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America’s best weekly

Grace Orsatti

Dejah Tillman The 2019 SHYNE Awards

Do The Write Thing Dinner Celebration

Courier wins 3 NNPA awards

Metro A4

Lifestyles A6

Metro A8

Pittsburgh Courier


Vol. 110 No. 28

Two Sections

Published Weekly

JULY 10-16, 2019


Four African Americans newly appointed to Pitt board of trustees by Christian Morrow Courier Staff Writer

KIRK HOLBROOK is Pitt’s Hill District Community Engagement Center director. While Pitt’s Homewood Community Engagement Center has a physical building space on N. Homewood Ave., Pitt hopes to open a physical location for the Hill CEC later this year. (Photo courtesy University of Pittsburgh)

Kirk Holbrook is hard at work, even without a building Pitt’s Hill District CEC director hoping for physical location soon by Donovan Harrell University Times

With nearly a year under his belt, Kirk Holbrook, the director for the Hill District Community Engagement Center, is focusing on laying the foundation for the University of Pittsburgh Community Engagement

Center (CEC) with on-theground organizing and building relationships with community members. Holbrook, who has been operating out of the Bedford Hope Center for a few months, has been a part of the community for more than 17 years—as an eightyear resident and through

multiple community positions. He most recently was chief of staff in the district office of state Rep. Jake Wheatley. Prior to that, he was a community organizer for A+ Schools and the program director for the Hill House Association. Holbrook, a Wilkinsburg

native, has introduced a variety of educational programming to the various schools in the area through partnerships with NASA’s Destination Station and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to help proSEE HOLBROOK A2

City, respectively. The fifth new board member is brain trauma researcher WenTa Chiu, CEO of AHMC Healthcare Inc. in San Gabriel, Calif. Though the Pitt website lists more than 90 board

One is a former Super Bowl winner who owns a global supply chain firm; one built his own global environmental engineering firm from scratch; another did the same when she founded her own energy services company; and one is an international development and ADAM WALKER ROBERT AGBEDE policy expert who worked at the White House, the UN and is now at the Rockefeller Foundation. A d a m Walker, Robert Agbede, SaLisa B e r r i e n , SUNDAA BRIDGETTJONES SaLISA BERRIEN and Sundaa BridgettJones. All are African members, only 36 are votAmericans—and all now sit ing members and 12 of on the University of Pitts- those are appointed by state officials. The others burgh’s board of trustees. And though all are Pitt include 28 emeritus memgraduates, only Agbede, bers like retired WQED now the vice chair of Hatch President George Miles, USA, is still located here. former Allegheny CounThe others are based in AtSEE TRUSTEES A5 lanta, Tampa and New York

Homewood residents celebrate completing THE HOMETOWN GIRL WPXI’s Michele Newell Grassroots Green Homes program to host Courier Fab 40 Reception, July 19

by Christian Morrow Courier Staff Writer

In the spring of 2018, Conservation Consultants Inc. began a program to teach Homewood residents how to make their homes healthier and more energy efficient. By the time it ended last month, 326 homeowners and renters had participated—the most ever in the nonprofit’s history. So they and their partners at Operation Better Block celebrated the residents’ en-

by Christian Morrow Courier Staff Writer

Pittsburgh Courier NEW

To subscribe, call 412-481-8302 ext. 134

HOMEWOOD RESIDENTS enjoy food and refreshments at an event celebrating those who completed the Grassroots Green Homes program. gagement and achievements with awards and a buffet provided by Showcase Barbeque. Alison Steele, community programs director for CCI, said she was pleased and somewhat sur-

prised by the enthusiasm and gratitude the participants showed. “I thought we’d done a good job, but the amount of cheers and apSEE HOMEWOOD A5

Though she’s covered heinous murders and investigated the heroin epidemic as a reporter in Ohio, and the humanitarian crisis following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, WPXI-TV reporter Michele Newell is still a hometown gal, having grown up in Homestead and Verona. And as pleased as she was to be able to return home last year to work at Channel 11, the New Pittsburgh Courier is even more pleased to announce that she will serve as the celebrity host for its 2019 Fab

40 Awards Reception and Dinner, July 19, at the Fairmont Hotel, Downtown. “I’m really looking forward to it,” Newell said. “I’ve heard about it before and I’m excited to be a part of it.” Newell graduated from Penn Hills High School in 2002 and from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2006. From there she went to work as a television host and producer at the Cornerstone Television Network, then as a producer at NewsRadio 1020 KDKA, and as a writer at KDKA-TV. She followed that SEE NEWELL A5

Michele Newell of WPXI-TV is Celebrity Host Tickets available now at or by calling Allison Palm at 412-481-8302, ext. 136

Friday, July 19, 2019 • 6-9 p.m. Fairmont Pittsburgh Hotel, Downtown



JULY 10-16, 2019

Miami Times wins Russwurm, Andrews named Publisher of the Year at NNPA Merit Awards

BRENDA ANDREWS, second from left, of the New Journal and Guide newspaper in Norfolk, Va., accepts the NNPA Publisher of the Year Award at the NNPA Merit Awards, June 27, in Cincinnati. Also pictured are: Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., NNPA president and CEO; Karl Rodney, NNPAF board member and publisher of the New York Carib News; Amelia Ashley-Ward, NNPAF board chairman and publisher of the San Francisco Sun Reporter; Dorothy Leavell, NNPA board chairman and publisher of the Chicago and Gary Crusader Newspapers. The Miami Times took home the Russwurm Trophy as the top Black publication in America. (Photo: Mark Mahoney/Dream In Color Photography)

Kirk Holbrook is hard at work HOLBROOK FROM A1

mote science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. Tracy K. Smith, U.S. poet laureate, visited the Hill District library in November where she chatted with residents. And there’s still much more to come, he said, as he continues to partner with Pitt’s School of Engineering, the School of Social Work and other Pitt institutions to help promote education—both for the Hill District residents and for Pitt researchers. Over the next few months, Holbrook is focusing on engaging the various stakeholders of the Hill District and will continue to do so throughout the year as he aims to strengthen Pitt’s relationship with the community. “I think the engagement is really crucial,” Holbrook said. “In a community, any community, there can be misconceptions, perceptions that aren’t all the way correct. And I really believe in what the CEC is trying to do, and what we will do.” He added that the engagement will lead to stronger idea of how the CEC can best benefit residents’ needs. Holbrook works closely with an advisory council made up of 29 residents, including Rev. Paul Abernathy, director of FOCUS Pittsburgh, an organization that focuses creating community programs to help with the trauma these communities have experienced. The Hill District has seen many changes over the decades, many of them related to public housing, Abernathy said. The neighborhood has a rich, multicultural history filled with art, he said. It once was “the center of African American culture in Western Pennsylvania” but grew to encompass residents from Italy, Syria, Russia, Greece and


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more. Claude McKay, a Harlem Renaissance poet, once affectionately referred to the neighborhood as the “crossroads of the world,” Abernathy said. “This was a very powerful image of community at a time when much of the nation was segregated both North and South,” Abernathy said of the district in the mid 20th century. However, in the 1950s, the lower Hill District was targeted for “urban renewal” and construction, and 8,000 residents were displaced, and 400 business were torn down. Eventually, this area of land became the Civic Arena, where the Pittsburgh Penguins played, Abernathy said. “What I understood from that event, is that there was a great deal of injustice that occurred there in the sense that whites were paid for their homes and many African Americans ended up in public housing,” Abernathy said. “We still have residents who remember what it was to live in houses before they lived in public housing.” Then, when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, riots led to many businesses being burned down. Since then, the neighborhood has faced numerous social and economic hardships. Rhonda Lockett, another member of the advisory council and teacher assistant at St. Benedict the Moor School, said the loss of businesses has made simple things such as grocery shopping a hassle for community residents. And public housing issues and displacement have continued to be a source of pain for many residents, Abernathy said. “It’s hard to build a community when people are at the mercy of someone else,” Abernathy said. Lockett and Holbrook said the housing issues extend beyond public housing as there are many vacant houses and lots spread

throughout the community. This can create dangerous situations, Lockett said. “We had one house literally collapse and fall down. It was falling apart because one house was burned down beside it,” Lockett said. In spite of these and other community issues, Abernathy sees opportunity in the Hill District CEC and is thankful for Pitt’s partnerships with FOCUS in the past. “Another hope and expectation is that (the CEC) actually creates a pipeline of young residents who would go on to the University and receive degrees and advanced degrees and remain in our community and continue to do extremely meaningful work,” Abernathy said. Holbrook said despite the public housing concerns, the community is going through a period of “positive transitions and change.” And the CEC is coming to the community at a great time, “I think there’s a great opportunity to really make a deep impact by attaching the University’s resources to where the community’s needs are,” Holbrook said. “So, I think it’s synergistic at this time. I think you see some growth, but you also see within that growth, there are some community members who may be skeptical of that growth, because change to some could mean, maybe it could be threatening to their stability or ability to stay in. “And I think by having, real targeted resources that are attached to community needs and community agenda, I think it’s a protective factor in a lot of ways when you see a community changing.” Pitt is still in the negotiation phase for a physical CEC space in the Hill District. So far, the University has submitted a letter of intent for one of the physical spaces at The New Grenada Theater, which would be roughly 10,000 square feet, Holbrook said.


This Week In Black History

Week of July 10-16 July 10 1775—Shortly after taking command of the troops fighting for American independence from Britain, Gen. George Washington (the nation’s first president) has his adjutant general issue an order barring any further Blacks from joining the Continental Army. The decision would be confirmed by the Continental Congress in November of 1775. The fear was that Blacks who fought for America’s independence would be justified in demanding an end to slavery. And slave owners, including Washington, did not want that. 1927—David Dinkins, the first Black man elected mayor of New York City, is DAVID DINKINS born on this day in 1927. He was born in Trenton, N.J., and served as New York City mayor from 1989 to 1993. 1943—Tennis sensation Arthur Ashe was born on this day in Richmond, Va. He would become the first Black male to win the Wimbledon men’s singles championship by defeating ARTHUR ASHE Jimmy Connors in 1975. Ashe would receive a contaminated blood transfusion and die of AIDS in February 1993. 1972—The Democratic Party holds its presidential convention in Miami, Fla. New York Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, the first Black person to actively seek the party’s presidential nomination, received 151.95 votes on the first ballot. Senator George McGovern would eventually be nominated. Chisholm had been the first SHIRLEY CHISHOLM Black woman elected to the United States Congress, achieving the distinction in 1968. She was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to a Barbadian mother and a Guyanese father. Chisholm’s signature phrase was “Un-bought and un-bossed.” She died in January 2005. July 11 1905—The Niagara Movement (forerunner of the NAACP) is founded during a meeting near Niagara Falls, N.Y. Among the most prominent Blacks at the meeting were intellectual and activist W.E.B. DuBois and newspaper publishers William Monroe Trotter and Ida B. Wells Barnett. 1915—Mifflin Wistar Gibbs dies. Gibbs had worked on the UnderWILLIAM MONROE TROTTER ground Railroad helping Blacks escape from slavery along with Frederick Douglas. He would later become publisher of Mirror of the Times—the first Black newspaper in California. He was also the first African-American elected to a municipal judgeship in the state. 2010—Gospel legend Bishop Walter Hawkins dies. The Grammy award-winning Hawkins died at his home in Ripon, Calif. Hawkins was part of the influential MIFFLIN WISTAR GIBBS Hawkins family. His brother was Edwin Hawkins and for a while he was married to gospel great Tramaine Hawkins. July 12 1887—Mound Bayou, Miss., perhaps the nation’s best known historically all-Black town, is founded by ex-slave Isaiah Montgomery and his cousin Benjamin T. Green. It was built as a sanctuary for former slaves during a period when Jim Crow racism and terrorism by groups such as the Ku Klux Klan were on the rise. It is considered the oldest surviving all-Black town in America. According to the 2000 Census, the town had 2,100 residents. 1937—Actor, comedian and political activist William “Bill” Cosby is born on this day in Philadelphia, Pa. Cosby would rise from nightclub comedian, to actor in several of the so-called Black exploitation movies of the 1970s, to star of the hit NBC television series “The Cosby Show” from 1984-92. The show won numerous awards and praise for its portrayal of a middle-class African-American family. WILLIAM ‘BILL’ COSBY 1949—Although he is seldom mentioned today, Frederick M. Jones was one of Black America’s most productive inventors. There are at least 60 patents to his credit. However, Jones is best known for the invention of an air conditioning unit. Specifically, he designed an automatic refrigeration system for long-haul trucks and trains which he patented on this day in 1949. Jones was born in 1893 in Covington, Ky., near Cincinnati. He died in 1961. July 13 1863—One of the bloodiest race (or perhaps more appropriately “racist”) riots in America history begins. The event, known historically as New York City Draft Riots, was sparked by angry opposition to the congressionally passed Enrollment Act—a mandatory draft requiring White men to fight in the Civil War. Many Whites went on a rampage out of FREDERICK M. JONES opposition to the draft and fear of freed Blacks competing with them for jobs. The rioting lasted from July 13-16 before it was finally put down with the aid of Federal troops. But before it was over, an estimated 100 people had been killed and 300 wounded—most of them Blacks. The mandatory draft also reflected a fact commonly omitted from standard American history texts: the class nature of much legislation. In this instance, the draft only applied to poor and working-class Whites. Wealthy Whites were officially exempted from the draft by paying a fee. 1868—Oscar J. Dunn, a former slave, is installed as Louisiana’s lieutenant governor. At the time, it was the highest elective state position ever achieved by any African-American. Another Black, Antoine Dubuclet, was installed as state treasurer. However, virtually all the Black political gains after the Civil War would be wiped out by the Hayes-Tilden Compromise of 1872 and the subsequent anti-Black Jim Crow laws. It would take nearly 100 years (during the 1960s) before Blacks would once again begin to match the political gains they had made during the post-Civil War period. July 15 1779—Noted Black spy Pompey Lamb supplies the American revolutionary forces with information, which enables them to win the Battle of Stony Point—the last major battle of the Revolutionary War in New York State. OSCAR J. DUNN Lamb had worked as a fruit and vegetable delivery man for the British Army. 1822—Philadelphia becomes one of the first major cities to open its public schools to Blacks. The first school was a segregated one just for Black boys. One for girls was opened four years later in 1826. The city’s public schools would remain segregated until the 1930s. July 16 1862—Crusading journalist and anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells-Barnett is born in Holly Springs, Miss. Wells-Barnett was a true militant activist. Her editorials so angered Whites in the Memphis, Tenn., area that a mob burned down the building which housed her newspaper. She was also one of the original founders of the NAACP and in 1884 she committed a “Rosa Parks” type act when she refused an order to give up her seat on a train to a White man. It took the conductor and two other men to remove her from the seat and throw her off the train. 1882—Violette A. Johnson is born. She would become the first Black female attorney allowed to IDA B. WELLS-BARNETT practice before the United States Supreme Court.



