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Pittsburgh Courier


Vol. 110 No. 8

Two Sections

Published Weekly

FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019


City celebrates Feb. 19 as ‘August Wilson Day’


A proclamation, and CAPA students perform by Christian Morrow Courier Staff Writer

“What better way for Pittsburgh to celebrate Black History Month, than to celebrate one of its own, August Wilson. It’s an honor.” So said Pittsburgh Human Resources Director Janet K. Manuel as she welcomed friends and family to the Tuesday, Feb. 19 ceremony at the City-County Building declaring it “August Wilson Day” in Pittsburgh. Mayor Bill Peduto said he could think of no one more deserving of such an honor.

Men of Excellence Class of 2019 Special Section

“When I think of August Wilson, I think of a Pittsburgher, a guy who grew up just down the street from my aunt. A guy who grew up in poverty, taught himself to write and who presented the story of Pittsburgh to the world,” he said, before reading the lengthy proclamation, recounting Wilson’s numerous awards, insight, talent, and love of mentoring young people in the craft he honed. It acknowledged the efforts of the August Wilson House nonprofit to rePAUL ELLIS, August Wilson’s nephew, holds a proclamation namstore his childhood home on Bedford ing Feb. 19 “August Wilson Day” in the City of Pittsburgh. (Photo SEE WILSON A4 by J.L. Martello)

Bennett wants a seat on County Council

Could the time be right for legal marijuana in Pennsylvania?

Announces run for District 13

by Christian Morrow Courier Staff Writer

Reps. Gainey, Wheatley favor legalization by Christian Morrow Courier Staff Writer

Olivia Bennett, a Manchester native who now lives in Northview Heights, and who works as an administrator for the director of the cancer virology program at the Hillman Cancer Center, has announced her candidacy for the Allegheny County Council seat currently held by Denise Ranalli Russell. She is the only Black female in the race and, should she win, would be the first Black female to serve on the council since attorney Amanda Green Hawkins stepped down from the same seat in 2015. “Diversity in politics is an issue,” Bennett recently told the New Pittsburgh Courier in an exclusive interview. “Currently there are no Black women on council. So, there’s a vacancy—I’d like to fill it.” Bennett, an activist and advocate for several social justice

causes, said frustration with council’s lack of leadership and general invisibility led her to run. “I am tired of seeing elected officials being more about self-interest than the people’s interest,” she said. “Council, as a whole, is not very present. As I’ve been out knocking on doors, I found a lot of folks who don’t know they have a county council representative, or who it is. If you hold public OLIVIA BENNETT office and people have never heard of you—to me, that speaks volumes.” Though she said the challenges faced by residents in Allentown may not be the same as those in Lawrenceville or the North Side, there are broader issues that affect the entire district and beyond that she feels county council can address. “I’m involved with community activists on several issues—one

“Currently there are no Black women on council. So, there’s a vacancy—I’d like to fill it.”

Late last month when state Rep. Ed Gainey hosted a forum on legalizing recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania, several war veterans who had sustained combat injuries spoke about cannabis’ medical benefits—pain reduction, fewer issues related to PTSD, less anger. But those problems can already be addressed via the state’s legalization of medical marijuana. There are 65 dispensaries for medical marijuana products, which cannot contain psychoactive ingredients. And the medical program isn’t even fully rolled out—the state plans for a total of 79 dispensaries, and there are several research arrangements with major hospitals still in the pipeline.

OLIVIA BENNETT stands in front of the Northview Heights housing complex. (Photo by J.L. Martello)



‘My whole heart was singing along with them’

Performance honors African slaves who built the rice industry in the South

by Rob Taylor Jr. and J.L. Martello Courier Staff Writers

It was all theirs. The West African farmers had the ability, the skill, the knowledge to produce one of the world’s greatest loves—rice. They knew how to plant it, harvest it, and process it. From Senegal down to Sierra Leone and Liberia, rice was “their” crop. “The sound of the pounding of rice in Africa was the sound of domesticity,” spoke Daniel C. Littlefield, a longtime history professor at the University of South Carolina. He made the aforementioned statement on ETV, South Carolina’s public broadcasting network, during a documentary some 20 years ago. What he said next was also profound: “But the sound of the pounding of rice in South Carolina was the sound of exploitation.”

GUEST SOLOIST INDRA THOMAS, soprano, performs during “Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Requiem for Rice,” at the Carnegie Music Hall, Feb. 13. (Photo by J.L. Martello)

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The State of Black Republicans Forum B5

As many historians, including Carnegie Mellon University professor Edda L. Fields-Black, are well aware, the Lowcountry South Carolina and Georgia areas had enormous numbers of rice plantations (tidal and inland), as many West Africans were taken from their homeland and brought to this country, enslaved for 200-plus years, producing the rice, and making the slave masters rich. Dr. Fields-Black has written extensively about the trans-national history of West African rice farmers, her two books entitled, “Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and The African Diaspora” and “Rice: Global Networks and New Histories.” She said the floods that fertilized the inland and tidal rice fields created the deadliest living environments for enslaved laborers in the South. SEE PERFORMANCE A10


FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019

Week of February 20-26 February 20 1895—The great Black leader Frederick Douglass dies at 78 in Washington, D.C. Douglass was the foremost Black abolitionist struggling to end slavery in the mid1800s. He used his great oratory skills and his abilities as a newspaFREDERICK DOUGLASS per publisher on behalf of freedom and justice for Blacks. Most of his early work emanated from the Rochester, N.Y., area. But after the Civil War he moved to Washington, D.C. Douglass was the nation’s foremost Black leader for nearly 40 years. 1927—Actor Sidney Poitier is born in Miami, Fla., and grows up on Cat Island in the Bahamas. However, by the early 1950s, he was establishing a career in movies. Indeed, it can be said that Poitier was the first Black actor to make it in mainstream movie roles without having to play stereotypical and often demeaning “Black roles.” 1 9 6 3 — BasketTHE ball great NEW PITTSBURGH Charles Barkley COURIER is born on PUBLISHING COMPANY this day in Leeds, Ala. Publication No.: USPS 381940 February 21 315 East Carson Street 1 9 3 3 — Pittsburgh, PA 15219 Song stylist Phone: 412-481-8302 and activist Nina Fax: 412-481-1360 Simone is born Eunice The in New Pittsburgh Courier Waymon Tryon, N.C. is published weekly She was a child prodiperiodicals gy who was playing the paid at Pittsburgh, Pa. piano by age PRICE $1.00 4. She had numerous (Payable in advance) songs to her credit but 6 Months.....$25 one of the 1 Year....$45 most memorable was 2 Years...$85 “Mississippi 9 Month School Rate $35 Goddam” which was POSTMASTER: Send c o m p o s e d as a protest address changes to: against the New Pittsburgh Courier t e r r o r i s t bombing 315 East Carson Street of a Black Pittsburgh, PA 15219 church in


This Week In Black History

Birmingham, Ala., which resulted in the deaths of four little Black girls. Simone, often referred to as the High Priestess of Soul, died in France on April 21, 2003. 1965—The most prominent Black nationalist of the 20th century, Malcolm X, is assassinated on this day in Harlem, MALCOLM X N.Y.’s Audubon Ballroom while giving a speech which was to issue a call for Black unity. Born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Neb., on May 19, 1925, he graduated at the top of his high school class but had his dream of becoming a lawyer crushed when a teacher told him that was “not realistic for a Nigger.” He gradually drifted into the underworlds of first Boston and then New York where he became a drug dealer and gangster known as “Detroit Red.” He was friends with comedian and upcoming star Redd Foxx who at the time was known as “Chicago Red.” Malcolm was arrested and jailed for robbery at age 20. While in prison he converted to the Nation of Islam and after his release in 1952, he became the leading force building the group into a major national organization. He was a brilliant orator and organizer as well as a fierce opponent of racism, imperialism and the non-violent approach to combating the nation’s evils. But disagreements with Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad led to a split. He then formed the Organization for Afro-American Unity. However, 11 months after his split with the Nation of Islam he was assassinated. Many in the Black community felt the New York City police and the FBI played a role in his death. But three man associated with the Nation of Islam were tried and convicted of his murder. February 22 1950—Basketball legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving is born in Roosevelt, N.Y. He was the most dominant NBA player of his era. The former Philadelphia 76’er was 6’7”, 210 pounds. February 23 1868—Dr. W.E.B. DuBois is born William Edward Burghardt DuBois in Great Barrington, Mass. DuBois can W.E.B. DUBOIS easily qualify as Black America’s leading scholar and intellectual of the late 1800s and early 1900s. He was also an educator and social activ-

ist fighting tirelessly against racial injustice and U.S. imperialism. He started the NAACP’s influential “Crisis” magazine. He organized what many consider the First Pan African Congress. (Actually, it was the second. The first took place in 1900.) However, in his later years DuBois became increasingly frustrated with American racism, injustice and hypocritical brand of democracy. He turned to socialism around 1927 and despaired of the NAACP’s legalistic approach to obtaining rights for Blacks. He nevertheless authored several influential books including “The Souls of Black Folks.” He coined the phrase ‘talented tenth” to describe what he believed would have to be a class of educated and skilled Blacks who would have to lead the race out of its oppression. DuBois finally went into self-imposed exile in the West African nation of Ghana saying, “In my own country for nearly a century I have been nothing but a Nigger.” He died in Ghana’s capital, Accra, on Aug. 27, 1963. He was 95. February 24 1864—Rebecca Lee Crumbler becomes the first African-American woman to receive a medical degree. Born in 1833, she graduated from the New England Female Medical College. Prior to becoming a doctor, she had worked as a nurse in Massachusetts for more than six years. 1868—The U.S. House of Representatives voted 126 to 47 to impeach President Andrew Johnson. Johnson had run afoul of a group of pro-Black legislators known as the Radical Republicans because of his opposition to full citizenship rights for former slaves. He survived being ousted as president by one vote in the U.S. Senate. As far as historical speculation goes, it would have been much better for Black rights and the course of Black history if Johnson had been ousted. His opposition to full rights, including voting rights, for Blacks helped lay the foundation for the un-doing of Reconstruction and the many gains Blacks had made during that period. 1966—Kwame Nkrumah is ousted in a military coup as president of the West African nation of Ghana. This was anKWAME NKRUMAH other event which changed the course of Black history for the worse. Nkrumah, educated at the predominantly Black Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, had been a major intellectual and pragmatic force for Pan-Africanism


and worldwide Black unity. From the time he became the first president of Ghana in March 1957, he had worked tirelessly for international Black advance and world peace. His ouster left a void which after 40 years has not been filled by any other African leader. Nkrumah died in 1972. January 25 1851—The first Black Women’s Rights Convention is held in Akron, Ohio. The keynote speaker was anti-slavery activist Sojourner Truth. 1966—Constance Baker Motley becomes the first African-American woman appointed to a federal judgeship. She takes the bench in the Southern District of New York. Motley was a major civil rights hero helping win several important cases during the 1950s and ‘60s. Among the cases was the landCONSTANCE BAKER mark Brown v. MOTLEY Board of Education case, which desegregated the nation’s schools. She worked for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and helped Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in several of his legal battles. Born in 1921 in New Haven, Conn., Motley died in 2006. 1980—Black Entertainment Television, the first Black-owned company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, begins broadcasting from its headquarters in Washington, D.C. While still Black programmed, BET is now owned by media conglomerate Viacom. February 26 1920—Dr. Carter G. Woodson (18751950) founds the first nationally organized celebration of Black American history (then called Negro History Week), which was first celebrated on this day in 1926. Woodson scheduled the week to coincide with the birthdays of Civil War President Abraham Lincoln and Black abolitionist Frederick Douglass. However, in 1976, Negro History Week was expanded into the current day Black History Month. For his efforts in promoting knowledge of Black historical achievements Woodson became known as the “Father of Black History.” In explaining the need for the celebration, Woodson once said, “Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.” 1964—Heavyweight boxing champion Cassius Clay changes his name to Muhammad Ali after rejecting Christianity and joining the Elijah Muhammad-led Nation of Islam.



FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019


Our Black women and girls have gone missing, but few seem to care by Stacy M. Brown

A lot of times, with the proper interventions, we can prevent Black girls from leaving home or falling prey to traffickers,” Victoria Shaw, a Black girl she said. approximately 15 years old, The mystery of the disapwent missing Monday, Feb. pearances also has height11, in West Hartford, Conn. ened since 2016 when Donald Teandah Slater, Black and Trump won the presidency also only 15 years old, was and the subsequent rise in reported missing on Thursday, nationalism and White suFeb. 7, from Noble Square in premacy. Chicago. Some of the disappearances Areall Murchinson, a have proven more suspicious 16-year-old Black girl, was than others. last seen near the 200 block of A recent report highlighted West 111th Place, according the case of Amber Evans, who to a community alert from disappeared in 2015. Chicago police. Evans had been a key player The three are the most reand driving force behind state cent to make the dubious and and local juvenile justice reheart-breaking list of missing form in Ohio—work for which Black girls—particularly she’d been rewarded when the teens. organization she worked for, It’s a list that’s quite long the Juvenile Justice Coalition, and there remains no update put her in charge. on their status. In a Facebook post on her Recently, the nonprofit first day as executive director, Black & Missing Foundation compiled statistics from the MISSING—15-year-old Victoria Shaw went missing Monday, Feb. 11, in West Hartford, Conn. Teandah Slater, who is also only 15 Evans, 28, displayed her track FBI which noted that in 2016 years old, was reported missing on Thursday, Feb. 7, from Noble Square in Chicago. And 28-year-old Amber Evans disappeared in and field medals. 2015 and is still missing. “Ohio is for champions and alone, 242,295 individuals of I used to be something of a color were reported missing in track star,” Evans wrote. the United States. addition, it will call for all people to recknow or don’t care,” Mayes wrote. “Wearing my old medals before starting A stunning 36.7 percent of those missing ognize this as an epidemic and cause for Many argue that the stories of young day 1 as executive director of the Juvenile were Black teens under the age of 18. action,” Wilkerson said. Black girls and women who are missing Justice Coalition was a nice reminder of In total, statistics show more than don’t get the same degree of local, national that.” 75,000 young Black Americans are curand global attention as that of an Elizarently missing. beth Smart or Natalee Holloway. “In other words, missing Three weeks later, Evans disappeared. Her car was found, purse in the trunk, What’s more, officials at the National Smart, a 14-year-old White girl, was Black youth are grossly her last known whereabouts, a stop at the Center for Missing and Exploited Chilkidnapped in 2002 from her home in Salt Her last known words, a text dren’s CyberTipline said they’ve received Lake City, Utah. After an intense search underreported in the news. pharmacy. to her mother saying, “I love you and I’m more than 18.4 million reports, most of that included relentless media coverage, which led to apparent child sexual abuse Smart was rescued by police nine months For missing girls, it’s even sorry.” “There never seemed to be a sense of images: online enticement (including “sex- later and, among other activities, she’s worse. When Black girls urgency for our missing African American tortion”), child sex trafficking and child become an analyst for ABC News. sexual molestation. Holloway disappeared in 2005 while on a go missing, far too many girls,” said Nashima Harvey, an educator and founder of Girls of Decision, a youth Those statistics, and the seeming lack of high school graduation trip in Aruba. people don’t know or don’t empowerment group that seeks to assist media interest, have led to cries of racism The White Alabama teen’s story drew girls in making better choices in all stages and neglect, particularly when it comes to global media coverage and, although her care.” of their lives. Black girls. remains were never found, she was deLA’TASHA D. MAYES “The sad thing that I have encountered It has also led La’Tasha D. Mayes to clared dead in 2010. has been that many of the young girls I pen the essay, “Why the Crisis of Missing Many maintain that African Americans have interacted with on my journey are Black Girls Needs More Attention Than aren’t afforded the intense police invesyoung women who were former human It’s Getting.” Mayes’ March 2017 essay Child Rights activist Katerina Canyon tigations or the media coverage given to trafficked young ladies,” Harvey said. was published at where she said she’s been researching cases of missWhites that go missing. “These women went missing at the ages noted that an academic study analyzed ing Black girls for years and there are “Black girls are magical and should be of 12 to 14 and are now adults living in news coverage of missing children and several unknowns, including that many noticed, uplifted and acknowledged, both toxic situations looking for a better life found that only 20 percent of reported go missing without any witnesses. “This within and outside of the Black commuand all seemed to feel no longer welcomed stories focused on missing Black children. nity,” said Ginger Lavender Wilkerson, a leads me to believe that the kidnappers This, despite the fact that Black children licensed marriage and family therapist in are either very good at what they’re doing, by their family. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with this population, account for 33 percent of total missing or the girls left on their own,” Canyon Los Angeles. but I do believe that we need to be diligent children cases. said. “To recognize Black girls as magical and outspoken when it comes to saving “In other words, missing Black youth are means defining them as precious, unique “We need to make sure Black girls have our girls,” she said. grossly underreported in the news. For readily accessible help from adults in a and valued. When society recognizes (This article originally appeared in Black Press missing girls, it’s even worse. When Black their worth and value, I believe that more safe environment such that they do not USA.) girls go missing, far too many people don’t attention will be paid to this matter. In fall victim to homelessness or trafficking. NNPA Newswire Correspondent


FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019


City celebrates Feb. 19 as ‘August Wilson Day’


Could the time be right for legal marijuana in Pennsylvania? MARIJUANA FROM A1

So, why the sudden push for recreational weed now? Rep. Gainey said there are a myriad of reasons for legalizing recreational weed—but the biggest human reason is that the prosecution of those with illegal marijuana has destroyed thousands of lives—mostly Black lives, wasted billions of dollars, and hasn’t improved anything. “If you can show me a time in American history where no one got high, I’d be against it,” Rep. Gainey said. “And continuing to put people in jail for this is unacceptable. We know that Blacks, Whites and Latinos all use at the same rate— but African Americans are jailed for it at four times the rate of Whites. We’ve taken Black men and women away from their children with mandatory minimum sentences and sent them home with a felony record, so they can’t get jobs or housing. This has done nothing but hurt humanity.” Then there’s also an ecoPAUL ELLIS, nephew of August Wilson, far left, with Pittsburgh CAPA students Jamaica Johnson and Amani Howze, and Mayor Bill nomic argument for legalPeduto, at the Feb. 19 ceremony. (Photo by J.L. Martello) ization. State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale WILSON FROM A1 said in a 2018 report that burgh,” Ellis said. Fo l l o w i n g Avenue in the Hill and the state could reel in $580 The highlight of the proc- the proctransform it into a center lamation million in taxes on recreannouncement l a m a t i o n , for performance, learning were dramatic readings there ational marijuana. Rep. was and teaching that will an- from Pittsburgh CAPA per- a reception Gainey said that’s a conchor the rebuilding of the formance students Amani that featured servative estimate because Hill District. it’s based on revenues in Howze and Jamaica John- two more “The spirit he wrote son—both of whom per- highlights; a Colorado—the first state to about and the stories he formed for Denzel Wash- m o n o l o g u e legalize recreational maritold will live on,” said May- ington when he presented by juana. actor or Peduto. “We have a higher poputhe August Wilson House Wali Jamal He then presented it to with a $5 million gift in Oc- from lation than Colorado and WilWilson’s nephew, attorney tober 2018. based on the demand we’ve son’s “How I Paul Ellis, who thanked the seen from medical mariHowze, who wrote her learned What mayor, the city, his board, own performance piece, I juana—the return should learned” and everyone dedicated to said it was inspired by Wil- and, as Manbe higher,” he said. “That’s preserving August Wilson’s son’s “Joe Turner’s Come uel put it, the new money—a new revework and legacy. nue stream for rehab, reand Gone,” which the school “Best bar“Though many have tried just performed. She said it becue in the covery, education and jobs. to claim him as their own, took her three tries. John- Hill,” served Not to mention, we’d be no one can change the fact son performed a monologue after the cersaving between $100 milJANET K. MANUEL that he grew up in Pitts- from “The Piano Lesson.” lion and $200 million in the emony.

court system through decriminalization alone.” For state Rep. Jake Wheatley, the push isn’t sudden, either. He introduced legislation to decriminalize marijuana a year ago. It never made it to the floor for a vote, but he has reintroduced it in the new legislative session. His HB 50 amends the 2016 law legalizing medical marijuana, and in addition to decriminalizing marijuana for adult use, would expunge the records of those previously charged with marijuana possession, release anyone who is in jail solely for such charges, and return licenses to those who lost them because of those charges. The bill faces an uphill battle as several Republicans, including House Speaker Mike Turzai, have come out against it. That is one of the reasons Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, who attended Rep. Gainey’s Jan. 26 forum at the Carnegie Library’s Homewood Branch and who supports the change, is currently touring all 67 Pennsylvania counties on a listening tour to get feedback—for and against—legalizing recreational marijuana. “At the end of this, we’re going to have a document that summarizes everyone’s opinions,” Fetterman told the New Pittsburgh Courier. “Last night in Washington, Pa., by a show of hands it was about 97 percent for and three percent against. The other day in Warren it was about 6535. We’re also going to pull out the top 10 reasons for and the top 10 against. You know what’s refreshing, I’ve heard only reasonable concerns—on both sides. Everyone has been respectful. That’s encouraging.”



FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019


OLIVIA BENNETT Announces her candidacy for County Council District 13 BENNETT FROM A1

being the move to have a county Civilian Police Review Board—that’s key. There’s also the issue of how members of the

LGBTQ community are treated as inmates in the Allegheny County Jail,” she said. “My platform is based on my experience as an activist. I want to be the voice for marginalized people and communities. I’m not

going to say, ‘I’m your person, here’s what I’ll do.’ I’m going to say, ‘I’m your person, what do you need me to do?’” Bennett was also instrumental in the Pittsburgh police and Buhl Fo u n d a t i o n and the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh to open a Public Safety Center in Northview OLIVIA BENNETT has announced her candidacy for Allegheny County Council District 13. (Photos by Courier photographer J.L. Martello) Heights in December 2018. “Sgt. (Joe) of McKeesport mayoral Feb. 19. She needs 250 Lewis and I candidate Fawn Walk- before the March 19 deadhave ongoing er-Montgomery, Pittsburgh line, but plans to get 500, conversations City Council candidate just in case they are chalabout how the Leon Ford and Brandi Fish- lenged. officers can be er, executive director of the “Other than that, I’m just more a part of Alliance for Police Account- going to try to get myself in the community. ability. front of as many people as I I’d like to see District 13 includes Bel- can—attend events, be a sothem do some levue and the city neigh- cial butterfly,” she said. “All mentoring in borhoods of Downtown, I can do is tell my story and the community. the Strip District, Polish let people see me as a perI think it’s an Hill, Lawrenceville, Morn- son not just a candidate.” important part ingside, Garfield, StanIn addition to incumbent of the reason ton Heights, South Side Councilwoman Russell, the they are there,” Flats and Slopes, Allen- race also includes Jacob she said. “The town, Beltzhoover, Man- George of Summer Hill and fabric of policchester, North Side, Troy Daylon Davis from Allening isn’t going to change Hill, Spring Garden and town. North Side activist until we can groom young Fineview. Khalid Raheem has posted Black kids to see policing as Bennett said she has al- that he is running on his a viable career option.” ready met with the mayor New Afrikan Independence Bennett earned a BS in of Bellevue and she began Party website, but has not business management from She has been endorsed by Allegheny County, and has gathering signatures on formally declared. Carlow University in 2018. the Young Democrats of the personal endorsements her nominating petition,

“My platform is based on my experience as an activist. I want to be the voice for marginalized people and communities. I’m not going to say, ‘I’m your person, here’s what I’ll do.’ I’m going to say, ‘I’m your person, what do you need me to do?’” OLIVIA BENNETT



FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019


DeRay McKesson talks with a Pittsburgh crowd about social activism and police killings of civilians by Erin West PublicSource

After more than four years of activism against police violence since the August 2014 fatal shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, DeRay Mckesson states plainly that “outcomes haven’t changed.” The conversation about race, justice and the role of police is “in a fundamentally different place,” said Mckesson, a high-profile activist, author and host of Pod Save the People. Yet the number of reported killings of citizens by police officers across the nation has stayed roughly the same. “I’m mindful every single day that we have not won yet,” Mckesson told a crowd of about 250 people in Pittsburgh at a Feb. 12 event hosted by PublicSource. Broadly known for his activism after Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, Mckesson has been accused of exploiting what happened and the work

of other grassroots activists for personal gain. At a book talk in St. Louis last September, a self-identified Ferguson activist interrupted Mckesson and claimed he is “a liar” who “did nothing in Ferguson for us” and has only “made money constantly off of us.” Some Pittsburgh-based activists also pushed back via social media about Mckesson’s appearance in Pittsburgh, calling out Mckesson for profiting off of Ferguson and saying that someone from Ferguson should have been asked to speak. Responding to a question about the criticism, Mckesson told the audience he had only a small social media following when he arrived in Ferguson but that people sought him out as an information source as protests were happening. He said people criticize him for going on TV but countered that, “I’m on TV talking about police killings.” Despite his following—for instance, a Twitter audience of more than one million fol-

ACTIVIST DERAY MCKESSON spoke at the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall on Feb. 12 at an event hosted by PublicSource. (Photo by Kat Procyk/PublicSource) lowers—Mckesson said he does not view himself as a top-down leader. “You never have to have a membership card to be part of a movement,” he said, explaining the importance of local activism. “You have way more power than you believe,

plained that the minimum dollar amount for theft to be considered a felony is $300 in Florida. Felons in Florida still cannot hold public office. “When people think about what the biggest lever is in a lot of places, they think about what makes

as problematic. “The reason we did this project is [to find] what are the things that people don’t see,” said Mckesson, who is a member of Campaign Zero’s planning team. “What are the things we don’t know that are leading to [a

m mindful every single day that we have not won yet. - De ay c esson especially at the local level.” But Mckesson also noted the power of having a large audience. He said he contacted Jay-Z and other celebrities, asking them to allow signature collection at concerts to help raise quick support for an amendment to end Florida’s voting restrictions on convicted felons. During the 2018 midterm elections, voters in Florida passed the amendment, restoring the right to vote to about 1.5 million people. Mckesson said seemingly small policy changes can have a major impact. As an example, he ex-

the news,” Mckesson said. “People don’t think about changing the felony theft minimums as a lever, but it is one of the biggest levers we can think about.” After protests in Ferguson, Mckesson and fellow activists began collecting data on crime and policing, including a project called “Mapping Police Violence,” which tracks police killings of civilians across the country. This work is published by Campaign Zero, a police reform organization, which also examines police handbooks and union contracts to identify policies viewed

lack of] accountability?” Mckesson spreads his ideas and these findings through his podcast, speaking tour and in his book, “On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope.” He appears frequently in media interviews and has met with numerous celebrities and politicians, including former President Barack Obama. He noted that he did not have interest in meeting with President Donald Trump because, Mckesson said, “I honestly don’t think he cares.” Again addressing criticism, Mckesson said he wants activists to have access to his work to use themselves. “There are two styles of organizing: One is ‘follow the leader, I know the work well, do what I say’...and there’s another one that is we all should learn as much as possible, we should all figure out what our role is,” Mckesson said. “And it’s why we made all our data public.” McKesson’s background is as an educator. He taught sixth grade math with Teach for America and was an administrator in both the Baltimore and Minneapolis public school systems. His Tuesday evening talk mirrored a teaching lesson in which he presented slides, called on volunteers to read and posed questions for audience members to answer. When asked by one audience member about getting community members interested in policy and social issues, McKesson explained that people are already informed by their life experiences. “Part of our work is to remind people [that] you have the power and ability already to interrogate everything around you and the best thing I can do is help sharpen those skills,” Mckesson said. “But you actually already had the thing before you entered the room.”



FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019


Pittsburgh Arsenal students produce spectacular work of art

Saihou Njie has been educating and inspiring people with his craft throughout his career. He has developed his craft over the years in order to encourage and inspire others to be creative and innovative in their daily lives.

Elementary school students at Pittsburgh Arsenal were the beneficiaries of Njie’s love for art. But it’s also safe to say that Njie was blown away by the artistic abilities of each student, who created a “block piece” of art out of fabric. Those


pieces were then built into a quilt, a larger-than-life-size quilt, that was unveiled at an event at the school on January 24. Courier photographer J.L. Martello captured the event in pictures.

BUSINESS New Pittsburgh Courier


FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019

I owe how much? AMERICANS SHOCKED BY IMPACT OF NEW TAX LAW by Sarah Skidmore Sell AP Personal Finance Writer

Wait, I owe the IRS? The first tax filing season under the new federal tax law is proving to be surprising, confusing—and occasionally frightening—for some Americans, especially those accustomed to getting money back from the government. Take Andy Kraft and Amy Elias of Portland, Oregon. The couple had grown comfortable getting a small refund each year,

a few hundred dollars or more. Then they found out they owe $10,160 this year. “I will never forget the moment, I thought ‘We look good’ and then we added in the next W-2 and my jaw hit the floor,” Kraft said. “There was no way I wanted to believe that what I was looking at was accurate.” President Trump promised a reduction in taxes with the new law. And by most measures, the majority of Americans will see one. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center projected the tax law would reduce in-

dividual income taxes by about $1,260 on average, although it benefits higher earners more. Some people already saw the benefit in the form of bigger paychecks. That’s because the law forced employers to change what they withheld. But the system is far from perfect, and many workers didn’t have enough in taxes set aside. Now, the IRS wants that money. In addition, the law also eliminated SEE TAX LAW A9

Auto loan delinquencies climbed to $9 billion in 2018 Car loan debt up 75 percent, a record high since 2009 by Charlene Crowell For New Pittsburgh Courier

In recent months, many economists and lawmakers have frequently touted how the nation’s economy is performing really well. Often citing historically low unemployment rates, I’ve always felt that such pronouncements failed to consider the untold millions of Americans who are eking out a living on low or no raises, or others who work multiple jobs trying to piece together a living for their families. But new data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, offers hard evidence that a key sector of the economy is showing signs of distress: auto loans. At the end of 2018, 7 million consumers were three months behind on their car payments, according to the Fed’s Liberty Street Economics.    Addressing its finding of multi-million auto loan delinquencies, the Fed wrote, “That is more than a million more troubled borrowers than there had been at the end of 2010 when the overall delinquency rates were at their worst since auto loans are now more prevalent.”  I suspect that many consumers want to keep a car available just as much as a roof over their heads. Reliable wheels also offer a certain amount of freedom of mobility that eliminates the need to know a train or bus route or the fare.   So why are so many consumers delinquent on their car loans? Answers can be found by examining the terms of the loans. Just as the foreclosure crisis took people’s homes, the wrong car loan takes your mobility. Consumers with lower credit scores—less than 620 on a scale that reaches 85—become easy targets for sub-prime auto finance that

DECISIONS—A young woman deciding on a car purchase in a dealer lot. comes with interest rates from the midteens to as high as 20 percent. Auto finance companies are often used by lower credit score consumers looking to buy a car. By comparison, consumers with credit scores of 661 to 780 or higher typically have car loan interest rates of 6 percent or less. These consumers frequently finance their autos from banks, credit unions, or the financing arms of major auto manufacturers. Of the nation’s $1.27 trillion in car loan debt, 30 percent of loans were made to consumers with credit scores over 760. As Liberty Street reports, 6.5 percent of auto finance loans are 90 days or more past due, compared with only 0.7 percent

of loans originated by credit unions. So unfortunately once again it is the struggling, working poor who are bearing the brunt of car loan delinquencies, often forged by predatory high-interest rates and other practices.     Another new and independent research report entitled, Driving Into Debt, found that the money now owed on cars is up 75 percent since the end of 2009, an all-time record. Jointly authored by U.S. Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG) and the Frontier Group, this report states that subprime auto lenders inflict financial abuses that are both predatory and discriminatory from making loans to peoSEE AUTO A9

Companies are also flunking retirement planning by Liz Weston NerdWallet

Plenty has been written about American workers’ failure to plan adequately for retirement. Their employers seem to be doing an even worse job. Only 1 in 10 large employers offers a formal phased-retirement program that lets workers cut back their hours or responsibilities before they quit work entirely, according to the 2018 Longer Working Careers Survey by professional services consultant Willis Towers Watson. Fewer than 1 in 3 of the companies surveyed offered their employees the option to work part time or switch to a less demanding job, according to the survey, which polled 143 large U.S. companies that employ 2.9 million people. That’s too bad, because flexible work arrangements don’t just help people who need or want to work longer. These accommodations also could help workers who are starting families, pursuing degrees or caring for aging parents. PROGRAMS VARY WIDELY Formal phased retirement programs can take many forms. Examples cited in a 201 7 report by the Government Accountability Office include: •One program that allows workers who are at least 55 years old with 10 years of service to cut their hours by 20 percent with a 20 percent cut in pay, but keep health insurance and pension accrual benefits. •Another that allows employees 60 and older with five years of service to reduce their hours by 20 percent to 50 percent, or even more if they’re willing to lose their health insurance benefit. •An employer that allows workers 55 and older with seven years of service to negotiate their own “glide path” to retirement, ramping down from full time to full retirement while retaining benefits. •Yet another company that allows any employee to switch to less stressful or complex duties or phase to part-time work, retaining health insurance if they work at least 25 hours a week. Employers that offer phased retirement typically say the plans are good for business, the GAO report found. Phased retirement allows both the company and the worker to adjust over time, rather than scrambling to deal with an abrupt departure. Businesses can plan better since they know well in advance when an employee plans to leave, plus they can arrange for experienced workers to train or mentor younger ones, transferring years (and sometimes decades) of employer-specific knowledge. “Otherwise, years of institutional knowledge could be walking out the door,’’ says Susan Weinstock, vice president for financial resiliency programming at AARP. SEE RETIREMENT A9

Buford says workforce development is personal

PARTNERS—Partner4Work CEO Earl Buford told the Feb. 15 PowerBreakfast audience he wants to work with the African American Chamber members and President and CEO Doris Carson Williams. (Photo by J.L. Martello)



Auto loan delinquencies AUTO FROM A8

ple without the ability to repay, marking up rates and prices on both Black and Latino customers, and financing expensive addon products like extended warranties and insurance into the car loans.   “Americans shouldn’t have to fight their way through a thicket of tricks and traps at the auto dealer just to get the transportation they need to get to work or school,” said Ed Mierzwinski, U.S. PIRG’s senior director for federal consumer programs and a report co-author.  Nor does it help that in April of last year, Congress used the Congressional Review Act to nullify the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) auto finance guidance that held auto lenders responsible for discriminatory lending practices prohibited under the Equal Credit Protection Act. This distorted use of the Congressional Review Act, sometimes known as another CRA, was never intended to overturn long-standing agency practices.   But in 2018, the law was used to overturn 14 agency rules.  At the time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described the auto lending CRA as part of a broader deregulation effort, stating: “Our whole economy is getting a tuneup. And now it’s time for the front end of the auto industry to come along for the ride.” That kind of perspective suggests that the Majority Leader may have an unhealthy regard for fair lending laws, particularly those aimed at eliminating racial and ethnic discrimination. Further, time and actions will tell how much Kathy Kraninger, the new CFPB Director, is attuned to the predatory and discriminatory lending that continues despite federal laws.   “We need a strong Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and help from state Attorneys General and local officials to enforce consumer and fair lending laws against unfair car loan tactics,” added Mierzwinski. “Otherwise, consumers and the overall economy will suffer.” “Predatory and discriminatory auto lending practices notoriously prey upon the financially distressed, with loans that disregard the consumer’s ability to afford them,” noted Rebecca Borne, a Senior Policy Counsel with the Center for Responsible Lending. “Common-sense regulation and enforcement are needed to ensure responsible underwriting and elimination of other predatory practices that are consistently shown to result in borrowers of color paying more than white borrowers, even controlling for creditworthiness.  (Charlene Crowell is the Center for Responsible Lending’s Communications Deputy Director. She can be reached at

FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019

Americans shocked by impact of tax law TAX LAW FROM A8

personal exemptions, increased child credits, limited popular deductions and generally upended many familiar practices that determine what happens at tax time. That has taxpayers feeling a bit unmoored. “We were very comfortable with our tax law, it had basically been there since 1986, suddenly all these things that were very important to people’s all different,” said Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center. Kraft and Elias are able to pay their tax bill but he’s still stunned. He even tried to reverse-engineer things to figure out where they went wrong, diving into page after page of IRS rules. He painstakingly put together all the numbers. The couple ultimately asked a CPA to verify the figures they were seeing on TurboTax. Crushingly, they were correct. The couple’s effective tax rate was lower, but they still owed the government. “I feel like I have reached a stage of grief of acceptance,” he said. “In a twisted way I should have been paying this all year and now I just have to pay it in one lump sum.” A number of experts such as Gleckman are urging taxpayers to obsess less about their refund or what they owe when measuring the effect of the new tax law. These are just a sliver of your tax picture. But the truth is, many Americans have come to rely on refunds. About three-quarters of U.S. taxpayers typically get one and they had averaged around $2,800. For some low-income households it is the biggest cash infusion of the year. The IRS reported Thursday that the average tax refund as of the second week of filing season was $1,949, down 8.7 percent from the year earlier. The total number of refunds is down 16 percent. Experts caution it is too early to draw conclusions about a tax season that ends in April. Plus, the number of returns—27 million as of Feb. 8—is

down 10 percent from a year ago, due in part to the partial government shutdown. The picture will become much clearer as more filings are processed, refunds are issued and the IRS gets back up to full speed. All the same, the initial results have surprised early filers and worried those who haven’t yet tackled their taxes. Part of the problem centers around how employees and employers adjusted (or didn’t adjust) withholdings from paychecks to account for the law’s changes. The government issued updated withholding guidelines to help

responsible for paying one out of every six Americans, said the vast majority of people in its system didn’t update their withholdings last year. Some taxpayers who did make adjustments found they couldn’t get it quite right. Kevin McCreanor of Milton, Georgia and his wife normally get a sizeable refund each year—it was more than $12,000 last year. While they know waiting for a large refund isn’t the best strategy financially, they like a refund and they put anything they get back toward their daughters’ education. Their income, earned pri-

creased their withholdings. While Goodell isn’t entirely sure why it worked out so well, he’ll gladly take the refund. Taxpayers can get a better sense of how they fared by looking at their tax liability or effective tax rate. This information is often available on the summary received from an accountant or tax preparation software. They can also look at the “total tax” on those summaries or form 1040. These are not perfect measures either, but provide some perspective. And remember that getting a refund is not necessarily a good thing. Breaking even is really the best

employers determine how much to set aside from an employee’s paycheck to cover taxes. Withhold too much and you get a refund at tax time; too little and you owe. It is at best, an estimate. But it’s an estimate that grew drastically more difficult to make under the new law. The Government Accountability Office estimated in a report last summer that about 30 million workers had too little withheld from their paychecks, which made their take home pay bigger but increased their tax liability. That’s about 3 million more workers than normal. Few taxpayers appear to have heeded the IRS’ advice to do a “paycheck checkup” to make sure they had the proper amount withheld. Payroll processor ADP, which is

marily from his wife’s job in telecom, can vary greatly, so there was comfort in never facing a big bill. The couple increased her paycheck withholdings to ensure the same but found they are only getting back $519 this year. Their income and tax rate did increase, and McCreanor acknowledges there is probably more he could have done to prepare but he is very disappointed all the same. Some surprises were welcome, however. Brian Goodell and his wife typically face a tax bill of anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 each year. But this year the Tigard, Oregon, couple is getting a $15,000 refund. They believe they got some benefit from the increased child tax credit. They also made more charitable donations and in-

outcome from an economic point of view. If you get a refund, that means the government has been holding onto your money when you could have been using it. Additionally, consider that taxes are rarely an equal comparison from year-to-year, said Eric Bronnenkant, the head of tax at Betterment and a CPA and certified financial planner. People’s lives change in ways that can dramatically influence their taxes, such as marriages, divorces, kids, moving or job changes. The average taxpayer may not realize the full impact some of these changes might have. “I am not surprised by the reaction people are having,” Bronnekant said. “I think for some people the reaction is more justified than others.”

Tips to make it easier

AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP)—The new tax law, and in particular a new deduction aimed at small business owners, is making this income tax filing season more complicated than usual. The deduction aimed at giving tax breaks to sole proprietors, partners and owners of S corporations allows many of them to deduct 20 percent of what’s called qualified business income. But which business owners can claim the deduction, and how much they can claim, involves a lot of interpretation and complex calculations, tax professional say.

Some tips for making this filing season a little easier: •Get on your CPA’s calendar soon. Tax pros always advise clients to see them early in tax season, but it’s even more important to do so this year. CPA Steven Wolpow advises business owners to have those meetings by the end of February. Even if owners don’t have all the necessary documents, they should meet with tax advisers to get a sense of where they stand, says Wolpow, managing partner with Nussbaum, Yates, Berg, Klein & Wolpow in Melville, New York. If documents like 1099s are still outstanding when returns are due, it’s time to get an extension of the fil-

ing deadline. Owners should be sure their records are in order before they give them to their advisers. The more time a preparer spends trying to sort out all the numbers, the more expensive it will be for an owner, Wolpow warns. •Expect to do more of the work this year as your tax pro determines whether you can claim the deduction. “They’re used to giving us the information and letting us figure it out. They’re going to have to be very involved as well,” says Angela Dotson, a CPA with Aprio in Atlanta. •If you’re a do-it-yourselfer and don’t use a paid preparer to compile your

return, don’t be in a rush to file. The creators of tax preparation software are also still figuring things out and may amend their products before the filing deadlines. That will change the calculations for some owners, Dotson says. Owners who do the work themselves should consider asking a tax pro to look over the return—the investment in their fee may save you from costly mistakes. For more small business news, insights and inspiration, sign up for our free weekly newsletter here:

(Follow Joyce Rosenberg at

Companies are also flunking retirement planning RETIREMENT FROM A8

FOR EMPLOYERS, RETIREMENT CAN DRAIN TALENT AND KNOWLEDGE Most employers realize retirement is a looming issue, with 83 percent of the large employers Willis Towers Watson polled saying significant numbers of their workers are approaching retirement age. In fact, 54 percent of employers believe the loss of talent from retiring workers will be more significant than other labor market risks in the next five years, the survey found. Employers may not

fully grasp, however, how many people may need to keep working because they haven’t saved enough, says retirement trends expert Catherine Collinson, CEO and president of the nonprofit Transamerica Institute and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. For example, 7 out of 10 employers polled in last year’s Transamerica Survey of Employers Were confident that their workers would retire with adequate retirement savings. But 6 out of 10 employees had similar confidence. (Studies by the Employee Benefit

Website Workshop

FEB. 28—The Duquesne University Small Business Development Center will present Best Techniques To Build A Website For Your Business, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 108 Rockwell Hall, 600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh 15282. This workshop is designed to help entrepreneurs build and create a cost-effective website for their business. Building a website has now become an essential step for businesses to increase their sales. Chris Vendilli from ProFromGo will cover keeping costs down; agency, freelance and online website designers, and cost effective way to make your website stand out. Cost $49. For more information, call 412-3966233.

Training Seminar

Tough income tax filing season ahead? by Joyce M. Rosenberg


Research Institute have found that 57 percent of U.S. households headed by people ages 35 to 64 are on track with retirement savings.) EMPLOYEES CAN BE AFRAID TO ASK Another disconnect: Employers often think their employees aren’t interested in more flexible schedules or phased retirements, because workers haven’t asked. But employees may be afraid to inquire, lest they seem less than gung-ho about their jobs or get shoved out the door before they’re ready, Collinson says.

“Employees may not want to tip their hands,” she says. Flexible schedules and phased retirements aren’t panaceas, of course. For many, continuing to work simply won’t be an option. The Employee Benefit Research Institute found that nearly half of workers retired earlier than they expected for reasons that included layoffs, health issues or the need to care for someone else. You may think you’ll work until you die, in other words, but chances are pretty good that you won’t.

Those who do want to work longer, and can, may have to take matters into their own hands. Collinson says people can improve their odds of negotiating a phased retirement by keeping their job skills up to date and focusing on job performance. “A superstar is going to have greater negotiating power than the average employee,” she says.

(This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Liz Weston is a columnist at NerdWallet, a certified financial planner and author of “Your Credit Score.’’)

MARCH 5—The Duquesne University Small Business Development Center will host Cybersecurity for Small Businesses, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., 108 Rockwell Hall, 600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh 15282. Presenter Albert Whale will cover data protection systems, data back-up & storage, who can access data, and training employees on recognizing potential breaches and attacks. Cost: $35. For details, call 412396-6233.

Training Event

MARCH 6—In collaboration with AARP, the Duquesne University Small Business Development Center will present Work for Yourself@50+, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Penn Hills Library, 1037 Stotler Rd. Pittsburgh, 15235. The workshop presents step-by-step information on how to start a business and generate additional income, as well as get access to additional resources and mentors to get started on the self-employment journey.


MARCH 15—The African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pa will present Mark A. Nordenberg, former chancellor and chair of the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Politics who will discuss the institutes impact on local communities, 7:30 to 9 a.m., Rivers Club, One Oxford Center, Pittsburgh, 15222. Cost $20 for members, $30 for non-members. Call 412392-0610 for details.


MARCH 18—The Chatham Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship will host HR Basics For Start-up and Small Businesses, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Paramount Coop, 233 Merchant Street, Ambridge, Pa. 15003. The workshop will cover recruitment, new-hire paperwork, policy, and benefits basics. Cost: Free, but registration is required. Call Anne Flynn Schlicht at 412-365-1448 for details.

Duquesne Workshop

MARCH 20—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 Avenue, Pittsburgh 15282. The workshop covers Business structure and formation; fictitious name registration, Employee issues, Insurance, Financing options, taxation and more. Cost: $25. For more information, call 412-396-6233.

Website Seminar

MARCH 28—The Duquesne University Small Business Development Center will present Boost Your Website’s Visibility SEO 101, 9:30 to 11: 30 a.m., 108 Rockwell Hall, 600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh 15282. In this workshop, our presenter, Chris Vendilli will talk about key techniques to optimize your website and increase your website’s visibility. Cost: $35. For more information, call 412-3966233.




FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019


‘Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Requiem for Rice’



Performance honors African slaves who built the rice industry in the South and you have to know that ea resident Diane Baldwin, of this dark past.” Titles for Wineglass’ piecDr. Fields-Black said the if you work with me, I’m who attended the event es were “The Middle Pasgoing to bring the dramatic with husband, Darrell. rice plantations had the most African slaves in the elements,’” Dr. Fields-Black “And the visual of the stage, sage: Uprooted,” “Tones country during those times. told the New Pittsburgh seeing the group playing of the Rice Fields,” and They also had the highest Courier in an exclusive in- the music, and the music “Lament for Lost Souls.” Dr. Fields-Black said mortality rates in the U.S. terview, Feb. 13. “And I felt itself was the icing on the there are three additional like that’s exactly what we cake.” South during those times. Thus, she felt there had to needed to tell this story so “The spiritual connection pieces to be finished, which be a way to take “history off that people can feel and of the journey from Africa would complete the entire the shelf” and put it “on the try to empathize with what to the U.S., it spoke very six-piece production. “I’m satisfied with what being enslaved (was like). loud and proud,” Darrell stage.” we’ve accomplished so far,” And that’s not (with) words Baldwin added. Enter “Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Re- on a page. You have to dra- Rick Robinson, of Detroit, Dr. Fields-Black said. “I quiem for Rice,” a musical matize it and I thought (the who played the double bass want to finish the piece, composition that was per- performance) was phenom- in the orchestra, said the and that’s when I will be score struck “right to the completely satisfied, but I formed by the Colour of enal.” The Carnegie Music heart of the matter. It’s im- feel as if we’re finally on the Music Festival on Feb. 13 at the Carnegie Music Hall in Hall, on this February portant to reflect our histo- right track.” In addition to Wineglass, Oakland. Dr. Fields-Black evening, filled with a pri- ry, even the dark, troubled other artists involved marily-Black audience, past.” called it a classical symphonic work that served as watching and listening to He credited Wineglass with the production ina tribute to slaves exploit- an African American-based with setting the piece up cluded internationally-redirector/filmed and brutalized on those orchestra, complete with “so beautifully, and with nowned maker Julia Sash, whose an array of winds, strings, the words (that were oratrice plantations who also “Daughters of the remain unburied, Dust” was the first unmourned and unfilm by an African marked. American womAs the executive an to have a maproducer and libretjor studio release; tist of the project, and cinematograshe wanted to make pher David Claessure that those who sen. The Colour of attended would be Music Festival orable to truly “feel” chestra is based in something from Charleston, South the performance. Carolina. In September 2018, Dr. Paul Gardullo, she was introduced director of the Globto John Wineglass, al Slavery Center who’s made a caand Curator at the reer in Hollywood Smithsonian’s Naby composing for tional Museum of shows like “AmeriAfrican American can Idol” and “The History and CulBrady Bunch.” He ture, gave his aphas won Emmy proval of the work. Awards for Out- ANYANGO YARBO-DAVENPORT, the concertmaster. (Photos by J.L. Martello) He called it an “instanding Achievecredibly powerful ment in Music Direction and Composition in brass chords—everything ed during the score) it ex- demonstration of the role a Drama Series, and Wine- you’d want from an orches- pressed something that of art and music in bringour ancestors went through ing back into memory the glass made it clear to Dr. tral performance. “I loved the performance and information that we’re lives of those people enFields-Black that “drama” tonight, my whole heart not generally aware of. It’s slaved on rice plantations is his middle name. “He told me that, ‘I’m an was singing along with incredibly powerful to have who should have never entertainer and I do drama, them,” said Pittsburgh-ar- more and more expressions been forgotten.”




