Capturing the people, places and things in Pittsburgh that demonstrates what makes our city so livable and a special place to call home.
The Advanced Leadership Institute (TALI) is pleased to announce the receipt of a $1 Million Grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation. The grant, which was recently approved, will help TALI to continue moving forward its mission to prepare Black leaders for executive advancement. While TALI recently announced its national expansion plans, the new funds will support TALI’s operations in the Pittsburgh region.
According to Evan Frazier, President and CEO of The Advanced Leadership Institute, “It has always been our vision to create a sustainable model that addresses an important need to promote Black leadership diversity. This tremendous contribution comes at a pivotal time and will help to anchor our work in the Pittsburgh region.” Frazier also added, “We are truly grateful to the Richard King Mellon Foundation for this grant and their strategic investments in TALI at critical times over the years.”
The Foundation continues to demonstrate their support and confidence in the work done at the Institute. In 2018, the Foundation provided TALI with a $100,000 grant to pilot its flagship program, The Executive Leadership Academy. In 2020, it bolstered its support with a $1 Million Grant and now it is doing it again with another $1 Million to support TALI’s operations in the Pittsburgh region. This ongoing support has helped TALI continue to grow as it works to advance the presence of Black professionals in executive leadership roles.
“Supporting diverse leadership has been an ongoing focus for us,” said Richard King Mellon Foundation Director Sam Reiman. “That's why we seeded TALI with its first six-figure grant in 2018 and a $1 Million Grant in 2020. And now, we are making another large grant of $1 million, in hopes that TALI can continue to build on and generate even greater private-sector enthusiasm for the critical work they are doing in Pittsburgh. TALI has enjoyed noteworthy support already, from corporate leaders such as BNY Mellon, Highmark, PNC and UPMC. But even more private-sector partners are essential for the Institute to achieve its full potential."
The Advanced Leadership Institute operates three leadership programs delivered in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, including:
· The Executive Leadership Academy (ELA) – Its flagship program targeting the Pittsburgh region; ELA is a seven-month, world-class executive education program that prepares Black senior-level managers for executive advancement.
· The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) – ELP prepares Black professionals to transition from an early manager or individual contributor to broader leadership roles.
· The new National Executive Leadership Academy – Modeled after Pittsburgh’s ELA program, this national program is for Black executives and mid-level managers from across the country who have higher level career aspirations.
For more information about each program, visit taliinstitute.org.
Evan Frazier, President and CEO of The Advanced Leadership Institute
State Rep. La'Tasha D. Mayes, D-Allegheny, issued the following statement about serving as grand marshal of the Pittsburgh Pride March and Parade 2023 today:
“I am honored to serve as grand marshal of Pittsburgh Pride March and Parade 2023. As the first out lesbian ever to serve in the Pennsylvania General Assembly and a long-time local and national LGBTQ+ rights activist, it means the world to me to lead this march and parade on the 50th Anniversary of the first Pride in the United States.
“I never forget all the people in our history and in this community – especially Black and Brown LGBTQ+ folx and specifically Black and Brown trans women of color – who sacrificed their comfort, safety and livelihood so that we can celebrate Pride that is also rooted in a long, rich history of resistance that precedes the Stonewall Riots.
“For decades, LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians have wanted simply to be treated fairly, and I could not have been prouder to continue my years of policy and advocacy work when I voted ‘yes’ on the Fairness Act, House Bill 300. I believe Pennsylvania is better when it is fairer, when it is more just, and when it is inclusive and expansive. When that happens, we are a stronger, more united commonwealth.”
Currently in the state Senate, the Fairness Act would prohibit discrimination in Pennsylvania based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Even with financial aid, Pitt families pay more than those nationwide who send their children to their university next door.
For Aaron Conrad, being able to attend the University of Pittsburgh as an in-state student meant having to work full time on top of his full-time studies. Some months, it even meant going to food banks.
Conrad, who lives in Bridgeville, graduated from Pitt this spring. Before he enrolled, he had done “as much money-crunching” as possible to reduce his cost of attendance. He participated in an early college program while in high school, allowing him to earn an associate’s degree upon graduation in 2019.
Still, Conrad, who enrolled at Pitt in fall 2021, feels that the debt he has accumulated from his Pitt education is “daunting.” Over two years, he took out about $14,500 in federal loans.
“Multiple times throughout my college experience, I’ve had thoughts where I’d have to drop out because I wouldn’t be able to afford it,” he said.