JULY 10-16, 2019


Take charge of your health today. Be informed. Be involved. Stroke Research This month, the “Take Charge of Your Health Today” page focuses on stroke research. Bee Schindler, community engagement coordinator with the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and Esther L. Bush, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, spoke about this topic. BS: Good morning, Ms. Bush. I thank you for the chance to talk with you today about strokes, particularly as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that strokes kill about 140,000 individuals each year—which shakes out to 1 out of every 20 deaths. Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds, while every four minutes someone dies of stroke. EB: Yes, Bee. As you pointed out, this is a far-reaching topic that most people can re-

The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh’s ealth ducation ffice offers ser ices around blood pressure, diabetes, nutrition and more that directly relate to taking the next steps to staying healthy. late to. The risk for individuals in the Black BS: That’s so great. In addition to seekcommunity ha ing a first stro e is nearly ing ways to measure and educate, I also twice as high as the risk for White individuencourage our readers to check out some als. I hope we can learn more about how to of the research opportunities listed on this best prevent strokes to change that statistic! page for stroke victims. Engaging in studies BS: Absolutely. This is a critical point, esis a powerful way to lend feedback on how pecially because African Americans are also future research could greatly in uence our more likely to die of stroke-related causes. lives and the lives of our loved ones. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh EB: Thank you so much for having this found that maintaining blood sugar levels at ESTHER BUSH conversation with me, Bee. We’ve provided 180 or below aids in stroke prevention. The researchers suggest not smoking, engaging African Americans are often forced to advo- some great information and ways that readcate for their health needs. Taking charge of ers can take charge of their health today. I in routine exercise and eating healthy as one’s health also means monitoring our own look forward to next month as we discuss ways to combat higher blood sugar levels. blood sugar levels to be on top of changes. the Pittsburgh Study. EB: That’s important to mention because

Learn your numbers

by Roger Caldwell

(NNPA)—I am a stroke survivor. As a stroke survivor, I consider myself to be a miracle. One of my goals in life is to educate Americans (particularly Black men), that 80% of strokes can be prevented with knowledge and education. Strokes have the potential to be a silent killer, and nearly 85% of all strokes that occur show no warning signs. Although there are no major warning signs, there are risk factors, diseases, and health issues, which make an individual more susceptible to having a stroke. High blood pressure (hypertension) is ROGER CALDWELL the number one cause in the country for a stroke and it can be regulated with medicine, a proper diet, monitoring your blood pressure and a healthy lifestyle. “Healthcare in one of the wealthiest countries on the face of this earth is not a primary focus or concern. In this society, many people are not interested in improving their health. They COMMENTARY prefer to take a chance and hope that health issues will resolve themselves. I was not taking care of myself and not taking the necessary steps to correct my health problems. This is a major crisis confronting this country today,” written about in my book, “The Inspiring Journey of a Stroke Survivor.” It is obvious with the recent news of the passing of actor Luke Perry (52), and director John Singleton (51), who both died suddenly of massive strokes, that something is wrong. Both of these men were very successful, and if 80% of strokes are preventable, I would have expected these two men to have received the best medical care, but they are gone. When I had my stroke, I was well aware that I had hypertension, but I was still not taking my prescribed medication. I was walking around with a time bomb. At any time, I knew the bomb could explode but I took a chance. Eventually, it exploded but I lived, and now part of my responsibility is to educate Americans about strokes with a primary focus on African Americans. After having my stroke, I was completely paralyzed on the entire right side. I spent the next seven weeks in rehabilitation relearning basic tasks: How to dress myself, how to talk, how to write with my left hand, and how to graduate from a wheelchair to a cane. My efforts paid off, but I did not recover 100%. All Americans must know more about stroke prevention and awareness, and they should know their personal numbers as well as their family members’ numbers. As a culture and community, Black Americans have the highest incidence of high blood pressure, with 1 out of 2 adults having some form of hypertension. It is essential to understand the mechanics of blood pressure and what the numbers represent. The higher number is the systolic number, and it represents the active portion of blood pressure, when the heart is pumping. This number should be around 120 or lower. The lower number represents the diastolic number, or the passive or resting portion of blood pressure. This number should be around 80 or lower. Know your numbers, take your medication, educate your children, and adult family members, and talk about your health. Visit a physician on a regular basis. Take control of your health, your life depends on it. Remember at any age a person can have a stroke, but as you get older you are more susceptible to having a stroke. FAST is an acronym that everyone should know when they suspect that someone is having a stroke. The “F” stands for face, and one side of the face droops. The “A” stands for arm and the arm drop’s down. The “S” stands for speech and check for slurred or strange speech. The “T” stands for time, and time is of the essence and call 911.

To learn more about strokes, contact the American Stroke Association; and go to my YouTube channel and view my documentary: “High Blood Pressure: A State of Emergency in the African American Community” (https://

Know your numbers, take your medication, educate your children, and adult family members, and talk about your health. Visit a physician on a regular basis. Take control of your health, your life depends on it. Remember at any age a person can have a stroke, but as you get older you are more susceptible to having a stroke. — Roger Caldwell (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)

Treating strokes quickly can mean difference between life and death or life unchanged and permanent impairment Ischemic (in the brain) strokes happen when a blood clot or fatty deposits (called plaque) block a blood vessel carrying oxygen-rich blood to the brain, which means the brain cannot get the oxygen it needs. Within minutes of being starved of oxygen, tissue in affected areas of the brain starts dying. Therefore, strokes can lead to brain damage, disability or even death. Treating strokes quickly can mean the difference between life and death or life unchanged and permanent impairment. Researchers continue to work on ways to quickly treat people who have had strokes to minimize brain damage. One particular area of research done recently at the University of Pittsburgh and other sites examined the common connection between high glucose (blood sugar) levels and worse outcomes for people who have had strokes. The Stroke Hyperglycemia Insulin Network Effort (SHINE) study, funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, looked at how closely doctors control blood sugar levels in people who have had strokes. The standard treatment in monitoring blood glucose levels after stroke is to check blood sugars every four to six hours to make sure the level is not above 180. If it is above 180, then patients are given insulin to lower to the number. Knowing that people with lower blood sugars fare better after strokes, researchers designed the SHINE study to use a more intensive treatment after strokes: Patients’ blood sugar levels were inserted into a computer that would then calculate the amount of insulin needed to maintain a blood sugar level between 80-130. The Pitt portion of

the study was managed by Lori Shutter, MD, professor and vice chair of education, Department of Critical Care Medicine, and professor of neurology and of neurosurgery, Pitt School of Medicine. LORI SHUTTER, MD “The idea was to tightly control the patients’ glucose levels for 72 hours after a stroke event with the hope that patients would have better outcomes,” says Dr. Shutter. “When it finished, the S study results sho ed that keeping tight control of patients’ blood sugar levels did not improve their 90-day outcome and slightly increased their risk for low blood sugar. We found that keeping the glucose below 180, checking it four to six times a day and injecting insulin as needed is the preferred treatment, which is what we’ve been doing for years. The old-fashioned way works! We also know that that keeping blood sugar below 180 is the right number.” Now that researchers have answered the question of how aggressively to control blood sugar levels in people after ischemic strokes, Dr. Shutter emphasizes the importance of always keeping blood sugar levels below 180 to prevent strokes, especially in people with diabetes.

“High blood sugar can affect healthy blood vessels, which are very important to overall health, including healthy heart, brain, eye and kidney function,” says Dr. Shutter. “It’s like tree limbs—the arteries are like the big trunk, then the arterials and then to the tiny twigs on the tree, the capillaries. These are tiny little vessels delivering blood. If you have diabetes, the twigs become brittle and get narrower. Just as in a big storm, the little twigs can fall off or get too narrow to carry blood through; you won’t get blood to your kidneys, brain, heart, eyes, etc. You’ll start having kidney and heart problems, small strokes and eyesight changes.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States but that the risk of having a stroke varies greatly between races and ethnicities. The risk of having a stroke is almost twice as high for African Americans as it is for whites. African Americans have the highest rate of death due to strokes. In the past few years, Latinx populations are experiencing higher rates of death from strokes. According to the CDC, one in three people in the United States has at least one stroke risk factor—being male, having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and being obese. Dr. Shutter says, “The overall message is that there’s a lot people can do to change many of their risk factors for having a stroke—stop smoking, exercise regularly, make healthy eating choices as much as possible and be aware of their blood sugar levels.”

The Western Pennsylvania Patient Registry at the University of Pittsburgh by Julie Fiez, PhD The Western Pennsylvania Patient egistry is a confidential listing of stroke survivors who are interested in participating in research. Brain researchers in Pittsburgh use WPPR to identify individuals appropriate for a wide range of studies. For example, one research group studies the brain regions that support reading and language. They are recruiting individuals with damage to the cerebellum, which is a part of the brain associated with motor control and coordination. New research suggests that the cerebellum may also contribute to the learning of cognitive skills like reading. To evaluate this idea, the reading abilities of individuals with cerebellum damage are being compared with individuals without such damage. If differences are found,

the results would help to explain why children with abnormalities involving the cerebellum tend to be poor readers. Another research group is studying treatments JULIE FIEZ, PHD that can help individuals recover from aphasia, a language disorder, following a stroke. This project requires multiple sessions involving language practice and the collection of brain imaging data to better understand the mechanisms of recovery. A third research group is studying visual

object recognition. The group is testing the idea that individuals with damage to the brain’s parietal lobe may understand what an ob ect is used for but ha e difficulties understanding how to reach for and grasp the object properly. The opposite pattern is expected for individuals with damage to the temporal lobe. The results from this study will help scientists understand the organization of the brain’s visual system. None of this research could happen without the generous involvement of stroke survivors. WPPR is continuously enrolling registry participants. For more information, visit the WPPR website ( or contact the WPPR coordinator, Denise Balason, at 412-624-0178. Julie Fiez, PhD, is professor and chair of Psychology, Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh


JULY 10-16, 2019



JUNE 2 WAS A FESTIVE DAY in Downtown Pittsburgh, as numerous students received SHYNE Awards at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center. SHYNE stands for Show How Youth Need to Excel. The organization’s mission is to create public platforms to recognize the positive achievements of youth ages 13-19. Pictured at left are honorees Eliyah Roberts, Ezekyel Roberts and Trent Fuller. Pictured at right is Movement Award recipient 1 Hood Media. (Photos by Courier photographer J.L. Martello)

MARIAH HARRIS wins the Entrepreneurship Award.

ZACHARY COOK wins the Overcoming Obstacles Award.

MAKHI BEARD wins the Academics Award.

RAYQUAN YOUNG wins the Service in Ministries Award.

DEJAH TILLMAN wins The Arts Award.

GENESIS GORE wins the Renaissance Award.

KARSON A. KENNEDY takes home the Leadership Award.

MARJANI D. HOWZE-JETTER wins the Community Service Award.