GISELE FETTERMAN addresses the audience.


FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019


DR. EDDA L. FIELDS-BLACK, with composer John Wineglass, taking a bow at the end of the performance, Feb. 13, at the Carnegie Music Hall. (Photos by Courier photographer J.L. Martello)

DARRELL AND DIANE BALDWIN, who attended the performance.


FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019



LIFESTYLES New Pittsburgh Courier

AKAs at United Methodist Church Religion B7

FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019


Find what you need from jobs to cars to housing B2-B3


Debbie Norrell

Lifestyles Report Things I don’t get My list of things I don’t get is long but today I’ll try to touch on what is top of mind. Yes I’m back to Dan Gasby and B. Smith; perhaps you have heard that a reality show has been given the green light on the Bravo network. So now we see what all the media buzz was about. Bravo probably told them to shop the story around and see how it would be received or perhaps this was Gasby’s idea—after all, this is what he does for a living, he sells programing. It looks like it worked. I don’t know when the show will begin, but I am wondering who the sponsors will be. The people who have weighed in on social media say they won’t watch it. I’ll watch it for you and report back. Frankly I think this is awful because B. Smith does not have the mental capacity to sign off on the show. Let’s continue to keep our eyes on this one. What about the Jussie Smollett case? There are two Nigerian men who are now persons of interest in this case. I thought he said they were White? He said recently he would be glad when the perps are caught so people can stop calling this an “alleged” case. Why didn’t ABC’s Robin Roberts just ask the following question: Jussie, why did you still have that rope around your neck when you came back to your apartment building and why didn’t you say something sooner? I know these are all the same questions that many have asked, but you do see how this looks don’t you? It is starting to look more and more like a publicity stunt gone wrong. So how does it feel now that we are in a national state of emergency? Do you feel anxious or scared? Are you afraid to leave the house? I remember how I felt on 9/11, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to come outside. I left work on that day and stayed at home for a while glued to the television. These “manufactured” emergencies are different. I guess it’s kind of like a television show, the director calls “action” and then the actors do their part, then after they have filmed what they need, they yell “cut.” The whole thing is a mess. 45 keeps bringing forth families who have been victimized by illegal immigrants. Why not bring forth the families who have been victimized by U.S. citizens? I want to see pictures of these people who are invading the United States by coming over the border. If there are so many there must be photographs. I did see one short piece on someone trying to come across the border. Hire more people to work the border. The wall won’t work. And last on my list, why do the people who are working at the car wash have to change the station on my car? They are only in the car for a few minutes. What is the point? (Email Debbie at

SWEETHEARTS—Bridgette and Eric Cofield (Photos by Debbie Norrell)

LOVE IN THE AIR—Abby Benavente Aguillon and Ike Patterson V

STILL NEWLYWEDS—Tamara and Aerion Abney

LADIES IN RED—Melissa Pickett and Aisha Gunter

KSEF 28th Annual Valentines Extravaganza by Debbie Norrell Lifestyles Editor

The ticket to the Kappa Scholarship Endowment Fund of Western Pennsylvania 28th Annual Valen-

tines Extravaganza promised a cocktail reception, a program and dinner, a party and the Bill Henry Band with special guest Anita Levels, each item was checked and double

GATEWAY CEO—Cain Hayes and Denise Hayes

checked. Nearly 200 guests donned formal party attire and enjoyed a great evening on Feb. 9, at the Omni William Penn Hotel. KSEF selected a new location and with that new location there was a decadent dessert bar and wonderful afterparty finger food. KSEF President Howard Russell Jr. said during the 28 years of existence of KSEF they have provided over $2.6 million in academic scholarships and financial assistance to over 155 students from Western PA. “Our success has resulted in strategic relationships with collegiate partners: Community College of Allegheny County, Penn State University, Robert Morris University, Dollar Bank, Gateway Health, Highmark, Parker Poe, UPMC and NEED.” Pittsburgh Alumni Chapter Polemarch, Robert J. Powell said, “The fundamental purpose of Kappa

ME AND MY SWEETIE—Darlene and Robert Powell

BASH MEMBERS SUPPORT KSEF—Michelle Torregano, Willma McNeese, Linda McCall and Norma Adams

KSEF FOUNDER—Tom Motley and Lillie Motley Alpha Psi is achievement. We are committed to personal achievement and to assisting others to achieve.” Thanks to the great work of the extravaganza committee: Jeff Jackson, Robert Powell, Howard Russell,

Sam Stephenson, Mike Thomas and Eric Cofield, guests enjoyed a wonderful evening and contributed to the mission of KSEF to provide philanthropic support through academic scholarships to high school seniors.

FIFTY YEARS A KAPPA—Mose McNeese and Eric Morris

KSEF SUPPORTERS—Kharma Lowe, K. Chase Patterson and Marcia Martin

BALL COMMITTEE—Jeff Jackson, Robert Powell, Howard Russell Jr., Sam Stephenson, Mike Thomas and Eric Cofield

CLASSIFIED New Pittsburgh Courier


FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019



Help Wanted

Help Wanted

Russell Standard is a leading provider of paving materials and services for the road construction industry. We are currently looking for various positions in our corporate office located in Pittsburgh (RIDC Park). Accounts Payable Specialist Posting entries and balancing general or subsidiary ledgers, vendor invoices payments, purchases, expense reports, compiling segments of monthly closings, annual reports, and other data processing. Associates degree in accounting, finance or related major required, bachelor’s degree is highly desired. HR Administrative Assistant Maintains personnel records and files, Acts as the first point of contact for the HR centralized inquiry system (HRSS), Responds to employee requests for information, regularly files HR related documents, Prepares new hire orientation packets and paperwork. High school diploma or equivalent required. To apply, please visit: Russell Standard is an equal opportunity employer. Women and minorities encouraged to apply. Russell Standard is a drug-free workplace. Employees must successfully complete a pre-employment drug screen and background check.


ECS is accepting applications for the positions of: Chief Operating Officer Curriculum & Professional Development Associate Director Literacy To learn more and to apply visit:

FANNY EDEL FALK LABORATORY SCHOOL University of Pittsburgh 4060 Allequippa Street Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Falk School, a coeducational K-8 school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is currently seeking full-time Elementary (4th 5th Grade ooping Classroom), Health & Physical Education Middle School (6-8) and Maker-Space/Technology Teacher (K-8) teachers for the next academic year beginning August, 2019. For full consideration please upload materials (detailed in the complete position announcements on this site) to edu/facultysearch. Review of applications will begin March 1, and continue through April 30, 2019, or until the position is filled. The University of Pittsburgh is an Affirmative Action Equal Opportunity Employer and values equality of opportunity, human dignity and diversity. EEO/AA/M/F/Vets/Disabled.



The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh’s regular scheduled Board of Commissioners meeting for February 28, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. 200 Ross Street, 13th Floor Wherrett Room, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 is CANCELLED.


A regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the College will be held on: March 7, 2019 4:00 PM CCAC Allegheny CampusByers Hall 808 Ridge Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 RENTAL SERVICE Unfurnished Apartments


Income based - 1,2,3, & 4 Bedroom Apartments and 3-4 Bedroom Townhomes. Apply at: 2320 East Hills Drive ; Pgh. PA 15221 or visit us online at: easthillscommunity



Applications for Police Officer for the City of Altoona may be obtained from the Human Resources Department at City Hall, 1301 – 12th Street, Suite 301, Altoona, PA, weekdays between 8:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. Applicants or their designees must file completed, NOTARIZED applications with accompanying documentation NO LATER THAN NOON ON THURSDAY, February 28, 2019. Return IN PERSON OR BY MAIL to: Human Resources Department Altoona City Hall 1301 - 12th Street, Suite 301 Altoona, PA 16601-3491 A $25.00 processing fee (check or money order) must be paid at the time the application is filed. Applications that are incomplete for any reason will not be accepted, and will be returned to the applicant. Falsification, concealment or misrepresentation of material fact on the application form may result in disqualification. All previous applicants will be required to reapply and repeat the entire application process in order to be considered for employment. REQUIREMENTS: •Must pass a physical agility test scheduled for Saturday, March 9, 2019, at 8:30 A.M., in Altoona. Must pass a written Civil Service Test to be administered on Saturday, March 16, 2019, at 8:30 A.M., in Altoona. •Must be 21 years of age on or before the date of employment. •Must be a United States citizen. Must have graduated from an accredited high school or have a Graduate Equivalency Diploma (G.E.D.) acceptable to the Commission. •Must be licensed to operate a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. •Must be of high moral character and free of felony or misdemeanor convictions. Must be physically and mentally fit for the full duties of a Police Officer. •Must submit to a Computerized Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA). •Must agree to psychological and physical examinations if offered employment. •Starting salary: up to $43,762.60 The City of Altoona is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Estate of KING, PATRICIA L. Deceased of Ross Township No. 00438 of 2019. Victoria L. Mahofski, Admin., 2 8 Perrysville Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15229 or to Michael J. Saldamaro, Esq., STE. 100, 908 Perry HWY., Pittsburgh, PA 15229 Estate of CARLISLE, RICHARD D., a/k/a CARLISLE, RICHARD DAVIS Deceased of McCandless Township. No. 00554 of 2019. Vicki J. Carlisle, Exec., 275 Arcadia Dr., Pittsburgh, PA 15237 or to Michael J. Saldamarco, Esq., STE. 100, 908 Perry HWY., Pittsburgh, PA 15229. Estate of WILMUS, BRIAN M. Deceased of West View. No. 00398 of 2019. Nicole Puorro, Admin. 3 Allison RD., Gibsonia, PA 15044 or to Michael J. Saldamarco, Esq., STE. 100, 908 Perry HWY., Pittsburgh, PA 15229.



The Trustee named below gives notice of the death of SARA J. MUNGER, late of Borough of Whitehall, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, who died on January 4, 2019. During her lifetime, the said Decedent established the S. J. Munger Revocable Trust by that certain trust agreement dated March 5, 2004 and as the same was amended and restated by that certain First Amendment and Restatement of Revocable Trust Agreement of Sara . Munger dated November 29, 2011, of which Edward James Ruane, Sr. is the trustee. The Trustee requests all persons having claims against the Decedent to make known the same in writing to him or his attorney, and all persons indebted to the Decedent to make payment to him without delay: Edward James Ruane, Sr., Trustee, 441 Saratoga Drive, Pittsburgh, Pa 1523 or to: Todd A. Fuller, Atty., Brenlove Fuller, C, 401 Washington Avenue, Bridgeville, PA 15017


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Public Notice



JOINT APPRENTICESHIP COMMITTEE Local Union No. 5, I.B.E.W. and Western PA Chapter, N.E.C.A. 5 Hot Metal Street, Suite 100 Pittsburgh, PA 15203-2356

February 2019 APPRENTICESHIP opportunities for those who meet the requirements are hereby announced by the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee of the I.B.E.W. Local Union #5 and the Western PA Chapter of N.E.C.A. Applications will be distributed at the: Electrical Training Center - 5 Hot Metal Street, Suite 100, Pittsburgh, PA 15203-2356 (South Side) March 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th - from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM March 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd - from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM Clearfield Training Center - 1400 eonard Street, Clearfield, PA 1 830 March 23rd - from 10:00AM to 1:00PM ALL APPLICATIONS MUST BE PICKED UP IN PERSON BY THE APPLICANT AND COMPLETED AT THAT TIME. APPLICANTS MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS: A. Applicants shall be in good health, of average intelligence, conscientious and interested in learning the trade. B. Must be 18 years old, as of June 30, 2019. C. Must be a high school graduate or hold a GED. D. Must have completed one year of high school algebra or one post high school algebra course. E. Applicant must be willing to take any tests given by or for the Committee. F. When an apprenticeship is offered, one must submit to a physical and substance testing and a test for color blindness. These tests will be administered by a doctor selected and paid for by the Committee. G. Must be a resident of one of the following counties in Pennsylvania for at least one year prior to application: Allegheny; Armstrong; Bedford; Blair; Butler; Cambria; Cameron; Centre; Clarion; Clearfield; Elk; Fayette; Fulton; Greene; Huntingdon; Indiana; efferson; McKean; Somerset; Venango; Washington and Westmoreland. H. A non-refundable check or money order for $25.00 (Twenty-five Dollars) will be required with the returned application. Cost of all testing and examinations to be paid by the Committee. We will not accept cash payments; check or money orders only. I. All applicants must have a valid Pennsylvania Driver’s icense for the entire time they are in the apprenticeship program. J. The recruitment, selection, employment and training of apprentices during their apprenticeship shall be without discrimination due to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, or non-job related disabilities. The sponsor shall take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in the apprenticeship and will operate the apprenticeship program as required under Title 29 or the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 30 and the Equal Employment Opportunity Regulations of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. P EASE BRING THE FO OWING ITEMS WITH YOU: 1. Copy of your High School Transcript Official or Unofficial (not the diploma) or your GED with scores (not a copy of the certificate) and High School transcript for years attended. 2. our Driver’s icense. 3. A (non-refundable) check or money order only for $25.00 made payable to Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee. We will not accept cash payments; check or money orders only.

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The URBAN REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY of Pittsburgh will receive bids from qualified contractors for remediation and demolition of two structures: a 3 story commercial building located at 512 arimer Avenue and a 2 story commercial building located at 522 arimer Avenue, and site clearing of 520 arimer Avenue; in the Larimer neighborhood of the City of Pittsburgh, and all work incidental thereto required to complete the Scattered Sites Demolition and Site Clearance Contract No. 13, until 11:00 a.m. prevailing time on Tuesday, the 12th day of March, 2019, at its office, 11th floor, 200 Ross Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219, at which time all bids will be publicly opened and read aloud in the Conference Room on the 11th floor. Contract documents will be available after 1:00pm on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 in the Engineering and Construction Department, 11th Floor, 200 Ross Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219, upon a non-refundable payment of TWENTY-FIVE ($25.00) DOLLARS made payable to the URA of Pittsburgh. CHECK OR MONEY ORDER ONLY. Contract documents will not be mailed. A certified check or bank draft payable to the order of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, negotiable U.S. Government Bonds (at par value), or a satisfactory Bid Bond executed by the Bidder and an acceptable surety, in a dollar amount equal to 5% of the total bid for Demolition and Site Clearance Contract No. 13 shall be submitted for each bid. The bid submittal must include the Bid, Non-collusion Affidavit of Prime Bidder, Bid Bond, Statement of Bidder’s ualifications, Certificate of Compliance - Section 3, and the Certificate of Minority and Women’s Participation. Wages paid on this project shall not be less than the minimum wages determined by the U.S. Department of Labor as set forth in the Contract Documents. The Contractor will be required to comply with all applicable Equal Employment Opportunity requirements for Federally-Assisted construction contracts. The Contractor must assure that employees and applicants for employment are not discriminated against because of their age, race, color, religion, disability, ancestry, national origin, age or sexual preference, gender identity, gender expression, political and or union affiliation. Attention is called to Executive Order 1124 , to Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 19 8, 12 U.S.C. 1701U, and to the Section 3 Clause and Regulations set forth in 24 CFR, Part 135. The Contractor will be required to comply with the following laws, rules and regulations: Bidders will be required to submit the package of certifications included with the contract documents relating to the Equal Employment Opportunity and the participation of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises. The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh requires that all bidders complete and submit an MBE/WBE Solicitation and Commitment Statement along with the bid. The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh reserves the right to reject any or all bids or to waive any informality in the bidding. Bids may be held by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh for a period not to exceed ninety (90) days from the date of the opening of Bids for the purpose of reviewing the Bids and investigation of Bidders prior to awarding the Contract. URBAN REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF PITTSBURGH Robert Rubinstein Executive Director

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


The Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County (SEA) will receive proposals for the project identified below. The contract for this work will be with the SEA. The Request for Proposals (RFP) may be obtained after the date identified below from Conor McGarvey, Email: cmcgarvey, Telephone: (412) 475-1622. This Advertisement applies to the following RFP: Project: David . awrence Convention Center (D CC) Portable 2-Way Radio and Accessory Purchase/Lease RFP Available: Feb. 14, 2019 Time/Date/Location for Non-Mandatory Pre-Proposal Meeting: 10:00 AM Feb. 19, 2019 Time/Date/Location for Proposals: 3:00 PM Feb. 25, 2019, D CC, SMG Admin Office East obby, 1000 Ft Duquesne Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15222


SEPARATE and SEALED BIDS for the following solicitation, will be received by the Office of Procurement, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, 1200 Penn Ave., Second Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, until 2:00 PM Prevailing Time March 6, 2019. INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) FOR THE 2019 SEWER RECONSTRUCTION CONTRACT PWSA PROJECT NO. 2019-424-102-0 Work under this contract includes the Work of the Contract includes the reconstruction and relay of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) public sewer system including storm, sanitary, and combined sewer facilities as required or directed. All bids must be submitted in accordance with the solicitation that can be obtained by sending an e-mail to procurement@pgh2o. com. There will be no charge for the solicitation, as it will be sent via e-mail. All questions relating to the solicitation itself shall be to Nicole Dickun, Procurement Manager, via e-mail:, no later than February 27, 2019. A Mandatory Pre-Bid Meeting will be held on February 20, 2019, 11:00 a.m. prevailing Time in the Authority’s conference room located at 1200 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA. The purpose of this meeting is to give an overview of the contract requirements and to allow Bidders to ask questions. Bids must be accompanied by a Bid Bond in the amount of Ten Percent (10 ) of the bid for the project under construction. Said Bond shall be duly and legally executed with a Surety or Trust Company which has complied with City Ordinances/Resolutions relating thereto. A Performance Bond and Labor and Material Bond in the amount of 100 of the contract value for each awarded project will be required after award. The Contractor must assure that employees and applicants for employment are not discriminated against because of their race, color, religion, sexual preference, sex, or national origin. The bidders will be required to submit the package of certifications included with the contract documents relating to Equal Employment Opportunity. The Authority reserves the right to withhold the award of the Contract for a period of 60 days after the opening of the bids. The Authority reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, and to waive any informality or minor irregularity in any bid or bids. The Authority also retains the right to investigate the qualifications of bidders prior to any award and to award contracts only to contractors who, in the sole judgment of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, are qualified and equipped to properly execute the specified work. ROBERT A. WEIMAR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR THE PITTSBURGH WATER AND SEWER AUTHORITY










The following surplus equipment will be offered for sale to the highest bidder(s): REQUEST FOR QUOTATION 190301 - SALE OF SURPLUS Computers, Monitors, AV Equipment, Welders, Mowers, Chiropractor Table, Microscope Bids are due in to the CCAC Purchasing Department no later than 2:00 PM on Friday, March 1, 2019. For more information, contact Mike Cvetic at Community College of Allegheny County Purchasing Department 800 Allegheny Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15233


Sealed bid proposals are hereby solicited for the Community College of Allegheny County, 800 Allegheny Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15233 (412.237.3020) on the following items: Bid Proposal No. 1041 – Electrical Construction for Network Infrastructure Upgrades – Boyce and North Campuses A mandatory pre-bid meeting and site-visitation will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. The assembly point will be Boyce Campus Security Office, inside front entrance, 595 Beatty Rd., Monroeville, PA 15146. The group will then proceed to North Campus. Due date: 2:00 P.M. Prevailing Time on Thursday, February 28, 2019 The CCAC Purchasing Department publishes all bids and RFPs via the CCAC website at https://www.ccac. edu/Bid-RFP_Opportunities.aspx It will be each vendor’s responsibility to monitor the bid activity within the given website (“Bid and RFP Opportunities”) and ensure compliance with all applicable bid documents inclusive of any issued addenda. Failure to incorporate any applicable addenda in the final submittal may result in the rejection of your bid. The Board of Trustees reserves the right to reject any and all bids. The Community College of Allegheny County is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and encourages bids from Minority/Disadvantaged owned businesses.


The Allies & Ross Management and Development Corporation (ARMDC) hereby request proposals from qualified Firms or Individuals capable of providing the following service(s): Development and Professional Advisory Services Consultant The documents will be available no later than February 11, 2019 and signed, sealed proposals will be accepted until 2:00 p.m., March 8, 2019 at which time they will be Time and Date Stamped at 100 Ross Street, 2nd Floor, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Parties or individuals interested may obtain information from: Mr. Kim Detrick – Procurement Director/ Chief Contracting Officer Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Procurement Department 2nd Floor, Suite 200 100 Ross Street Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-456-5116, Option 1 or by visiting the Business Opportunities section of A pre bid meeting will be held: Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Procurement Department 100 Ross Street, 2nd Floor, Conference Room Pittsburgh, PA 15219 February 21, 2019 2:00 P.M. The Allies & Ross Management and Development Corporation strongly encourages certified minority business enterprises and women business enterprises to respond to this solicitation. ARMDC 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, President & CEO Allies & Ross Management and Development Corporation ARMDC & HACP conduct business in accordance with all federal, state, and local civil rights laws, including but not limited to Title VII, the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, The PA Human Relations Act, etc. and does not discriminate against any individuals protected by these statutes.

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

Sealed proposals shall be deposited at the Administration Building, Room 251, 341 South Bellefield Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15213, on March 5, 2019, until 2:00 P.M., local prevailing time for: Pittsburgh Clayton Restroom Renovations Electrical Prime, REBID Pgh. Colfax K-8 Air Conditioning Mechanical and Electrical Primes Pgh. Colfax K-8 and Westinghouse Academy 6-12 Pool Filtration Repairs Plumbing Prime Pgh. Minadeo PreK-5 Unit Ventilators and Air Conditioning General, Plumbing/Fire Protection, Mechanical, Electrical and Asbestos Abatement Primes Pgh. Various Schools and Buildings Carbon Monoxide Detectors Mechanical and Electrical Primes Project Manual and Drawings will be available for purchase on February 4, 2019 at Modern Reproductions (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 each project manual.