Public universities provide lower tuition for in-state residents, but that discount doesn’t go as far at Pitt. The university’s average price of attendance for local families is one of the highest in the country, partly because of downward-trending state investment in public higher education.
Using data from the U.S. Department of Education, PublicSource and The Pitt Newscompared the cost of attendance at Pitt to the 34 other leading public research universities in the nation. Pitt’s estimated in-state tuition and fees were the most expensive, totaling $21,080 in the 2022-2023 academic year. That excludes the additional costs of textbooks, supplies, housing and food, which brought the total price to, at most, $37,028.
While roughly half of Pitt families receive financial aid to reduce that sticker price, they’re still shelling out more than most. The university’s average net price of attendance – which factors in aid – was the second-most expensive of that group of leading public research universities as of the 2020-21 academic year, the most recent year for which data was available. The Pennsylvania State University was the most expensive.
These numbers can add up over four years. Families at Pitt pay, on average, about $23,000 a year. Those at other top public research universities pay less — at the Georgia Institute of Technology, for instance, families pay around $17,360 a year, on average.
Public universities are regional economic drivers and gateways of opportunity, but rising tuition costs threaten that public good. They can prevent low-income students from enrolling or saddle them with debt. They can burden middle-class students, who must cover particularly high costs in Pennsylvania while typically receiving less need-based aid. They can leave the region searching for qualified, college-educated workers if residents choose not to pursue a degree due to the cost.
Nearly every public university is cheaper than Pitt for middle-class families looking to send their children to a college close to home.
Continue Reading the story from our partner PUBLIC SOURCE
Ciara Gordon, a University of Pittsburgh student with ambitions of being a pediatrician.
The Pathway to Success for Nursing program to provide financial and educational support for nursing students from underrepresented populations in targeted communities in Allegheny County
The Community College of Allegheny County has announced a new financial assistance and support program for students interested in Registered nursing careers. The Pathway to Success for Nursing (PSN) program, a comprehensive academic, financial and psychosocial support initiative sponsored by an Allegheny County Community Development Block Grant and federally funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, will extend access to nursing education to individuals from low-to-moderate incomes who reside in targeted communities in Allegheny County.
The program is limited to 30 eligible students enrolled in the CCAC pre-nursing or nursing program and will include financial support for tuition and required student expenses, including books, online resources and uniforms. Students accepted into PSN will be required to maintain regular contact with the Program Transition/Retention Coordinator to support attendance and performance, and complete in person or remote meetings to create an individual educational success plan, assess progress, and address any unmet needs or barriers. Transition services will be available from pre-nursing, to nursing, to completion, and students can gain guidance, as needed, to navigate CCAC processes, access tutors and timely interventions that support retention.
“We are privileged to offer such comprehensive assistance to CCAC Nursing and potential nursing students. This program will help fuel the nursing workforce in our region and increase the opportunity for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, including ethnic and racial minorities who are underrepresented among registered nurses, to pursue nursing careers,” said Kathy Mayle, CCAC Assistant Vice President and Dean of Nursing, Allied Health and Sciences.
PSN eligibility requirements include enrollment at CCAC during the program-funded year (January 1, 2023–December 31, 2023) and taking nursing or nursing pre-requisite coursework with intended progression to the CCAC Nursing program; legal residency within Allegheny County as defined by the grant (excluded areas are the City of Pittsburgh, Penn Hills, Trafford, McKeesport and McDonald); completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submission of the Student Aid Report (SAR) indicating the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC); completion of the PSN application; and submission of required documents. Students who are underrepresented minorities in Registered Nursing and students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds are encouraged to apply. All applicants must meet federal guidelines for low to moderate income.
Applications are accepted anytime. To participate in the summer program, applications need to be received by July 3, 2023. New CCAC students are welcome to apply. Acceptance is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information or to apply, contact Gwen Victum, CCAC Nursing Program Transition/Retention Coordinator, at email@example.com.
CCAC’s Nursing program is fully approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. In 2023, NursingProcess.org ranked CCAC #3 out of 147 Associate Degree in Nursing schools in Pennsylvania and #6 out of 536 in the Northeast Region.
June 1, 2023
At Duquesne Light Holdings (DLH), we strive to create a fair, equitable and inclusive environment where every employee and customer feels respected, welcomed and valued. We look forward to joining millions around the world in recognition of Pride Month and supporting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and nonbinary (LGBTQ+) community.
Each June, Pride Month recognizes the generations of LGBTQ+ Americans and their allies who have challenged discrimination and fought for equality in their mission to bring visibility to diverse experiences, perspectives and identities.