Four African Americans newly appointed to Pitt board of trustees TRUSTEES FROM A1

ty development chief Earl Hord and former Governor and U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh. The announcement of the new board members was made June 28. The board oversees all the university’s charitable, academic and scientific activities, and meets regularly throughout the year, including committee working sessions and public meetings. Pitt Communications Manager Kevin Zwick said the new members, all distinguished Pitt alumni, bring to the board a range of experience that spans decades in industry and public service. Agbede founded the environmental engineering firm ATS in 1987, and in 2003 acquired Chester Engineers and built it into a global entity and one of the largest Black-owned engineering firms in the country. In 2017 he accepted an offer to merge with Hatch. He has also established the Robert O. Agbede Scholarship for African American students pursuing engineering degrees at Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering and the Robert O. Agbede Annual Diversity Award to encourage recruitment and retention of African American faculty and students. After spending 25 years in the energy sector with PPL Corp., PEPCO Energy, Con Edison and others, Berrien launched COI in 2017, which has been called the “Lyft of energy services,” managing a suite of renew-

able energy and energy efficiency assets, that any provider can employ, allowing for the monetization of each asset when called upon. In 2004, Berrien established the Karl H. Lewis Engineering Impact Alumni Fund for Pitt students of underrepresented groups enrolled in engineering. Walker founded Homestead Packaging Solutions in 1984, and in 2014 acquired Summit Container (Summit Packaging Solutions) in 2014 creating a global supply chain firm. He has been recognized as the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council’s Supplier of the Year and the U.S. Department of Commerce– MBDA Manufacturer of the Year. He is also a former New Pittsburgh Courier Men of Excellence honoree. Bridgett-Jones led the Office of Policy, Planning and Public Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in groundbreaking advocacy on Internet and religious freedoms and served as a member of the White House National Security Staff interagency committee. She previously managed C-suite affairs at the U.N. Department of Political Affairs, working on preventive diplomacy plans in South Asia. Fellow trustee and state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Hill District, who was appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf in 2015, said the appointments will benefit the board and the region. “I think we need to further expand our diversity, so of

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Special Summer rates 6 months = $25 $20 1 year = $45 $35 Call the Courier’s Brenda Hill at 412-481-8302, ext. 134 with the code word: SUMMER SPECIAL Promotion ends Aug. 29, 2019 course I welcome them, and their expertise in their respective fields,” he said. “I think it makes a great difference because the more diverse voices we have, the greater the outcome for the region.”

Homewood residents celebrate completing Grassroots Green Homes program HOMEWOOD FROM A1

plauds; the people really seemed glad we had come,” she said. “Some said it was the first winter they’d felt warm in their homes. The comments made me happy and pleasantly surprised to know that we had helped.” Steele said the program involved a “friendly competition” among the participants to see who could adopt the most tips and tools for increasing energy efficiency. Tips included things like doing laundry in cold water; lowering the temperature setting on the hot water heater; and CCI also provided tools like caulk, weather stripping, plastic for sealing windows, door sweeps, and brushes to clean refrigerator coils. “We also gave out thermometers that also have hydrometers to keep track of humidity,” said Steele. “And we had guest speakers make presentations about mold, radon, tips on using green cleaning products.” In the end, participants realized significant ener-

gy savings. In its first two Grassroots Green Homes phases—run with McAuley Ministries in Uptown in 2016; and in Central Northside in 2017—the average seasonal savings on electricity was 15 percent (summer) and 13 percent (winter). The seasonal gas savings was 17 percent (summer) and 8 percent (winter). Steele hasn’t seen the data from the utilities for Homewood yet, but she expects even greater savings. “We did see a drastic improvement in energy usage,” she said. “In the first rounds, (we) saw an about 15 percent (gas savings), but we had more participation here.” And those who participated the most—adopting the most tips, using the most tools, becoming energy coaches, volunteering— were celebrated and given more tools including smart strips and programmable thermostats. Though Danita Massie didn’t top any of the individual categories, because

Newell to host Courier Fab 40 Reception NEWELL FROM A1

up with stints at WTOV-TV News in Steubenville, Ohio and at WSYX in Columbus. Newell is the lead reporter for Channel 11’s 11 p.m. newscast, along with the 10 p.m. news that airs on Fox 53. You’ll also see Newell on the anchor desk on select weekends. Newell, a member of the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, recently co-hosted the PBMF Vann Media Awards with DK Pittsburgh Sports contributor Chris Carter. She’ll show off her hosting talents at the Courier’s Fab 40 reception, which

will honor 40 young African Americans who are making—often unsung— contributions to their families, communities and the region. In addition to Newell, the program will feature a slideshow of the honorees by Pittsburgh Black Media Federation President Brian Cook Sr., and congratulatory remarks by New Pittsburgh Courier Editor and Publisher Rod Doss. A limited number of tickets are still available for the event and will remain on sale until July 12. Call Allison Palm at 412-4818302, ext. 136.

JULY 10-16, 2019 A5

of her overall involvement—coaching, volunteering, adopting tips and tools, conducting surveys, phone banking and Facebooking—she was celebrated as the program’s “Star Participant” and said the whole experience was great. “I loved it. It’s something we needed in this neighborhood, I grew up here, it helps everybody, especially with these old houses—the ones that are still standing,” she said. “I loved the program. The presenters and demonstrators were very helpful, they were nice and I’m glad to see them come to low income neighborhoods. So anything they come up with I’m going to jump on.” She won’t have to wait long. Steele said CCI’s next on-the-ground effort will be focused in Homewood again, and in Wilkinsburg, with a partnership with Nate Burden, a certified radon professional for radon and healthy homes screening. For more information on that initiative, call 412431-4623.

Tickets for the Fab 40 Reception are available now at pittsburgh or by calling Allison Palm at 412-4818302, ext. 136

LIFESTYLES New Pittsburgh Courier


JULY 10-16, 2019

Debbie Norrell

Lifestyles Report Traveling solo Traveling is fun when you have time and money. The hard part is finding someone to travel with who enjoys the same things that you enjoy. When I go on a trip I like to shop, visit historical and cultural places, see plays and eat out. I also like a nice place to stay and the nicer the better. I have heard many people say that their accommodations doesn’t matter to them because they spend so little time in the room. I beg to differ on that one. I like a nice room and a nice hotel. A beautiful room makes the trip so much sweeter. Now that I have more free time my goal is to see some places that are on my travel list or just do some things that I have not done. It really doesn’t have to be far away. Recently I went on a bus trip with the Alpha Wives, I selected the single option. The recent trip was a bus trip to Washington, D.C. Our primary stop was the National Museum of African American History and Culture. I had not been there since it opened and I was excited to check it out. We stopped at the Martin Luther King Memorial before our trip to the museum. I had seen it before but it was still a nice stop. I always fail to remember that late June is family reunion time, kids are out of school and there is a big world taking vacations. I was hoping that the museum wouldn’t be too crowded and truth be told, people on my trip who had been to the museum before said it was not that crowded. We got to the museum earlier than planned and we were able to get in. Lucky for us because we beat the long line for the soul food cafeteria. I thought the menu was great but the food was not as hot as it should have been. I then made my way to see the museum. I ended up in a long line for the Emmett Till exhibit. It was rather anticlimactic as were many things in the building. If you read or study Black history there is nothing that is a big surprise. I hope to go back on an off-day when it is not so crowded. Wish me luck. The next day we stopped by the historical Alfred Street Baptist Church and then on to our lunch cruise on the Spirit of Washington. That was one of the high points of our trip. The buffet lunch was wonderful and the deejay that was on the boat was “fire.” Their cruise ships are more sophisticated than ours. They look like yachts instead of our paddle boats. We had a ball. On the way home we stopped at an outlet in Maryland for a little retail therapy and walk off some of our lunch. The bus driver was knowledgeable and she was a great driver. I’m on the lookout for more short trips with great groups of people. Nice job, Alpha Wives. (Email Debbie at

DtWT COORDINATORS—Lou Ransom Jr., Nicole Cronin and Grace Orsatti

DtWT BLACK AND GOLD COMMITTEE MEMBERS—Judge Dwayne Woodruff, Joy Maxberry Woodruff and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald

2019 Do The Write Thing Dinner Celebration

by Debbie Norrell

are submitted by hundreds of students from Pittsburgh Lifestyles Editor Public Schools, Woodland Hills School District, Penn The Pittsburgh Do The Hills School District and Write Thing program the Manchester Academic (DtWT) was birthed in 2007 Charter School are focused when Judge Kim Berkeley on the impact of violence Clark asked Judge Dwayne Woodruff if he would con- 2019 FIRST-PLACE WINNERS WITH TEACHERS—Carla Knight, Malachi Stevenson Dwayne Woodruff, on their lives. The students are also encouraged sider chairing the program. Alaina Beal and Sister Janelle Banko. (Photos by Debbie Norrell) to make perThis was after a visit to the sonal commitDtWT National Recogni- stipulation, his wife Joy would be his co-chair. In 2008 the Pittsburgh DtWT was estabments to help tion Week in Washington, eliminate vioD.C. to see students from lished. It started small but now has grown lence. Teachacross the United States to one of the most successful programs in ers also lead who had excelled in their the United States. On May 28, at the Sherstudents in cities’ programs. Woodruff aton Pittsburgh Hotel Station Square Pittsclassroom disaccepted the task with one burgh, DtWT held their 2019 Dinner Celebration with cussions about Judge Dwayne violence and its Woodruff and resolutions. Joy MaxberThe 2019 ry Woodruff DtWT firstas co-chairs. place winners Pittsburgh TV were Alaina and Radio perBeal (St. AgSPOKEN WORD PERFORMER—Quincy Stephenson sonality Chris nes) and MalMoore was a achi Stevenson dynamic mas(Manchester Academter of ceremoic Charter). The stunies. After a dents will represent delightful bufPittsburgh DtWT in fet meal, spoWashington, D.C. Secken word perond-place students: former Quincy Shane Birkenfeld and Stephenson Kayla Wiggins. Thirdgave a strong place: Klay Kraeuter presentation, and Anna Waskiewicz. “Still Stronger Allegheny County FamThan Hate.” ily Court Judges: Kim DtWT is an Clark, Kim Eaton, Paul educational Cozza, Dan Regan, initiative of the Kathryn Hens-Greco, National CamDwayne Woodruff and paign to Stop Guido DeAngelis served VOLUNTEERS AND SUPPORTERS—Alex Matthews, Jerry Ann Al- Violence and as presenters for the len and Jackie Dixon MASTER OF CEREMONIES—Chris Moore the essays that evening.

2018 DtWT AMBASSADORS—Grace Orsatti, DtWT Coordinator, Brian Jones and Paige Kuisis

DtWT PROGRAM DIRECTOR LISA CONE—Second from right with Esther Bush, Dwayne Woodruff and Joy Maxberry Woodruff

DtWT PRESENTERS—Judges Dwayne Woodruff, Kathryn Hens-Greco, Dan Regan, Guido DeAngelis, Paul Cozza, Kim Clark and Kim Eaton



JULY 10-16, 2019


Praise & Worship ST. BENEDICT THE MOOR CATHOLIC CHURCH Crawford & Centre Ave. Pgh., PA 15219 412-281-3141 Mass Sunday 10:30 A.M.

East Liberty Presbyterian Church Rev. Dr. Randy Bush, Senior Pastor 412-441-3800 116 S. Highland Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Worship on Sunday: Summer Worship Hour...10 a.m. Taize Prayer Service (Wed.) 7 p.m.

Curious about Quakerism? REVEREND LORRAINE WILLIAMS, right, with Dr. Bernadette Jeffrey. (Photos by Courier photographer Jacquelyn McDonald)

Reverend Lorraine Williams honored ACCOLADES OF LOVE AND APPRECIATION o ed freely at the recent ight of onor for e erend Lorraine Williams, the Pastor and Founder of Christian Community Church, 501 Jefferson Road in Penn Hills. The June 23 event at Pentecostal Temple hurch f od n hrist, ast iberty l d , as well-attended by an abundance of Bishops, Pastors and Instructors of Pittsburgh’s Gospel community, all anxious to collectively encourage the woman that they call Pastor, Preacher, Prophetess, Teacher, Trailblazer, Mentor and Extraordinary Friend to those in need of personal ministry. Reverend Williams is well known for her foreign missions, rison inistry and specific family ministries as well as local street corner services. She possesses a legacy of ministers of the Gospel who have followed her instruction and now head their own individual organizations and churches. Pastor Lorraine has never been afraid to “bravely lead by example and display reckless faith when it came to ministry and trusting God” as stated by several presenters. Dr. Bernadette Jeffrey served as Mistress of Ceremony. —Jacquelyn McDonald REVEREND LORRAINE WILLIAMS, with choir director Michael Austin.

You Are Welcome at our Meetings for Worship Sundays at 10:30 a.m. Pittsburgh Friends Meeting 4836 Ellsworth Avenue

Join our growing Praise and Worship Church Community! For rate information, call 412481-8302, ext. 128.




JULY 22-23, 24, 30—The Rachel Randall Education Ministry of Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ has “2019” Youth Funday Tickets for Kennywood Park for $27. Tickets are valid for use the following days: July 5, July 22-23, July 24, and July 30. Tickets are also available for Aug. 13. For more information and tickets, please call the church office at or


he Sel ess ntercessory rayer arriors inistry pres ents The Power of Prayer, with featured teacher, Rev. Nathaniel Pennyba er, at p m at the church, arriet St , an in or more infor mation, call 412-271-3000.


JULY 20—The Rodney C. Fox Missionary Ministry of Carrone Baptist Church, 7119 Frankstown Ave. in Homewood, will present a “Salad-A-Rama” from noon to 4 p.m. at the church. A $10 donation is requested. The theme is “Old Time Religion.” All are welcome and invited to attend. Reverend Alonzo Murphy Jr. is the pastor. For more information, call or


JULY 21—Mount Olive Baptist Church, 330 Fourth Ave, Rankin, will celebrate Family and Friends Day at 11 a.m. at the church. It’s the “Summer Psalms Series.” Following the service, there will be refreshments, hot dogs, grilled chicken, popcorn, face-painting and games. All are welcome! Rev. William A. Baker IV is pastor. For more information, call 412-271-0303.



