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Essential Pittsburgh: The Act of Forgiveness After Violent Crime

Juneteenth Inter-Faith Prayer Vigil for Emmanuel AME Church at the African American Civil War Memorial.

In the wake of last week’s tragic shootings at the Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, many were stunned by the grace shown by the victims to forgive the perpetrator of the crime. Why is forgiveness, from those devastated by a heinous crime necessary and how does one begin to forgive? We’ll pose those questions to Director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project Fred Luskin.

Luskin elaborates on how crucial it is to forgive in today's world:

"The reason forgiveness is so essential is if you don't deal with it on a personal level, then you're burdened by it for too long. If you don't forgive you stay too long in the suffering. That's why it's so tricky...forgiveness is the exit door." - Fred Luskin

Also in the program, local artist Alexi Morrissey takes the "kid on a milk carton" campaign of the 1980's idea to commemorate the lives lost during the Slave Trade and KiloloLuckett pays tribute to Naomi Sims, fashion's first black supermodel and Pittsburgh native.

The Milk Bottle Project (starts at 14:10)

Local artist Alexi Morrissey is taking the traditional "kid on a milk carton" campaign of the 1980's into an art project that commemorates the lives lost during the Slave Trade. Morrissey has already produced five unique depictions of Africans, replicated from historical documents, for the project titled Have You Seen Me?Morrissey joins us to explain his inspiration behind the "modern-day memorial" to African lives lost to slavery. 

A Tribute to Naomi Sims (starts at 36:07)

Naomi Sims is regarded by many as fashion's first African American supermodel. Many locals, however, may not realize that Sims grew up in Pittsburgh and attended Westinghouse High School. Kilolo Luckett will present a lecture paying tribute to Sims this Thursday at the Carnegie Museum of Art titled "Naomi Sims: First Black Supermodel, Art Insider, Beauty Icon."

More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be found here.