The Washington County Housing Authority will receive separate, sealed bids for the following prime contract with the Authority: FIRE TANK REMOVAL BENTLEY TOWER BENTLEYVILLE, PA COMM. 119 A certified check or bank draft payable to the Washington County Housing Authority, a US Government Bond or satisfactory Bid Bond executed by the Bidder and acceptable sureties in the amount equal to ten percent (10%) of the bid shall be submitted with each bid. Bids will be received no later than 1:30PM/EST, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2019 at Washington County Housing Authority, 100 Crumrine Tower, Franklin Street, Washington, PA 15301 at which time the bids will be publicly opened and read aloud. Bids will be held by the Housing Authority for a period not to exceed sixty (60) days prior to contract award. A Pre-Bid Meeting will be held at 9:00AM/EST, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2019. Interested parties are to meet at the Project Site, 304 Washington Street, Bentleyville, PA 15314. Plans, specifications and contract documents may be examined at the following location: Pennsylvania Builders Exchange Pittsburgh, PA A CD containing Specs, Plans and Contract Documents may be obtained through the office of the Architect, Shaeffer & Madama, Inc., 57 Fourteenth Street, Wheeling, WV 26003 upon receipt of a $25.00 nonrefundable check and valid email address. For more information, contact The work to be performed under this contract is a Section 3 Project under provisions of the Housing & Urban Development Act of 1968, as amended, and must, to the greatest extent feasible, provide opportunities for training and employment for lower-income residents of the project and contracts for work in connection with the project be awarded to business concerns which are located in, or owned by, Washington County residents. Particular attention is directed to requirements of Executive Order 11246, 11625 and 12138, as well as Section 3 requirements, as set forth in the Specifications. The Washington County Housing Authority reserves the right to reject any or all bids or waive any informality in the bidding. STEPHEN K. HALL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019




Legal Notices

Legal Notices


February 20, 2019 City of Pittsburgh-Office of Management and Budget 200 Ross Street 2nd Floor Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219 412-255-2211 This notice shall satisfy procedural requirements for activities to be undertaken by the City of Pittsburgh. REQUEST FOR RELEASE OF FUNDS On or about March 8, 2019 the City of Pittsburgh will submit a request to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to release federal funds under Title 1 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 as amended for a real estate project. The development, Sixth Ward Flats is a 35-unit new construction mixed-use development in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of the City of Pittsburgh. The project consists of two three-story buildings. One building will be located at 3400 Penn Avenue consisting of 15 apartment units and approximately 1,100 square feet of first floor commercial space. The unit configuration is 14 one-bedroom and one two-bedroom units. There will be a total of 10 parking spaces for this building. The second building will be located at 3350 consisting of 20 apartment units and approximately 1,000 square feet of first floor commercial space. The unit configuration is 17 one-bedroom, two two-bedroom units and one three-bedroom unit. There will be a total of 19 parking spaces for this building. The developer of the project is Sixth Ward Flats LP. The developer was successful in securing an allocation of 2018 Low Income Housing Tax Credits through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA). The Federal funding sources include HOME Investment Partnership and Community Development Block Grant funds. The projected cost of the development is $14.8 million. FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT The City of Pittsburgh has determined that the project will have no significant impact on the human environment. Therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) is not required. Additional project information is contained in the Environmental Review Record (ERR) on file at 200 Ross Street, 2ND Floor Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219 and may be examined or copied weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PUBLIC COMMENTS Any individual, group, or agency may submit written comments on the ERR to: Gerald Cafardi City of Pittsburgh, 200 Ross Street Pittsburgh, PA 15219 (412) 255-2211 All comments received by March 7, 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 The City of Pittsburgh certifies to HUD that William Peduto 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. HUD’s approval of the certification satisfies its responsibilities under NEPA and related laws and authorities and allows the Urban Redevelopment Authority to use development funds. OBJECTIONS TO RELEASE OF FUNDS HUD will accept objections to its release of funds and the City of Pittsburgh certification for a period of fifteen days following the anticipated submission date or its actual receipt of the request (whichever is later) only if they are on one of the following bases: (a) the certification was not executed by the Certifying Officer of the City of Pittsburgh; (b) the City of Pittsburgh has omitted a step or failed to make a decision or finding required by HUD regulations at 24 CFR part 58; (c) the grant recipient or other participants in the development process have committed funds, incurred costs or undertaken activities not authorized by 24 CFR Part 58 before approval of a release of funds by HUD; or (d) another Federal agency acting pursuant to 40 CFR Part 1504 has submitted a written finding that the project is unsatisfactory from the standpoint of environmental quality. Objections must be prepared and submitted in accordance with the required procedures (24 CFR Part 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 1000 Liberty Ave.-10th floor Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222 Potential objectors should contact HUD to verify the actual last day of the objection period. William Peduto Mayor City of Pittsburgh



Covers OUR community Like the New Pittsburgh Courier…

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FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019

Guest Commentary

Martin R. Delaney: A man missing from Black History

by Dr. Conrad Worrill

The use of history as a tool of liberation is an ongoing battle that the African in American Community must come to grips with. Far too many African in American people reject the use of history as a tool in understanding the past, the present, and the future. The rejection of history, by many of us, results in the denial of our true condition and situation as thirty million people living in the United States. From time to time, in reflecting on our history and our present situation as a race, I reread a most profound book. In fact, I suggest that all African in American people read this book and become familiar with the work of this unsung hero in our struggle, Dr. Martin R. Delany. Martin R. Delany (a contemporary of Frederick Douglass and co-founder with Douglass of The North Star Newspaper) was a fearless and independent champion for the cause of our redemption from 1840 until his death in January 1885 at the age of 72. Dr. Delany was known as the most prominent advocate of African in American nationalism in the nineteenth-century. It was in his book, written in 1852, “The Condition, Elevation, Emigrations, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States” that Delany’s view of the situation of our race became widely known. Delany was free born in Charleston, Virginia on May 6, 1812. In an effort to improve their situation, the Delany’s moved to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania when Martin was 10 years old. At the age of nineteen, young Martin moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he worked as a barber and studied with an African in American minister named Lewis Woodson. Woodson is given credit for shaping Delany’s political thought. It was in Pittsburgh that Delany became exposed to the efforts of Africans in America who were organizing against the chattel slave system. These men were called abolitionists. Delany began attending meetings that focused on the abolition of slavery. These meetings and contacts with other African in American leaders inspired Delany to continue his self-education on the history of our race. He became an avid reader of world history and philosophy eventually emerging as one of the most important African in American thinkers and orators. Africans in America knew Delany for his opposition to the chattel slave system and for his call for Africans in America to voluntarily return to Africa and establish a nation. He was a tenacious fighter for African in American collective action and self-help throughout his participation in the movement. The life of Dr. Martin R. Delany should be required study for all African in American youth. For example, how many Africans in America are aware that Delany was among the small group of African in American medical students that attended Harvard Medical School in 1850 and 1851? Although White supremacy and racism forced Delany to withdraw (the White medical students strongly objected to a Black man graduating with them feeling this would lessen their degree), he went on to distinguish himself as an outstanding physician specializing in chronic diseases affecting women and children. Delany was a prolific writer. He wrote the third novel produced in this country by an African in America titled, “Blake and the Huts of America.” Additionally, he published an account of his trip to Africa to locate emigration sites, “the official Report of the Niger Valley Exploring Party.” Delany’s final work was titled, “Principia of Ethnology: The Origin of Races and Color with an Archaeological Compendium of Ethiopian and Egyptian Civilization.” It was in this work that Delany revealed that the ancient Egyptians and Ethiopians were Black, and the creators of the world’s first civilizations, contrary to the European conception of Egypt and Ethiopia (a concept they still cling to today despite all of the evidence to the contrary). The words that Delany wrote in 1852 have not changed and are still relevant and reflective of our condition today. In “Condition and Elevation,” Delany stated, “White men are producers—we are consumers. They build houses, and we rent them. They raise produce, and we consume it. They manufacture cloths and wares, and we garnish ourselves with them. They build coaches, vessels, cars, hotels, saloons, and other vehicles and places of accommodation, and we deliberately wait until they have got them in readiness, then walk in, and contend with as much assurance for a “right” as though the whole thing was bought by, paid for, and belonged to us.” And finally, Delany said in this great work, referring to the Europeans, “By their literary attainments, they are the contributors to, authors and teachers of literature, science, religion, law, medicine, and all other useful attainments that the world makes use of. We have no reference to ancient times speak of modern things.” Much of what Delany wrote and lectured about in the nineteenth-century concerning the condition of African in American people is still true today. Our challenge is to continue his legacy by breaking the mental chains of slavery that keep us dependent on others for our history and the interpretation of world events. Read the works of Dr. Martin R. Delany and you will find much wisdom. (Dr. Conrad Worrill, Professor Emeritus, Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies (CCICS). New office location is at 1809 E. 71st Street, Chicago, Illinois 60649, 773-592-2598. Email: Website:

(Reprinted from the Chicago Crusader)

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Politics and Benjamins (—Politicians and Benjamins is not exactly one of the best kept secrets. Everybody knows no lobbyist, no interest group, no individual gives campaign donations to a candidate or incumbent they believe will not work in their best interest. Why should they? I certainly would not. Why is it that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar simply saying what is so well known somehow winds up being classified as anti-Semitic? There’s got to be more to it. Racism never gets this kind of reaction. I have run for office, and been called on the carpet by pro-Israel groups simply for having my best friend from law school as my campaign manager who just happened to be Palestinian with no particular views on the Middle East. He was apolitical. It didn’t matter to those complaining that my Policy Director was Jewish and did have views about the treatment of Palestinians. That was a totally humane position. I have been to Israel and to the areas where Palestinians live. I’ve seen the devastation of homes. I’ve seen the olive trees bulldozed. I’ve seen Palestinians punched with the barrel of guns and more. I’ve also been to Holocaust museums in different parts of the world. I’ve read stories and heard the testimonies of families impacted by such cruelty. I’ve heard the unbelievable tragedy of many families, and my heart

Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.

Commentary bleeds for the pain of all involved. I can’t allow my heart to ache for my Jewish friends while ignoring my Palestinian friends. So, in my campaign, I couldn’t swear my loyalty to anyone while seeing a wrong against another. During my campaign for Congress, a man by the name of Shelly Beychok who at the time was an activist in AIPAC, and as I was told a Board Member, tried to force me to sign a “loyalty to Israel” document before supporting me. Just days before the election, polls had me leading my opponent (a well-known racist Republican who’d called for burning down schools before allowing Black and White children to attend school together). When I refused to sign such a document, a headline suddenly appeared in a major newspaper that I was a PLO sympathizer. That meant that no Benjamins should be given to me as a campaign donation, and it meant many of my supporters should back off from supporting me. Mr.

Beychok preferred to have my opponent win because I would not pledge my loyalty to anyone. I was a politician who refused to take Benjamins to vote against my conscience. There are others who do the same, but there are also many who will pretend the issue doesn’t matter so long as the group gives them campaign donations. I am absolutely sure of that. Some have even told me so and of their fear of the PAC in question. It’s no different from some of our community leaders who take money from groups that are not working in the best interest of our community. I see that frequently, and it’s painful. With my background in politics, I cannot understand the furor surrounding Congresswoman Ilhan Omar saying it’s about the Benjamins. Maybe some would vote the way they do without a campaign donation, but donors certainly don’t give their money to those perceived to be against their position on issues. Truth is always a defense. I had to stop watching CNN because of what they did to Marc Lamont Hill who called for justice for Palestinians, and in no way called for harm to Israel. Why should his remarks be called controversial or anti-semitic? I am convinced that many politicians support issues because of the Benjamins—not because of what they believe is just.

(Dr. E. Faye Williams is president of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc.)

Should Blacks challenge Black candidates more than White ones? You’ve seen the numerous news clips of presidential candidates Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Cory Booker. In reaction, many of you rolled your eyes and then rolled up your sleeves and began writing furiously on social media about their failure to act and talk Black until they recently declared their candidacy. But very few—or nearly none— of you wrote or even said anything about Julian Castro, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobucher, Elizabeth Warren, or any other non-Black big name declared candidate. Why is that? And is that a good thing or a bad thing? I’m not sure, so I’ll list the good and the bad and you decide which is more persuasive. Here’s why such Black-on-Black political challenging is good: It’s good because it weeds out the traitors. And a “friend” can do more harm than a foe. In other words, a traitor defeats you from the inside at the planning stage before you even face the enemy outside on the battlefield. Accordingly, Black voters need to make sure Black elected officials don’t strengthen so-called White supremacy by putting a Black face on it. It’s much easier for Black officials to hurt us than it is for White officials. What I mean is if Black officials oppose affirmative action, minimum wage increase, prosecution of brutal cops, easier voting access, or civil rights, it appears non-racist. But if White officials oppose any of that, it’s obvious that it’s racist. Although you can’t know for sure if a Black candidate is a traitor until he or she betrays you, you can check what I call “the fraud signs,” which are actions or statements that are kinda suspect, to say the least. Let’s consider Harris, for example. She is now claiming to oppose mass incarceration. But as the California Attorney General, she in 2011 implemented measures resulting in fines of up to $2,500 or a year in jail for parents—most of whom were Black or Brown—convicted of not getting their truant children to attend school regularly. In 2014, federal judges had to order her as Attorney General to initiate a new parole program for non-violent second-strike inmates that could free them earlier. It gets worse. Her office argued in court that if the state’s corrections system is ordered to release more inmates sooner, prisons would lose an important labor pool. Wait! Her office did what? This is nothing more than a form of modern day convict leasing. Although she recently agreed that that was very bad and very dumb, it’s still not a good look. Not at all. Also, despite having claimed that she pursued justice for all Black folks, including those disproportionately arrested on minor drug charges, she nonetheless refused to join Attorneys General in other states who had taken action to remove marijuana from the DEA’s list of most dangerous drugs. Why hasn’t she throughout her 15year political career as a district attorney, state attorney general, and US senator spoken out loudly and repeatedly and implemented progressive policies against racism in employment, housing, education, health care, and the criminal justice system before declaring her candidacy for president? Now let’s consider Booker, for example. During a recent campaign stop at a town in Iowa—with a 99 per-

Michael Coard

Commentary cent White population—he put the burden of resolving racism on Black people by publicly stating in regard to the Virginia blackface controversy, “If... [Blacks] want to have more courageous empathy, put yourself in a White person’s position who might have questions.” And he added, “We have got to start extending grace to one another so we can have honest conversations and leave room for growth.” Wait! He said what? White people need to put themselves in our enslaved, lynched, jailed, beaten, under-educated, overjailed, unemployed, and otherwise victimized position. And White people know what blackface is and what it means. After all, they invented it, dammit. They also know what slavery, sharecropping, convict leasing, Jim Crow, mass incarceration, and police brutality are. What’s there to talk about? Just stop being racist and stop denying your White privilege. I’m not contending that Booker should have gone to Iowa sounding like Minister Louis Farrakhan (although I personally, albeit not politically, would like that). But he didn’t have to sound like Stepin Fetchit either. Booker often tells the story of a White lawyer who helped Booker’s family overcome housing discrimination when they were trying to move into a New Jersey suburb. But there are much better stories to be told about what great Black lawyers like Johnnie Cochran, Thurgood Marshall, Charles Hamilton Houston, etc. did for all Black folks. Why doesn’t he tell their stories? And it doesn’t help that he joined with Republicans just two years ago in voting to block the import of inexpensive high quality medicine from Canada that poor people—especially poor Black people—could better afford. The official statement he released to justify his vote was the very same written statement that was previously issued by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America lobby. Maybe it’s just a coincidence that he has received

more pharmaceutical industry cash —totaling $267,338—during the past six years than any other Democratic senator. Why hasn’t he throughout his 21year political career as a councilman, mayor, and US senator spoken out loudly and repeatedly and implemented progressive policies against racism in employment, housing, education, health care, and the criminal justice system before declaring his candidacy for president? Here’s why such Black-on-Black political challenging is bad: It’s bad because it would be divisive. It’s also bad because it would restrict and limit the number of viable Black candidates. And it’s bad because Julian Castro, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobucher, Elizabeth Warren, and all the other non-Black big name declared candidates have done much more to hurt or much less to help Black folks than have Harris and Booker. But Tavis Smiley and Cornel West —both of whom I love and respect despite their relentless challenging of President Barack Obama—ain’t said nothing about them. And neither have most of you. Also, we know that some, even if just a few, of the millions of social media attacks against Harris and Booker (much more than the non-Black candidates) are generated by racist pro-Trump Russian bots. White folks—who constituted 72 percent of the presidential electorate last year compared to 12 percent for Blacks—ain’t never gonna create a groundswell for a Black presidential candidate. And they certainly ain’t never gonna vote for a Malcolm X-type Black candidate to be in the White House. Moreover, Harris and Booker are actually saying all the right things and actually doing all the right proBlack things now. And since some Democratic, Republican, or third party candidate -- all of whom are imperfect -- is gonna be president, why not Harris or Booker? After all, they’re not only Black; they’re also ideologically Blacker than all the other declared presidential candidates. Conclusion: I don’t know the answer. That’s why I’m asking you. Is it good or bad for Blacks to challenge Black candidates more than they challenge White candidates?

(Michael Coard, Esquire can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.) (Reprinted from the Philadelphia Tribune)


White privilege and Black power (—Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is a member of Congress. Let me repeat that. Ms. Omar is a member of Congress. So how dare Elliot Abrams, 45’s nominee as Venezuelan envoy presume to interrupt the Congresswoman as she made a statement and interrogated him? He was relatively docile when White people questioned him, but was angry and ignorant in his response to the Congresswoman. His behavior was disgraceful. He said he “would not respond to a personal attack,” although he was the one who pled guilty to withholding information from Congress and was later pardoned for his perfidy. I must commend Congresswoman Omar on her focused and poised interrogation. I must condemn Mr. Abrams for his rude defiance to the Congresswoman. Their exchange is illuminating because it encapsulates the change in tone and tenor in Congress. Old White men can hold onto their privilege, but younger women, some women of color, aren’t’ having it. They are doing what they need to do to provide for the people who elected them. Congresswoman Omar’s interrogation of Elliot Abrams has a back-story. Last week she tweeted that the blind Congressional support of Israel is “all about the Benjamins.” Jewish people were disturbed that her remarks were anti-Semitic (I don’t necessarily think so), and she apologized in the face of pressure. But now the deranged “leader” in the White House has called for her resignation (despite his own hateful, racist, anti-Semitic and other statements) and Vice-President Pence said there should be “consequences” for her comments (although no one has ever experienced consequences for genital grabbing). There have been calls for Omar to lose her seat on the House Foreign Relations Committee. She

Julianne Malveaux

Commentary prevailed, with dignity, in her questioning of the corrupt Elliot Abrams. She is to be applauded. Again, let me say, how dare that man! How dare he disrespect a member of Congress, something he would not have done if a White man were questioning him! How dare he interrupt her, how dare he talk over her, but thank you, Elliot Abrams, for projecting the many experiences that Black women and other women of color have had in corporate boardrooms and in other places where our voices are not valued. Abrams, you are a pardoned liar. You are a shady scandal. You ought not to be walking out among free folks, but 45 has pulled you out of the disgraceful slush pile (yes, Hillary was right when she called some folks “deplorables”) to help our country interfere in yet another free nation, Venezuela. You needed to sit at that table and behave humbly, but humble is not in your vocabulary when your White privilege collides with the Black power of a Congresswoman who has the right to interrogate you. I get it; you didn’t like it not one bit. So here’s a message you need to send back to your circle of aging troglodytes—get ready for it! Here’s the deal and here’s the bottom line. There are 110 women in Congress. There are congressional committees co-chaired by women on both sides of the aisle. These are women who are not planning to put up with your over talking shenanigans. These are women who are out of time regarding you. And while democratic and Republican women aren’t always on the same page, the fact that of the 110 women in Congress, only 13 are Republican speaks to the failures in your party. With 435 members in the House of Representatives, equity means that at least 217 are women. On the Democratic side, this increasingly means women of color, who are staring down your White privilege and eviscerating it. So that man who occupies the People’s House has the temerity to call for Rep. Ilhan Omar’s resignation oblivious of his own moral depravity. She had the right response in a tweet, “You have trafficked in hate your whole life—against Jews, Muslims, Indigenous, immigrants, Black people and more. I learned from people impacted by my words. When will you?” The fact is that 45 doesn’t learn. If he did, he would stop tweeting. As Omar has noted, “Anti-Semitism is real.” At the same time, it is important to note that criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic. The Israeli occupation of the West Bank is simply wrong and violates every notion of human rights. The backlash against Angela Davis, Marc Lamont Hill, Tamika Mallory, and Alice Walker is also wrong. While we must address Anti-Semitism, we must also address the ways that Israel has been oppressive to Palestinians and the ways that Israel advocates have, especially, attempted to shut down Black voices that embrace the human rights of ALL people, including Palestinians. We must also address the ways that a White male criminal was allowed to behave badly and arrogantly when an elected member of Congress made a statement and asked reasonable questions. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is to be commended for her work. Elliott Abrams is to be condemned for his rude and futile clinging to his sick White privilege! (Julianne Malveaux is an author and economist.)


Vaping—more dangerous than once thought (TriceEdneyWi r e. c o m ) — “ We Marc H. Morial must take aggressive steps to protect our children from these highly potent products that risk exposing a new generation of young people to nicotine. The bad news is that e-cigarette use has become an epidemic among our nation’s young people. However, the good news is that we know what works to effectively protect our kids from all forms of tobacco product use, including e-cigarettes. We must now apply these strategies to e-cigarettes, including USB flash drive shaped products such as JUUL. To achieve success, we must work together, aligning and coordinating efforts across both old and new partners at the national, state, and local levels. Everyone can play an important role in protecting our nation’s young people from the risks of e-cigarettes.”—U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams A decade after the introduction of vaping—the inhalation of nicotine vapor rather than smoke produced by a cigarette—a growing body of evidence shows the practice is far more dangerous than assumed, and is a major gateway for teens to become addicted to nicotine. The U.S. Surgeon General calls vaping among teens an epidemic. A recent study suggested that teens who vape are more likely to smoke cigarettes, and more likely to start smoking at a younger age. Furthermore, the new generation of devices are capable of delivering higher doses of nicotine, leading to greater incidence of addiction as well as nicotine toxicity and psychiatric symptoms among teenagers that haven’t been observed in adult smokers. “We let this Frankenstein loose without knowing what was going to happen,” Dr. Sharon Levy, director of the Adolescent Substance Use and Addiction Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, ominously observed in a report by

To Be Equal

CNN. Research has also shown another possible danger in vaping among African Americans. Black smokers were more likely than Whites to turn to vaping as a means of quitting smoking, but former smokers who began using e-cigarettes were more than 16 times as likely to resume tobacco smoking. Monica Webb Hooper and Stephanie K. Kolar, who studied racial differences in e-cigarette use, concluded: “If e-cigarette use truly lowers the chances of cessation, this could have a negative impact on the health of African American/Black smokers and widen disparities in quitting.” For these reasons, we were glad to see recent efforts at the state and federal level to curb the use of e-cigarettes and battle nicotine addiction. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said it will limit sales of many flavored e-cigarettes to bricks-and-mortar outlets that require proof of age for purchase or do not admit people under 19. Stricter verification will be required for online sales And the agency held a hearing last month to consider the potential role of drug therapies in helping teens quit e-cigarettes. Meanwhile, on the state level, legislators in Maine are considering a bill that would ban the use of e-cigarettes or vaping on school grounds.  In Florida, a House committee has just approved a measure that would ban electronic smoking devices in workplaces. As the Surgeon General noted in his advisory: parents, teachers, health professionals, elected officials and community leaders must work together to address the vaping epidemic. Talk to the young people in your life about the risks of vaping. Support community efforts to restrict the use of e-cigarettes, and tell your representatives to enact tough laws aimed at restricting access to nicotine. 