JULY 27—Triedstone Baptist Church of Rankin presents its Prayer rea fast, at a m at the church, arriet St he guest preacher ill be Rev. Barbara Gunn, senior pastor, Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, North Versailles. $10 donation. For more information, call 412-271-3000.

We want to place your event in our Church Circuit weekly calendar! Send info to: New Pittsburgh Courier 315 E. Carson St. Pittsburgh PA 15219 Or Email us! religion@ newpittsburgh

The Courier is THE VOICE of Black Pittsburgh.



JULY 10-16, 2019


Courier wins 3 awards at annual NNPA Merit Awards Reception The New Pittsburgh Courier took home three awards, including first place honors for best irculation romo tion, at the annual ational e spaper ublishers s sociation erit ards eception, hich recogni es the best in the Black Press in America. The Courier also won second place in the country for est e s ictures, and third place for est ayout and esign n the photo at right, r oss is pictured ith iram ac son, of eal imes edia, the ourier s parent company ac son also is publisher of the ichigan hronicle, in etroit he hronicle on four a ards at the erit ards, held une , in incinnati


An Evening of Jazz


JOY STARZL hands Brenda Tate her certificate, naming her Library Friend of the Year, during the May 17 event at the Hill District Library. (Photos by Courier photographer J.L. Martello)

Featuring The Tony Campbell Experience, and sponsored by the Friends of the Carnegie Library, Hill District Branch COZY NEWRING, BRAD NEWRING







JULY 10-16, 2019

Jammin’ at Juneteenth POINT STATE PARK PITTSBURGH, PA. JUNE 29-30, 2019

Photos by Courier photographer Gail Manker

NATIONAL RECORDING ARTIST CUPID led the city’s largest Cupid Shuffle…



JULY 10-16, 2019



An address to Pittsburgh’s African American community PPS students’ proficiency scores and graduation rates up, suspension rates down For decades, the needs of African American students in the Pittsburgh Public School District were not a priority. One of my key motivations as superintendent has been to reinvest in curriculum, support networks and programming so that the culture shifts toward closing the achievement gap that impacts African American children so deeply, often echoing through the rest of their lives. As the 20182019 school year comes to a close, I’d like to address the African American community, many of whom are parents, on how we’re progressing to achieve this goal. Together, we should commend the work of our teachers and staff who have made this progress possible. Yet while highlighting these key achievement gains, I remain mindful of the fact that there is still much more work to be done:  •Proficiency: the percentage of African American students achieving proficiency on the 2018 PSSA state exams increased in all three areas of language arts, math and science. •Graduation rates: improved for all students by a significant 10.4 percent increase. For African American students, the graduation rate surpassed the state average by nearly 4 percent. •Suspension rates: the number of days students have missed school due to suspension has declined by more than 1,300 days. For the start of the 2018-19 school year, we rolled out new curricula in Algebra and K-5 Mathematics, building off recent curriculum updates in English Language Arts. I strongly believe that we’ve been able to boost reading proficiency as a result of updating the district’s decades-old language arts program. As a result, the reading lessons given by teachers are not only proven to be effective but aligned with Pennsylvania’s academic standards. We’re supporting our teachers so that they feel confident in how to use these new academic tools as we hired 60 academic coaches. In addition to eight community schools, all campuses have access to nurses and at least halfday librarians. This school year, we completed the implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) and Restorative Practices to

all 54 school buildings. Instead of turning to suspension as the first line of defense, students now benefit from trained staff focused on coping skills and conflict resolution. The state didn’t think we could roll PBIS out to all schools this quickly but having successfully done so with colleagues in my former district, I was confident in our ability to accomplish this goal. More importantly, we couldn’t wait; because for every year we waited, we risk another student leaving school and potentially winding up perpetuating the poverty cycle or worse. School-age children belong in school, focused on learning—not on the streets, where they must focus on survival. As a result, the

recommendations, specifically as those that relate to equity. Here are some efforts on our summer agenda: •The rollout of “On Track to Equity,” a robust plan that details intentional efforts underway to eliminate racial disparity in achievement levels of African American students. Equity is one of four strategic themes in our strategic plan. We view the completion of the plan as an opportunity to move beyond compliance to demonstrate for all stakeholders our commitment to reaching our desired outcomes for students. We continue to finalize the plan with the Equity Advisory Panel and expect to release a final plan to the public this summer.


Anthony Hamlet, Ed.D. number of incidents that have resulted in student suspension has declined by more than 1,300 days for the past two years. We began our quest to improve student achievement with a strong foundation. You may remember that in 2016, I ordered the most in-depth third-party analysis the Pittsburgh Public Schools system had ever undergone. I was hearing from stakeholders like you, including foundation leaders and parents, that the District was stuck. And the numbers—especially as they related to African American students—reinforced what I was hearing. So, we had to do a deep dive. This analysis included 137 recommendations. Although overwhelming, we took this analysis, and we met with thousands of parents, staff, and community members to form our strategic plan, Expect Great Things. So far, 72 of the recommendations have been fully implemented. We’re not going to turn around achievement overnight, but these gains provide evidence that our strategic plan is guiding us in the right direction. I’d like you to know that my staff and I are committed to working tirelessly toward completing more

•Research shows that diversity among teachers benefits African American students. That’s why I’m proud that we’ve been able to implement a plan to recruit more minorities as PPS teachers. Starting this year, graduates of our newly developed teaching magnet program now have a guaranteed job with PPS after completing college and receiving certifications. While we’re moving full steam ahead, we must recognize that we can’t always rush progress. I still believe that the best outcome for students at Pittsburgh Milliones 6-12 is a merger with Arsenal 6-8. Our community team canvassed neighborhoods speaking to parents about their needs and concerns and an overwhelming number of parents were in support of this merger. And while I was disappointed that the board voted against this plan, I remain determined to put forth the best plans possible to benefit our children—even when it’s unpopular. Consistent nurturing, investment and leadership are the key ingredients that will get our students where we know they can be, reaching their optimal potential.

(Anthony Hamlet, Ed.D., is the superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools.)

ANTHONY HAMLET, Ed.D.: “I still believe that the best outcome for students at Pittsburgh Milliones 6-12 is a merger with Arsenal 6-8. Our community team canvassed neighborhoods speaking to parents about their needs and concerns and an overwhelming number of parents were in support of this merger. And while I was disappointed that the board voted against this plan, I remain determined to put forth the best plans possible to benefit our children—even when it’s unpopular.”

BUSINESS New Pittsburgh Courier

The census citizenship questions appears blocked, for now Marc H. Morial B6


Find what you need from jobs to cars to housing B4-B5

JULY 10-16, 2019


Beware: IRS tax scams never stop by Constant W. Watson III For New Pittsburgh Courier

BIGGER PAYCHECKS—For a growing number of American workers, the U.S. natural gas and oil industry doesn’t just mean lower bills, it means fatter paychecks. (Photo: iStockphoto)

America’s natural gas and oil industry is hiring, building diversity by Mike Sommers For New Pittsburgh Courier

The economy is booming, but that doesn’t mean it’s all Easy Street for American families. Costs for household essentials continue to rise—with expenses for healthcare up 73 percent over 10 years, education costs increasing 58 percent and food bills rising 26 percent. There’s one important exception: energy costs. Household energy expenses have dropped 10.5 percent, and Americans saved $300 billion in 2016 compared to 2010. As recently as 2011, media reports were blaring headlines like “$4 Gas Might be Here to Stay.” With the United States now leading the world in production of natural gas and oil, families are enjoying welcome savings on their utility bills and at the gas pump—savings that help them afford other priorities that keep getting pricier. For a growing number of American workers, the U.S. natural gas and oil industry doesn’t just mean lower bills,

it means fatter paychecks. A 2018 Bloomberg report called the industry “the best bet for U.S. workers” thanks to its “paycheck potency”—with salary levels that “topped all sectors, including utilities, tech and health care” in recent rankings. Non-retail station jobs in the natural gas and oil industry pay an average annual wage of over $100,000—nearly $50,000 more than the U.S. average. Studies show natural gas and oil industry workers earn more across all education levels, degree majors, gender and race/ethnicity groups, and occupation types. The diversity of career opportunities means there’s something for everyone—across a variety of fields and education levels. Geologists, engineers, rig workers, welders, electricians, communications professionals, truck drivers, environmental consultants, business analysts, computer technicians—you name it. And opportunities are growing. The industry supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs across the economy

—2.7 additional jobs for each direct natural gas and oil job. With 40 percent or more of the industry’s worker base expected to retire by 2035, there’s never been a better time to join the energy workforce. Studies project we’ll see nearly 1.9 million job opportunities over that period in the oil and natural gas and petrochemical industries—with 707,000 jobs, or 38 percent of the total, projected to be filled by African American and Hispanic workers. We consider that number a floor, not a ceiling. One of our top priorities as an industry is building a more diverse workforce, and ensuring these opportunities reach every community. One of the biggest barriers our research has identified is lack of awareness about the opportunities in our industry. We’re partnering with a number of organizations to change that. Through coordinated efforts with groups like the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Congres-

Although the April filing deadline has passed, scam artists remain hard at work. The IRS today urged taxpayers to be on the lookout for a surge of evolving phishing emails and telephone scams. The IRS is seeing signs of two new variations of tax-related scams. One involves social security numbers related to tax issues and another threatens people with a tax bill from a fictional government agency. Here are some details: •The SSN hustle: The latest twist includes scammers claiming to be able to suspend or cancel the victim’s social security number. In this variation, the social security cancellation threat scam is similar to and often associated with the IRS impersonation scam. It is yet another attempt by con artists to frighten people into returning ‘robocall’ voicemails. Scammers may mention overdue taxes in addition to threatening to cancel the person’s SSN. •Fake tax agency: This scheme involves the mailing of a letter threatening an IRS lien or levy. The lien or levy is based on bogus delinquent taxes owed to a non-existent agency: “Bureau of Tax Enforcement.” The lien notification scam also likely references the IRS to confuse potential victims into thinking the letter is from a legitimate organization. Some things to keep in mind: The IRS does not leave pre-recorded, urgent or threatening messages. In many variations of the phone scam, victims are told if they do not call back, a warrant will be issued for their arrest. Other verbal threats include law-enforcement agency intervention, deportation or revocation of licenses. Criminals can fake or “spoof ” caller ID numbers to appear to be from anywhere in the country, including an IRS office. This prevents taxpayers from being able to verify the true call number. Fraudsters also have spoofed local sheriff ’s offices, state departments of motor vehicles, federal agencies and others to convince taxpayers the call is legitimate. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. The IRS will initiate contact through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service. However, there are special circumstances when the IRS will call or come to a home or business. These visits include times when a taxpayer has an overdue tax bill, a delinquent tax return, a delinquent employment tax payment, or the IRS needs to tour a business as part of a civil investigation (such as an audit or collection case) or during criminal investigation. If a taxpayer receives an unsolicited email that appears to be from either the IRS or a program closely linked to the IRS, report it by sending it to phishing@ Find complete details at https://www.irs.goov/ privacy-disclosure/report-phising. More telltale signs of a scam; the IRS and its authorized private collection agencies will never: •Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. The IRS does not use these methods for tax payments. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes



Raised by a single mom with nine siblings, Pyles now owns 12 McDonald’s restaurants Robert Pyles, a successful entrepreneur that owns 12 McDonald’s franchises in Wisconsin, would have never thought that he would be as successful as he is now when he was a child growing up with nine siblings being raised by a single mother. But now, he is one of the largest African American employers in Wisconsin and he is using his past experiences as his motivation. Started from the bottom Pyles started in the service industry as a part-time employee at a McDonald’s in Wyoming to earn extra income while serving at the Air Force. Since then, he realized that he loved serving customers and that’s what he wanted to do He completed a McDonald’s ownership training program within two and a half years. He then took the opportunity to open a McDonald’s location in Milwaukee, as suggested by the former CEO of McDonald’s Corp., Don Thompson. He opened his first McDonald’s on February 14, 1998. He admitted that it wasn’t easy at first with all the demands of fast service. But stopping isn’t one of his options. “I told myself ‘never let ‘em see you sweat.’ I knew I had to hold true to what I believed,” he told Black Enterprise. Prepared for growth From one location, he opened another one in the next year and it continued growing over the years to up to 12 locations now. Despite that, Pyles believes that success in business isn’t measured by growth. “You must be prepared for growth and pay close attention to profitability. You can have less stores and be more profitable,” he said. “My goal wasn’t necessarily to keep adding stores. I wanted to create a training center environment to let people see that an African American operator can operate at a certain level.” With about 45 employees in each location, he employs around 600 people all

ROBERT PYLES in all. Aside from providing jobs to the community, he wanted to ease the burden of his employees in finding affordable housing near work. So he partnered with a friend who has a construction business and started Magnolia Realty, wherein they purchase foreclosed properties near his McDonald’s stores, rebuild it, and sells it to them at a reason-

able price. Inspiring others From his rough childhood as one of the nine children raised by a single mother, Pyles now lives comfortably with his wife and three children who work with him in the business. And he wants to inspire others to achieve what he has achieved as well.

