch’s Corporate Committee.
He is bright star who will be missed at the University.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 22:09
Category: Metro Written by Associated Press
PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
by Peter Jackson
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Democrats on Wednesday heaped criticism on Republican Gov. Tom Corbett for suggesting that too many residents remain unemployed because they cannot pass drug tests, while his business allies said he was only pointing out a problem that employers have repeatedly cited as serious.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 18:13
Category: Metro Written by Ashley N. Johnson
JOSH KORZENDORFER (Facebook Photo)
by Ashley Johnson
Courier Staff Writer
A volunteer firefighter with the Penn Hills Volunteer Fire Department #221 was terminated Tuesday, April 30, after a complaint about a racist comment he allegedly made on Facebook.
“While we cannot prove the validity of it, I’m not going to dispute it. I handled the situation swiftly,” said Shawn Snyder, chief of the VFD#221, which is located in the predominately Black Lincoln Park section of Penn Hills. “We do not condone, will not condone and we will not tolerate any (offensive) comments. We do not discriminate. We are a department of multi-culture.”
Snyder also added that while the department cannot be responsible for “every little thing said,” they can deal with what people do with the department’s name attached to it.
According to an email received by The New Pittsburgh Courier Tuesday afternoon from “a concerned citizen” at the email address of the Penn Hills VFD#223, firefighter Josh Korzendorfer and his Facebook friend, Chris Meyer, engaged in a conversation calling Black people a stupid breed.
The email included a copy and pasted display of what looks like a Facebook thread, saying:
2 hours ago •- lets smoke some toochie lol black people come up with the stupidest words for sh**t -
Like•Comment•Share•Follow 2 people like this.
Josh Korzendorfer - Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Such a Stupid f***ing breed.
Like • 2 hours ago
Chris Meyer f*** yea bro...lol
Snyder said Meyer is not associated with the VFD#221.
When checking into the incident and its validity, the Courier could not view the original posting, due to privacy settings on Meyer’s and Korsendorfer’s pages.
When Snyder was initially contacted about the incident he said he was unaware of it and said although he was not sure that the conversation thread was valid, he would look into the matter.
“This is the first I am hearing about it…You and I know that with software out there anyone could have made it up, so I cannot be sure (the comment is true). But if it is, it will be dealt with swiftly. We don’t operate in that capacity; we’re a very diverse department. We have multiple members of different ethnicities,” Snyder said.
Later in the evening, Snyder contacted the Courier saying, that after receiving the same email as the Courier and looking into the matter, while “neither one of us can ascertain the validity of it (the allegations), Korzendorfer was terminated as of 10:15 p.m. tonight.” He added that he did go on Facebook, but could not find the comments.
Snyder said the department has a long-standing relationship with the community and its entities, especially the Lincoln Park Community Center, and is committed to continuing their partnerships.
Korzendorfer was contacted by the Courier through Facebook, but failed to respond by this publication’s deadline.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 17:53
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