Candace Owens, #ADOS, and the nationalism question Recently, two conThe second controversies made J. Pharoah Doss troversy started headlines, one inwhen the maincluded Candace stream media disOwens, a Black covered there was woman and direca host of criticism tor of communicadirected at Demotions for Turning cratic presidential Point USA, a concandidates Kaservative advocamala Harris and cy group, and the Cory Booker from other involved the a group called creators of hashtag ADOS (American American Descendants of Slaves, or Descendants of Slaves). #ADOS. In response a CNN commenVideo surfaced of a December 2018 tator, Angela Rye, claimed some ADOS Turning Point USA event in London. arguments were not organic, but were A questioner asked Owens why the paid for by Russia, and a guest on Joy term “nationalism” was so problemat- Reid’s MSNBC show argued the ADOS ic. Owens replied: “The definition gets hashtag was a way to identify foreign poisoned by elitists that want globaliza- influence. tion. Whenever we say nationalism, the Naturally, the creators of #ADOS, first thing people think about is Hitler. attorney Antonio Moore and political He was a national socialist, but if Hit- commentator Yvette Carnell, demandler just wanted to make Germany great ed an apology. Carnell told Intercept and have things run well, OK, fine. The magazine the hashtag ADOS was startproblem is Hitler had dreams outside of ed two years ago, because “we thought Germany. He wanted to globalize. He there wasn’t enough policy…for Amerwanted everyone to be German and icans who descended from slavery and speak German. To me, that’s not nation- had ancestors who lived through Jim Crow, reconstruction, all of that, so we alism.” Of course, Owens was ridiculed by her came up with this hashtag.” Moore told Intercept the first ADOS detractors for being “fine with Hitler making Germany great.” Owens at- conference will be held in October, and tempted to divorce the concept of “na- they will invite Harris and Booker to tionalism” from Hitler, because Presi- “talk to Black America about their dent Trump was accused of endorsing Black agenda.” Intercept also wrote: For years, identi“White nationalism” when he declared himself a “nationalist” at a rally for Sen. fying as a Black American “descendant” of slaves or ADOS has been a way for Ted Cruz in October 2018. For Owens, nationalism is inter- Black Americans to advocate for the changeable with Trump’s slogan “Make specific needs and interests of those America Great.” That’s fine, but it brought to the United States via the doesn’t apply to World War II. Instead Trans-atlantic slave trade hundreds of promoting a conspiracy that global- of years ago, as distinct from the more ists are poisoning the definition of na- recent African and Caribbean immitionalism, she should have been pre- grants. Some critics using the ADOS hashtag have focused on Harris’ race, pared to define the term. Here’s two definitions: 1. Exalting pointing to Kamala’s India and Jamaione’s nation above all others and plac- can heritage as a possible explanation ing primary emphasis on the promotion for why, as a prosecutor, she supported of its culture and interest as opposed policies that disproportionately harmed to other nations and global interest. 2. Black Americans. The ADOS movement A belief that ethnic groups should rule does have some nativist elements. Here’s a definition of the term nativist: themselves and each group should have Protecting the interests of native-born their own nation to avoid oppression. Owens could have explained the con- or established inhabitants against temporary and historical distinctions those of immigrants. Clinton was right, everyone is a naof the term. Then left the questioner to ponder the words of former President tionalist, even the creators of #ADOS, Bill Clinton, “Everybody is a national- but they’re not inclusive, they’re tribal. (J. Pharoah Doss is a contributor to the New ist. The question is are you an inclusive Pittsburgh Courier.) nationalist or a tribal nationalist.”

Check It Out

Letters to the editor for publication The New Pittsburgh Courier welcomes all responsible viewpoints for publication. All letters should be typewritten and contain writer’s address and phone number for verification. All 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 email to

FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019


Raynard Jackson


The State of Black Republicans Last week, I wrote about the “State of the Black Union.” I used that column to talk about the state of the Black community and it seemed to catch on like wildfire. In a similar vein, since it is Black History Month, I want to discuss the state of Black Republicans. In my view, the state of Black Republicans is embarrassing! The question I would pose to my Republican Party is this: if they were accused in a court of law of being serious about increasing the level of participation by Blacks in our party; would there be enough evidence to convict them? The clear answer is an unequivocal NO. Just like the Democrats in Virginia are caught up in serious turmoil over their Democrat governor and attorney general using blackface, the Republican Party has the same problem. Their problem is not because our leaders have been caught using blackface, but rather their problem is that they have been caught using the wrong Black faces! Memo to Republicans: Diamond and Silk have absolutely NO connection to the Black community. If the goal is to get more Blacks involved in the party, why are you using them? Sean Hannity, they are not funny. Blacks find them offensive as hell, both liberal and conservative. Just like everyone should find blackface offensive, using Black faces to “entertain” you is just as offensive. It is called a minstrel show. Look it up! Scott Wagner, Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania last year, brought them into West Philadelphia under the guise of “outreach” to the Black community. I kid you not: Wagner NEVER campaigned with one “credible” Black during his campaign; but thought these two girls could “Stepin Fetchit” him into the governor’s mansion. Candace Owens is another prime example of the party showing their lack of seriousness about true engagement with the Black community. She is a walking gaffe machine and again, has absolutely no connection to the Black community, especially Black Republicans. But, yet, she is the face the party is throwing out to the Black community. She appeals strictly to a White audience and the party is too stupid to realize that. Memo to Owens, put down the twitter, STOP doing media and study up on the issues and talk with people who know what the hell they are doing. Just because the media puts a microphone in front of you doesn’t mean you have to talk. Sometimes it’s simply better to say nothing. The media loves to highlight Black Republicans and conservatives who are not ready for prime time. Look at this video of a person who has absolutely no business ever being in front of a camera. This is the worst interview I have ever seen: https:// Begin at the 3:30 timestamp. Warning, this will make you CRINGE! Radical liberal Democrat quasi journalists like Roland Martin love to have Black Republicans on his show that he knows are in way over their heads so he can embarrass them. But they are too enamored by the cameras to realize they are being used, i.e. Eugene Craig! No credible Black pays Owens any attention. Simply because she has a Black face doesn’t mean she is the right person for the job. For a party that CLAIMS they don’t believe in identity politics; I find her choice very interesting. The question I have for Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump is this: what job would you hire Diamond and Silk for or Owens for within the Trump Organization? The answer is NONE!!! So, if you wouldn’t hire them to work in your private company, why would you think they are good enough for the political arena? Would they hire Diamond and Silk to entertain their A list clients at one of their corporate board meetings? Would they pay Owns to give a keynote speech to their board of directors? Of course not. So, why do they think they are good enough for the Black community? Hmmmmm? Blackface and using the wrong Black faces are equally as offensive to the Black community. Until my party understands this distinction, we will never see credible Black engagement with the Republican Party. Despite what you see and hear in the media, Trump most definitely has a positive story to tell relative to the Black community; but our party is simply horrible at strategic communications and constantly chooses the WRONG messengers to go into the Black community. We will have major announcements in this regard around the end of the month. Would you send a 20-year-old to go up against Michael Jordan in his prime? Not if you had half of a brain. But, Republicans do it all the time when it comes to the Black community. We have plenty of Isaiah Thomas’ and Earvin Johnson’s to go against the Jordan’s of the Democrat Party. The reason the party doesn’t use them is they will tell the party what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. Therein is the difference between those mentioned above and those Blacks with credibility in the Black community! (Raynard Jackson is a Pulitzer Award nominated columnist and founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future.)



FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019


Message to Big Ben— Be a leader, a mentor, not a crybaby by Aubrey Bruce For New Pittsburgh Courier

Since shortly before the final 2018 NFL regular season game was played at Heinz Field between AFC North divisional rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, “the soapbox has been turnin’ and reputations have been

Inside Conditions

AUBREY BRUCE burnin’”…All while Steelers starting quarterback Ben “Big Ben” Roethlisberger has been using the “fake news” radio and TV outlets to shift the blame for his shortcomings in a way that appears as if as he’s been mentored by the 45th President of the United States. Roethlisberger is essentially on record saying that he has earned the right to be critical of his teammates. On Nov. 28, 2018, after the Steelers lost a critical game in Denver to the Broncos, USA Today sportswriter Lorenzo Reyes posted the following quotes from Roethlisberger after he called

in for a radio interview trying to blame everyone except Jed Clampett for tossing the game-ending pick. “I think I have earned the right to be able to do that [criticize his teammates] with as long as I have been here,” Roethlisberger said. “I’ll just be just as critical on myself as well in front of you guys. You have to know how to motivate different guys in different ways. I think that’s part of being a leader, being a captain, just understanding players. So sometimes you just grab them off to the side, and sometimes you have to be honest with them.” Hey “Big” Ben, how about being honest with yourself when you throw game-ending picks? Is Ben Roethlisberger the quarterback, the head coach and the offensive coordinator all wrapped into one? It has been also rumored that in a team meeting he allegedly said this to Antonio Brown: “I don’t have to throw you the ball.” Does that statement by Roethlisberger reveal that he thinks that he is superior to his offensive coordinator and head coach? Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown seems to think so. Brown recently tweeted the following. “He has an owner mentality like he can call out anybody including coaches. Players know but they can’t say anything about it otherwise

BEN ROETHLISBERGER they meal ticket gone. It’s a dirty game within a game.” Roethlisberger has that entitled, “I can’t do anything wrong attitude.” Roethlisberger also criticized rookie wideout James Washington for failing to reel in an overthrown errant pass thrown near him by “Big Ben” late in the third quarter. “He has to make (the catch),” Roethlisberger said. “I just think he didn’t trust his hands.” Has Roethlisberger become a mind reader?

“Yes, he’s a rookie, but you can’t be out there if you’re not going to make those plays for us.” “Big” Ben must have forgotten that all of his veteran teammates were not totally thrilled with him during his rookie year. Lest we forget; on Sept. 21, 2004, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sports columnist Ed Bouchette penned an article shortly after the Steelers then-rookie QB Roethlisberger took over for the Steelers’ injured starter

Tommy Maddox. Former Steelers O-lineman Alan Faneca was asked was it exciting that the young quarterback was at the helm. “Exciting?” Faneca replied to a question in an are-you-crazy kind of way. “No, it’s not exciting. Do you want to go work with some little young kid who’s just out of college?” It’s a learning process for him. He’s a No. 1 pick, he’s fresh out of college and that’s the big thing. He’s throwing in a new offense. He’s not in

that Miami, Ohio, offense that he sat in for three years, four years. He has to learn that, too, so there’s a lot to soak in.” Hey Ben, there is a lot of knowledge that younger players have to soak in. It’s also a process for James Washington. Remember that you were rookie a couple of decades ago and they trusted in your “raw” abilities. Now is not the time for tears and sniffles. Be a leader, a mentor and not a crybaby.

‘Best of the Batch’ Foundation scores again! by Bill Neal For New Pittsburgh Courier

:10—There’s a reason that former Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Charlie Batch still stands tall even after his playing days. It’s because he’s never forgotten where he’s from and what he stands for. The Munhall-Steel Valley grad who made his way to two Super Bowl rings with the Steelers by way of Robert Morris University and Eastern Michigan University before becoming a second-round pick by the Detroit Lions. After a highly-decorated 15-year pro career, he came home to establish “The Best of the Batch” Foundation. The nonprofit organization is devoted to improving the

lives of children and families in distressed communities by building character, self-esteem and appreciation for education. :09—We want to take this opportunity to offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the great Jimmy Cvetic. The retired police detective who was…“The Golden Glove!” Jimmy spent over 30 years helping to develop young fighters in the Western PA community as well as the fight game itself. Truly a great man that will truly be missed. :08—Still with us and still going strong. A Happy “Basketball” Birthday goes out to Jarrett “The Jewel” Durham, the Aliquippa legend who started at Duquesne University, who

went on to play with the New York Nets in the ABA, celebrated his 70th. :07—Speaking of the Dukes…and I was. The Palumbo Center was rockin’ and rollin’ as they put on a show putting out the lights on George Washington University on Saturday, Feb. 16, 85–69. :06—Let’s dribble to Uptown a bit where the Pitt Panthers took another one on the chin. But as is their way, they went down fighting. A great crowd of 10,000-plus witnessed a really good game, even though Pitt fell to then-No. 22 Virginia Tech, 70–64. Most importantly, “The Pete” was packed. The Oakland Zoo, the noise level and the legends were all

on hand. Superstars Billy Knight, Sam Clancy, Terry Knight and Kirk Bruce where all on hand. I know you heard it from me before, but trust me. In two years, Coach Jeff Capel will have this team in the thick of it. Just missing a few parts to the puzzle. A 3-point sharpshooter, a big man presence and some “nasty” and we’ve got a different party here! :05—Look, that bounce pass Steph Curry gave to Giannis Antetokounmpo was simply the best alley-oop you will ever, ever, ever see in your life. The great Pistol Pete Maravich just threw up a high-5! :04—If you were under a proverbial rock somewhere, Team LeBron barely got by Team Giannis, 178-164, and the seven-foot wonder Kevin Durant took home

MVP honors with 31 points He’s getting on at the next and 10-of-15 from the field. stop!!! :02—Anyone that has :03—Hey, tell the Greythe name of a public servant you want honored at the Pittsburgh/Allegheny County Public Service Awards should submit their name and number to me asap. The awards are upcoming, March 28. :01—“Champions Live” Sports Talk Show, brought to you in part by the Savoy Restaurant and in partnership with Achieving Greatness Inc., will honor the Penn Hills State Championship team this Thursday, Feb. 21, at the Savoy at 6 p.m. First come—first seat, free parking, free admission, cash bar, cash kitchen BILL NEAL and a ton of fun. Call AGI hound bus driver to hold at 412-628-4856 for inforthat seat next to Le’Veon mation. :00—GAME OVER. Bell for Antonio Brown.




FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. at United Methodist Church


Praise & Worship ST. BENEDICT THE MOOR CATHOLIC CHURCH Crawford & Centre Ave. Pgh., PA 15219 412-281-3141 Mass Sunday 10:00 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: Journey Worship........8:45 a.m. Sanctuary Worship........11 a.m. Taize Prayer Service (Wed.) 7 p.m.

Curious about Quakerism? You Are Welcome at our Meetings for Worship Sundays at 10:30 a.m. Pittsburgh Friends Meeting 4836 Ellsworth Avenue THE AKAs at a service being held at United Methodist Church in the Hill District, Feb. 17. (Photos by Courier photographer J.L. Martello)

REV. DAWN M. HAND, Pittsburgh district superintendent for the Western Pa. conference of the United Methodist Church.

Seminary at the Tabernacle 43 Belvedere St., Crafton, PA 15205 Sept. 10, 2018-May 16, 2019 Sr. Pastor Tony Armstead, MDiv Christian Leadership School (CLS) a Four-year Program currently offering Four non-credited courses in four years. Teaching includes Doctorate and Master of Divinity Teachers. When: Fluctuates Mon. or Thurs., 6:308:30pm Cost: $75 per class, plus any required books Contact: Rev. Marjorie Davis, Ph.D. 412335-2832

New Destiny CME Church 114 North Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212 412-231-7882 Rev. Kornelus Neal, pastor The Rt. Rev. Marvin Thomas Sr., presiding bishop Sunday School....................................9 A.M. Morning Worship Service............11:00 A.M.

LILLIE SIPP, of Forest Hills.


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

THE AKAs honoring Martha Hunt in the front row, far right.


FEBRUARY 24—Rev. Dr. Gary L. Hughes will be installed as Senior Pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in South Park, at 5 p.m. at the church, 3801 Mountain Rd. Rev. Dr. Hughes is a native of Pittsburgh, whom accepted his call to ministry in 1997. Rev. Dr. William H. Curtis of Mt. Ararat Baptist Church will be the preacher for the installation service at the Mt. Ararat Men’s Choir will render the music.


MARCH 10—Triedstone Baptist Church in Rankin will have a Pastoral Anniversary Banquet for Rev. Nathaniel and Rev. Terri Pennybaker. It will be held at Kingston Hall, 100 Kingston Drive, Monroeville, at 5 p.m. The guest preacher will be Rev. Dr. William H. Curtis of Mt. Ararat Baptist Church. Donation is $40 per person. The banquet will be preceded by Sunday Service at 11 a.m. at the church, 18 Harriet St., Rankin. For more information, call 412-271-3000.

FRED AND ANN hold 12-week-old Kelan Lamar Motley.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEXT CHURCH EVENT! \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



FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019


Community Mental Health:

Mental Health Barriers in African American Communities

by Orlandria Smith For New Pittsburgh Courier

The month of February is reserved for Black History Month, as we remember and celebrate the many contributions and achievements of African Americans throughout our nation’s history. In our efforts of rejoicing, honoring, and thanking those who have fought to give us hope, we must embody the strength and wisdom of the past, as we look to the future to take action, empower and heal African American communities, as many are significantly affected by mental health conditions. It’s no surprise that mental health is a significant concern in the United States, as millions of people are affected by mental health conditions every year; though, only about half are receiving treatment. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) suggests that approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S., which is equivalent to 43.8 million, or 18.5 percent, experiences mental illness in a given year.

in treatment. The public creates stigma by creating negative attitudes or beliefs towards individuals with mental health issues, which can harm social opportunities to those publicly labeled as mentally ill (i.e., obtaining jobs, finding housing, or sustaining relationships), because the public perceives them as dangerous, unsound, dysfunctional, criminals et cetera. More importantly, stigma emits false information and stereotypes about people or groups of people. Misinformed information and stereotypes in mental health further create discriminatory acts against those diagnosed or those who display “signs” of mental illness (i.e., one’s idea of how a mentally ill person may look or behave). African Americans who already experience prejudice and discrimination suffer from double stigma when faced with the burdens of mental illness. There is a lack of interpersonal trust between African Americans and health care professionals, which contributes to many African

treats psychological disorders in the same manner that a physician would treat cancer or a broken arm. The medical model argues that mental illness is related to the physical structure and functioning of the brain. However, more health professionals opt for a humanistic approach. The humanistic approach strives to restore human dignity within mainstream psychology by understanding the individual’s experiences as they experience it, advocating for clients’ agency, freedom, encouraging self-actualization, self-motivation et cetera. Understanding psychopathology from a humanistic perspective may help combat mental health stigma because the approach does not reduce human begins to psychological diagnosis. This relatively new wave of exploring mental illness may entice others to seek and possibly trust health care providers. Between 2005 and 2013, the percentage of racial/ethnic minority groups within the psychology workforce grew from 8.9 to 16.4 per-

African Americans who already experience prejudice and discrimination suffer from double stigma when faced with the burdens of mental illness. As race intersects with mental illness, the statistical findings become alarming. Research indicates that African Americans are disproportionately affected by mental illness compared to their White counterparts, due to social barriers such as: mental health stigma; distrust in health care systems; underinsurance; and inadequate social support. Stigma in mental health is the leading cause that deters individuals from seeking therapy, who would benefit from mental health services or participating

Americans’ unwillingness to seek psychotherapy. Interpersonal trust between health care professionals and clients has shown to be an important aspect of care. The Tuskegee syphilis study is an excellent example of why African Americans have good reasons not to trust health care providers; however, mental health professionals have veered away from traditional perspectives of mental illness. Traditionally, mental illness is understood from a medical perspective. The medical model of mental illness

cent, compared to 39.6 percent for the overall workforce and 25.8 percent for the general doctoral/professional workforce. I hope that the above findings, regarding the alternative approach to psychotherapy and increase in racial/ethnic minorities in the field of psychology, may relieve some distress for African Americans, as many are reluctant to seek therapy. However, I am not implying that only African American psychologists can help African Americans, as any psychologist who illustrates uncondition-

al positive regard, empathic understanding, congruency, cultural competency, and centers therapy around the therapeutic relationship, between client and therapist, is useful for all who seek psychotherapy. The above

icans had no form of health insurance; although the Affordable Care Act made it more accessible and affordable to get insured, there are limitations regarding mental health care services. For instance, there is difficulty

of education and resources et cetera. The notion of deconstructing social constructions or “reframing” is not new; in part, it stems from the socio-ecological theory. The socio-ecological approach is

Research indicates that African Americans are disproportionately affected by mental illness compared to their White counterparts, due to social barriers such as: mental health stigma; distrust in health care systems; underinsurance; and inadequate social support. Stigma in mental health is the leading cause that deters individuals from seeking therapy, who would benefit from mental health services or participating in treatment. statistical findings merely acknowledge the concerns of many African Americans, as cultural representation is essential, as it is only natural for human beings to immerse themselves around people who they find relatable and comfortable. It also illustrates the changes within the health care profession and encourages African Americans to seek therapy, as there are psychologists with great intentions and effective therapeutic outcome. African Americans are 20 percent more likely to experience severe psychological distress than non-Hispanic Whites. Common mental health diagnosis amongst African Americans include: major depression; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); suicide (mostly amongst African American men); and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder fifth edition, PTSD includes but is not limited to: exposure to actual or threatened death; serious injury or sexual violence; directly experiencing of the traumatic event(s); witnessing; and learning that the traumatic event(s) occurred to a close family member or friend. African Americans have higher rates of severe mental health problems because they are more prone to be victims of violent crimes. The disproportionate rates amongst African Americans historically are embedded in the institutional dimension of racism and mental health; thus, creating a double stigma. Discrimination affects the quality of life in impoverished African American communities. Often the residents of the community are either underinsured or have inadequate health care coverage. There is also a lack of resources to find quality mental health services, with

finding therapists who accept Medicare; this is a poor reflection of the relationship between therapists, potential clients, and insurance companies. Also, often the use of insurance requires a diagnosis, which is subjective and targets specific individuals as many insurance companies will only approve therapy when diagnosed with a severe mental disorder (e.g., schizophrenia, bipolar, or obsessive-compulsive disorder), which further perpetuates mental health stigmas and restricts access to health care services to those who do not meet mental health insurance requirements. Although health insurance companies’ policies are limiting, there are alternative options for access to mental health care providers, such as psychologytoday. com, which entails potential therapists’ profiles including payment options (i.e., sliding scale or standing price per session) and acceptance of insurance. Websites such as NAMI and have a directory that explicitly lists African American therapists by zip code. Furthermore, African Americans are overly prescribed medication when seeking treatment. Some studies indicate that African Americans metabolize medications more slowly than the general population; yet, they are more likely to receive higher dosages, which may result in a greater chance of adverse side effects and decrease the likelihood of participating in treatment. A plausible solution to combat mental health stigma is reframing stigma in mental health as a social injustice rather than a public health concern. The idea of reframing stigma in mental health not only expands the understanding of the phenomena and broadens the approach to eradi-

a theory of change in communities; it attempts to understand others and their differences in socio-political cultural contexts, in a manner that does not blame others for environmental factors but to critically examine the context of the issues at hand and its impact. An ecological perspective may suggest developing a collaborative relationship between the residents of the community and those of service to the community (i.e., community psychologists, socio-political advocators, community researchers et cetera). When community advocators and residents work together, they can define the problem(s), identify resources, and find practical solutions. Dialogical skills offer those who are oppressed within a socio-political context liberation; thus, liberation heavily relies on our ability to create meaningful dialogues. Community dialogues not only provide a safe place in which the residents and “community experts” can commune with one another, but it allows their differences to come together, as they actively listen to one another with care. The concept of dialogue seems rather simply; though, it is significant to the resident’s well-being. Evidence-based interventions have illustrated that healing the wounds of oppression requires the development of dialogical skills; this process releases oppressed communities from objectification. Furthermore, dialogical development and reframing stigma in mental health systems are crucial, as it may help eradicate stigma in mental health and break down some of the barriers within African American communities. The process of eradicating barriers in mental health within African American communities can take place by targeting systems that contribute to

African Americans are 20 percent more likely to experience severe psychological distress than non-Hispanic Whites. Common mental health diagnosis amongst African Americans include: major depression; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHA); suicide (mostly amongst African American men); and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). a therapist of their choice. Also, African Americans are overly prescribed medication. The above variables can have an adverse effect on the psychological functioning of African Americans. Traditionally, pejorative stereotypes about African Americans have translated into policies that restrict and limit African Americans’ access to health care services. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2012, 19 percent of African Amer-

ORLANDRIA SMITH is a first-year doctoral student at Point Park University, majoring in Clinical-Community Psychology. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Arts in Clinical-Community Psychology, also from Point Park University.

cating stigma—it also places the responsibility for the stigma on the public instead of on the individual. When viewed in terms of prejudice and discrimination experienced by those who are seen as “outsiders,” the concept of social injustice argues the loss of opportunities experienced by those diagnosed with mental illness and highlights the social determinates that causes stigma such as institutionalized racism, lack of access to health care services, lack

the oppression, such as: system norms (attitude values, beliefs); resources (human, social, economics, opportunities); regulations (policies and procedures); and operations (power and decision making). When we can collaboratively work with those in oppressed communities who are significantly impacted by the effects of discrimination and stereotypes regarding mental illness, we can strive towards progressive change.


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Awards Reception

Friday, February 22, 2019 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Fairmont Pittsburgh Hotel 510 Market Street, Pittsburgh, Pa.

