Identity & Justice

The identity and justice desk explores how the makeup of the Pittsburgh community is changing, and digs into issues of diversity and equity.

PIIN / Facebook

In response to the police shootings in Louisiana, Minnesota and Dallas, faith leaders from around the country are starting a dialogue about racial disparities and what it means to be a person of color in America. We’ll hear more on the community conversation from Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network President Reverend Rodney Lyde and Reverend Dave Swanson.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Investing in foreign-born residents is not only good for the Pittsburgh-region's diversity, but also for its economy.

A report by the Partnership for a New American Economy found that foreign-born southwestern Pennsylvania residents contributed $217 million dollars in state and local taxes in 2014 and $6.8 billion to the county’s gross domestic product.

Jaunt / App Store

Pittsburgh architecture, modern and contemporary, is highlighted as part of a new app called Jaunt. The program derives from a partnership between Boston-based architecture firm Over. Under and Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Architecture and is designed to educate users about a little over 100 buildings located in Pittsburgh.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Thousands of grassroots activists from across the country marched through downtown Pittsburgh Friday afternoon, demanding racial, economic and environmental justice.

The participants are part of the People's Convention taking place this weekend. The gathering of community leaders aims to create a community of action and share best practices for inciting change. 

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Torrey Davis wants the police violence to stop.

After the police shooting deaths of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana, Davis planted himself in front of the North Side Zone 1 police office on Thursday, holding up a sign decrying the violence against black men by police officers.

Elaine Thompson / AP Images

Former Seattle city councilman Nick Licata is in town this weekend for a series of social justice events. Licata will march alongside 1500 demonstrators in the Still We Rise march on Friday, speak at the People’s Convention on Saturday and promote his new book “Becoming a Citizen Activist” at the Big Idea Bookstore on Sunday.

Google Maps

Built in 1794, the Beltzhoover Homestead, located in the Beltzhoover area of South Hills, is one of the oldest buildings in Pittsburgh. According to historian Jessica Cox,  the home was present when the immediate area was just a “rugged” outpost.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

When Dakila arrived last year, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium doctors decided something wasn't quite right.

Nazareth College / flickr

Employers from around the region will be on the lookout for new hires at the second annual Refugee and Immigrant Job Fair this Friday. The event seeks to assist new citizens transitioning into the American job market who may be unfamiliar with U.S. employment techniques.

Marielle Segarra / WHYY

 

On a Wednesday evening, about 30 people — mostly kids — sit poised on their bikes on a street in downtown Reading.

It's 6 p.m., and they're about to head out for their weekly ride through the city.

A man in a white t-shirt goes over some safety rules.

"Be aware of your surroundings," he says. "No stupid stunts, none of that. And please stay together."

With that, they take off, to the tunes of Marc Anthony's "Vivir Mi Vida," playing from speakers on the back of one guy's bike.

Photo courtesy Citiparks, City of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh City Council is expected to pass a resolution Wednesday requiring the city to be more timely and transparent with its pool inspections.

The resolution is a result of the delayed opening of Brookline’s Moore Pool this summer because of late inspections and the Hill District’s Ammon Pool not opening at all last year after its water filtration tank was mistakenly shipped overseas

Bethlehem Haven

Bethlehem Haven, a shelter for at-risk and homeless women, is joining the Pittsburgh Mercy Health System, in a move that will secure their financial stability and offer a wider range of services to the women it helps.

Bethlehem Haven offers transitional housing with the assistance of federal Department of Housing and Urban Development grants. But Bethlehem Haven President Thomas Herward said HUD’s focus on rapid re-housing has left the shelter under-funded.

Denise Ford

A group of Pittsburghers is lending a helping hand to children in Haiti.

The Pittsburgh-based Yahve-Jire Children's Foundation operates an orphanage in Haiti for 25 children, which is completely funded through donations and services provided by volunteers primarily from the Pittsburgh region. 

A group of locals set off for Haiti on Saturday for the next mission trip, led by Denise Ford, a volunteer from South Fayette Township.

Megan Fair / 90.5 WESA

 

Pittsburgh police added five new officers of color on Thursday, inching closer to city leaders' goals for minority representation.

Nearly 26 percent of the bureau's newest officers were men of color, including four black males and one Hispanic male. Mayor Bill Peduto said late last year he wanted to increase minority representation to a number more closely reflecting the city's citizens. According to the U.S. Census, that's up to 34 percent.

Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

Residents of Coraopolis are volunteering time and energy into revitalizing the borough’s train station. We’ll hear about the station’s history and the work being done to make the building an integral part in the rebuilding of the community in this audio post card.