“I think it’s really important to be both visible and accessible in the community,” he said. “It’s not enough for me alone to be successful. My goal is to help others get approved for McDonald’s ownership. I started with my wife because there’s no inherited ownership in the event that an owner passes away. Now I’m working on getting others approved.”



JULY 10-16, 2019

America’s natural gas and oil industry hiring


sional Hispanic Caucus Institute, National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and others, we’re working to spread the word that the industry is hiring. And we’re building. Constructing the pipelines and other infrastructure needed to keep pace with record energy production—and move affordable energy to homes and businesses—can support up to 1 million-plus jobs per year. That means construction workers, welders, pipe fitters. We partner with the National Building Trades Unions to train workers for these good jobs. The industry also needs workers with backgrounds in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. In coordination with these organizations and many more, companies sponsor and participate in job fairs, hands-on educational labs, science fairs and teacher training. As great as the opportunities are, it’s not all about the paycheck.

America’s energy professionals are part an industry that fuels the economy and powers daily life. It’s an industry of innovators—that not only leads the world in production of natural gas and oil but is developing the technologies that make our air cleaner. The United States leads the world in reduction of carbon emissions, thanks primarily to clean natural gas. Cleaner fuels and other breakthroughs have helped drive combined emissions of the primary air pollutants down 73 percent since 1970—while energy use and vehicle miles have climbed. Building a better future takes energy, and building the best workforce is essential to keep delivering energy benefits to U.S. families. Working with our partners in African American and Hispanic communities, America’s natural gas and oil industry is focused on expanding opportunities and building the diversity that will make our workforce even stronger.


Ebony, Jet fire remainder of staff, may close its doors forever

by Miana Massey

For New Pittsburgh Courier

(NNPA)—It’s official, Ebony Magazine—along with its sister publication Jet Magazine—has potentially closed its doors for good. Former employees of the company took to Twitter last week using the hashtag #EbonyOwes to air out their frustrations with the company, as it has fired all of its employees with little to no notice. According to USA Today, members of Ebony magazine’s digital team say they’ve been fired and haven’t received their final paychecks in the latest controversy to hit the struggling publication that has chronicled Black life in America for decades. Michael Gibson, co-chairman and founder of Austin, Texas-based Clear View Group, which owns Ebony, declined to comment to USA TODAY on the digital team’s dismissal, citing a “policy of not commenting on any employment practices or issues.” The Chicago Tribune pre(Mike Sommers is president viously reported how Ebony and CEO American Petroleum was being pressed by the Institute.) National Writers Union to pay more than $200,000 it alleged the magazine owed to freelance writers who contributed stories back in 2017. The drama sparked the hashtag #EbonyOwes on Twitter. According to a report on, the magazine’s previous owner, Johnson Publishing Co., filed for bankruptcy liquidation in April, which Ebo-

(EMO) purchased the media assets of JPC in 2016. Blackowned investment firm CVG Group LLC assisted in the formation of EMO,” a statement read. “EMO is unaffected by the Chapter 7 bankruptcy announcement regarding the dissolution of JPC. EMO is not able to comment further and is not familiar with the facts or events of the JPC business.” The first issue of the iconic magazine hit stands 74 years ago and took the industry by storm. Founded by John H. Johnson in November 1945, the Black-owned publication has striven always to address African American issues, personalities and interests in a positive and self-affirming manner. Timeless editions of Ebony featured (Photo: Ebony Magazine) some of the biggest stars in Black ny said would not affect its America, including issues operations. covered by Diana Ross, Sid“EBONY Media Opera- ney Poitier, as well as Prestions, LLC brands, which ident & first lady Barack & include EBONY maga- Michelle Obama. zine,, digital Despite the possibility magazine JET and  jetmag. that the world may lose com  and its related busi- this national treasure, fans nesses, have viably operated of Ebony Magazine and independently of Johnson its lasting impact believe Publishing Company dba/ it will remain a staple of Fashion Fair Cosmetics the Black community and (JPC) since Black-owned Eb- an ultimate expression of ony Media Operations, LLC Black excellence.

IRS tax scams never stop BEWARE FROM B1

taxes. All tax payments should only be made payable to the U.S. Treasury and checks should never be made payable to third parties. •Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying. •Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed. •Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone. •Use text messages or

social media to discuss personal tax issues, such as those involving bills or refunds. If you feel you are on a fraudulent IRS call: •Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately. •Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report the call. You can also use the IRS impersonation scam reporting web page: tigta/contact_report_scam. shtml •Report the caller ID and/or callback number to the IRS by sending it to (subject:

IRS Phone Scam). •Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the FTC complaint assistant at Add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes. For more information, visit the tax scams and consumer alerts page on Additional information is also available on IRS social media sites and YouTube.

(Constant W. Watson III, CPA, CTRS, is a certified public accountant and one of only ten certified tax resolution specialist in the state of Illinois certified by the ASTPS. Watson has more than 30 years of income tax and accounting experience.)

BUSINESS CALENDAR Financial Statement Workshop

JULY 18—The Duquesne University Small Business Development Center will present Get Behind the Numbers, 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., 108 Rockwell Hall, 600 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh 15282. This hands-on workshop takes a step-by-step approach to explain two important financial statements profit and loss statement and balance sheet representati e from Wilke & Associates, CPAs will offer clear examples for using these statements to make informed decisions, identify potential problems within your business and set realistic financial goals ost or more information, call

Training Event

JULY 23—The Duquesne University Small Business Development Center will present First Step: Business Essentials, 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., 108 Rockwell Hall, 600 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh 15282. The start-up essentials workshop covers the following topics: Business Structure and Formation; Fictitious Name Registration; Employee Issues; Insurance; Government Procurement; Environmental Concerns; Financing Options; Taxation Requirements; and, Major Components of the Business lan ost or more information, call

Meet The Primes event

JULY 25—The African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania will host a net or ing meet and greet ith all the prime contractors or ing on the billion redesign and expansion of the Pittsburgh International Airport, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Koppers uilding onference enter, Se enth e ittsburgh, epresentati es from acobs Engineering, P.J. Dick, Michael Baker International, AECOM, and Turner Construction will attend S by uly ost for members, for non members all for more information.

Chatham Workshop

AUG. 10—Chatham’s Women Business Center in partnership with SCORE Pittsburgh will present a Build Your Business Workshop for women interested in starting or expanding their business, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Eastside Campus, 6585 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh 15206. Business experts and seasoned entrepreneurs will discuss the following topics: business planning, mar eting and sales, financing, legal issues and business lessons learned continental brea fast ill be pro ided ost or more information, call nne lynn Schlicht at

Training Program

AUG. 21 through SEPT. 25—The Chatham Women’s Business Center will offer “Concept to Launch” a six-week entrepreneurial training program for women in the early stages of starting a business, on six consecutive Wednesdays, 6 to 8 p.m., at Chatham Eastside, 6585 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh 15206. Classes focus on: Developing a business concept; identifying target customers and mar ets mar eting strategies, basic financials and more ost for all classes is , but a limited number of need base scholarships are a ailable through a partnership ith ridge ay apital or more information, contact nne lynn Schlicht at



JULY 10-16, 2019


Trump did the right thing

Guest Editorial

Democrats have serious decisions to make—and soon If you watched the recent Democratic debates, you now know as much as we do about the 20 featured contenders all vying to take on Donald Trump in next year’s general election —very little given the time allotted for each candidate on stages that included far too many individuals. And while several hopefuls, including Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Julian Castro, Pete Buttigieg and Cory Booker, may have left their mark on voters, joining the top two contenders, based on polls prior to the debates, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, the race will continue for more than year before we know who Democrats will choose during their convention to take on Trump. Rather than debunking the criticisms and evaluations of political pundits who spewed their assessments incessantly on talk shows and news reports both before and certainly after the two days of debates, we encourage readers to take a few simple actions. First, think about what matters most to you as an American citizen and evaluate what shortcomings, if any, the current president has in terms of representing your specific needs. Second, refrain from getting bogged down in the notion of “electability”—code for ongoing efforts by the Democratic Party to promote a moderate candidate who they allege has a better chance of speaking to their base and beating Trump. Of course, let us not forget that Trump himself entered the political sphere and remains, without remorse, far removed from the vanguard of the Republican Party and the tenets to which they hold so firmly. Finally, and we hope most important, make sure you’re registered to vote and do your own homework and research about the candidates. Twitter, Instagram and other means of social media may yield today’s trending thoughts and observations about the presidential hopefuls but nothing can replace the results of individual, carefully-calculated study. One more recommendation: We implore our readers to refrain from staying home on Election Day with the excuse that “your candidate” did not make it to the “big dance.” If the current president’s policies, procedures and demeanor do not resonate with yours, then you must do your duty as an American citizen and cast your vote for his opponent—whether that person be male, female, Black or White. Voter oppression aside, we still possess certain unalienable rights in this country. Let us not shy away from exercising our right to vote—one of the most essential elements of our democracy. (Reprinted from the Washington Informer)

Rod Doss Editor & Publisher Stephan A. Broadus Assistant to the Publisher Allison Palm

Rob Taylor Jr.

Jeff Marion

Office Manager

Managing Editor

Circulation Consultant

John. H. Sengstacke

Jesse Jackson Sr.

Commentary Trump’s campaign promise to get us out of “stupid wars.” As president, he repeatedly says that “great powers don’t fight wars without end,” and boasts he’s getting the troops out. In fact, however, the war in Afghanistan goes on, the troops are still in Syria and Iraq, Trump vetoed the congressional effort to end our role in the Saudi attack on Yemen, and he’s been ratcheting up pressure and sanctions on Iran from the beginning of his administration. When the Iranians shot down a U.S. drone, the hawks had exactly the provocation they wanted to begin bombing. Trump initially agreed, but then reversed himself, allegedly because he thought a bombing strike that might kill hundreds of Iranians was “disproportionate.” Hopefully, it was also because he remembered his campaign promise, and his sensible instinct that beginning another war in the Middle East would be catastrophic. Trump has targeted immigrants from the beginning of his campaign, libeling those seeking asylum, implementing truly grotesque policies that rip children from their parents and cage them in unspeakable conditions. He vetoed the bipartisan

immigration reform that Congress passed. Now he is ratcheting up the rhetoric for election purposes. When White House advisers like Stephen Miller reportedly pushed for mass deportations, the president suddenly announced they would begin, and then just as suddenly agreed to postpone them. He may have postponed them simply because the bureaucracy wasn’t ready to act. In any case, the decision was the right one. The face-off with Iran continues. The White House announced it has launched a cyber-attack, will continue to punish Iranians with economic sanctions and is considering various covert ways to strike Iran. The conflict will escalate unless Trump follows the decision not to bomb with a clear plan of action that deescalates the tension and finds a way back to the negotiating table. On the border, Trump only postponed the threat of mass deportations. He clearly wants to make immigrants a target once more in his re-election campaign. What would make sense is to convene the governments of our neighbors to the south and create a multilateral plan for humanitarian relief and economic development that would alleviate the desperation that forces families to leave their villages and come north. Without comprehensive immigration reform, Trump’s sudden act of common sense will soon be forgotten. In both cases, Trump’s policies are likely to make things worse rather than better. But at least, in this instance, he chose not to follow the ruinous advice of his aides and supporters. At least that is encouraging.

Can you believe it? (—Can you believe #45 who went to the White House with the help of Russians stood before the world and bragged about Frederick Douglas with no recognition of why Douglass didn’t celebrate the 4th of July? He bragged about Harriet Tubman—a woman he refuses to place on the $20.00 bill simply because President Obama set it up. Does he know the student protesters who sat in at the Woolworth counter in North Carolina were not bragging about how great America is? As he put on his expensive show, I wonder if he thought about the men in New York that he declared were guilty, but still hasn’t said he was sorry or wrong. Do you think they were celebrating with Trump about the wonders of America’s justice system? He had the unmitigated gall to brag about women gaining the right to vote and about the Civil Rights Movement. Women are still trying to get an Equal Rights Amendment and daily we work to save the rights our ancestors often died to gain. Many of the things he uttered are things his party and he are trying to destroy. Children at the border are crying out to be treated like human beings, and he never mentioned their plight that “only he can change” but doesn’t. All he has to say about the family separation and squalid conditions in which they live is they should’ve stayed where they came from. Forget

Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.