CHRIS MOORE Celebrity Host

Once again, the New Courier readers, which Pittsburgh Courier is submitted the names of pleased to present an those who met the critearray of outstanding ria. The extensive list of individuals—the Men submissions stands as of Excellence, Class of a testament to the broad 2019. They join the disarray of gifted personalitinguished list of previties who work and serve ous honorees that have in our community. left an indelible mark of These extraordinary achievement, service Men of Excellence now ROD DOSS and sacrifice on the appear in the pages fabric of our commuof this special tribute nity. They are resplendent in deed, publication, each a shining examunselfish in commitment and cou- ple of how hard work, integrity and rageous in purpose. Their individual determination lead to success. We accomplishments have lifted this city trust their achievements will inspire and its people to new heights. These others to pursue excellence in their are the men we honor. chosen fields of endeavor. Acknowledging the distinctive conWe thank our sponsors and adtributions made by African American vertisers for their support in making men—men such as these, each of this special publication and awards whom has made an impact on Pitts- reception possible. This publication burgh and the region during the past stands as a record of accomplishyear, furthers our city’s greatness ment and a landmark of achievement and pride in our community. for those in our community. We enAs always, it would not have been courage you to share it with others. possible to compile this list of talCongratulations to the Men of Exented men without the help of the cellence, Class of 2019.

Presenting Sponsor

Award Sponsors

ON THE COVER—Legacy Honoree William E. Strickland Jr. surrounded by the Class of 2019 Men of Excellence.





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Chris Moore

Award-winning broadcaster. Historian. Mentor. Advocate. In a broadcasting career that has spanned more than 50 years, Chris Moore has developed keen and unique insights into Pittsburgh’s history. He’s always had the ability to add his personal touch, a personal flair to broadcasting, which has distinguished him from others in the profession. The New Pittsburgh Courier is pleased to welcome Chris Moore as its celebrity host for the Men of Excellence, Class of 2019 Awards Dinner. Moore is no stranger to the event, having hosted the awards dinner in 2017, and having been an honoree in the Men of Excellence “Class of 2008.” He also served as the celebrity emcee for the Courier’s 2014 Women of Excellence Luncheon.

Moore joined WQED Mul- tary-related programs includtimedia in 1980. Since then ing “Fly Boys: Western Pennhe has produced, hosted and sylvania’s Tuskegee narrated numerous proAirmen.” grams and documentaries. Moore recentAt WQED, Moore is best ly hostknown for his work as the ed “The former host of “On Q” and State “Black Horizons,” the of Black longtime running pubP i t t s lic affairs talk show burgh” on that addressed issues WQED, in of interest and relevance to conjunction Pittsburgh’s Black communiwith the ty. Urban Moore also produced and narrated several documentaries such as “Wylie Avenue Days,” “Torchbearers” and “Jim Crow Pennsylvania,” along CHRIS MOORE, CELEBRITY HOST with mili-

League of Greater Pittsburgh. He was also the creator and host of “Black Talk” on WCXJ. He is also known as the host of Pittsburgh Now, on PCNCTV, and “The Chris Moore Show,” Sunday evenings on KDKA-AM 1020. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Moore is a graduate of Grambling State University, and is a Vietnam veteran. Moore has received numerous recognitions and awards for his many achievements throughout the years, including the Urban League’s Ronald H. Brown Award for civic leadership and the 2013 Catholic Youth Association’s Bill Burns Award. In addition to his professional commitments,

Moore also volunteers his time as a way to give back to the community. He is the founder and co-director of the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation’s Frank Bolden Urban Journalism/Media Workshop, which gives high school students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field of journalism. Moore’s better half is his wife, Joyce Meggerson-Moore, his queen of more than 38 years. While the two have no biological children, he has hundreds of “children” that he has worked with throughout the years that affectionately call him, “Dad.” When asked what he enjoys doing in his spare time, Moore once jokingly remarked, “What is spare time?”


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William Strickland Jr. – Legacy Honoree Bill Strickland, chairman emeritus of Manchester Bidwell Corporation, probably more than any other individual, is responsible for Pittsburgh’s rebirth from the collapse of the steel industry. Long before Amazon thought to come here, before the shale gas boom, people were looking at Pittsburgh because of Strickland and his ideas about building regional workforce capacity by giving educational opportunities to poor, and mostly Black, youth and adults, they otherwise couldn’t get. And because he is an artist, he brought an artist’s perspective to the work—he built an educational center filled with art, sculpture, music and gardens for his students to learn in. No sterile hallways, no metal detectors—and for most, the education was free of charge. His model was driven by two thoughts: that poor people should be able to enjoy beautiful things, too; and that if they were they would respond in beautiful ways. And, they have—in the thousands. “What Bidwell does best is to change people’s lives through dignity and respect,” said Mary Curet Duranti, director of disabilities resources at UPMC, during a 2009 graduation ceremony. “Bidwell restores belief in oneself by providing a beautiful place to learn and work.” In the 50 years since Strickland first talked the late Sen. John Heinz into giving him $1 million to build what has become Manchester Bidwell—on the condition that it have a culinary program—his model has been duplicated in cities across the country and beyond. His legacy spans the globe, not just in brick-andmortar, but in the lives of people he’s touched. Always one to give credit to others, Strickland said none of it would have been possible if he hadn’t put people who shared his vision in charge and given them the freedom to implement it. People like the late Jesse Fife, Valerie Njie, and Marty Ashby. He added it also wouldn’t have been possible without the support of people like Heinz and Elsie Hillman, and from corporations like UPMC, Allegheny Health Systems, Alcoa, Calgon, Bayer, and countless others. “When I look back…to do this kind of thing, you have to have friends, and you have to live your life the right way,” he said. “It’s about getting outcomes for the kids, the students, and the adults—and never giving up. It’s not magic. It’s hard work.” Strickland’s hard work has been recognized with numerous awards over the years including the 1996 MacArthur “Genius” Award for leadership and ingenuity in the arts, and the 2012 GOI Peace Award given annually by the GOI Peace Foundation in Tokyo, Japan. He has also earned that attention of the White House on multiple occasions; being sworn in as a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2002, and serving on the White House Council for Community Solutions in December 2010. The New Pittsburgh Courier is pleased to add to that impressive list by celebrating William E. Strickland Jr. as its Men of Excellence 2019 Legacy Honoree.




Business Education Director Bridgeway Capital Aaron Aldrich has 13 years of experience in the banking and finance industry. He’s currently the Business Education Director at Bridgeway Capital. Aldrich’s journey started in retail banking where he had various roles within the bank, most notably as a branch manager. He developed staff, promoted a customer-centric environment and grew deposit and loan balances while maintaining operational soundness. He was recognized for multiple awards during his banking career, including a PNC Achievement Award and two Champion Awards from National City Bank. Aldrich has a passion for equity and inclusion. His goal is to ensure underserved entrepreneurs have the capital and business acumen necessary for success. In November 2017 he became a Certified Growth Wheel Business Advisor. With this certification he’s able to help entrepreneurs set goals, create action plans and monitor success through the Growth Wheel online platform. Aldrich leads a team of consultants that work one-on-one with entrepreneurs assisting them with accounting, marketing and legal services. Aldrich also enjoys community service and has instructed financial literacy courses at area high schools and churches. He currently serves on the North Side Christian Health Center Board of Directors and has done so for the past seven years. Aldrich received his BA in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh and his MBA in Business Administration from Point Park University. Aldrich has been happily married for the past 11 years to Monica Aldrich; they have two children, Madison and Aaron Jr., and are expecting their third soon.


Founder and Executive Director The Way Organization Kevin Alton has been mentoring long before he founded The Way Organization. In 2008 after losing his brother to gun violence and being part of the community destruction, Alton knew he had to make a drastic change. He began working with Voices Against Violence (V.A.V.) in the summer of 2009 as a part-time employee, quickly working his way up the ranks into various positions in the organization. By the fall of 2009 he was offered a position to work in Carrick High School as a mediation specialist. This position gave him the opportunity to reach and teach African American youth. During the same time Alton was given a second opportunity to reach even more youth when he began working with One Vision, One Life. Alton worked tirelessly in his community. That’s where he noticed he was only reaching some of the youth on the South Side. In 2010, Alton, along with friends, created the Bears Youth Athletic Association and introduced the Southside Bears. A football organization

for children 5-14, like many football teams the Bears weren’t always prevailing on the scoreboard, but they always showed up to play. In 2018, Alton, the coaches and organization itself received a proclamation from the state and convened in Harrisburg with lawmakers about the work they’ve done. Alton helped co-found 3K Co-Op LLC, where youth are offered paid internships, summer jobs, scholarships, tours of trade schools and colleges in and out of the state. He also helped cofound CAMP F.U.N. Summer Camp (Families Unite Neighborhoods) where 150 local kids come to enjoy a summer of education and fun. Alton currently works as Mediation Specialist at Brashear High School. There, he became certified as a Restorative Justice Trainer. All of these positions played a role in Alton creating The Way Organization (T.W.O) and better serving Pittsburgh communities and its youth.

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Class of 2014 Honorees

ANTHONY ANDERSON Deputy Superintendent Pittsburgh Public Schools

Anthony Anderson is the Deputy Superintendent for Pittsburgh Public Schools. As deputy, he oversees curriculum and instruction, school performance, student services, special education, professional development, early childhood, and career and technical education. Anderson is a visionary and always puts the academic growth and social well-being of all the students in Pittsburgh Public Schools first. He works alongside both school and central office leadership teams modeling and facilitating a student-centered decision-making process. Before joining PPS, Anderson served in Duval County, Florida, as a regional superintendent of 16 of the district’s middle schools ranging from high- to low-performing schools. He has worked with all levels of public schools ranging from early childhood to high school and adult education programs. His leadership has led to increases in school performance and students becoming leaders of their own educational futures. Anderson is respected by his peers for his ability to lead change and create sustainable systems, while motivating and recognizing his staff.


President and CEO Professional Barber Institute Wahad Ansari, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Barber Institute, is a Pennsylvania licensed barber, barber shop manager and barber teacher with over 20 years of experience in the field. He has owned and operated Three Generations Barbershop in the Homewood area for 18 years. Ansari is a Veteran of the United States Navy, where he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the COMNAVAIRLANT Battle “E” Ribbon, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon. He was a co-winner in both the 2014 and 2016 Urban Innovation21 Homewood Small Business Grant competitions. Since 2012, Ansari has trained young men to become barbers, both in his shop, and as a volunteer at Community College of Allegheny County’s Homewood location. In an effort to assist more community residents with attaining self-sufficiency through employment and entrepreneurship in the barbering industry, he founded the Professional Barber Institute (PBI), which opened in May 2018. PBI is licensed under the state and is the only African American-owned and operated barber school in Southwestern Pennsylvania.








Brandon Baker is a lifelong resident of Allegheny County. He grew up in Wilkinsburg and was a member of City Charter High School’s first graduating class in 2006. As a program participant of The Center for Family Excellence Inc., staff noticed Baker’s natural ability to lead and mentor young men. Consequently, he was offered a part-time position, and nine years later, he is a full-time family outreach worker, continuing to mentor and counsel young men in Pittsburgh, the surrounding communities and Western Pennsylvania, helping them to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives. Over the years, as co-facilitator of the Values for Life Interpersonal Skills group and lead facilitator of the Seventh-day Adventist “Come Up” Male Mentoring Program, Baker’s passion for working with youth has influenced dozens of young Black males by modeling responsibility, a strong focus on family, a strong work ethic and a commitment to community and family. Baker supports his community through many volunteer efforts that impact youth across Western Pennsylvania—multiple years of working with the Mel Blount Youth Home, and 2018 Game Changers: Youth Changing the Trajectory of our Nation African American Teen Summit, to name a few. Baker serves as secretary on the Board of Directors of Benefiting African and Minority Males (B.A.A.M.) In 2017 he received the Male Coalition Mentoring Award and in 2018 he received the Male Teen Recognition Award. He is a founding member of the East Liberty Family Support Center’s Men on a Mission Program, a project at the Kingsley Association which seeks to mold young males into loving fathers, faithful husbands, and community leaders. Lastly, Baker is devoted to his life partner, Brittani Graham, and is the loving father of his beautiful three children: Hadiya, Braydon and Bryson Baker.

Eddie Bell has worked at Children, Youth and Families since 1996, beginning as an Intake Caseworker. He quickly transitioned to an Adoption Caseworker and along with the Adoption Department, assured permanent homes for children by finalizing a record number of adoptions. In 2002, Bell accepted the position as a Family Advocate Specialist with the Allegheny County Model of Family Group Decision Making. This voluntary program called on families to learn and utilize the power of empowerment. Subsequently, Bell was promoted to Family Group Decision-Making Manager and later became a Conferencing and Teaming Manager. In 2015, Bell was responsible for the day-today operations of a regional office, as a Clinical Manager. He had the task of ensuring every child was safe and secure in a loving and nurturing environment, as well as ensuring every family’s voice was heard. Most recently, Bell was given the opportunity to lead the Father Engagement Program and assist with the recruiting and retention efforts within the agency. Bell has been credentialed by the Family Development Credentialing Program, a professional development course for frontline workers to learn and practice skills of strength-based family support. He was also selected to participate in the 2015-2016 class of the Leadership Fellows Program. Bell’s passion for children, youth and families con-

Family Support Specialist Center for Family Excellence Inc.

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Children, Youth, Families Allegheny County Department of Human Services

tinues to define who he is as a person; not only the mission of keeping children safe and families together, but also in promoting hope, respect, strength and empowerment.


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ENTREPRENEUR ISAIAH CRESENT BEY President/Founder Engineering Impact Initiative

Isaiah Cresent Bey, also known as Wadjet Mentuhotep, is the president and founder of the Engineering Impact Initiative, a multi-faceted engineering program focused on improving melinated people’s approach towards academics and life science for sustainability and vitality improvement. Bey’s fields of expertise are; mechanical engineering, environmental science, and services & stewardship (urban agriculture, hazardous waste operations & clean-up, including mold remediation). Through his love of learning, Bey has become an ever-improving adept student of science (study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation). By his unique character, Bey expresses leadership among his peers and is honored among elders. Quotes that have guided his ambition to be the best sentient being he can be include: “Look up a word if you don’t know it!;” “Research what you are into before you get into it!;” “Ye are Gods and are Children Of The Most High!;” and, “In order to be a God, you must be responsible for your surroundings!” Bey is an alumnus of; The University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering Manufacturing Assistance Center, New Century Careers, Bidwell Training Center, A. Phillip Randolph Institute, Community Empowerment Association’s Carpentry Courses, Life’s Work of Allegheny County, and Pittsburgh Job Corps. The social, mental and spiritual traumas melinated people (Aborigine Autochthons, the original people of the soil of the Earth) have experienced from being colonized over the entire globe, has caused some to be less confident about certain approaches toward education and culture. The aforementioned motivates Bey to play his part to restore the passion for learning that was once had and that’s been replaced with lust and greed. Melanin is billions of years old and Bey is thankful to the Most High to be a spiritual being who can experience it physically.

RELIGION PASTOR NEVILLE A. BROOKS Pastor Jubilee International Ministries Pastor Neville A. Brooks was born in the United Kingdom. He has been in the ministry for over 40 years and is the co-founder of Jubilee International Ministries. He is also the founder and director of Save Our Sons (S.O.S.), an international Christian mentoring program for boys. Pastor Brooks is the Dean of the Jubilee International Ministries Bible College. He is also the author of two books, “Man’s Manifest Destiny” and “Abigail’s Legacy.” Pastor Neville received an honorary Doctorate in Theology and Biblical Studies from the Grace Bible College and Seminary in North Carolina. He’s also the Executive Producer of “From Chains to Gains: A Gospel Musical,” which tells the story of how the African slaves were able to find hope and solace in singing spiritual songs, hymns and psalms that produced the Gospel music that is heard all over the world today. He and his wife, Connie, co-founder of Jubilee International Ministries, live in Pittsburgh.









Reverend Dr. Darryl T. Canady received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Banking & Finance from Morehouse College, his Master of Divinity Degree from Emory University Candler School of Theology, and his Doctor of Ministry Degree from the School of Theology at Virginia Union University. Reverend Dr. Canady serves as the Senior Pastor of Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church in East Liberty, where he offers a fresh perspective for revitalization inside the church and outside in the local and global community. Reverend Dr. Canady, along with his wife, Rev. Taleeta Canady, is the founder of the LIFE Male Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math (STEAM) Academy, the only K-12 male academy with a STEAM-focused course of study in the region. The mission of LIFE Male STEAM Academy is to prepare all male scholars for college success and career-readiness. The academy also serves as a catalyst to increase the presence of African American males in the STEAM pipeline. Reverend Dr. Canady is a very gifted preacher and teacher of the Gospel. He completed the three-year Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention Pastoral Excellence Program and has ministered in several cities across the U.S. and internationally in Capetown and Polokwane, South Africa, Guyana, South America, and Jamaica, West Indies. He enjoys facilitating workshops on leadership development, male empowerment, marriage and family enrichment, and youth enhancement. His life mission comes from Luke 12:48: “For unto whom much is given, much is required.”

Dr. Anthony Carlisle is an assistant professor of journalism/English at California University of Pennsylvania and since 2016 has been chair of the English department. He earned a bachelor’s in English from Cal U, a master’s degree in liberal arts from Duquesne University, and a doctorate in literature from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has taught at Cal U since 2002. He teaches journalism, literature, and composition courses. Prior to teaching, Dr. Carlisle was a reporter for 11 years, working at the New Pittsburgh Courier, the Daily News, The Pittsburgh Business Times, Beaver County Times, and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. His literature research interests are protest, African American, and Appalachian. He has presented at several conferences to include the English Association of Pennsylvania State Universities, Midwest Modern Language Association, the Association for the Study of African American Life & History, and the Appalachian Writers

Senior Pastor Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church

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English Department Chair and Assistant Professor California University of Pennsylvania Association Conference. Dr. Carlisle is the winner of several awards as both a journalist and college professor: The Robert L. Vann Award for Investigative Reporting, The Robert L. Vann Award for Feature Writing, the Keystone Spotlight Award for Business Writing, the Frederick Douglass Institute Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Sigma Tau Delta Luise Van Keuren Award for Teaching. Dr. Carlisle is also an Army veteran, serving 14 years in the Reserves and deploying to the Middle East in 2004 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also does volunteer work as a member of his fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma, and as a member of the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation. Dr. Carlisle has been married for 22 years to Dr. Amy Alexander, a Penn Hills High School counselor, and they have two children: Arielle Alexander and Amya Carlisle.


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Revelator, visionary and groundbreaker are just a few words that describe Bishop Donald O. Clay Jr. From preaching at the tender age of 16 in Cincinnati, to obeying God and stepping away from a leading church in Pittsburgh, to birth a ministry for those unable to overcome the hurdles of traditional church and religion, Bishop Clay’s story is one of remarkable faith and commitment to the will of the Father. Truly an Apostolic Father, Bishop Clay is the founder of Petra International Ministries, headquartered in Pittsburgh, and has helped to establish several successful churches in the U.S. Out of a passion for young people, Bishop Clay has also founded schools to properly educate inner-city children. Committed to the belief that Christians are to impact every facet of the culture, God has used Bishop Clay to birth creative programs that empower Christians to impact the world, from the marketplace to the arts. With an unwavering commitment to unity, Bishop Clay has been a leader in the charge to foster unity in a schism-driven society. When asked the key to success in ministry, Bishop’s response is always the same, “worship.” Worshipper is the one word that probably best describes Bishop Clay. His passion for a Spirit-led worship life provides the fuel to his giftings as a teacher, author and songwriter. “Poppy” is the name given to Bishop Clay by his grandchildren. Blessed with a beautiful family, Carli and her husband, Justin, and Cameron and his wife, Winter, Bishop Clay and his loving wife, Lisa, have been given four beautiful grandchildren, Ashanti, Carsyn, Judah, and Zarah. “Poppy” seems to put the final bow on this gift to the body of Christ. He, along with his wife, Lisa, are true examples of John 13:35: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Harvey Cole Jr. is the Director of Public Safety at UPMC Shadyside, responsible for the overall security of its entire campus which includes the Hillman Cancer Center and several off-site office locations. Cole leads about 100 personnel consisting of police officers, security officers and contracted guards. He takes pride in several accomplishments that lend to bolstering a safer environment within and outside the campus. In October and April, he coordinates UPMC’s participation of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) sponsored Unwanted Prescription Drug Take Back Program. He provides coordination to 14 different collection sites throughout Allegheny and Erie counties. During these collection campaigns, he receives 135 boxes of medications which weigh over a ton. Leading this campaign, he supports the community by keeping prescription drugs out of the hands of the unauthorized people. His efforts in this program provide safety for the environment by lessening the flushing of the medications in waterways. Cole is a graduate of Robert Morris University with a BS in Business Administration Executive Leadership. Using his leadership skills and experiences, he served with the Pennsylvania State Police and retired 29 years with rank of Major (Director, Bureau of Patrol). His responsibilities encompassed 4,500 personnel in three divisions; Patrol Services, Commercial Vehicle and Troop T- Turnpike. In addition, he served and retired with 25 years with the United States Army (Active/Reserve). While serving in Operation Enduring Freedom Combat Tour, he was awarded the “Bronze Star” for ex-

Founder Petra International Ministries


Director of Public Safety UPMC Shadyside

emplary service as a Military Intelligence Chief Warrant Officer (CW3). No matter the role or profession, Cole is devoted to minority hiring and mentoring those in his community. Currently, he is a member of UPMC ‘s Diversity Leadership Network, in which he advocates workforce diversification. Harvey Cole is happily married to Elaine M. Cole for 34 years and they have two sons, Harvey Cole, III (Trey) and John H. Cole, both inspiring college graduates. Cole is an active member of Clark Memorial Baptist in Homestead. As a 50-year faithful member, he serves as the First Vice-Trustee and an usher. Also, he is a Masonic member belonging to Star of the West Lodge #62 and several other affiliations.

COMMUNITY SERVICE PARRISH DAVENPORT Executive Director Family & Friends Initiative

Parrish Davenport is an empowerment speaker, author, and fine arts consultant who teaches and challenges people to pursue their dreams, conquer their insecurities, be victorious over their trials, and walk confidently in their life’s calling. A sought-after workshop facilitator, Davenport emerged from his silence and is now empowering men and women of all ages to tear down their façade and walk in true freedom. Known for his all-encompassing outreach efforts

and fine arts expertise, Davenport turned his passion for helping others thrive in spirit and soul into a recognized nonprofit organization, the Family & Friends Initiative. As the Executive Director of the Family & Friends Initiative, he empowers communities through local programming and national projects which focus on transforming lives through holistic ministry and promoting individual and family growth. Davenport is the author of the best-selling book, “Removing the Mask: Meeting the Real You,” which was released in June 2018 and ranked as an Amazon #1 Hot New Release in Christian Men’s Issues. His book also placed in the Amazon Top 100 Books in the Counseling & Recovery and Child Abuse categories. Also, his book ranked #1 in the Self-Help category at the 2018 The Author Zone Awards. “Removing the Mask” challenges men, young and old, to choose the path of healing after facing traumatic situations, and to embrace their true identity. Davenport is an advocate for mental health and works for an outpatient mental health agency. Davenport serves as the Minister of Music at the historic St. Paul Baptist Church in Pittsburgh, and he is an assistant editor and writer for the Soul Pitt Quarterly. He is the program facilitator of the Manhood 2.0 Program at the University of Pittsburgh. He has overcome many challenges in his life, and now his life’s work encompasses equipping others to do the same.







Representative Austin A. Davis was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in a Special Election on January 23, 2018. He proudly represents the 35th Legislative District in Allegheny County. The 35th District includes communities such as Clairton, McKeesport, Duquesne, Munhall, Whitaker, White Oak, and parts of West Mifflin. Prior to serving in elective office, Rep. Davis worked for Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, where he served as an Executive Assistant to the County Executive spearheading his vision/transition team in the early days of the administration. In addition to his service in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Rep. Davis is currently serving as the Vice Chairman of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee, as well as on the board of directors for the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, The Consortium for Public Education, Communities in Schools of Pittsburgh, and Auberle. Representative Davis has received numerous awards and recognition for his work in government and in the community, including Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 Under 40 award.

