Say it Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud!
President Joe Biden signed a bill Thursday making Juneteenth a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States -- just in time for Saturday's June 19 anniversary. It's a day African Americans have celebrated yearly since the Civil War-era and the culmination of a decades-long effort by advocates to get national recognition for the momentous development in American history.
"Instead of making it harder for folks to vote, we need to be addressing the issues that election officials have asked us to address. We further should be making it easier for people to register to vote and to take part in our elections. Instead, the House Republicans would have us pass restrictive legislation to solve problems that simply do not exist..."
At its June board of trustees meeting, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh elected Geovette E. Washington chair of its board of trustees. Washington is senior vice chancellor and chief legal officer of the University of Pittsburgh, joining the university after serving as general counsel and senior policy advisor in the White House Office of Management and Budget. She joined the Carnegie Museums board of trustees in 2017 and was named vice chair earlier this year.
For centuries, it has been known that the initial American promise of democracy was a promise for only White men. Since 1776, all others have fought to secure their “unalienable rights.” With Blacks still having failed to do so, one is reminded of Frederick Douglass’ July 5, 1852 speech (“The Fourth of July Is Yours, Not Mine”) in which he poignantly put the matter, i.e., “I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included with the pale of glorious anniversary! Your high independence day only reveals the immeasurable distance between us.”
The Board of Directors of DQE Holdings LLC (DQE) has appointed Kevin Walker as the new president and CEO of Duquesne Light Company (DLC), Duquesne Light Holdings, Inc. and DQE. Walker succeeds Mark Kaplan who has served in an interim role since January of this year. Kaplan has also served as chief financial officer and will retain that role throughout June, after which he will become special advisor to the company’s management and board of directors. Matthew Ankrum will assume the vice president, chief financial officer role on July 1.
"I am a Black woman in a white-male-dominated legislature. And I am the only Black woman who has ever chaired the House committee that oversees voting laws in our state. As chairwoman in the Democratic minority, I am continually sickened by the way in which the Republican majority repeatedly makes these voter suppression tactics seem normal, much in the way poll taxes, literacy tests and other barriers were made to seem valid leading up the Civil Rights Act of 1965..."
Ahead of the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre on May 31, read an excerpt from Professor Alaina E. Roberts’ new book that depicts the lead up to and aftermath of that brutal event.
Roberts’ new book, “I’ve Been Here All the While: Black Freedom on Native Land,” explores Reconstruction, identity and race through narrative threads that follow her family’s and American history.
The United States has been celebrating African-American Music Appreciation Month in June since 1979. The month of June is set aside to appreciate the contributions of African-American musicians, composers, singers, and songwriters in American culture. The month honors the history and rich African traditions that gave birth to different styles of music such as rap, hip-hop, jazz, rhythm and blues, barbershop, and swing. It is also the month to celebrate creative inspiration and appreciate the impact that African-American music has had on generations of performers and music lovers!
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth is the only holiday that commemorates the abolition of slavery; more specifically the emancipation of enslaved Pennsylvania now permanently recognizes Juneteenth, as a state holiday. 2021 marks the first year that Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh declared Juneteenth a County and City holiday. In honor of Juneteenth and Black Music Month in America Stop the Violence Pittsburgh and WPA Juneteenth presents the Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Juneteenth Freedom Days and Black Music Fest at Point State Park, daily.
Two Western Pennsylvania champions of diversity — Vibrant Pittsburgh and the Urban Affairs Foundation, which is a part of the Community Relations Council (CRC) of the Jewish Federation of
Greater Pittsburgh — have joined forces to implement this year’s Mini Grants Initiative: Systemic Inequities
in the COVID-19 Era.
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues June 20th by officially rededicating the Homestead Grays Bridge in Homestead Borough. To celebrate the occasion, he unveiled a new bridge plaque, highlighted 22 new bridge banners that honor the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords baseball teams, and showcased a Grays state historical marker that was relocated this week next to the bridge.
The Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh initiative – a joint program of The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments – will receive $2 million in the latest round of grants by novelist and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.
In a joint statement, Lisa Schroeder, president and CEO of The Pittsburgh Foundation and Grant Oliphant, president of The Heinz Endowments, said: “This is terrific news and is a wonderful recognition of the canon of Black cultural creativity in Pittsburgh.
POISE Foundation has plenty of reasons to celebrate! This is its 40th year as a community foundation focused on inspiring and empowering African Americans. To commemorate this milestone year, the foundation has planned a series of online community conversations and events designed to bring greater awareness to the need for Black Philanthropy and the need to strengthen Black families and their communities.
Legal Defense Fund Working to Mitigate
the Impacts of COVID-19 on Black Communities
Due in large part to a lack of responsiveness by federal and state governments, our nation continues to be ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of December 4, 2020, America has been witness to more than 25 million cases and nearly 440,000 deaths. Schools have been closed, businesses have struggled to stay afloat, millions have lost their jobs and homes — all of which has disproportionately impacted the Black community.
The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation Sports Matter Giving Truck is hitting the road again, giving sports equipment to 10,000 more youth athletes in need. The Giving Truck will travel to eight cities across the U.S. – Charlotte, Atlanta, Tampa, Mobile, Houston, El Paso, Phoenix and Los Angeles – throughout the month of March.
The Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU) announces that Mr. Michael Jones has been hired as the organization’s new director of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). In his capacity as a member of the AIU’s Executive Leadership Team, Mr. Jones will design
and implement organization-wide DEI efforts and help shape a healthy and inclusive culture where everyone can grow and thrive
The coffee shop and gathering space is part of the Avenues of Hope Initiative. The coffee shop and café, located at 1836 Centre Avenue, is part of the Avenues of Hope initiative. Avenues of Hope addresses Pittsburgh’s lack of community development and economic inclusion in African American communities utilizing a holistic, community-centered approach.
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