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North Side Partnership Project Hopes To Offer Community Resources At A Former Perry South School

Kiley Koscinski
90.5 WESA
Rev. Eleanor Williams poses outside of the WESA studios.

As a reverend, teacher, community organizer and poet, Eleanor Williams is a woman of many talents. She joined 90.5 WESA’s The Confluence to talk about her work and her latest endeavor with the North Side Partnership Project, a coalition of seven nonprofits.

The group reopened part of McNaugher School in Perry South last year, but Williams says they hope to fully renovate the former Pittsburgh Public property into a community resource mall offering science, technology, engineering and math labs with dedicated space for art and public meetings. The project is a “full circle moment” for Williams, she says. She received her principal certification there many years ago.

Credit Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA
90.5 WESA
A young member of Pittsburgh immigrants' rights group FURIA holds a sign on the steps of the City-County Building during a 2017 May Day demonstration.

Her 30-year teaching career taught Williams how to make a difference in her own way. “I’ve come to know that I can’t save the whole world or even function in the whole world,” she says, but “I can try to do my best through my passion and just try to make a difference in someone else’s life.”

In her personal time, Williams is a published poet. Hear her read one of her original pieces “Escape.”

Later in the program:  

Pittsburgh’s air quality made headlines last week when the American Lung Association released its annual report listing the region among the top 10 most polluted in the country. But some researchers say this report doesn’t tell the whole story. 90.5 WESA’s Liz Reid spoke with Carnegie Mellon University professor and air quality researcher Allen Robinson about Pittsburgh’s changing air quality.

The Pittsburgh Marathon brings 40,000 runners and a quarter of a million spectators to a weekend-long, 26.2-mile party. It also presents a unique challenge to public safety officials. Chris Togneri, public information officer for the Pittsburgh Public Safety Department, spoke with The Confluence’s Megan Harris about preparations like road closures and participant support.

And May Day, an annual holiday to honor worker's rights, is celebrated around the world and here in Pittsburgh. Three local organizers join The Confluence to discuss the importance of May Day and details surrounding some events planned to mark the day:

The annual Polish Hill Parade will take place this Saturday and end with a picnic. The Pittsburgh City Paper has compiled a list of events to mark May Day here.

90.5 WESA's Julia Zenkevich and Meg Fair contributed to this program.

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 take 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 covers city government, policy and how Pittsburghers engage with city services. She also works as a fill-in host for All Things Considered. Kiley has previously served as a producer on The Confluence and Morning Edition.
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