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Dr. Leonard Moore: 'Activism Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint'

Dr. Leonard Moore, vice president for diversity and community engagement and George Littlefield professor of American history at the University of Texas at Austin, teaches classes about the evolution of black politics and power throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

He says that a few years ago nearly all his students were black. Today, his lecture halls are often more than half white and brimming with community members and colleagues auditing the course just to hear how students talk about race.

He sat down with The Confluence's Megan Harris to discuss the shift from protest to politics, his teaching style and the changing nature of activism for young people today.

Moore travels to Pittsburgh later this month to keynote a Black History Month Lecture at the Heinz History Center.

Credit Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA
Every one of Pennsylvania's neighboring states has a higher minimum wage. Governor Tom Wolf has proposed incrementally increasing the Commonwealth's minimum wage until it reaches 15 dollars an hour in 2025.

Later in the program, cultural anthropologist JaQuay Edward Carter founded the Greater Hazelwood Historical Society of Pittsburgh last year. The organization works to safeguard Hazelwood’s legacy for future generations. WESA’s Brian Cook reports on the group’s efforts to preserve the neighborhood’s history.

And Gov. Tom Wolf recently unveiled his proposal to increase the minimum wage in Pennsylvania. This is his fifth consecutive year proposing the legislation; the last four efforts failed.

The governor’s plan would boost the minimum wage to $12 an hour, followed by annual increases until a minimum of $15 an hour is reached in 2025.

Joining The Confluence to discuss the merits and drawbacks are:

  • Antony Davies, associate professor of economics at Duquesne University;
  • Mark Bucklaw, president of the Southside Chamber of Commerce;
  • Sam Williamson, district director for 32BJ Service Employees International Union; and
  • Mark Price, an economist with the Keystone Research Center.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Kiley Koscinski is a general assignment reporter for 90.5 WESA. She previously produced The Confluence and Morning Edition. Before coming to WESA, she worked as an assignment desk editor and producer at 1020 AM KDKA. She can be reached at
Julia Zenkevich is a general assignment reporter for 90.5 WESA. She first joined the station as a production assistant on The Confluence, and more recently served as a fill-in producer for The Confluence and Morning Edition. She’s a life-long Pittsburgher, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. She can be reached at
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