Fifty-three years after the first Pride March commemorating the Stonewall Riots, today’s Pride Month serves to acknowledge the LGBTQ+ experience while reinforcing the self-worth and dignity that comes with the journey toward equality. It’s also a time to remember those who lost their lives to violence and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
While we celebrate the progress we’ve made along the way, we must remember that there are still challenges ahead, including inequity, discrimination, harassment and, even still, violence. We encourage everyone to learn more about the diversity and experiences of the LGBTQ+ community. We can all do our part to eliminate hate and ignorance, whether as a member of the LGBTQ+ community or as an ally.
Within the past year, DLH’s ally circle, PRISM, which started as a formal gathering of several employees, has expanded into a full-fledged business employee resource group (BERG). The BERGs at DLH are inclusive employee-led networks that support and lead Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts in our workplace and community.
PRISM, which stands for Pride, Respect, Inclusion, Solidarity and Mindfulness, seeks to build mutual respect and inclusion around our organization for employees who identify as LGBTQ+. PRISM members and allies support one another through sharing experiences and fostering a company culture where all employees feel valued, included and supported in the workplace.
This month, we’ll have several internal programs led by PRISM and our DEI Council that will provide employees across our organization the opportunity to network and learn more about their colleagues. We will also have opportunities for our employees to participate in Pride Month celebrations and volunteer events.
We’re thrilled to be returning members of the Pittsburgh Pride Parade and Festival, and dozens of our employees have made the commitment to support the Pittsburgh Pirates by attending the Pride Night game at PNC Park on June 9.
We look forward to the opportunity to celebrate each of our employees for who they are and the talents they bring to the workplace daily. Just as important, we’re always stiving to be better in our efforts to support one another, so that we all feel safe, comfortable and respected.
Find out more about Pride Month and how you can practice inclusion.
Mayor Ed Gainey named Alexis Walker as Education Coordinator for the City of Pittsburgh.
“I am honored to announce Alexis Walker as Education Coordinator,” said Mayor Ed Gainey. “Her background and experience will help us continue to build on our partnership with Pittsburgh Public Schools and will help us build pathways into prosperity for students across Pittsburgh.”
The Education Coordinator position was made possible through a $175,000 grant from The Heinz Endowments.
As Education Coordinator for the City of Pittsburgh, Alexis will help build a strategic partnership with Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) in order to align resources, remove barriers, and deliver high-impact services and initiatives to drive better outcomes for Pittsburgh youth. She will continue the work of coordinating and maintaining a job pipeline from the PPS Career Technical Education program to the City as part of Mayor Gainey’s Pathways to Prosperity initiative and Prepare to Prosper partnership with PPS.
She will also work to align our systems around school safety by working with the City’s Assistant Director of Public Safety and his team, as a member of our Advisory Committee on Youth and Family Resource Centers in partnership with City Council, PPS, and the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure to help drive safety improvements for kids as they walk, bike, and roll to school.
Prior to joining the administration Walker served as the GirlGov Program Manager at the Women and Girls Foundation where she helped launch the GirlGov summer leadership academy, helped connect teens to elected leaders in order to share their voices, and was the lead facilitator helping teenage girls and femmes develop skills around advocacy.
Alexis is a Robert Morris University graduate and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Education Policy and Leadership from American University. She is 26 years old and lives in the Northside of Pittsburgh.
Running back Najee Harris visited Pittsburgh's Arsenal Middle School on Tuesday afternoon in conjunction with UPMC Children's Hospital CHAMP program and the Pitt Department of Pediatrics.
The CHAMP program is a collaboration between the hospital and Arsenal Middle School to provide integrated mentorship and well-being for a community of underrepresented medical (URM) and middle school students in the city. The purpose is to increase the pipeline of URMs and promote careers in pediatrics, medicine and higher education.
Harris was there as part of the mentorship and experience bridge program that involves individuals from local organizations. Harris spent time with the students doing activities and then took time out to share his story with the kids.
Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas have a variety of Black-owned businesses ranging from restaurants to jewelers that reflect the soul and strength of their communities. Pitt’s Office of Engagement and Community Affairs, which works with dozens of local organizations and leaders to build bridges between the University and the community, suggested 10 Black-owned businesses for Pittsburghers to check out during Black History Month. Read on, and you might just find your new favorite bakery or boutique.
Wild Rise Bakery is a gluten-free establishment featuring cakes, pastries and breads. Find the baked goods at the East End Food Co-op and in various restaurants and cafes around Pittsburgh or preorder for pick-up at the Lawrenceville Farmers Market and Bloomfield Saturday Market.