Structural improvement plan? Where are his aspirational words for the future of all Americans? He read from a teleprompter words someone wrote for him without even recognizing the errors. We could’ve read what he said much faster because we wouldn’t have had to constantly stop and applaud ourselves. Who brags about war and destruction? This wasn’t a day celebrating our military. We do that on Veterans’ Day because all of us have had kin who fought and died in America’s wars. This was an occasion to soothe his fragile ego. It was a waste of taxpayers’ money. We gained nothing from a flyover where most of us were indoors avoiding the rain. Those of us who live in the District of Columbia just had more of our tax dollars spent to make him feel like his “strongman” buddies Putin, Kim Jong-Un and others. His salute wasn’t for the masses. Most of what he talked about we learned in our history classes in grade school. He claims the generals are his while he was a draft dodger who now pretends he loves the military! There comes a time when you just can’t take it anymore. Come on people, Congress and Courts. Do something.

about America’s welcoming words of “Give me your tired, your poor….” Did he even notice only a handful of people of color were there in his cheering squad? He only invited special friends and donors. We do not even matter, but we knew that before he read his often-erroneous lines. Like slaveowners, lynch mobs and other racists he did nothing to make us feel better or believe he had anything in mind to improve our lives. Obviously, he’s never read Frederick Douglass’ “What to the Slave is the 4th of July?” What Douglass said long ago still has meaning to this day. Trump was okay having people he invited to make him look good sitting in the rain while he bragged about things somebody wrote for him and that he showed no understanding of what he was saying. He said there’s nothing America cannot do, so what is he waiting for? (Dr. E. Faye Williams is national president Where’s his health care plan for all? Decent home for all? Livable wage of the National Congress of Black Women plan for all? Climate change plan? (

Open Letter To The Community

My version of a County Citizens Police Review Board The proposal DeWitt Walton will present concerning a countywide civilian police review board (CPRB) DOES NOT make police departments accountable for their actions, they can opt-out! I have created a CPRB proposal that makes the state Attorney General, Allegheny County District Attorney and the Allegheny County Sheriff have a member while three civilians and one civilian chairman will vote to make the CPRB investigate police conduct. Contact Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Allegheny County Council President John DeFazio to put my CPRB proposal on the November ballot. They WILL NOT! Not one White politician will support my CPRB plan. Who am I? I made Pittsburgh Councilman Alan Hertzberg change his po-

sition and create the Pittsburgh citizens police review board! We have to produce 30,000 signatures on petitions to put my CPRB proposal on the November ballot by August 6! I am begging the African American pastors to get their congregations throughout the whole county to sign the petitions. My proposal will be the example for citizens police review boards across the country! My proposal is below: •The Pennsylvania State Attorney General has jurisdiction over all local police departments throughout the commonwealth. •The Allegheny County District Attorney has jurisdiction over all local police departments throughout the county.

•The Allegheny County Sheriff has jurisdiction over all local police departments throughout the county. •They each have one representative on the Board along with three citizens and one citizen chairman. •A 12-member Volunteer Advisory Committee with eight citizen community members with four law enforcement appointees. This committee gets to be involved and makes decisions. •The already-established Pittsburgh Citizens Police Review Board will expand with investigations and subpoena powers and the new County Board will be able to prosecute any criminal activity by law enforcement. •The Pittsburgh Police will be under the new County Board. Harry Liller Mount Washington

Letters to the editor for publication

Founded 1910

Editor & Publisher Emeritus (1912-1997)

(—In the last week, President Donald Trump suddenly reversed two major decisions. He announced he would not begin mass deportations of those who are living in the country illegally, which he previously threatened to do, and he pulled the plug on a bombing attack on Iran, even as the military jets were on the runway. The reversals stunned aides and allies alike. In both cases, Trump disappointed hawkish advisers and zealous supporters who had urged him to act. In both cases, Trump did the right thing. It’s easy to be skeptical or dismissive about Trump’s flipflops. In both cases, he defused crises of his own making. In both, he avoided what would have been a humanitarian horror. In both, the impulsiveness of the threatened action was matched by the suddenness of the reversal. In both, the reversals may only be a temporary attack of sanity. Critics argue that Trump’s reversals undermine his credibility and sap American authority. Cynics discount the decisions, saying even a broken clock gets the time right twice a day. All that may be true, but it is worth thanking Trump when he makes the right choice. On Iran, he is surrounded by advisers—like National Security Adviser John Bolton—eager to ratchet up the crisis. Even his former secretary of defense, James “Mad Dog” Mattis, was an advocate of taking on Iran. The socalled “adults in the room”—the folks said to be reining in an impulsive and uninformed president—would have pushed us into another war. Attacking Iran would have violated

The New Pittsburgh Courier welcomes all responsible viewpoints for publication. All letters should be type ritten and contain riter s address and phone number for erification ll letters will be edited for clarity and length. Address all letters to: Letters to the Editor New Pittsburgh Courier 315 East Carson Street Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219 You may fax your letter to 412-481-1360, or via e-mail to

CLASSIFIED New Pittsburgh Courier


JULY 10-16, 2019



Help Wanted

Help Wanted



The Nutrition Group is hiring Food Service Workers at St. Benedict the Moor School to work in the cafeteria/kitchen. Part time, Mon-Fri 7:00 am to 1:00 pm. $10.50/hr. No nights or weekends! Must be able to successfully pass background check and obtain clearances. Apply at Filter “St. Benedict” or call 724-420-0766 for details. EEO/AA compliant.


oo ing for a dynamic and ualified person to lead our di erse and multicultural choir. Person must possess the skills and ability to direct members of the former Heritage, Gospel and Traditional choirs. These choirs were recently brought together to form the St. Benedict the Moor Choir. Applicants should send their resumes along with any questions about the position to cagoetz@


Port Authority is seeking a Transportation Technology Analyst to provide day-to-day support of Transportation Technology systems and services from a device and software level, focusing on data management, data integrity, reporting, system integrations, and customer support; including training and usage assistance. Primary support will be for the Transportation Technology software systems and services, with cross-support for other related applications also included. Works with Authority and vendor personnel to identify any technology or data-centric related issues with the systems and services and then follows through until conclusion. Works with data within systems to ensure integrity; building reports and data visualizations for effective understanding and presentation of information. Provides training support and assistance in the design of documentation. Essential Functions: •Serve as technical analyst supporting systems, services, and software of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), including onboard tracking systems, electronic ayfinding signage, ehicle headsigns, Transit Signal Priority (TSP), Scheduling software, Maintenance and Operations management. •Support data management of ITS applications, including integrity, entry, and import/export. •Serve as data-centric support for reports, information sharing, and data visualization. Job requirements include: •Two-year technical school/Associate Degree in Information Science, usiness or technology related field from an accredited school –or•BS Degree in Information Science, Data Analytics, Business or a technology related field from an accredited school. elated e perience may be substituted for the education on a yearfor-year basis. •Strong analytical and problem solving skills. •Exemplary attention to detail. •Experience with complex deployments of enterprise-level applications, especially within the transportation industry. •Experience working with multiple interrelated applications concurrently. •Proven experience managing data, especially in ensuring integrity. •Knowledgeable in reporting software. •Ability to quickly understand, retain and apply large amounts of new information. •Ability to work in a fast paced, dynamic environment. •Great organizational skills. •Experience in monitoring and adhering to procedures and policies. •Excellent verbal communication skills with the ability to present information in a clear and concise manner. •Excellent customer service and problem resolution skills. •Professional and effective communication skills. bility to be e ible and adapt to change. Preferred attributes: •Aptitude in collating data and providing information in concise and useful manner.

We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits pac age nterested candidates should forward a cover letter (with salary requirements) and resume to: Jennifer Turner Employment Department 345 Sixth Avenue, 3rd Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2527 EOE

To place a display ad in the New Pittsburgh Courier call 412-481-8302 ext. 128 or 129


eads public in ol ement acti ities in the regional transportation planning process. Experience in regional planning, public involvement/ affairs, meeting/group discussion facilitation. Valid PA driver’s license required. See detailed job description at EEO/ AA/M/F/VET/Disability Employer

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RENTAL SERVICE Furnished Rooms

FURNISHED ROOM with all amenities conveniently located in the Hill District. James (412) 924-8678. ANNOUNCEMENTS Public Notice


The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) is a participant in the federal Moving to Work Demonstration Program (MTW). HACP is proposing to amend our 2019 Draft Annual Plan in order to add the new development proposed by the Oak Hill master developer, Beacon Corcoran Jennison, known as Brackenridge. The Brackenridge development is proposed to be a subphase of Oak Hill Phase II and consist of the new construction of approximately 140 market-rate rental units. This development will be located on approximately 3.298 acres of vacant land within the Oak Hill community. HACP intends to to submit a disposition application to U.S. Housing and Urban Development in 2019 to convey the site to Beacon Corcoran ennison, or its affiliate entity, to complete the Brackenridge development. HACP is requesting an amendment to its draft 2019 Moving To Work Annual Plan to include the Brackenridge Project. The amendment to the draft 2019 Moving to Work Annual Plan will be available for review from June 30 to July 30, 2019, at the HACP ecuti e ffice, oss Street, 9th Floor, Pittsburgh, PA, 15219; the HACP website; and at anagement ffices. Copies of the amendment to the draft annual plan may also be obtained by contacting the HACP ecuti e ffice at Written comments on the amendment to the 2019 Draft Annual Plan must be addressed to MTW Annual Plan Comments at the address above and via email comments can be emailed to publiccomment@, must be received by close of business (5:00 p.m.) on July 30, 2019. Public hearings to receive comments on the Plan will be held on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, 12:00 p m and at p m at oss St , th oor onference oom Persons with disabilities requiring assistance or alternative formats, or wishing to submit comments in alternative formats, can contact the HACP ADA/504 Coordinator at 412-456-5020, Extension 2504; TTY 412-201-5384. HACP conducts business in accordance with all federal, state, and local civil rights laws, including but not limited to Title VII, the Fair Housing ct, Section of the ehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, The PA Human elations ct, etc and does not discriminate against any individuals protected by these statutes.

Estate of RUTH C. SHEA, Deceased, of Bethel Park, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania No. 02-19-03957 Susan A. Stefko, Executor, 1542 Amelia Avenue, South Park, PA 15129 or to ubrey lo er, tty , , ashington enue, Bridgeville, PA 15017 Estate of ELIZABETH JANE WILLIAMS a/k/a ELIZABETH J. WILLIAMS, Deceased of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania No. 02-19-04073. Jo-Ann Williams, Executor, 1522 Woodburne Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA or to , tty , , , ashington enue, Bridgeville, PA 15017.


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Legal Notices

Legal Notices



July 10, 2019 City of Pittsburgh ffice of anagement and udget oss Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-255-2211 These notices shall satisfy two separate but related procedural requirements for activities to be undertaken by the City of Pittsburgh. REQUEST FOR RELEASE OF FUNDS On or about July 26, 2019 the City of Pittsburgh (“City”) will submit a request to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) for the release of Community Development Block Grant funds under Title 1 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, to underta e the follo ing pro ects no n as ompliance , , amp and ublic Side al , , omplete Streets , , , Step epair and eplacement , , emolition of ondemned uildings , , acility mpro ements ecreation and Senior enters , , ar econstruction , , lay rea mpro ements , , rban ede elopment uthority hoice eighborhood arimer , , , rban ede elopment uthority e Substantially eno ated ental nits eeloped , , rban ede elopment uthority e Substantially reno ated for sale housing units de eloped , , rban ede elopment uthority cre ar , , rban ede elopment uthority conomic e elopment ousing , , for the purpose of impro ing infrastructure, public facilities and services for low-moderate income City of Pittsburgh residents. FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT The City of Pittsburgh has determined that the project will have no significant impact on the human en ironment herefore, an n ironmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) is not required. Additional project information is contained in the n ironmental e ie ecord on file at ity of ittsburgh oss Street, Suite 201, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 and may be examined or copied weekdays from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. S ny indi idual, group, or agency may submit ritten comments on the to: Gerald Cafardi City of Pittsburgh, 200 Ross Street, Suite 201 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-255-2162 All comments received by July 25, 2019, will be considered by the City of Pittsburgh prior to authorizing submission of a request for release of funds. Comments should specify which Notice they are addressing. ENVIRONMENTAL CERTIFICATION he ity of ittsburgh certifies to that illiam eduto in his capacity as Mayor, City of Pittsburgh, consents to accept the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts if an action is brought to enforce responsibilities in relation to the environmental review process and that these responsibilities have been satisfied s appro al of the certification satisfies its responsibilities under NEPA and related laws and authorities and allows the City of Pittsburgh to use program funds. OBJECTIONS TO RELEASE OF FUNDS HUD will accept objections to its release of funds and the City of Pittsburgh’s certification for a period of fifteen days follo ing the anticipated submission date or its actual receipt of the request (whichever is later) only if they are on one of the follo ing bases a the certification as not e ecuted by the ertifying fficer of the ity of ittsburgh b the ity of ittsburgh has omitted a step or failed to ma e a decision or finding re uired by regulations at part c the grant recipient or other participants in the development process have committed funds, incurred costs or undertaken acti ities not authori ed by art before appro al of a release of funds by or d another ederal agency acting pursuant to art has submitted a ritten finding that the pro ect is unsatisfactory from the standpoint of environmental quality. Objections must be prepared and submitted in accordance ith the re uired procedures art 58, Sec. 58.76) and shall be addressed to: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Planning and Development Division The Moorhead Federal Building iberty e th oor Pittsburgh, PA 15222 Potential objectors should contact HUD to verify the actual last day of the objection period. WILLIAM PEDUTO Mayor City of Pittsburgh LEGAL ADVERTISING