Gabriel Rocha / Flickr

Pittsburgh LIFE, which offers help to area seniors who want to remain in their homes, but still need assistance, opens a new location in McKees Rocks Thursday.

The McKees Rocks operation is the fourth for Pittsburgh LIFE, in addition to ones in Greentree, the North Shore and Allegheny Center.

Initially started in 1997, Pittsburgh LIFE offers services such as nursing care, chore services and transportation to appointments for seniors who want to remain independent and live at home.

Daniel Oines / flickr

When some of Jack Kudrav’s colleagues began passing away, he decided to take a 335 mile bike ride from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C. in order to reflect, mostly on his time in the military. Now, Kudrav organizes a group of veterans to take that same bike ride with him and raise awareness about the struggles facing veterans.

State Sen. Jay Costa

  Pittsburgh’s state-appointed financial oversight board could be required to adhere to much stricter transparency requirements under a reform bill unanimously passed by the state Senate on Tuesday.

Alex Brandon / AP Images

The United States Supreme Court ended its current term on Monday with some important decisions, but University of Pittsburgh law professor David Harris said the most important event of the term was not an opinion at all.

Ryan Deto / City Paper

Last week the Supreme Court's 4-4 vote left in place a Texas federal judge's order that has prevented President Obama from granting deportation relief to more than 4 million who are parents of U.S. citizens. One of them is Martin-Esqivel-Hernandez who was taken recently from his Pittsburgh home to prison and faces deportation to Mexico. We'll talk with City Paper reporter Ryan Deto, who recently wrote a cover story about this case, and Guillermo Perez head of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and part of the campaign to release Martin Esquivel-Hernandez from detention..

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Despite a victory in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Monday, members of Mayor Bill Peduto's administration are uncertain if they will enforce Pittsburgh’s straw purchase gun ordinance.

WTAE

Former WTAE anchor Wendy Bell filed a federal lawsuit Monday claiming wrongful termination and racial discrimination against the television station she said encouraged her to post her opinions to social media.

Bell was fired in late March for violating journalistic ethics and the station's standards for what was deemed a racially insensitive Facebook post after five adults and an unborn child died in a mass shooting during a backyard cookout in Wilkinsburg. Police haven't charged anyone with the shooting.

At Age 73, PA Mailman Says 'Retirement Is Not For Everyone'

Jun 20, 2016
Nick Meyer / Pottsville Republican Herald

 

It took a few jobs before Charles Bartholomew found the one he would be doing for the last 50 years.

"I even tried being a milkman once," the Pottsville man said Thursday before starting his mail route.

Keith Srakocic / AP

**UPDATED: This story was updated at 11:15 a.m., June 20, 2016 to reflect the new court date for Alex Hribal.  

The young man accused of wounding 20 fellow students and a security guard at a mass stabbing at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville two years ago will either plead guilty or go to trial on August 1.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Since 1922, 29 champions of the National Marbles Championship in Wildwood, N.J. have been from Allegheny County. This year, four mibsters, or marble shooters, from the county will compete in hopes of becoming the next champions.

Eli Murphy, 13, resides in Squirrel Hill but practices at St. Michael’s Street on the South Side Slopes with South Side resident Lauren Shuty, 12. Shuty is the Allegheny County Champion.

Allegheny County Champion Bobby Narr, 13, and Madison Johnson, 12, practice together in Lawrenceville.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Penguins turned around a once-disappointing season and fired a coach before winning a fourth Stanley Cup, adversity that seemed to make Wednesday's city-wide celebration that much sweeter.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh’s faith community held a candlelight vigil outside of the City-County Building in downtown Pittsburgh Monday night, to remember the victims of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando over the weekend.

Pennsylvania Cities Respond To Orlando Shooting

Jun 14, 2016
Branden Eastwood / NewsWorks

 

Early Sunday morning, a gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fl. Omar Mateen killed 49 clubgoers and injured at least as many in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Mateen was killed at the scene after a prolonged hostage situation.

There were tributes offered across the country, from the White House to the Tony Awards. Over 1,000 miles north of Orlando, Pennsylvania residents reacted to the news with vigils, fundraisers and security concerns.

The parade must go on

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh public pools open Tuesday to kick off the unofficial start of summer.

Seventeen of the city's 18 pools are open weekdays from 1 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. on weekends. Moore Park pool in Brookline will remain closed for repairs, but Citiparks Director Jim Griffin said it's expected to reopen in mid-July. 

Daily pool passes for adults cost $5 and $3 for children. A season-long family pass that covers up to four people can be purchased for $60.

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