Charles DeShazer, M.D., is senior vice president and chief medical officer for Highmark Health Plan. Dr. DeShazer is a board-certified internal medicine physician executive with over 20 years of management experience in medical informatics, quality improvement, medical management, and care delivery redesign. For Highmark Inc., Dr. DeShazer is accountable for defining the Health Plan’s clinical strategy and representing the Health Plan to the business, medical, and regulatory communities. He is responsible for overall medical leadership and direction in the development, organization, management, and strategic direction of Highmark Health Plan’s processes related to health care quality, efficiency, and cost improvement. He previously worked for Kaiser Permanente, Humana Insurance, and BayCare Health System. In prior

State Representative Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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Sr. Vice President & Chief Medical Officer Highmark Health Plan roles, he was responsible for enterprise quality and analytics for a 12-hospital Integrated Delivery System, implementation of the patient-centered medical home model, oversight of utilization management, implementation of disease management programs, leveraging a system-wide EHR to achieve meaningful use objectives, supporting the development of an Accountable Care Organization (ACO), creating tools and infrastructure for quality and performance management, and implementing patient-centered technologies such as Personal Health Records (PHRs) and telehealth systems. Dr. DeShazer is an Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) certified Improvement Advisor. He received his medical degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Illinois Hospital, Chicago.

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Collision Center Customer Relations Manager P & W BMW Donald “Donnie” Gray III was born and raised in Pittsburgh. Gray was blessed to attend Pittsburgh Public Schools and be part of the magnet program. Through his experiences in the public-school system, he was able to experience diversity and create relationships with kids from all different walks of life. Gray claims that those experiences contributed to his social gifts, as well as molded him into the leader he was called to be. His ultimate goal is to lead souls into greatness and help them build character, whether that is in his place of work, community, schools, or through ministry. Donnie started at P & W BMW/Mini of Pittsburgh in 2013. Gray worked from the bottom, washing cars, to his current position, the Customer Relations Manager in the Collision Department. Due to his unceasing hard work and magnificent work ethic, Gray was always hungry to learn more and more about the business. As the opportunities appeared, he took advantage of them right away, but he always made sure he guided someone else to take over the position he left. Mentoring the young men in the dealership is one of his greatest passions, for he says: “There is nothing more rewarding than passing down your knowledge to others, so we can succeed together.” Gray has a big smile and an even bigger heart, he treats others exactly as he wants to be treated and that is one of the reasons he feels he’s been so successful in his field. He treats his clients like family, he aims to let his light shine every day, and help all around him to reach their full potential. Gray also has participated in programs such as the Community Intensive Supervision Program (CISP), a program for young juveniles, where he spoke about his personal story and how he got to where he is today. Gray also spends his time as the VP of New Business Development for Executive Valet, a renowned valet company in Pittsburgh. On his free time, “Donnie” loves to spend time with his wife and family.


Marketing Representative/Organizer Sheet Metal Workers Local 12 Charles Greer Sr. has been a member of the Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 12 for more than 27 years and currently holds the position of marketing representative. In the 27 years as a member, he has served as an apprentice, job steward, journeyman, foreman, instructor, union trustee, executive board member, apprentice committee member, recording secretary, organizer and recruiter. Greer also serves as a delegate on the Allegheny County Labor Council, and sits on the board of Infinite

Lifestyle Solutions, a non-profit whose mission is to help the area youth who have been a victim of or witnessed a violent crime. Charles Greer Sr. is happily married to Carol L. Greer, Human Resources Director at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium and New Pittsburgh Courier 2016 Women of Excellence award recipient. He is the proud father to Charles A. Greer Jr. (Kim), Ashley Cobbs (Allen), and Olivia Greer, along with being the stepfather to William and Brittany McGhee and the grandfather to eight beautiful, intelligent, funny grandchildren. His interests are bowling (currently serving as league treasurer), golf, traveling (with Las Vegas and Aruba being his two favorite destinations), Texas Hold’em, fishing, and spending time with his grandchildren. Greer is proud of the fact that he has never believed he couldn’t be or do something because of the color of his skin. He is the first African American Officer in his local union. Greer, in his career, has had the opportunity to work in nuclear power stations, help build hospitals, schools, correctional facilities, and do research and development in the aluminum, automotive and aeronautic industries. But the most rewarding part of his job in Local 12 is helping another person improve their life through better employment opportunities and education. Greer is looking forward to the future and spending time with his wife on a beach in Aruba when they retire.






Pittsburgh’s native son, Akil “Esoon” Griffin, has been involved with music, arts and culture in a professional capacity for over 25 years. As an artist, Griffin has recorded and performed around the world with the best and the brightest the music and entertainment industry has to offer. As a music producer, Griffin is a talented multi-instrumentalist with professional placements in television and film, as well as with professional recording artists in today’s music industry. Griffin has placed great emphasis on teaching and mentoring youth. His work as a teaching artist in the City of Pittsburgh has made a positive impact on youth in the community at-large since 1996 through creative and passionate programming. Griffin’s dedication using his undeniable musical talents and experience to uplift and empower the youth in the community renders him one of the most well-rounded and most respected artists/music producers in America. His music placements and performance credits include: Empire (FOX), Game of Thrones (HBO), Archer (FX), Netflix (Spike Lee’s “She’s got to have it”), Toni Braxton, Timbaland, Fantasia, Jordin Sparks, Faith


Deavon Hammonds has became a staple in the uprise of new media marketing in the Pittsburgh area. With boldness in branding and filled with creativity, he has developed more and more opportunities to establish himself as a source of over 15 years of entrepreneurial endeavors. One can feel refreshed from his marketing, visual media, public relations and journalism background. A man of communication and a huge personality has led him to Executive Director of IDI Productions and Promotional Push. He’s also a board member for Hammonds Initiative under the direction and guidance of Leonard Hammonds II, providing awareness and contributions to its programs. Hammonds is also a strategic partner at Urban Ad Networks and Urban Web Television, HES and 3rdIVision, which creates content for online, on-demand and streaming platforms. He’s the creator of Pa.Id, a program created to end the connotation of violence throughout Pennsylvania. Hammonds lives by the motto, “closer to success, further from failure.”

Evans, Mac Miller and Jasiri X, just to name a few.

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Senior Manager of Mental Health Rehab & Recovery Services Pittsburgh Mercy Barnett Harris Sr. was born and raised on the East Side of Detroit. He’s the eighth of nine children born to two parents with high values and principles, William and Edna Harris. Family and community was commonplace. Growing up, activities always included other kids in the neighborhood. There was some separation during his teenage years as Harris went to high school on the West Side of Detroit. Because of his involvement in athletics, it kept him away from the neighborhood in which he grew up. As Harris recalls, it helped to expand his social base and taught him to connect with people from different backgrounds. After high school, Harris attended Iowa Western Community College in Clarinda, Iowa. There were nine persons of color attending that school: three were from Africa, and the remaining six, including Harris, were on the basketball team. Coming from Detroit, which is a predominantly-African American city, Harris truly experienced culture shock in Iowa—but his social base expanded further and he learned to become more accepting of differences. During the summer breaks, Harris would return home and work with youth programs overseeing younger teens. After graduating from Iowa Western, Harris received a basketball scholarship to Duquesne University. He played basketball there for two years and became the first junior college transfer to graduate on time. He majored in criminal justice with a minor in business. After graduating from Duquesne, Harris worked several jobs, none of which ever fulfilled him, he recalls. He then got a job with The Whale’s Tale, a youth and family counseling center. He began in a residential shelter for abused and neglected teens, and soon realized that social service was his calling. Harris then started his own organization called “Divine Intervention Group” in 2002. Harris received a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership in 2003. In 2007, he began working at Pittsburgh Mercy, where his focus became the adult population. As Harris now knows, “I have come to realize that true servanthood and service has no distinction. I know my purpose.”

RELIGION REV. DR. JAMES H. HARRIS SR. Senior Pastor St. James AME Church

Reverend Dr. James Henderson Harris Sr. currently serves as the pastor of St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church located in East Liberty, of which his father pastored from 1966-73. Reverend Dr. Harris received his divine calling at the age of 17 and began pastoring at the age of 19. His ministerial career of 44 years has allowed him to pastor extensively in Pennsylvania and Ohio. He was educated in the Pittsburgh Public Schools system and received his BA from Wilberforce University, Master of Divinity from Payne Theological Seminary and his Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary. Reverend Dr. Harris has been actively involved in the leadership of his beloved denomination by serving on the General Board and its many commissions. In 2004, Rev. Dr. Harris ran for Bishop at the General Conference in Indianapolis. He has been influential in organizing many ministries from feeding terminated steelworkers in the Farrell/Sharon, Pa. community to assisting young people in their academic journey. Recently, Rev. Dr. Harris was influential in the Get Out The Vote campaign in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Reverend Dr. Harris has served as an Adjunct Professor of Black Church History, Business Ethics, and Project Thesis Supervisor in the CLIMB program at Wilberforce University. Reverend Dr. Harris is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Pride of the Valley Lodge No. 95, the Ohio Council of Deliberation Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite PHA and Bezaleel Consistory Prince Hall Affiliation and a 33 Degree Mason. Reverend Dr. Harris’ mission in life is to make this world a better place for all people. Recently celebrating his 65th birthday, life has a new meaning, but he is determined to make his mark on his community and his church.









CFO/ Treasurer United Way of Southwestern PA

Founder & Owner Pittsburgh Jazz Network

Nelson E. Harrison, Ph. D., clinical psychology, adjunct professor (CCAC), author, composer, arranger, poet, lyricist, playwright, producer, recording artist,

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archivist, speaker, trombonist veteran of the Count Basie Orchestra (1978-81)… To say Dr. Harrison is accomplished would be putting it mildly. His composer credits consist of over 300 original compositions including movie scores and soundtracks for plays written by August Wilson, Richard Wright, Georg Stanford Brown and John Russo. He’s the inventor of the “trombetto,” a one-of a kind, 10-inch long brass instrument on which he can play over six octaves chromatically; founder of the Pittsburgh Jazz Network, an online community that boasts 3,300 members worldwide; business manager of the Afro-American Music Institute; internationally-recognized expert/lecturer on Pittsburgh Jazz History, co-producer on PCTV-21; surviving member of the erstwhile Local #471 of the American Federation of Musicians; and designated as the 2015 Pittsburgh Jazz Hero by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Len Hawkins is the Chief Financial Officer at United Way of Southwestern PA where he has worked for nearly three years. He is an accomplished financial professional with more than 20 years of managerial experience and achievement across a wide range of functional disciplines, including finance, strategic planning and operations management. As United Way’s CFO, Hawkins is responsible for assessing and evaluating the financial performance of the organization with regard to the organization’s long-term goals, budgets and forecasts. Hawkins is passionate about United Way’s mission and is inspired by the work of his colleagues to do good in the community. Since the start of his career with United Way, he has seen firsthand the impact the organization has on the community, and he is proud to see the corporate community come together to make life-changing moments happen for people in need throughout the region. Before joining United Way’s team,

Hawkins served as deputy budget director at the Office of Budget and Management for the city of Chicago, where he helped execute and manage the city’s $8.7 billion annual operating budget. Hawkins also served as the director for Budget and Capital Finance at the Chicago Transit Authority, where he developed and maintained the authority’s annual operating budget of $1.4 billion. Before moving to Chicago, Hawkins held various executive management roles at BB&T Bank and SunTrust Bank in the Southeast regions. Hawkins is a Pittsburgh native and received his Master of Business and Finance Degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He started his professional career here working for HJ Heinz in a number of management roles. While in Pittsburgh, he served on the board of a number of different organizations such as PACE and Carlow Hill College. In his free time, Hawkins enjoys golfing, traveling, exercising, and cheering on the Steelers.


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President and CEO Gateway Health

Deputy Chief Executive Officer Manchester Academic Charter School Cain Hayes is president and CEO of Gateway Health. Having joined the organization in late 2018, Hayes leads the day-today operations of one of the nation’s top-ranked managed care organizations that serves over 500,000 Medicaid and Medicare members. Previously, Hayes served as president and COO of the Health Business for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota with full operating and financial responsibility for the company’s commercial markets, government markets, provider relations, network management, care management, clinical innovation, pharmacy, service operations, and marketing. Hayes was also president of Aetna’s national accounts division, where he had full financial and operating responsibility for the $9.1 billion business. Prior to Aetna, Hayes held a number of executive leadership positions at Nationwide and Principal Financial Group. Hayes holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Drake University, and a Master’s in Business Administration degree from Webster University. In addition, Hayes earned the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) designation from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Dennis Henderson is a dynamic educator and advocate of social justice through education who has impacted the lives of youth and families for over 20 years. Throughout his career, Henderson is renowned for his grassroots approach to education and designing collaborative learning experiences with a variety of industry leaders to create programs that provide students and families exposure to educational, economic and personal growth opportunities within the region. Henderson has designed and implemented a variety of programs focusing on entrepreneurship, law-related education, sustainability, STEM, and outdoor recreation. His work as an educator has been recognized nationally and internationally, and for the past four years, he has served as a lead administrator at Manchester Academic Charter School (MACS) as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer. Henderson is currently leading a $4.2 million capital campaign for the development and programming of MACS at the “museumlab,” which will open in 2019 as the largest cultural campus for youth in the nation. Collaborating with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Saturday Light Brigade and other youth-oriented organizations, the museumlab will serve as a national model highlighting Pittsburgh’s collaborative commitment to public education, innovation and experiential learning. In 2013, Henderson was involved in an unjust arrest in which his civil rights were violated. Within his settlement, Henderson worked with the ACLU to implement policies to help improve police/community relations. With the support of his wife, Monica, and his daughters, Denia and Jacey, along with his colleagues, friends and family, Henderson is blessed to incorporate his personal and professional experiences into his career. As a proud Pittsburgh resident, Henderson currently serves on the boards of the Alliance for Police Accountability, the ACLU of Western Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Council for Social Studies and Venture Outdoors.





Assistant Manager/Senior Chemist Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. Leonard Kelven Holt has a knack for science and music. Currently, Holt holds the position of assistant manager in the Quality department and senior chemist at Mylan Pharmaceuticals. His daily duties include utilizing knowledge of FDA regulations, regulatory requirements, and cGMP (current good manufacturing practice) to maintain compliance within the Quality Control Laboratory. He also lends support to various groups within the department by reviewing and updating certain documentation, reports, specifications, and change controls for the testing of products. Also, as part of his duties, he is required to function as a subject matter expert and point of contact for various ongoing projects. Prior to joining Mylan, Holt spent two years as a middle school science teacher in the Pittsburgh Public Schools system. Born in Quincy, Fla., Holt graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Florida A&M University. He went on and obtained a

Master of Arts in Teaching degree from the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to his works with Mylan, Holt serves as a musician and director of several gospel choirs in the Greater Pittsburgh area. In Pittsburgh, he has served as a musician for Beulah Baptist Church and Baptist Temple Church, and is currently serving as director of music of Bethel AME Church in the Hill District, where he is an active member. Holt is also the music director for the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA), where he has presented

Founder & President No Hero Left Behind a number of original songs at the Gospel Music Workshop of America National Convention New Music Seminar; serves as a musician for the C.H. Foggie Allegheny AME Zion Conference Choir; and is the choir director and musician for the Pittsburgh/West Virginia conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, where he was recognized, in 2009, at the Pittsburgh African Methodist Episcopal Annual Conference as a “Musical Living Legend” in the Pittsburgh Annual Conference for his dedicated work in the music ministry. In his spare time, Holt enjoys playing the organ and piano, writing music, watching football and basketball, working in church and also spending time with the family. Holt is the eldest son of Geraldine Holt and the late Harry K. Holt; the husband of Rev. Carmen Holt and father of Reginald Alexander and Kari Danielle. His favorite scripture is Ecclesiastes 3:1: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” (KJV)

Eric Thomas Howze, born in Pittsburgh, a native of the Hill District. At a young age, Howze was shown the value of selfless service through his mother, Angela Howze, and father, Allen Mendoza. Enlisting in the United States Army at the age of 17, by age 21 he was serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom performing Military Police operations. Returning home he had difficulty reintegrating into society and like many other veterans resulted in homelessness. Howze used to be one out of four homeless Americans who is a combat veteran. Today, he is using his misfortune in life to minister and empower others, leading to a better world of service and better chance at life. His organization, No Hero Left Behind (NHLB), was started to reduce veteran suicide and end veteran homelessness. In the Pittsburgh center, NHLB has donated hundreds of items including food, water, socks, gloves, and coats to homeless veterans in need each week while also providing professional development courses, in-

novative therapy workshops, employment preparation, volunteer service projects and much more for homeless and underserved veterans. He has committed his time to the great cause of helping veterans in Pittsburgh to not only

get the help they need in their daily lives, but also to eliminate longterm barriers toward recovery and self-sufficiency. There is still a lot of work to do, but the work done by Howze already is astounding and well deserving of recognition.



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ANTHONY JEFFERSON Owner/Operator Mark Anthony Hair Salon

Senior Pastor First Baptist Church of Penn Hills Revrerend James E. Hunt has mentored many, especially men, in a number of ways. As a high school English teacher, he academically challenged teens to be their best in the classroom and also on the nationally-ranked Gateway Forensic Team, which he coached. In Penn Hills, Rev. Hunt founded Western Penn Hills Community Action Inc., whose flagship Summer Youth Employment Program has trained and placed over 600 teens in 24 years. As a pastor, Rev. Hunt has mentored young preachers, taught seminary courses and provided opportunities for clergy to grow in their preaching craft. As a college student activities administrator, he was pivotal in the development of student leadership skills outside of the classroom. Reverend Hunt has excelled as educator, community advocate and pastor. His pastorate at First Baptist Church of Penn Hills has impacted local, national and international communities. The congregation has financially,

and through service activities, supported missions locally to the homeless, nursing homes, Children’s Hospital and Veterans. Nationally, First Baptist Church of Penn Hills has financially assisted in the water crises in Flint, Michigan, flood victims in the southern United States and


sent a mission team to assist after Hurricane Katrina. He has trained congregants and led mission trips to the countries of Haiti (three times), Germany, Jamaica and Kenya. First Baptist Church of Penn Hills was part of the first African American mission team to Russia after the fall of the Iron Curtain. In 2018, Rev. Hunt led his congregation in the debt-free completion of extensive church renovation. In addition to being the founder and Board President of Western Penn Hills Community Action Inc. (WPHCA), he serves on the Duquesne University Institutional Review Board, has served on the board of AAMI (Afro-American Music Institute) and member and past president of the Penn Hills Association of Christian Clergy. He received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and doctoral studies at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Anthony Jefferson is the proud owner, operator and creative director of Mark Anthony Hair Salon. For 21 years he has owned and operated the salon, located in Oakland. A zealous advocate of ongoing hair care training, Jefferson’s mission is to help a diverse array of men and women, young or tenured, realize their inner beauty that makes their outer appearance shine that much brighter, with original hair fashions that are customized for every individual that sits in his chair. His passion for hair and beauty has brought Jefferson much success in the hair and beauty industry. According to Jefferson, “every customer is a celebrity” and he provides top notch hair care service to each and every client he serves. With a business philosophy built on teamwork, he encourages his staff to adopt the same model and best practice with clients, which has resulted in the establishment of Mark Anthony Hair Salon as a premier hair care service in the region. Jefferson’s passion for hair care

began at the ripe age of 12. By age 15, he began mastering the barbering craft, by combining his creative and artistic abilities. Shortly after graduating from high school, Jefferson attended the Pittsburgh Beauty Academy (PBA) in the early ‘90s where he continued to build upon his creative skills, which also became the turning point in

his life for making a lifelong career in the beauty industry. Jefferson currently manages a team of 16 dynamic individuals. Together they create breathtaking hair designs that attract people from across the country to receive such customized hair care services from natural twists and braid styles, to press and flat iron designs, to one-of-a-kind hair color creations. Jefferson and his team, which includes his wife, Karmyn, have participated in numerous photoshoots in Pittsburgh, New York, and Miami to name a few. In 2017 his team also won the Pittsburgh City Paper “Best of Pittsburgh Hair Salon.” Jefferson has been an active member of Mt. Ararat Baptist Church for 20 years. Jefferson and Karmyn have worked side-by-side along this entire 30-year business journey and share multiple benefits in the beauty industry and in life, as they share the most glorifying accomplishment of raising two phenomenal children, Te’Sia and Anthony.


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CEO Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship

Priest in Charge The Church of the Holy Cross The Rev. Torrey O. Johnson serves as the Priest in Charge of the Historic Church of the Holy Cross, located in Homewood. He serves also as the CEO for the Episcopal Lutheran Alliance, which is the Historic Church of the Holy Cross’ Community Development Corporation. A 1997 graduate of Morehouse College, Rev. Johnson received a Master of Divinity and a Master of Christian Education from Johnson C. Smith Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. In 2003, he was ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America where he served a dual call as the Senior Pastor of St. Mark Lutheran Church in East Point, Georgia, and as the Atlanta University Center Lutheran Campus Pastor, ministering to the students of Morehouse College, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse School of Medicine, the Interdenominational Theological Center, and Morris Brown College. He holds Board

Certification from the Association of Professional Chaplains and also serves as a reserve Military Chaplain for the 911th Air Base Wing as Chaplain Major as of April 4, 2018.

Rev. Johnson believes strongly in the role of the priest as “public theologian” referred to by former Morehouse College President, Dr. Robert Franklin, in his book entitled, “Another Day’s Journey.” He has recently launched: “A New Hope for Homewood,” a com-

Wayne Jones is a native of Garfield, a results-driven professional, who prides himself on being a visionary and a transformational leader. As CEO of the Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship, a K-8 public school, Jones oversees all facets of the school’s operations, planning, and execution. Jones holds a bachelor’s degree and MBA from California University of Pennsylvania and is currently pursuing a Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility and Ed.D. in Leadership and Administration from Point Park University. He holds a variety of volunteer positions, including serving as a board member for the Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise, the Leaders Council of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools, a youth mentor for Brothers and Sisters Emerging, and a football coach for the Garfield Gators. Jones has an outstanding commitment to students, the community, and his reputable character.

munity redevelopment initiative aimed at providing avenues of opportunity to the inauspicious social economic demographic that surrounds the church. During his tenure as Priest-in-Charge at Holy Cross, Rev. Johnson has initiated over 10 community action projects on behalf of Holy Cross and the church’s non-profit organization, ELA. These projects include: The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Toy Giveaway; March for Lives Event Trip to Washington, D.C.; Community Gardening Plan; Sunday School Community Outreach Breakfast; and Movies on the Lawn. Reverend Johnson is a proud father to Christian Lewis Johnson, 13, and Alexander Lewis Johnson, 10. Reverend Johnson has a passion for doing ministry in a way that meets parishioners where they are—even going outside the walls of the church to meet the community’s needs.





Fatherhood Program Manager Healthy Start Inc.

President & CEO Brothers and Sisters Emerging

Robert Jones Jr. is a lifelong resident of the Garfield community. He graduated from Peabody High School in 1987. For post-secondary education Jones attended Waynesburg College (Waynesburg University), where he attained a B.A. in Public Service Administration. He was a student-athlete (football) in both high school and college. Jones is a co-founder of the Garfield Youth Sports program where he volunteers as the volunteer director and as a volunteer football coach. He also is a co-founder of Brothers and Sisters Emerging. Since graduating from Waynesburg College in 1991, his employment experiences have been in the human services field in many capacities. He presently serves as the President & CEO of Brothers and Sis-


ters Emerging. Brothers and Sisters Emerging is a non-profit organization that provides programs and services for youth and families in Pittsburgh. B.A.S.E. is the umbrella agency for the Garfield Youth Sports program. Jones has been a recipient of the following awards: American Red Cross Educator Award; United Way “Be There” Award for outstanding commitment to supporting the region’s children; Jefferson Awards Most Outstanding Volunteer of the Year in the Pittsburgh region; and Hats Off Alopecia Youth Leadership Award. Jones is currently a board member of the Environmental Charter School of Pittsburgh, as well as the Catalyst Academy Charter School of Pittsburgh. Jones is board secretary of the Southwestern PA Youth Athletic Initiative.