Legal Notices




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Estate of MR. STEPHEN GALISIN, Deceased of 1641 Glenbrook Avenue, Moon Township, PA 15108. Estate No. 02-19-04065. Mr. Stephen G. Galisin, 1641 Glenbrook Avenue, Moon Township, PA 15108, Executor, c/o Max eldman, s uire and the a ffices of Max C. Feldman, 1322 Fifth Avenue, Coraopolis, PA 15108. Estate of THOMAS WILLIAM LUCCHINO, a/k/a THOMAS W. LUCCHINO, late of obinson Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Allegheny County Estate No. 021904247. otice is hereby gi en that etters of dministration on the above Estate has been granted to the undersigned at probate number 021904247, to whom all persons indebted to said Estate are requested to make immediate payment, and those having claims or demands against the same will make them known without delay to the undersigned or their attorney ndre ucchino, r , dministrator, alley ie ri e, a rence, or to obert inpins i, ttorney, 200 N. Jefferson Street, Kittanning, PA 16201.


he Sports hibition uthority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County (SEA) will receive proposals for Annual Inspections of Heinz Field, PNC Park, and PPG Paints Arena. The contracts for this work will be ith the S he e uest for roposals may be obtained after the date identified belo from ill illiams, email: bwilliams@pgh-sea. com, Telephone: (412) 325-3003. Project: Annual Inspections of Heinz Field, PNC Park, and PPG Paints Arena ailable uly , Pre-Proposal Meeting: 2:00 p.m. July 19, 2019 (non-mandatory) Sports hibition uthority office, 171 10th Street, Second Floor,Pittsburgh, PA 15222 ime ate ocation for roposal Submittal: 2:00 p.m. August 23, , Sports hibition uthority, 171 10th Street, Second Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222



he Sports hibition uthority (SEA) will receive proposals for eal state ro erage Ser ices The agreement for this work will be ith the S he e uest for Proposals may be obtained after the date identified belo from r ifat ureshi, irector of conomic Development at: e-mail: rqureshi@, telephone: 412-3937108. Project eal state ro erage Services RFP Available July 5, 2019 Non Mandatory Pre-proposal Meeting Thursday, July 11, 2019, at S ffices, arge onference oom Date / Location for Proposals 2:00 PM; Thu., July 25, 2019 SEA, 171 10th Street, 2nd Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15222


Sealed proposals shall be deposited at the Administration Building, oom , South ellefield Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15213, on July 16, 2019, until 2:00 P.M., local prevailing time for: Pittsburgh Carmalt PreK-8 hiller eplacement Mechanical, Electrical and Asbestos Abatement Primes Project Manual and Drawings will be available for purchase on June , at odern eproductions (412-488-7700), 127 McKean Street, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15219 between 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. The cost of the Project Manual Documents is non-refundable. Project details and dates are described in the project manual.


The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) hereby request proposals from ualified irms or Individuals capable of providing the following service(s): VENDING SERVICES AUTHORITY WIDE RFP #800-22-19 The documents will be available no later than July 8, 2019 and signed, sealed proposals will be accepted until 10:00 a.m. on July 26, 2019 at which time they will be Time and ate Stamped at oss Street 2nd Floor, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Parties or individuals interested in responding may download a copy of the Solicitation from the Business Opportunities page of www. uestions or in uiries should be directed to: Mr. Kim Detrick Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Procurement Department 100 Ross Street 2nd Floor, Suite 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-456-5116 Opt 1 A pre-submission meeting will be held: Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Procurement Dept. 100 Ross Street 2nd. Fl. Ste. 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 July 18, 2019 10:00 A.M. The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh strongly encourages certified minority business enterprises and women business enterprises to respond to this solicitation. HACP’s has revised their website. As part of those revisions, vendors must now register and log-in, in order to view and download IFB/RFPs documentation. Caster D. Binion, Executive Director Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh HACP conducts business in accordance with all federal, state, and local civil rights laws, including but not limited to Title VII, the Fair Housing Act, Section of the ehabilitation ct of , the Americans with Disabilities Act, The uman elations ct, etc and does not discriminate against any individuals protected by these statutes.





Sealed Bids will be received by the Township of Upper St. Clair, 1820 McLaughlin Run Road, Upper St. Clair, PA 15241, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania until 9:00 A.M., Tuesday, August 6, 2019, and the Bids will be publicly opened and read thereafter in the Training Room in the Township Building at the same address for the following: STORM SEWER VIDEO INSPECTION Please refer to Business/Procurement & Bid Information, for details regarding specifications and Bidding requirements. /s/ Matthew R. Serakowski Township Manager


Sealed proposals will be received Friday, July 19, 2019 until 10:00 a.m. by the Town of McCandless at the office of the Superintendent of Public Works, 9957 Grubbs Road, Wexford, PA 15090, and will be publicly opened and read at 10:00 a.m. at the Town of McCandless, Department of Public Works for the REHABILITATION, PAVING, COLOR COATING AND FENCING OF THREE (3) TENNIS COURTS and ONE (1) BASKETBALL COURT at Devlin Memorial Park. Specifications may be obtained at the office of the Superintendent of Public Works. The Town reserves the right to reject any and all bids or any part thereof. Mark E. Sabina Superintendent Department of Public Works


JULY 10-16, 2019



To place a display ad in the New Pittsburgh Courier call 412-481-8302 ext. 128 or 129

‘Almost’ Showtime is back! But the Clippers upgraded, too! :10—Let’s not get it twisted. You’re gonna have a real hard time even thinking about any comparison of any team today to the original “Showtime” team that featured Kareem, Magic, James Worthy, Byron Scott, A.C. Green, Michael Cooper, Jamaal Wilkes and Kurt Rambis. But what the legendary NBA organization Lakers are putting together is moving in the right direction. So much so, that Vegas already has them 50/50 to win the West with the Clippers. :09—So here’s how the West shapes up. Lakers—already with LeBron…still the best player in the game bar-none. Nevermind the craziness about Leonard and Durant, now joined by Anthony Davis, a resigned Rajon Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins, Danny Green and another superstar to come! By now you know that Kawhi Leonard and Paul George signed with the Clippers. Couple them with Montrezl Harrell, Landry Shamet and Patrick Beverley along with future Hall of Fame Coach “Doc” Rivers and the heat in L.A. got turned up real high. :08—The rest of the West remains interesting at best. Houston with ball-hog James Harden…just ask Chris Paul… and Eric Gordon keeps them an exciting team at best. OKC without Paul George is only a Russell Westbrook funny clothes wearing show, be mindful and


Bill Neal know this to be truth. Golden State is not done, and they will challenge; Minnesota—no. Phoenix Suns—no. Denver—no. And New Orleans with the Zion Williamson show will not live up to the billing. Mark my word. :07—The NBA East is a bit of a toss-up. Of course, Toronto won’t be winning anything but free wings at the local KFC now that Leonard and Green are gone. I have zero clue why Jimmy Butler left the 76ers for Miami and the Heat unless of course it was for the heat on the beach. The Atlanta Hawks will continue to be the maybe team and the place where they make movies; Boston…Indiana…in a good place but, as of now, not a place to win gold. Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit are just picking up paychecks. And, if you’re one of those people that really think that the additions of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are going to take the Brooklyn Nets to the

promised land, are overdoing your meds. We’re talking two years, maybe three before that dream comes true. The Knicks? Well, they’re still in New York! :06—The most important sports event in the world at this moment is the USA women’s soccer bringing home the gold in good ole USA—abusive, dominating and supreme confident fashion. Now everybody connected with this global power…pay these women what they’re due!!!. :05—Shout out to my man Greg down at the Kingsley Center. A hard-working brother that has game. He’s a big-time reader and that puts him in “The Locker Room.” Welcome aboard my brother and please keep reading. :04—Speaking of Greg…and I just was. He wanted to know the greatest basketball players in City League history. Here’s my top 15, but I could be wrong! #1. Kenny Durrett. #2. Ricky Cole-

man. #3. Robert “Jeep” Kelly. #4. Sam Clancy. #5. Maurice Lucas. #6. DeJuan Blair. #7. Larry Richardson. #8. Pete Gibson. #9. Larry Anderson (UNLV). #10. Kirk Bruce. #11. Maurice Stokes. #12. Clarence Hopson. #13. Ron Carter . #14. Darelle Porter. #15. DeAndre Kane. Text me your top 15, at 412-628-4856. :03—Here’s all you need to know about the Pirates. Number one—Kevin Cameron…the man that said he would not go to a Pirate game again until the team was sold, was spotted at a game recently…“What the What!” And the second thing is this—as much as we hate to admit the Bucs are in the thick of it, beating up on the Cubs and Brewers like Forty Going North! And here at the AllStar Break, the Pirates are just 2.5 games back of the first-place Cubs! :02—If you like basketball, and I know you do, you need to get your “too old to play butt” up to Ammons Rec Center in the Hill and watch the future stars; and take a few dollars with you so you can donate to the program. Darelle Porter and Dr./Coach Karen Hall have brought Ozanam all the way back. Call Ammons for game times. :01—As always and forever, the most important thing in life for you to do is to vote…and vote Donald Trump out!!! :00—GAME OVER.

The Pirates are blessed—and lucky Just 2.5 games out of first place in the loaded NL Central From opening day until the All-Star Break, the Pittsburgh Pirates have experienced injuries from almost every position with the exception of the batboy and the Pirate Parrot. And you know what? As of July 7, the Bucs were only 2.5 games out of first place in the NL Central. Compare that with the AL East cellar-dwelling Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles were 30 games behind the division-leading Yankees. Did I say 30 games behind? Stop the presses, that must be a misprint. Baltimore has to be playing a few little leaguers

here and there. There have been many complaints about the Pirates’ roster having little or no depth, being forced to bring up some of their minor league prospects before they are ready, but whoever Pirates manager Clint Hurdle decides to play, I can safely say that no Clint Hurdle team will be 30 games out of first place unless they forfeit a few games along the way. Hurdle has told the world that: “I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord at the age of 17 and recommitted to Jesus at age 40, (and) in between

Inside Conditions

Aubrey Bruce was an obstacle course.” I truly believe that Hurdle has found a formula as a manager along with his faith to help navigate him through the everyday obstacles of managing a professional baseball team and that formula may be this; work and play hard and pray harder. I am convinced that with the obstacles and injuries that Hurdle and his team have faced so far

in the 2019 season that Hurdle has God’s cell phone number—if not, at the very least, he has God’s private extension. There is just no other way to look at it. There is an old gospel hymn titled; “Have a little talk with Jesus.” Well, well, Hurdle must be blowin’ up God’s phone so much that the “big guy in the sky” has to call his service provider with instruc-

tions regarding call block. First and foremost, for the entire 2018 season, Pirates first baseman Josh Bell had 121 hits, 31 doubles, 12, home runs and 62 RBI. In 2019 Bell already has 102 hits, 30 doubles, 3 triples, 27 homeruns and 84 RBI before the All-Star Break. This huge production increase came from a player in 2018 that many pundits and fans alike had labeled as “lazy and overrated.” The only danger now seems to be how long it will be because of Bell’s new value before he is shipped off to a team unknown for cash and/or a player or players to be named later. There goes Clint Hurdle chattin’ with the “big cheese” again. The Pirates are blessed and lucky. They are blessed

that a lot of the dominoes are falling their way, in spite of the untimely injuries and until recently with the exception of lights-out closer Felipe Vazquez, (a two time All-Star) the Pirates have had for the most part an ineffective and unproductive bullpen. They are lucky that the NL Central has equipoise regardless of the economic imbalance between the division’s so-called “top tier” teams and the supposed “bottom feeders.” The Pirates’ division is so balanced that the lastplace Cincinnati Reds are just 4.5 games out of the top spot. To say that the division is up for grabs is at the very least a gross understatement. Again, remember, play hard and pray harder.

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JULY 10-16, 2019

Running for exposure (—Twenty-four people are running for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. From where I sit, at least half of them are only running for exposure, for the Vice-Presidential nod, for Cabinet secretary, to push a platform, or to simply be seen. Their ambitions have made the process turgid and impractical, often amusing and only sometimes illuminating. The candidates do best when they have time to expound on their ideas, as they did at Rev. William Barber’s Poor People’s Congress on June 17, or at Rev. Jesse Jackson’s National Rainbow Coalition International Convention June 28-July 2. Barber’s meeting drew nine candidates, each who had the opportunity to give a four-minute speech and 26 minutes of questioning from Rev. Barber. The Rainbow PUSH gathering drew seven candidates who had about 15 minutes to address those assembled. Vice-President Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Mayors Bill Di Blasio and Pete Buttigieg had press conferences with Rev. Jackson. Senators Harris and Booker did not attend Rev. Jackson’s meeting, although Harris did get to Rev. Barber’s and pledged to support a debate dedicated to poverty issues. With a crowded field and calendar, it is clear that everybody can’t be everywhere, but I’d like the two African American Senators to explain why they snubbed Rev Jackson, a leader who provided the very foundation for them to run for office. Memo to Andrew Yang, Marianne Williamson, Montana Governor Steve Bullock, Miramar, FL Mayor Wayne Messam, and a few others, what are you running for, really? You’ve got ideas—doesn’t everybody?

