Virginia Alvino Young

Reporter

Virginia reports on identity and justice for 90.5 WESA. That means looking at how people see themselves in the community, and how the community makes them feel. Her reporting examines things like race, policing, and housing to tell the stories of folks we often don't hear from. 

A native of Las Vegas, NV, Virginia has slowly been making her way eastward, reporting for NPR stations across the country. She started her reporting career at the statehouse in Oregon, and has had stints in Indiana and Texas before moving to Pittsburgh in 2016. 

Virginia lives on the North Side with her husband and fat cat Bean. They enjoy exploring Pittsburgh's neighborhoods, and hiking throughout the region, although they usually leave Bean at home. 

Contact Virginia at valvino@wesa.fm.

Virgina Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Most of the financials of Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses’ are a mystery to outsiders. As religious institutions, they don’t have to report income or spending. 

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Some UPMC workers took to Pittsburgh’s downtown streets Thursday to highlight their uphill battle to form a union.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Bishop David Zubik kicked off the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese’s Year of Repentance Sunday.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

In the wake of a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing mass child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, state lawmakers are considering changes to the statute of limitation law. 

Andrew Rush / AP

Parents of children in the Roman Catholic Church and survivors of sexual abuse by clergy are suing Pennsylvania's eight dioceses and their bishops to compel them to release information about allegations.

Jamil's Global Village

Pittsburgh’s Muslim community is mourning the loss of one of its leaders. Jamil Brookins died Sunday morning from cancer at age 70.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

The City of Pittsburgh’s Housing Opportunity Fund is one step closer to investing in affordable housing. A preliminary plan for 2018 spending was approved Thursday.


Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

An encounter between a Pittsburgh Police officer and activist Leon Ford is under internal investigation. Ford, who was shot and paralyzed by Pittsburgh Police in 2012, described the past weekend's encounter in a Facebook post that's garnered more than 1,000 shares.

Virginia Alvino Young

Right inside the doorway of Courey and Andy Leer’s house in Wilkins Township, visitors are met with a golden cross, some palms, “and then we have a little Mary holy water holder,” said Courey, 31. 

Google

One month after an Avalon man was assaulted in a neighborhood bar, the community is looking for answers about the authority’s handling of the racially-fueled attack.

Virginia Alvino-Young / 90.5 WESA

In the wake of a grand jury report released last week alleging the abuse of more than 1,000 children at the hands of Pennsylvania priests, abuse survivors want justice and reform.

Report Detailing Widespread Child Sexual Abuse By PA Catholic Clergy Released

Aug 14, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

A long-awaited grand jury investigation into clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania was released Tuesday in an interim, redacted form — detailing decades of alleged misconduct and cover-ups in six of the state’s eight Roman Catholic dioceses.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

The union representing Giant Eagle workers has ratified a new three-year contract with the regional grocer.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging is working to better understand the needs of older LGBTQ residents.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Munir and Helay Zazai’s second-floor Knoxville apartment has just the essentials: a lone sofa in the corner of the living room and one IKEA cooking pot on the stove.

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

The Fair Housing Act passed 50 years ago Wednesday as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

Lawmakers enacted the legislation just one week after the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. as riots flared in Pittsburgh and other cities. It was intended to protect buyers and renters from discrimination based on race, color, disability, religion, sex, familial status or national origin.

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

The rate of Pittsburgh renters facing eviction judgments is lower than state and national averages, according to new data analysis by the Eviction Lab at Princeton University. But many displaced tenants never make it to the courtroom.

Scott Goldsmith

Humans have always migrated, whether by choice or because of involuntary forces such as political or environmental displacement. Photographer Brian Cohen said in the age of travel bans and border walls, exploring the idea is as topical now as ever. 

The Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence

The Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence is working to get more people to commit to the safety of women and girls. The organization is hosting a community-wide summit Saturday focusing on gender-based violence.

Summit coordinator Lois McClendon said violence against women and girls is often overlooked or minimized, and often disproportionately impacts women of color and transgender women of color. She said “it seems not to get the kind of play in the media or even the concern among the public.”

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

In an empty classroom after lunch period, student organizers go over final details for an upcoming rally and march, including confirming speakers and collecting cash for T-shirt orders.

Virginia Alvino Young/Conor Lamb campaign / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania’s congressional hopefuls now have a little more certainty about the May 15 primary election.

The newly drawn congressional district map was upheld after being challenged in court, and the deadline has passed for major party candidates to get on the ballot.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

In a large bright gym at the Mountain Fellowship Center in Markleysburg, Fayette County, Laura Thresher sorts cans of mostly non-perishable items and passes them to volunteers nearby. 

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Some tenants who receive housing assistance in Pittsburgh could be eligible to live in better neighborhoods because of a new system expected to be implemented April 1.

More than 5,200 households in Pittsburgh currently use housing vouchers, which subsidize rent for privately owned rental units. Another 2,500 households are on a waiting list for the program.

The authority is holding two public hearings on the changes at noon and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at 200 Ross St. in Pittsburgh.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Starting April 1, Amazon will start collecting sales tax on all purchases made by customers from Pennsylvania.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Evergreens, hemlocks and lush rhododendrons make the grounds around Fallingwater a remarkable setting even in the depths of winter. Located in the Laurel Highlands and suspended over a waterfall, it’s one of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s most recognizable structures.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

A report released Wednesday claims the wages Giant Eagle pays employees leave thousands in poverty and dependent on public assistance.

Wikimedia Commons

A rehabilitation effort in the commercial corridor of the Hill District is one step closer to opening its doors.

Once a performance hub for artists like Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald, the New Granada Theater has sat empty on the 2000 block of Centre Avenue for more than a decade. Planning and fundraising are underway for a full rehabilitation of the historic Art Deco-style building built in the 1920s.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

A new after-school program targeting Pittsburgh’s refugee students aims to bridge the gap of English language learning in schools. The pilot program launches in Crafton Heights this week.

"Teenie" Harris / Carnegie Museum of Art Heinz Family Fund

Cities like Harlem and Chicago are often associated with “The Great Black Renaissance,” but for a brief  time in the 20th century, Pittsburgh was an epicenter for black art, sports, business and political influence.

Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority

The Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority unanimously approved a measure Thursday to help fund new affordable housing units near PPG Paints Arena. 

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