Shannon Lawhorn is the Fatherhood Program Manager at Healthy Start Inc. He has almost 20 years of experience in the human services field. Ever since he was 12 years old, Lawhorn wanted to work in a career where he could help people to better themselves. He has obtained his Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Bachelor of Science in Community Ministry from Geneva College. Lawhorn also serves on the Board of Directors at Evolve Coaching Inc., and is the founder of 412 DADS. He is happily married to his wife of 27 years, Dearea Lawhorn. They have one adult daughter, Taeziah Lawhorn. Lawhorn’s hobbies include watching movies and sports, fishing, bowling, golfing, and traveling.



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Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Inclusion & Student Advancement Duquesne University Jeff Mallory is the Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Inclusion and Student Advancement at Duquesne University. In this role, Mallory serves as a resource for diverse students and oversees career and internship opportunities for all university students with local and national corporations. Mallory also provides oversight and leads university initiatives in the following areas: community outreach, corporate engagement and minority alumni outreach. Active in the community, Mallory serves on the Board of Directors for the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, The Mentoring Partnership, Tickets For Kids Charities, is a member of the Citizens Advisory Board for the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) and serves as

Board Chairman for The Shyne Awards Foundation, which highlights the accomplishments of kids ages 13-19 in the region. Mallory is also the co-founder of the Greater Pittsburgh Higher Education Diversity Consortium (GPHEDC), a convened group of 18 higher education institutions in Southwestern Pennsylvania that focuses on Diversity and Inclusion. Mallory earned both a B.A. in Public Policy Analysis and M.S. in Business Management from Saint Vincent College. He is currently an Ed.D. candidate for the Educational Leadership Program at Duquesne University. Mallory is the proud father of two girls (Kate and Brooke), a son (Reed Allen) and is husband to his lovely wife, Amy.

Business Development Specialist Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation Gordon Manker is currently employed at the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation in the position of Business Development Specialist and holds the designation of Certified Economic Development Finance Professional and Accredited Small Business Consultant. He joined WCDC in 2015 to coordinate the small business program and assist with their Green Clean and Safe initiatives. He is also certified to teach the CORE FOUR business planning platform and has trained over 100 people in the area of entrepreneur and small business ownership. In addition, Manker owns his own credit repair business. He has a passion for helping people in the area of entrepreneurship and financial literacy with the understanding that both can be keys to a better future. In his current position, he consults with individuals in all stages of business; from start-ups to existing business owners in the areas of marketing, cash flow and operations. Manker was born in Pittsburgh to Charles Manker and Carolyn Manker (Parker). He was educated in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. He retired from the U.S. Military, where he held several specialties after serving 29 years. He received his B.S. degree in Organizational Leadership from Robert Morris University. Gordon Manker is married to Gail Manker. They have no children. He is very active in his religious organization the Ausar Auset Society, a Pan African religious organization.





Sunday Gospel Radio Host, “Morning Inspiration” WAMO 100.1/107.3 FM Brother Marlon is the host of Morning Inspiration on WAMO 100, in Pittsburgh. He was the Program Director at Sheridan Gospel Network and host of the network’s nationally syndicated afternoon show, “The Brother Marlon Show” until the company recently ceased operations. Brother Marlon is a husband, father, and ordained Minister. In 2017, he celebrated 25 years in radio. His career began in 1992 on then-station WXJX, the college radio station of Washington & Jefferson College. He interned at WAMO-FM in 1994, and his career launched from there. He was known then as “Sean Richards.” He hosted a variety of shows including The Breakfast Jam, The Quiet Storm, and Club 106. During his 25-plus year career, the voice has been the same but the mission has changed. The Lord took over Brother Marlon’s life in 1997, thus beginning his radio ministry. He is serious about the things of God and uses his gifts and abilities for the extension of the kingdom of God. He has served the City of Pittsburgh and beyond through music and inspiration weekly, spreading the gospel and the love of Christ on the radio, as well as traveling to many churches and community events throughout the region of as an emcee, DJ and preacher. His favorite passage of scripture is Psalm 34:1, he believes that should be the attitude of every believer! Brother Marlon, along with his wife, own Marlee Communications where they provide a variety of multimedia services including graphic/web design,


Manker currently serves on two boards: Wilkinsburg Chamber of Commerce and Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group. He is past Chair for Hope For Tomorrow Inc. In addition, he is a member of Golden Star Lodge #143, Most Worshipful Prince Hall of Pa. and St. Cyprian Consistory #4. He currently serves as Worshipful District Deputy Grand Master for the 7th Masonic District of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Pa.

First Vice President Pittsburgh NAACP Branch

Johnnie L. Miott wants to live in a world filled with peace, equality, and love for all humankind. A graduate of South Carolina State University, he began his career journey by serving our country as an Army Paratrooper with 56 jumps. Miott understood firsthand the pressures that come in being an African American trailblazer. In 1968, Miott was the first African American Sanitarian for the City of Pittsburgh. He was the first African American Pharmaceutical Salesman in the Pittsburgh District for 31 years as one of the top salesmen (top 5 percent) for Upjohn Pharmaceutical Sales Company. Miott has been a member of the NAACP for 35 years, as past Chairman of the Religious Affairs Committee, and currently serving as the First photography, video production, audio production, Vice President. He is a charter member of the Uptown and printing. He is the son of Ercell and the late Douglas Mar- Hill Kiwanis and past Kiwanis tin. He is married to Ellise Martin, and is the father of President for four years. Miott was the Past Grand MasMarlon, II, Jason, Ephraim, and Caleb Martin.

ter of the Masons, and a Mason of Golden Gate Lodge for 30 years. When Miott is not aiding his community, you will find this 80-years-young man busy working at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where he’s been a member for 50 years. He has worked on the Stewards

Board the entire 50 years and the past 40 years as the Pastor’s Steward. Not to mention, a member of the Laymen’s Organization for 40 years and local president for 16 years. He was Lay Conference President for eight years for the Allegheny/Scranton District where he was responsible for 51 churches. Miott has welcomed hundreds into the House of God as an usher for the past 25 years. He served as Sunday Superintendent for 20 years and Chairman of the finance Committee the past 40 years. Miott is married to Martha and has one son, John Christopher. He serves his family, community, and church with the love of Christ. His leadership and humility continues to touch the lives of all he encounters. His favorite Scripture reads, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” - John 14:1


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Counselor Pittsburgh Public Schools

Director of Facility Services University of Pittsburgh

William Mitchell Sr. has long lived in the east section of Pittsburgh with his loving wife and two wonderful sons. At the University of Pittsburgh, he manages a staff of roughly 400 including custodians, groundskeepers, stationary engineers, tradesmen, supervisors and managers across the main campus in Oakland. He works diligently to improve the university’s annual United Way campaign by being a departmental steward and program manager and volunteers his time to local non-profit agencies. By working with the student body of the university he also works diligently to improve the sustainability efforts and goals within his organization to minimize the environmental footprint and impact on the local community. Mitchell’s non-profit affiliations include the Boys and Girls Club of Western PA (Shadyside branch), at which he recently accepted a seat on their Board of Directors. He also works to mentor members of his staff and local children.

At an early age, Brandon Phillips dedicated his life to serving the community. For the past seven years, as a Community Outreach Specialist for Trying Together, Phillips advocates and promotes high quality early-learning experiences for all children. Phillips started at the Kingsley Association as a counselor-in-training in middle school. Throughout the Penn Hills community and schools, he became involved in student council, volunteered at Lincoln Park Community Center and at the Penn Hills High School MLK Day of Service and as a guest reader.





Darelle Porter is the Executive Director of Ozanam. Ozanam is a non-profit organization in Western Pennsylvania that helps underprivileged children. Ozanam provides the following: After-school program, dinner program, SAT Prep classes, a strength and conditioning program, high school program and development basketball. Porter graduated from Perry Traditional Academy in 1987 where he was named football and basketball Player of the Year by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Pittsburgh Press named him Athlete of the Year in 1987. After receiving a scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh, he graduated in 1991 as Pitt’s alltime leader in assists and a member of the 1,000-point club. He served as men’s head coach at Duquesne University. Porter lives in Pittsburgh on the North Side and has two children. Darelle Jr. (22), a 2018 graduate of St. Francis Brooklyn, who currently plays professionally in Spain, and Michaela (19), a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati.

Oronde Sharif is the Artistic Director of the Shona Sharif African Dance and Drum Ensemble and currently serves as Curriculum Coordinator, Lecturer, and Major Advisor in the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Sharif, a native of Pittsburgh, started dancing at Pitt under the tutelage of his late mother, Shona Sharif. Under her direction, Sharif has developed as African dance enthusiast and performer. Since this time, Sharif has performed, directed, and choreographed a number of original productions of City Theater’s “Flight,” Kuntu Repertory Theater’s “Sarafina!” and with his brother, Hassan Sharif, continues to work and produce Langston Hughes’ “Black Nativity.” In addition to his artistic work, Sharif also has continued a strong legacy of community and youth service in Pittsburgh. Much like his father, Regis (a former director of the Arlington Heights YMCA outreach center), Sharif is proud

Executive Director Ozanam Inc.

Phillips lettered in and was co-captain of the Penn Hills Boys Track Team. At Clarion University, Phillips was the Men’s Track & Field NCAA Student Advisory Committee representative and became a resident assistant to plan, advocate and engage his peers. Phillips served as a Building Bridges associate within Clarion’s community to discuss the importance of diversity. Phillips was elected to become a Student Senator. After earning his Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, he served as a Case Manager for Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Teen ELECT Program. Phillips continued with athletics as the Girls Outdoor Assistant Track Coach where he coached their team’s 4x100 relay to a storied second-place finish at the PIAA State Championship in 2006. Phillips earned a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Chatham University. Phillips continues to serve as a member of Pittsburgh Public Schools’ nationally-recognized “Take A Father to School Day” Committee and the PA Child Well-Being and the Father Involvement Symposium Organizing Committee at the state level. Phillips has volunteered on the Board of Directors for Healthy Home Resources, Bible Center Church, Pittsburgh Public Schools’ We Promise, and RIF (Reading Is Fundamental). Phillips currently resides in Pittsburgh with his wife, Jill, and their two sons. He enjoys cooking, reading and building radio control cars.

Lecturer, Advisor & Curriculum Coordinator, Dept. of Africana Studies University of Pittsburgh

to work with youth through the Nadia Track Club, where he and his wife, Latonya Salley-Sharif, serve as head coaches, teaching artists with the Hill Dance Academy Theater, and community dance classes.

Along with his work with youth, Sharif is a board member of several organizations, including: Schenley Heights Community Development Program, and S.E.E.D. (Sixth Economic Empowerment Development Inc.). Sharif is a trustee of Sixth Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, and a board member of the USATF (United States Track and Field) Three Rivers Association. Additionally, he is a member of the KanKouran West African Dance Senior Company (Washington, D.C.) and USATF National Youth Executive Committee. Sharif is very grateful for all the knowledge and work of the many people that have poured into him—all of his family and friends; mentors Chris Moore and the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation; Dr. Renee Frazier and Upward Bound Project; Assane Konte; Roger Kingdom; the Black/ Africana Studies department, and the brothers of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.







Jerome Taylor, Ph.D., has received, among other awards: The University Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Award; The University of Pittsburgh Black Alumni Pioneer in Civil Rights Award; The Alan Lesgold Award for Excellence in Urban Education; and The 2017 College of General Studies Students Choice Award. Dr. Taylor has had invitations from many universities to share results of his research and development activities, and three different invitations from President Barack Obama to offer advice to commissions and advisory teams focusing on educational justice and community well-being. In Dr. Taylor’s prior role as faculty member in Pitt’s Department of Psychology, he chaired more than 25 dissertation committees of Black students—the record number of Black Ph.D.s supervised by any faculty member in the history of the department. These former students now serve as tenured professors, department chairs, college deans, provosts, and presidents and as successful civic leaders, elected politicians, agency heads, and clinical practitioners. The Center for Family Excellence Inc., which Dr. Taylor founded, has received The Alfred W. Wishart Jr. Award, which acknowledges the Center as one of the top three best-managed non-profit organizations in Western Pennsylvania. The Center also received a letter from President Bill Clinton commending Dr. Taylor for his scholarly and service contributions to family, community, and society.

Bernard Taylor Jr., Ed.D, proudly serves as the Principal of Pittsburgh Westinghouse Academy 6-12. Pittsburgh Westinghouse serves 700 students from the East End of Pittsburgh as well as students from the borough of Wilkinsburg. Pittsburgh Westinghouse has done pioneering work with managing a voluntary merger of students from two different school districts and municipalities. From 2012 to 2015, Dr. Taylor served as Superintendent of the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, an urban public school district with a student enrollment of more than 42,000 students in grades preK-12 at 85 school sites and approximately 6,250 employees. Dr. Taylor developed numerous initiatives during his tenure in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, i.e., implementation of Common Core standards, expanded professional development in the areas of Reading/ELA and Mathematics, developed Superintendent’s Academies for eligible overage elementary and middle school students, convened numerous parent/community task forces to develop recommendations regarding school safety and security, redesign of alternative education, policy changes to

Founder and Director, Center for Family Excellence Inc. Associate Professor and Former Dept. Chair of Africana Studies, University of Pittsburgh

Beyond the U.S. borders, Dr. Taylor and his colleagues have conducted sponsored research in seven nations in the Caribbean (Aruba, Barbados, Dominican Republic, St. Croix, St. Johns, St. Thomas, and U.S. Virgin Islands) and four nations in Africa (Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe). Also, doctoral and postdoctoral students have completed sponsored research in eight homeland states (Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee).


Chief Executive Officer Summit Packaging Solutions Adam C. Walker began serving as Summit Packaging Solutions’ Chief Executive Officer in January 2014. Walker has implemented a growth strategy focused on technology, innovation, new market expansion and mergers and acquisitions to accelerate the growth of Summit Packaging Solutions. He has focused relentlessly on revenue growth, customer satisfaction and shareholder value creation. Throughout his career, Walker has served as a high-impact strategist with experience spanning global manufacturing operations, business development, marketing, strategic business unit leadership and turnaround assignment. Walker is an accomplished business executive with over 20 years of packaging expertise serving technology, automotive, beverage, and other industries. Prior to acquiring Summit Packaging Solutions, Walker launched his career as a running back in the National Football League where he played for seven consecutive seasons beginning and ending with the Philadelphia Eagles (1990, 1996). Walker also played for the San Francisco 49ers from 1991 to 1995 and was a member of the 49ers’ 1994 Super Bowl XXIX championship team. Recognized for his leadership on and off the field, Walker served

as special teams captain from 1994-1996 for both the 49ers and the Eagles; received 1994’s postseason special teams MVP; nominated for the Ed Block Award for Courage in 1995; received the 1996 special teams Player of the Year award; and the NFL’s Player Network Events Executive of the Year. In 2014, Walker was inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. In 2016, Walker was inducted into the Campbell Courage Hall of Fame and the Western Pennsylvania Football Hall of Fame and honored by the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency as the National Manufacturing Firm of the year. Currently, Walker serves on the Board of Directors of the National Minority Supplier Development Council, Gwinnett Technical College, University of Pittsburgh Center for Supply Chain Management Advisory Board, Procter & Gamble’s Supplier Advisory Council and is a member of the Young Presidents Organization. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from the University of Pittsburgh and completed the Advanced Management Executive Program from Northwestern University— Kellogg School of Management.

FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019


Principal, Westinghouse High School Pittsburgh Public Schools

facilitate instructional improvement for all students, selection of principals, and expansion of magnet programs. Prior to this position, Dr. Taylor served six years as superintendent of Grand Rapids Public Schools, Michigan’s third-largest public school district and the second-largest employer in the city of Grand Rapids. In addition, Dr. Taylor was an administrator and teacher for the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Dr. Taylor’s first administrative leadership role was Principal of West Side Traditional Academy. During his tenure, West Side was named as a Distinguished Title I school by the U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Taylor was asked by Superintendent Louise Brennen to lead Weil Technology Institute. He will tell you that working at Weil was a high point of his career as the school went from being one of Pittsburgh Public Schools’ most troubled schools to a high-performing one during his three-year tenure. Dr. Taylor earned his Doctorate of Education, Master of Public Administration, and bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a proud graduate of Peabody High School.


FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019






Agency Owner, Lincoln Heritage Insurance Hiring Manager, The Miles Group Darrell L. Warden, Lincoln Heritage Agency Owner and Hiring Manager of The Miles Group, understands the importance of teamwork and dedication. As the originator of The Miles Group’s motto, “One Vision,” Warden has had the opportunity to interact with all types and backgrounds. Warden says, “It’s always about being better.” His Agency has personnel in Pittsburgh, Ohio, Delaware, Indiana, Virginia and Florida. Warden had his beginnings in Rankin, but he refused to allow the town’s environment to hold him down. He attended Full Sail University in Florida and went on to become a music executive for Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, where he worked with artists such as Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, The Game and Kanye West. While at Bad Boy he partnered with Czar Entertainment, Philly-Wood Entertainment and fashion mogul Herbert Fox, to form the non-profit organization, “Stop The Violence—Education through Entertainment,” where he had artists such as Mario Winans,

Assistant Director of Equity & Inclusion Carlow University

50 Cent, actor Charles Dutton and the late music icon Joe Jackson. He organized artists to speak at schools and prisons about the dangers of gun violence. He’s also worked with promoter and activist B. Marshall for Pittsburgh’s yearly Juneteenth Celebration, African American Economic Empowerment Summit and Pittsburgh Public Schools’ mentorship program. Warden was at Diddy’s Bad Boy

label for 10 years before moving back to Pittsburgh to work in the mortgage loan department at PNC Bank. When he was laid off from PNC, he found that one of his old friends, Troy Miles, had started his own insurance agency and he hopped on board. Recognizing Miles’ great leadership and motivational skills, he learned all he could, and soon became a hiring manager for his own agency and hasn’t looked back. Today, nine years later, Warden continues to move in an upward direction. In order to get what you want, he says, “You have to see it, believe you can attain it and then go after it with passion and enthusiasm.” Warden’s agency has done over $2 million in premium in a year. “Your money is only going to grow to the extent that you do,” he says. Warden believes that collaborating with others is a key ingredient to his agency’s growth and development. Warden says helping to inspire, grow, teach and motivate others is the key to success.

Mark Weir is a dynamic and powerful motivational speaker and diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioner. Weir has fueled positive change for students, faculty and staff, civic groups, organizations, non-profits, and business leaders. Weir is known for creating interactive programs that engage his audience and invite them to be active participants in their own success and leadership capacity. Weir’s background is in education. His graduate work is in leadership; specifically, Educational Leadership, and is currently earning his second master’s in Business Administration. He has 10 years teaching in a public-school system, most recently in the Pittsburgh Public Schools district, and 10 years in higher education administration. He has worked in the areas of leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion for over 15 years. Currently he serves as the Assistant Director for Equity and Inclusion at Carlow University. He has been very fortunate to help and mentor many students, groups, organizations, colleges/universities, civic groups, and businesses build their leadership capacity. He is very thankful for the opportunity to help increase diversity awareness, increase skillsets in cultural competency, and promote equity and inclusion for all. Weir serves on several community and state committees and task forces. His philanthropic efforts have touched the likes of The Boys and Girls Club of America, United Way, March of Dimes, Coaches Versus





Director, Employee Relations/Office of Equal Opportunity Port Authority of Allegheny County Eric L. Wells has been the Director of Port Authority’s Employee Relations/Office of Equal Opportunity since 2009. He is the lead strategist in all aspects of labor/management relations, including collective bargaining and successfully negotiating contracts with the organization’s various labor unions. Wells also currently directs activities of the Authority’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program, a respon-


sibility he acquired in 2007. As such, he has been instrumental in securing equal rights in employment and helping minority and women business owners become certified and gain contractual work on Port Authority projects. Wells began his career at Port Authority as an Employee Relations Representative in 2001, became Manager of Employee Relations in 2005, and Director of Employee Relations/Office of Equal Opportunity in 2009. Wells has been a vital member of the “Spirit of King” Award Ceremony Planning Committee for 21 years. Port Authority, along with the Kingsley Association and New Pittsburgh Courier, partner in organizing this prestigious annual event that honors minority individuals who, during the course of their lifetime, have fought for civil rights, were trailblazers in their professions and dedicated their lives to the service of others. This ceremony is well attended each year, and Wells has been very instrumental in the ongoing success of this event. Wells graduated from Penn Hills High School in 1983, received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1987, and a master’s degree in Human Resources Management from St. Francis College in 1997. He received certification as SPHR through The Society for Human Resource Management in 2002. Wells is the husband of Dr. Maria Hays, and the father of two daughters—Mariah and Melinda Wells.

Cancer, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and Autism Awareness. Weir is a certified NCBI (National Coalition Building Institute) Training Facilitator. Weir is a former NCAA student athlete and high school varsity basketball coach. During his coaching tenure, Weir helped his team win the PIAA District 10—Class AAA basketball championship and his team advanced to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs. Weir is a NCAA and PIAA (NFHS) certified official. He has been refereeing for the past 18 years. He officiated the PSAC (Division II) Championship four straight years and was selected to work in the NCAA Tournament those same years.

Assistant Head of School The Neighborhood Academy

Anthony Williams is a devoted family-oriented person, married to Natasha Williams and has three children; Jordyn, Kennedy, and Anthony Junior. Williams has been a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., since 2000. Williams has received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Edinboro University, a Master of Business Administration, and a Master of Management & Technology from Carlow University. He is currently enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh Doctor of Education program, and his area of concentration is in Education Leadership. The focus of his dissertation will examine the impact of instilling college aspirations at an earlier age amongst inner-city African American students. At The Neighborhood Academy (TNA), he is the Assistant Head of School in which he has worked since 2002. At TNA Williams has the opportunity to pursue his passion by working with students to absolve barriers that pre-

vent disadvantaged youth from accessing and affording quality post-secondary education. In conjunction with working at TNA, he is also a Youth Group Leader at East Liberty Presbyterian Church. Williams has received the Autumn Black History Achievement Award in 2017, the Pittsburgh Magazine 40 Under 40 award in 2015, and the Essence Man of the Year award. Williams is also a proud member of Mt. Ararat Baptist Church.








Chief Rankin Police

Program Coordinator, YMCA Director, Homewood Community Sports Douglas Williams is an inspiring leader in the areas of Social Work and Human Services. He has an Associate of Arts in Social Work from Community College of Allegheny County. Currently, Williams is working on his bachelor’s in Human Services from

FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019

Geneva University. His anticipated graduation date is May 2019. Passionate about helping people get back on their feet, Williams advocates for those in need of services. He is the director of Homewood Community Sports. He oversees HCS’ after-school program. These duties include training staff, fundraising and mentoring youth. In addition, Williams is a Program Coordinator at the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh. He oversees 76 rooms of temporary housing for men. Williams serves many roles, including helping the residents with barriers to employment and housing. He also cooks one meal per day for all the residents. Williams facilitates bi-annual workshops on the opioid crisis. These informative gatherings bring together elected officials, first responders, university experts and community members. Williams volunteers on the Board of Directors for the Homewood Concerned Citizens Association, state Representative Ed Gainey and Wilkinsburg Mayor Marita Garrett’s special events.

The son of an Army Veteran, Chief Ryan D. Wooten was born in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1967. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1991 and after serving his term, he entered the police academy. He graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in April 1995 and has served the last 20 years in law enforcement. As one of only three African American police Chiefs in Pennsylvania, his goal has always been to build bridges to close the gap between law enforcement and the community. As a young officer through his current position, he has held the ranks of Sergeant, Lieutenant and now Chief of Police. Chief Wooten is also a training officer/instructor, certified to train new officers in the field in most law enforcement requirements. Some of his commendations include: Mon Valley Initiative Award (Volunteer of the Year), Eastern Borough NAACP Unit 2301 Award (Those That Make A Difference), American Red Cross Award of Western Pennsylvania (Professional Responder Hero Award) and the Senator John Heinz Law Enforcement Award (Humanitarian Award).


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Profile for Real Times Media

NPC Digital Edition 2.20.19  

NPC Digital Edition 2.20.19