Based in East Liberty, Royally Fit is a holistic health and wellness company putting 100% of its profits toward its Community Wellness Program, which provides health programming for free in neighborhoods that need it the most.
Lelia’s Natural Care is an online boutique based in Pittsburgh with all-natural products to improve the skin and enhance the overall health of clients.
Based in Oakland, Uzima advocates for mental health and well-being through nutrition and offers a variety of healthy açaí bowls, smoothies and juices.
Boss Girl Collection LLC is beauty boutique with stores in Penn Hills and the Hill District selling lashes, lip gloss and lip scrubs. Products are also available online.
Molly’s World Boutique in the Hill District puts the "fun" in functional fashion, designing clothing clients love.
Since 1946, Homewood-based Dorsey’s Record Shop has provided analog to digital transfers, computer repair, upgrades and software installation services. Of course, the shop also sells records spanning genres like R&B, hip-hop, jazz and gospel.
Knotzland in Wilkinsburg reuses textile discards to create bowties and accessories.
Find candles, clothing, pet accessories, beauty products and haircare and more at Gallery on Centre in the Hill District.
Ujamaa Collective is a nonprofit organization that aims to advance Africana women by providing a fair trade marketplace. It operates a boutique in the Hill District and also puts on pop-up events and other arts and entrepreneur programming.
Ann-Marsha Alexis, a first-year Ph.D. student in physics at Carnegie Mellon University, has been awarded the John Peoples Jr. Fellowship in Physics. The fellowship provides a stipend and allows first-year graduate students to explore research in their first semester.
"I really like the department. It's very supportive, and a lot of the research is interesting to me," said Alexis, who graduated from Wellesley College with a bachelor's degree in computer science.
She uses computational techniques to study the sciences, particularly physics. For example, she created computational models to predict the effects of climate change. Using the physics of fluid dynamics, she built tools to determine the effects of climate change in Mozambique, which is prone to flooding.
"I was always interested in using the physics of climate change, and modeling and simulations in general," Alexis said. "It wasn't new physics research, but it was using physics, which interested me."
Alexis is now applying her modeling skills to computational astrophysics. Her adviser, Rupert Croft, a professor of physics, said that her computer science background helps her stand out from other doctoral candidates.
"Although we don't study climate change in the Physics Department directly, we've recently had a lot of people working on climate change coming through because of the NSF Artificial Intelligence Institute hosted in the Physics Department," Croft said. "They're studying our planet. We study galaxies and other things. But we use similar computational techniques."
Currently, Alexis is simulating spectra to determine the formation of galaxies. She and researchers from other colleges are using the James Webb Telescope to further develop large-scale cosmological models.
Alexis and Croft are using data gathered from the telescope to enhance their cosmological simulations and, in turn, suggesting areas of space to investigate.
"Right now, we are making predictions for what the galaxy should look like," Croft said. "Our computer simulation — the one that Ann-Marsha is working on — we're using that to make galaxy images that we're comparing to the real data."
Outside of the lab, Alexis enjoys hiking and music. She learned traditional drumming, and she is learning to play the organ. However, physics is her major passion.
"I'm looking forward to see where the Ph.D. takes me," Alexis said.
Ann-Marsha Alexis, a first-year Ph.D. student in physics at Carnegie Mellon University
Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh, a joint program of The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments, has awarded 49 grants totaling $1.61 million, the largest annual distribution in the 12-year history of the program. The funding will support the work of individual artists and collectives as well as provide project, planning and operating support for arts organizations.
In June 2021, ABAP received a $2 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott that allowed the program to provide multi-year support for a cohort of Black-led organizations and those serving a substantial or primarily Black audience. Pittsburgh Foundation and Heinz Endowments staffs worked together to determine how that award would be distributed in the community, and this is the first grant cycle to include a portion of the funds.
“Black artists and arts organizations in our community exhibit amazing talent and productivity, despite a continuing struggle to secure sufficient funding,” Pittsburgh Foundation President and CEO Lisa Schroeder said in announcing the grants. “We hope this record amount of support will boost access and opportunity for artists of color and related organizations. It’s important to recognize that a robust and diverse arts-and-culture ecosystem is essential for any city to grow and thrive.”
“The energy, insight and skill that these Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh grantees bring to their work is exemplary,” said Endowments Vice President of Creativity Janet Sarbaugh. “Their deep creativity, thoughtful perspective, and commitment to their artistic vision elevates both our creative community and our region at large.”