Julianne Malveaux

Commentary But you have about as good a chance of being President as the proverbial snowball has a chance of surviving Hades. You’ve raised a little money, and you’ve got a skeleton staff. Why not sit home and write opeds about your good ideas? Somebody will publish them. Memo to California Congressman Eric Swalwell—age baiting is neither thoughtful nor cute.   It’s fine to tell Vice-President Joe Biden to “pass the torch” once, but to say it more than once seems like badgering and makes you look like a junior high school heckler. Biden should have come back at you for hedging your bets. You told the San Francisco Chronicle that, while you are running for President, you haven’t closed the door on keeping your congressional seat. You have until December to decide, you say. Do us all a favor. Decide now! Memo to Beto O’Rourke. Just like the South lost the Civil War, you lost the Senate race in 2018. Losing a statewide competition is hardly the foundation for a successful Presidential run. You were a nondescript Congressman that sponsored little legislation, a Democratic sensation mainly because you came close to toppling the odious Senator Cruz. But what do you stand for other than White male exuberance, jumping up on tables with the wild hand gestures? Run for Senate in Texas again. Maybe you’d win and really make a difference! Memo to Julian Castro. Don’t patronize your own community by speaking Spanish poorly. I think Latino people care more about your policy positions than your Spanish language ability. Good move in going after Beto O’Rourke in the debates on immigration issues. Wrong move in missing the Poor People’s Congress after confirming that you’d be there. Memo to Vice President Biden. You’re better than your act, better than your debate performance, better than your wandering, long-winded speeches. I know you’ve been doing you for a long time, and the wordy gaffes seem to work for you. Actually, they don’t. There’s nothing wrong with saying you made a mistake, nothing wrong with apologizing to Anita Hill, which you haven’t done yet, nothing wrong with talking about busing unapologetically. If you don’t get your act together, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are going to make mincemeat out of you. It’s only July, seven long months before the Feb. 3, 2020, Iowa caucuses. Only July, eight months before the delegate-rich Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020, when at least 15 states, including Texas and California, will hold primaries, and 1321 Democratic delegates will be up for grabs. It’s the beginning of July, and by month’s end, there will be yet another debate with 20 people on the stage in two clumps. We won’t learn much at these debates, because they are less debate than guided conversation with interruptions and outbursts. What we must know, even at this point in July, is that all 24 candidates aren’t running for President. At least half of them are simply running for exposure, and most of the nation is not paying attention. Can you name all 24 candidates without the use of Google? Probably not. I got to 21 before I had to check. I left out Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton, former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel, and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock. They’ve made quite an impression! Running for exposure is a costly venture and a Constitutionally guaranteed right. I’m not so sure it’s a good idea, at least where some of these candidates are concerned. (Julianne Malveaux is an author and economist.)



Is demanding reparations like saying Marc H. Morial Blacks are still disenfranchised? To Be Equal

Voltaire said, “If Programs launched you wish to converse J. Pharoah Doss under President Lynwith me, define your don Johnson, whose terms.” Once I constated goals were to versed with a Black eliminate poverty man who told me and racial injustice, Black people are still along with Affirmadisenfranchised. tive Action policies, I asked him to dewere reparation payfine disenfranchised. ments for Jim Crow. He said it meant McWhorter also Black people were explained between denied the opportunity to establish busi- 1989, when H.R. 40 was first introduced ness franchises. I told him it meant to to Congress, and 2000, when Randall deprive someone of the right to vote. He Robinson’s book— “The Debt: What asked me, according to whom? I said the America Owes Blacks”—was published, dictionary. He told me he wasn’t enslaved all discussions about reparations cenby White dictionary definitions. tered around payments for slavery. Then True story. in 2014 Ta-Nehisi Coates published an Now, here’s a dictionary definition of essay in The Atlantic called: The Case for reparations: Reparations. Coates dealt with slavery 1: The act or process of mending or re- and Jim Crow but added racist housing storing policies—redlining—to the discussion. 2: The act of making amends or giving Coates claimed these policies preventsatisfaction for a wrong or injury ed Blacks from creating generational 3. Compensation in money or materials, wealth. The redlining argument shifted payable by a defeated nation the emphasis from “reparations for slavIt appears the term has been defined. ery” to reparations to replace what could But on an episode of Black and Intellec- have been inherited if racist housing poltual—in April 2019, the host made this icies didn’t exist. preliminary statement to popular Black At the Juneteenth House Hearing on progressive Benjamin Dixon, “People Reparations Coates told Congress the seem to have a problem defining repara- real dilemma posed by reparations is a tions, some people want to regulate it to dilemma of inheritance. Coates reminded slavery, some people want to isolate it to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConbeing about this or that.” Then Dixon was nell, who said before the hearing Ameriasked how he defined reparations. Dixon ca shouldn’t be held liable for something said, “I don’t have a clearly defined defi- that happened 150 years ago, since none nition.” Dixon suggested it was necessary of us currently alive are responsible, when for congress to pass H.R. 40, the bill to slavery ended, America could have extendstudy slavery and develop proposals for ed its principles of—life, liberty, and the reparations, in order to get a unified defi- pursuit of happiness—to all, regardless nition of the term. of color, but America had other principles In May 2019, Quillette columnist, Cole- in mind that extended into Senator Mcman Hughes, was at a town hall discussion Connell’s lifetime. For a century after the about reparations, and Hughes told the Civil War, Black people were subjected to a panel, “We’ve seen in the past few months campaign of state-sponsored terror. Senathe word reparations, increasingly means tor McConnell was alive for the redlining whatever anyone wants it to mean in the of Chicago and the looting of Black homemoment.” The following month, at the owners of some $4 billion, victims of that Juneteenth U.S. House Hearings on Rep- plunder are alive today. Coates was arguarations, Hughes dismissed the concept of ing for reparations to reduce the wealth descendants of slave-owners transferring gap between Blacks and Whites, but does cash to descendants of slaves to correct reducing wealth disparities correspond the past, but said reparations should be with any definition of reparations? paid to living “Black Americans who grew Some people will make a moral connecup under Jim Crow and were directly tion, but others will hear Black people are harmed by second-class citizenship.” still disenfranchised. (J. Pharoah Doss is a contributor to the New But Columbia professor John McWhorter stated, many times, The Great Society Pittsburgh Courier.)

Check It Out

Women’s suffrage forged by founding sisters “The people must single dimension as know before they can the jumpstart for Gwen McKinney act, and there is no the white feminist/ educator to compare voting rights movewith the press.” ment. So proclaimed Ida Regarded as social B. Wells-Barnett, reformers, White who fearlessly shined suffragist—many a light with words on of them supporters the abominable dark of abolition—confronted a fork in days after slavery the road, conflicted and into the 20th between the “Negro question” and unicentury. versal suffrage. Journalist, publisher, author, activist, With passage of the 15th Amendment and suffragist leader, Ida B.’s spirit soars. in 1870 granting Black men voting July 16 marks the 157th anniversary of rights, universal suffrage would be her birth. Blood, sweat, and ink sealed her legacy and the future of a nation still sacrificed on the altar of patriarchy and white supremacy. Defended or oversimstruggling to be whole. plified, the words of Susan B. Anthony, Ida B. revered the Black press as an crowned the mother of women’s suffrage, organizing tool. Though her newspaper The Memphis Free Speech was destroyed illustrate the entrenched stranglehold of whiteness. by racist mobs, she was never silenced. Though she counted abolitionist FredDuring her life, she would publish three erick Douglas as an admired cohort, newspapers and authored “Southern Anthony’s contradictions can only be Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases” measured today in the context of racism and “The Red Record,” investigative reports that remain definitive sources on and exclusion. “I would sooner cut off this right arm racist violence more than 100 years later. of mine before I would ever work for or Small in stature but huge in courage, demand the ballot for the black man and Wells, an emancipated slave, joined a not the woman,” she said. One might cadre of Black contemporaries—scholconclude that she was seduced by the ars, activists, and thought leaders—who pledged to change the trajectory of bond- divide-and-conquer tactics of the male age and demand that Black women have proponents of the 15th Amendment. But Anthony’s view was widely embraced by a voice. the White women’s suffrage movement. They defy the cliches and caricatures Her friend and suffrage leader Elizaplanted in popular culture with their beth Cady Stanton, arguing against the searing voices. Their cadence would not be paraphrased or translated into the of- 15th Amendment, protested: “It’s better ten quoted “Ain’t I A Woman” reprise. But to be the slave of an educated White man than of a degraded Black one.” forever burdened by their womanhood One year away from the centennial of and Blackness, their path—then and the 19th Amendment giving women the now—is littered with obstacles. right to vote, how much ground have Educator and writer Mary Church Terrell observed, “Nobody wants to know we gained as women and a nation? How a colored woman’s opinion about her own much of the conversation about gender equality denies the overlapping impact status [or] that of her group. When she of White nationalism, patriarchy, and dares express it, no matter how mild or privilege? Where and when do the voices is called ‘propaganda,’ or is of Black and Brown women enter? labeled ‘controversial.’” But first and foremost, when do Black Poet, teacher, and Baltimore abolitionwomen get the recognition that they ist Frances Ellen Harper was among have earned in their unbroken march to the suffragists who pleaded the case for freedom? linked fate unity. “We are all bound up Our compass should be guided by that together in one great bundle of humanity,” path forged by Ida B. Wells and other she said. “Society cannot trample on the weakest and feeblest of its members with- courageous Black women whose intersectional quest to make America stand out receiving the curse in its own soul.” upright changed the world. These Founding Sisters forged civil This opening salvo embraces Suffrage. rights organizations with Black men, Race. Power. Spurred by my collaborasororities, and service clubs with their tion with a small collective of women women peers, and joined “woke” White that is Black-led, cross-generational, and women against lynching and disenfranchisement and for education and econom- supported by “woke” White women, we’ve named ourselves “Founding Sisters.” This ic development. space will offer regular installments that It was Ida B. and a coterie of Black honor our Founding Sisters of the last women publishers, writers, and teachers of the era who led the movement for uni- centuries and spotlight the unfinished business of Suffrage. Race. Power. versal suffrage even when Black women To kick it off: Happy birthday Ida B.! were shunned and excluded. (Gwen McKinney is president and founder of Nonetheless, women’s suffrage, deeply McKinney & Associates Public Relations.) rooted in abolitionism, is depicted in a


Census citizenship question appears blocked, for now (—“Altogether, the evidence tells a story that does not match the explanation the Secretary gave for his decision. We cannot ignore the disconnect between the decision made and the explanation given. Our review is deferential, but we are ‘not required to exhibit a naiveté from which ordinary citizens are free.’ Accepting contrived reasons would defeat the purpose of the enterprise. If judicial review is to be more than an empty ritual, it must demand something better than the explanation offered for the action taken in this case.”—Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., United States Department of Commerce v. New York Civil rights groups and advocates for a fair census breathed a sigh of relief this week when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration’s “contrived” justification for adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census. However, the court did not categorically rule out the addition of a question, should the administration eventually provide sufficient justification. We must not let down our guard. We have known from the beginning that the addition of a citizenship question was a blatant ploy to reduce minority participation and rob communities of their political power, and that Secretary Wilbur Ross’ explanation that the question is “critical” to enforcement of the Voting Rights Act was laughable. That’s why we joined other civil rights group in filing a “friend of the court” brief opposing the citizenship question. As we argued in our brief, “There is no factual or legal basis—none—to support the position that collecting citizenship data from the decennial census is needed for VRA enforcement. In fact, modifying the short-form census to ask for the citizenship status of everyone in the country, as Secretary Ross has proposed, would undermine VRA enforcement. And we—grassroots, advocacy, labor, legal services, education, and faithbased organizations who came together to file the brief—would know. “[We] have been among the most experienced guardians of the VRA and the values it reflects for the past 54 years. In that time, existing citizenship data drawn from sample surveys or the long-form census sent only to small subsets of American housing units have been more than sufficient for robust, effective enforcement of the VRA.” There has never been a Voting Rights Act enforcement case in history that turned on the unavailability of citizenship data from the decennial census. We’re relieved the Supreme Court saw through the administration’s flimsy argument, especially since the real motivation behind the citizenship question emerged just days after the case was argued before the justices. Computer files revealed that a political consultant who played a crucial role in the decision to add the question had authored a study concluding that adding the question would allow the drafting of extremely gerrymandered Congressional maps to drain even more influence away from urban communities and communities of color. The citizenship question was one of several potential problems that could produce a significant undercount of Black Americans, including underfunding, understaffing and the practice of prison-based gerrymandering. Under current policy, incarcerated persons are counted in jurisdictions where they are imprisoned rather than in the communities where they live. This represents a massive transfer of political power and federal funding for programs like Head Start, Medicare, Lunch programs and transportation infrastructure, from urban districts of color to rural, prison hosting, predominantly white districts. In the face of this week’s ruling, the National Urban League and the Urban League Movement is recommitted to working for a fair census and urging participation among Black communities. An inaccurate census will deprive communities of accurate data for most federally produced statistics, and critical social, demographic and economic research. It would deprive communities of more than $675 billion in federal funding, and the just enforcement of civil rights laws and constitutional protections like fair housing and voting rights. Most importantly, an inaccurate census will deprive communities of fair political representation in the U.S. Congress, the Electoral College and state and local legislatures. Blocking the citizenship question is just one step among many in safeguarding a fair, accurate Census.

Profile for Real Times Media

New Pittsburgh Courier 7.10.19  

New Pittsburgh Courier 7.10.19