Emotions Raw As Pittsburgh Grapples With A Week Of Turbulent News
Sorrow, unrest and anger drove Pittsburghers into the streets this week in grief and solidarity following the shooting deaths of two young black men, Antwon Rose and Jimmy Wopo, as well as a border patrol policy that's left thousands of children stranded far away from their immigrant parents.
An estimated 5 million Syrians have been forced to flee their country because of ongoing civil war. About half landed in Turkey, including one woman, Noor. The young software engineer says she believes she's thriving in her new home, and credits much of that success to language.
She's featured in a new short film about the impact of language and education on the lives of some of the refugees by Pittsburgh-based language-learning platform Duolingo that premiered this week. Photojournalist Justin Merriman, who directed the film, explains his role alongside Noor and producer and project manager Laura Nestler of Duolingo.
Pittsburgh's philanthropic leaders posit that a bedrock of American freedom "is facing unprecedented threats in a period of rising incivility and intolerance." Journalists, educators and advocates joined to discuss their fears and aspirations for the First Amendment in a two-day conference at the August Wilson Center in Downtown Pittsburgh this week.
Three speakers dropped by ahead of the event to share their thoughts, including Robert Rosenthal, executive producer for the Center for Investigative Reporting; Andrew Conte, founding director for the Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University; and Indira Lakshmanan, who teaches journalism ethics at the Poynter Institute and is a columnist for the Boston Globe.
The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week, reporters, editors and storytellers join veteran journalist and host Kevin Gavin to take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here.