Social Justice

Courtesy of the Mattress Factory

It was the first time Ricardo Iamuuri Robinson had visited South Africa, but the coastal city of Cape Town looked strangely familiar.

Andrew Russell / Tribune-Review

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the beleaguered Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.

Ron Larson / Ace Hotel

Amid Pittsburgh’s restaurant boom, a new conference this week aims to tackle tough issues within the food and service industry, including gentrification, sexism and cultural appropriation.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Politicians from the local and state level are partnering in a new way to find out what issues are most important to Pittsburgh’s black residents and how to address them.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Hundreds gathered in the Hill District Friday afternoon and pledged to uphold civil rights in Pittsburgh at the People’s Inauguration.

Representatives from social justice groups, including Fight for Fifteen, Planned Parenthood and the Black Lives Matters movement addressed the crowd about the importance of inclusiveness going into the administration of President Donald Trump.

Summit Against Racism

Pittsburgh’s 19th annual Summit Against Racism takes place Saturday.

This year’s summit coordinator Mary Parker said with so many other events going on this weekend surrounding the inauguration of Donald Trump, she received some requests to move the date of her event.

She said the summit is always held the Saturday after Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

In December, Sala Udin was recognized by President Barack Obama with a presidential pardon.

The 73-year-old native of Pittsburgh's Hill District served seven months of a five-year prison sentence in 1972.

City of Pittsburgh

This is the first in a three-part web series looking ahead to 2017 with members of Pittsburgh City Council.

Pittsburgh's nine Democratic City Council members will soon find themselves governing in an era where Republicans control not only the state legislature, but both houses of Congress and the presidency. 

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

The ballroom in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center where the P4 Conference is taking place this week is lit more like nightclub than a conference center. Bright green and blue lights shoot up the walls, a sharp contrast in the dimly lit room. A rapper takes the stage, spitting acapella rhymes that simultaneously praise and critique the city he loves. In the back of the room, an artist turns his words and the rest of the day’s speeches into comic strip-like panels.

Elvert Barnes / Flickr

Black health experts want to leverage growing awareness of racial inequality into a fight against cigarettes.

Lung cancer kills black men at higher rates than any other group nationwide, and last week a group of health experts and activists called for President Barack Obama to ban menthol cigarettes, making a direct link between health and social justice.

Michael Stanton was named June’s Champion of Greater Pittsburgh by the Dignity and Respect Campaign, which honors those “that embrace, embody, and demonstrate the values of dignity and respect.” He was honored for his work as co-founder and executive director with Open Hand Ministries.

Artists, bakers, professors, and ecologists are coming together to teach Pittsburghers how to write and perform spoken word poetry, how to bake a perfect loaf of bread, and how to incorporate plants in urban settings at the Steel City Folk School’s very first “pop-up event” this Saturday, June 20.

The folk school’s one-day event offers 11 half- and full-day courses to anyone interested in the Pittsburgh area.

But what exactly is a “folk school?"

U.S. Department of Education

“This is not just an education law,” says U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, “this is a civil rights law.”

Duncan is referring to the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA, which is up for reauthorization by Congress. 

“The law is outdated and fundamentally broken. We need Congress to get past this dysfunction and fix the law,” Duncan said.

President Lyndon Johnson signed ESEA as part of his war on poverty. The original intent was to ensure that federal resources would help disadvantaged and special-needs children.

WHAT'S UP?! Pittsburgh Resolves to End White Silence

Jan 16, 2015
WHAT'S UP?! Pittsburgh

Throughout the last 6 months of demonstrations and protests of police violence, activists all over the world have adopted the phrase, “Black Lives Matter.” In addition to that message, you may have seen the phrases, “I resolve to challenge racism” and “End White Silence.” 

In many cases, the people holding up signs with those phrases have been white.

Recognizing that discussions of race and racism can be different when people of color are not present, WHAT’S UP?! Pittsburgh is a local group focused on promoting anti-racist action, and knowledge.

Members such as etta cetera and Rose Lynd who identify as white, look at ways to challenge racism in their communities, among family and friends, even within themselves. They discuss the ongoing work of WHAT’S UP?! Pittsburgh and the many ways they confront racial injustice.

Recently, Police Chief Cameron McLay came under fire for appearing in a photograph with the hashtag "End White Silence," a social media campaign initiated by WHAT'S UP?! Pittsburgh. Critics of McLay's photo say he was inferring that the police were racist. etta and Rose, however, say their message is more about helping white people to become active when considering racial issues.

“What does learning truly need to look like to achieve equity and excellence for everyone," asks Olga Welch, dean of Duquesne University’s School of Education.

She believes that question will be answered at least in part by today’s launch of  the Canevin Center for Educational Transformation and Social Justice.