Virginia Alvino Young

Reporter

Virginia reports on identity and justice for 90.5 WESA. That means looking at how people see themselves in the community, and how the community makes them feel. Her reporting examines things like race, policing, and housing to tell the stories of folks we often don't hear from. 

A native of Las Vegas, NV, Virginia has slowly been making her way eastward, reporting for NPR stations across the country. She started her reporting career at the statehouse in Oregon, and has had stints in Indiana and Texas before moving to Pittsburgh in 2016. 

Virginia lives on the North Side with her husband and fat cat Bean. They enjoy exploring Pittsburgh's neighborhoods, and hiking throughout the region, although they usually leave Bean at home. 

Contact Virginia at valvino@wesa.fm.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

As a young black man, playwright Nathan James often felt like he had to mask his emotions. The Pittsburgh native returns to the August Wilson Center this week to perform his one man play “Growing Pains.” 90.5 WESA’s Virginia Alvino Young recently spoke with James about his show, which looks at how and where we grow up impacts who we become. 


Gene J. Puskar / AP

A Focus Features documentary dubbed “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” about the life and work of Fred Rogers is coming to the the big screen in June, officials announced Monday.

According to a release, the film will examine how Rogers navigated cultural and social issues in a forward-thinking way.

President and CEO of the Fred Rogers Company Paul Siefken said Rogers was a fascinating man on and off screen.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh’s Multicultural Liaison Unit launched Wednesday to help bridge the cultural and communication gap between the Department of Public Safety and immigrant and refugee communities.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The discussion around race in America has evolved over the past 20 years. That’s when the book Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race was originally published. Now, author and researcher Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum is out with an updated edition. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Downtown Pittsburgh’s holiday traditions have changed over the years. But starting Saturday, a new exhibit at the Heinz History Center takes visitors back in time.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Holiday traditions from around the globe converge at the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning inside its Nationality Rooms, a collection of 30 classrooms representing the cultures of various groups that settled in Allegheny County. 

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA News

When visitors enter the second-floor gallery space of the Andy Warhol Museum on Pittsburgh's North Side, they’re met with cartoon cowboys in red bandanas, saloon brawls and underwater painters that shimmer right off the wall. But there's more than meets the eye in Go West, the first solo show in the U.S. for popular Iranian artist Farhad Moshiri.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

A lawsuit filed Monday against the Allegheny County Jail and its administration claims the jail allowed a transgender inmate to be repeatedly sexually abused while she was incarcerated with male inmates.

The suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and The Law Offices of Timothy O’Brien on behalf of Jules Williams is seeking damages.

Louis Stein / Arcade Comedy Theater

A growing non-profit theater in downtown Pittsburgh has a new home.

Arcade Comedy Theater is moving from its original storefront space on Liberty Avenue, where it’s been since 2013, to a fully renovated building right down the street. The new space more than doubles its capacity to nearly 200 seats between two stages.

Arcade offers about 10 weekly shows, including sketch comedy, stand-up and improv. It’s also enrolled hundreds of students in its comedy classes.

Allegheny County/Virginia Alvino Young

On November 7, voters in some northern Allegheny County municipalities will choose between one-term Republican Incumbent Ed Kress and Democrat Anita Prizio to represent District 3 on County Council. 

Kress is a native of Shaler Township. The lawyer was first elected in 2013, although he served two other short appointed stints.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Courtney Bittner is mom to 3-year-old Bentley, and 3-week-old Nash.

PIOTRUS / Wikimedia Commons

Pittsburgh’s controversial statue of composer Stephen Foster could soon be removed from its location in Schenley Plaza.

Pittsburgh’s Art Commission was tasked with deciding the fate of the statue, following public concern and petitions about the city-owned property. The piece depicts Foster seemingly transcribing the music of an enslaved black man, seated at his feet, shoeless.

At its meeting Wednesday afternoon, members of the nine-member commission agreed with the majority of public input received: that the statue is problematic, especially in its current location.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual assessment of LGBTQ-friendly laws.

dnesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson / AP

Amazon benefited from more than $1.2 billion in incentives across the country, according to research published Wednesday by American City Business Journals

The company employs an estimated 10,000 people across 15 facilities in Pennsylvania, drawing nearly $25 million in known subsidies statewide. Bids for Amazon’s second North American headquarters HQ2 are due next week.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

UPDATED: 5:31 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017

A jury Tuesday cleared one Pittsburgh police officer and deadlocked on charges against a second in a civil rights lawsuit filed by a man who was paralyzed when he was shot during a traffic stop.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

It’s a 10-foot tall bronze statue on a four-foot tall granite base, that many Pittsburghers want to see moved.

The statue of Stephen Foster exhibited conspicuously in Oakland's Schenley Park, was first displayed in Highland Park.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Ana Alberto-Ramirez spends most evenings after work with her boyfriend at their home in Bethel Park, hanging out and watching TV.

“And he plays soccer, so I go to his games, and I like taking pictures. Sometimes I’m there just taking pictures,” she said.

The 24 year-old works as a hair stylist on Pittsburgh’s South Side.

“I like to make hours, so I like to stay longer than I have to, especially when it’s busy.”

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Transgender people face many challenges, from housing discrimination to fatal violence. 

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

In light of President Donald Trump’s announcement to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA, Latino advocates in Pittsburgh are beginning a monthly series of community meetings to set priorities and help cultivate leadership.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Thirteen new surveillance cameras are now up and running through Pittsburgh’s South Side neighborhood.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

From the aroma of the food court to back-to-school shopping, everyone has memories of the shopping mall. But for Pittsburgh author Matthew Newton, the mall says much more about our society.

PIOTRUS / Wikimedia Commons

The City of Pittsburgh’s Art Commission is moving forward with its process of reviewing a controversial statue of the composer Stephen Foster.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

According to the state constitution, congressional districts should be compact, contiguous and respect county lines. But that isn’t exactly the case for Pennsylvania’s 12th.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

In Southwestern Pennsylvania, there’s a congressional district that looks like a hammer.

Piotrus / Wikimedia Commons

An online petition to remove a controversial statue of one of Pittsburgh's native sons in Oakland has gathered more than 1,000 signatures.

Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority issued a precautionary flush and boil advisory Monday night for city neighborhoods north of the Allegheny River, as well as Millvale and Reserve Township.

Point Park University

The faculty of Point Park University have reached a tentative agreement for their first ever union contract.

Faculty voted to join the Communication Workers of America, or CWA, in 2003, a decision which the university continued to appeal until 2015.

Samey Jay

UPDATE: The March on Google, which was scheduled to take place outside of Google's Pittsburgh campus at Bakery Square Saturday, has been postponed. Organizers posted online early Wednesday that it was on hold due to "Alt Left Terrorist threats." 

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Communities across the country are reacting to Saturday’s racist violence in Charlottesville, Va.

For some in Export, Westmoreland County, it's a reminder of the borough's own history with the Ku Klux Klan. Five years ago, the town made headlines when a regional KKK meeting was allegedly held there.

Kezee / Flickr

Last night Pittsburgh city officials said they were preparing public safety resources ahead of a planned right-wing protest Saturday at several Google sites across the country, including the company’s Bakery Square location. The "March on Google" has since been postponed.

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