Recipients include the SCALE Fellowship for Black Women in Music, which provides the opportunity for fellows to design, develop and produce a live and recorded project; the BlackTeaBrownSuga Network, which serves youth, families, cultural workers and community members in Western Pennsylvania by promoting mental wellness through music and media-based programs; and Protohaven, which aims to address the lack of diversity in the Pittsburgh makerspace community while also providing opportunities for new skills and creative pathways for both emerging and experienced Black artists.
Since 2010, the Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh program has awarded more than $9.4 million in support of the acknowledgment, celebration, preservation and perpetuation of Black culture. The funding has focused on helping build the careers of individual artists and increasing the sustainability of cultural organizations that support Black arts. Program goals include expanding community awareness of the Black arts sector and supporting efforts toward greater collaboration and acknowledgment of the racial disparities within the larger arts ecosystem.
Publicity images of the artists and their work are available for media use. Details on each artist, including social media handles, are available on the About the Awardees resource page on The Pittsburgh Foundation’s website.
Advancing-the-field grants totaling $54,109:
Culturally relevant residency grants totaling $60,000:
Individual artist grants totaling $231,645:
Planning grants totaling $15,000:
Project support grants totaling $160,000:
Operating support grants totaling $100,000 over two years for each organization:
Core programming support grants totaling $200,000:
Special Opportunities grant totaling $37,000:
Discretionary grants totaling $40,000:
Detailed information on the awardees and their work, including links to their social media handles, is available on The Pittsburgh Foundation and Heinz Endowments websites.
From Championing the Employee Ownership Movement and Returning Wealth to Native Communities to Exposing Environmental Threats to Vulnerable Ecosystems, 27th Heinz Awards Recipients Embody Courageous Leadership
The Heinz Family Foundation today announces the recipients of the 27th Heinz Awards, which will present unrestricted cash awards totaling $1.5 million to seven Americans for outstanding contributions in the categories of the Arts, the Economy and the Environment. Two awards will be given per category. As part of the accolade, each recipient receives an unrestricted cash prize of $250,000.
Created to honor the memory of the late U.S. Senator John Heinz, the Heinz Awards recognize excellence and achievement in areas of great importance to Senator Heinz. The 27th annual awards bring the total number of recipients to 165 and reflects more than $30 million in awards given since the program was launched in 1993.
In the Arts category, Pittsburgh artist Vanessa German is a recipient.
vanessa l. german, Visual Artist and Founder, ARThouse, Pittsburgh, Pa., is a visual and performance artist whose assemblage sculpture, installations, spoken-word poetry and community-based work confront racism, violence, homophobia and hate, while also expressing hope for healing. A visual storyteller with a strong focus on the female form, she builds her sculptures from everyday objects, embellishing them with glass, beading, fabric and other materials and transforming them into power figures that acknowledge collective suffering while also offering affirmation and optimism. Ms. German is also recognized for her work as a citizen artist, most notably in Homewood, a Pittsburgh community acutely affected by disinvestment, where she has established gathering spaces for women, families and children to engage in artmaking and creative expression as a means of coping with trauma and grief.
To learn more about the recipients click here.
Pittsburgh based consulting company, CASTUS, announces the second annual cohort of the Fellowship for Minority Business Owners. "We were incredibly impressed with last year's Fellowship participants, and continue to be amazed by the quality of talent in our local community," says CASTUS Founder, Damon Claus.
"Our entire team, and the Subject Matter Experts who have generously pledged their time, are looking forward to working with this year's Fellowship participants, learning from their experiences, and helping them better define their growth journey."
This year's cohort includes:
Maggie Richardson – Jazzspace Consulting
Jasmine Leftwich – JVisionary Visuals Co.
Kahindo Mateene – KAHINDO
Aquene Watkins-Wise – Royally Fit LLC.
These business owners were selected to participate in the Fellowship based on their leadership, innovative thinking, and contribution to the community. The Fellowship will consist of three workshops led by Pittsburgh-based companies:
The Motherhood, Inc.
Schneider Downs & Co., Inc.
Frost Brown Todd, LLC
The public can support these minority owned businesses by visiting their websites, following them on social media, and sharing CASTUS's updates on the Fellowship. The CASTUS Fellowship Award consists of $5,000 funding and a Business Identity workshop with CASTUS. Information about the Fellowship can be found at www.castusglobal.com/castus-fellowship.
Maggie Richardson, Owner and Chief Creative Strategist /Richardson founded Jazzspace Consulting