Nearly two-thirds of low-income families do not own any books for their children. Reading Is Fundamental Pittsburgh addresses this critical need by providing children with access to self-selected books, creating positive environments that motivate children to develop a lifelong love of reading, and engaging families in literacy practices in the home. By providing services to more than 20,000 of our city’s most economically disadvantaged children, RIF Pittsburgh is dedicated to reducing the literacy gap in our community and fostering a lifelong love of reading in the children we serve.
In Spring 2023, Pittsburgh Public Schools launched its first-ever independent equity audit of the district’s system of education for its African American students. An equity audit is a study of the fairness of an institution’s policies, programs, and practices. Our Racial Equity Audit will critically examine our policies, programs, and practices that directly and indirectly impact our students relative to their race. The equity audit will provide a starting point in evaluating our District’s current state concerning equity.
The City of Pittsburgh announced today it is partnering with the Black Equity Coalition (BEC) and other community partners following a $1.1-million-dollar award from the de Beaumont Foundation Modernized Anti-Racist Data Ecosystems (MADE) for Health Justice grant. The focus of this collaborative initiative is to support communities in creating health equity-focused local data ecosystems.
Data Justice for Pittsburgh’s Black Neighborhoods is a cross-sectoral collective and working group consisting of the Black Equity Coalition, POISE Foundation, University of Pittsburgh Center for Health Equity, City of Pittsburgh Department of Innovation and Performance, City of Pittsburgh’s Mayor’s Office, Carnegie Mellon University Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment (CREATE) Lab, The Forbes Funds, Gateway Medical Society, UrbanKind Institute, University of Pittsburgh Center for Social and Urban Research Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center (WPRDC).
“Making sure everyone, regardless of race or financial status has access to equal health care is the best thing for the people who call Pittsburgh home. Removing the barriers whether seen or unseen allows residents the opportunity to have a full life,” said Mayor Ed Gainey.
Further, the MADE collaboration will help residents in Black communities that have been harmed by residential segregation and disinvestment in the city gain tools to improve the quality of housing and the built environment. One of the Data Justice for Pittsburgh’s Black Neighborhoods goals is to ensure that the Black community has a meaningful participatory role in the design of public data systems that will help redress environmental injustices.
“To ensure data are a force for good, we need to create data ecosystems-dynamic collections of information that center and uplift the needs of the most marginalized. We’re excited to partner with communities across the nation that have taken on this challenge,” said Jamila Porter, DrPH, MPH, principal investigator for MADE for Health Justice and chief of staff at the de Beaumont Foundation.
The city’s work with the BEC is expected to build meaningful community participation into the city’s data governance practices which will allow public agencies to be held accountable for their use of data and technology. The groundbreaking partnership will also provide data literacy training workshops to increase understanding about how power imbalances in data perpetuate structural racism and harm minority communities along with collectively identifying ways to improve data collected, shared, and used to improve environmental health outcomes.
“Equity is at the core of POISE Foundation’s philosophy. We are excited to partner with the City of Pittsburgh and BEC’s Data Working Group who are focused on developing practices that gather, analyze, design, and communicate information using an equity lens. We are equally excited to be part of this national cohort to both learn and share what we hope to be leading practices in the field,” said President and CEO of POISE Foundation Mark Lewis.
Jamila Porter, DrPH, MPH, principal investigator for MADE for Health Justice
With Juneteenth as a catalyst, a group of Black scientists, including Sandra Murray, professor of cell biology in Pitt’s School of Medicine, is calling for racial equity in science.
Murray was a corresponding author of a paper published June 8 in the journal Cell. “Juneteenth in STEMM and the Barriers to Equitable Science,” written by 52 Black scientists, reviews racial disparities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) fields and calls on institutions to address them.
Juneteenth, recognized as a federal holiday in 2021, commemorates the freedom of the last large group of enslaved Black Americans on June 19, 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. The holiday acknowledges the long struggle Black Americans have faced in U.S. history and serves as a day to reflect and to remember that the work toward equity for all is not complete.
Murray noted that some solutions called for in the paper are already happening at Pitt, such as the Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences and John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of the School of Medicine Anantha Shekhar starting a dialogue by asking faculty, “What have you done for DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)?”
“Just that question is enough to make people think and do differently,” said Murray.
Among the authors’ suggestions are calls to create and foster a culture of inclusivity and support through tailored mentorship and networking opportunities and acknowledge holistic struggles to develop supportive policies and program structures. Additionally, they highlight a need for policies that safeguard the well-being of Black scientists in their training pipeline, support retention in postdoctoral and faculty positions and develop a stronger exposure in grade school to foster lifelong relationships with science and support networks.
“All students should feel that they belong in the career they're going into and that they'll do well in it,” said Murray. She emphasized the value of existing programs, like the U.S. Department of Education’s Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, in showing and connecting students with role models.
“Those role models, many times, will not only share the things that have gone well, but they will share some of the things that haven't gone well,” said Murray. “It says to the student, I can walk in that path as well.”
The authors wrote, “Juneteenth can remind us of what we still need to change, but doing so requires action from funding bodies, institutions and the wider community.”
Murray said action should include increasing dialogue through institutional support and training mentors to build support at all career levels.
“I think we have to grow mentors,” said Murray. “We have to increase the number of mentors who have intellectual humility, are capable of listening and understanding, and can positively motivate someone else’s climb.”
— Phoebe Ingraham Renda and Roberta Zeff, photography by Tom Altany
Darris R. Means’ most cherished childhood memories center around the tractors, garden and pigs at his grandparents’ home in South Carolina. While it wasn’t quite farm country, his time spent among the turkeys and chickens rooted in him an early appreciation for the cultural elements of rural life.
As he got older, though, he started wondering about the challenges his grandparents faced growing up in rural Spartanburg County.
“I began to think more about my personal connections across rural communities,” said Means, a University of Pittsburgh School of Education associate professor and qualitative researcher.
Those ideas evolved into a passion for researching education inequities within rural populations — a little-studied group when it comes to retention and recruitment in higher education. The experiences of Black youth living in rural America, especially, are often ignored, even though one in seven Black public school students attends a rural school.
“Researchers, educators and policymakers have an opportunity to improve practices and policies that will enhance the educational experiences and outcomes of rural Black youth,” said Means.
His work to do just that has received national acclaim and solidified him as a standout advocate for low-income students, students of color and rural students.
The gaps around access to and persistence in higher education are not by happenstance.
Earlier this year, the Dean’s Faculty Scholar in Equity, Justice and Rural Education was named a 2023 Emerging Scholar by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. More recently, he was elected to the executive board of the National Rural Education Association, a leading voice for rural schools and communities nationwide. And beginning July 1, Means will serve as executive director for Rural Education and Community-Based Education within Pitt’s School of Education. He’s also preparing to publish findings from his 2021 Richard P. Nathan Public Policy Fellowship for the Rockefeller Institute of Government.
Means has long championed diversity and equity in secondary and higher education. While earning his bachelor’s from Elon University, a master’s from Clemson University and a doctorate from North Carolina State University, he found ways to generate tangible impact, like aiding the launch of the Elon Academy, a college access program for students with financial need.
“The gaps around access to and persistence in higher education are not by happenstance,” he said. “We need to pay attention as we work to support and amplify more rural Black youth on their pathways to and through college.”
During his doctoral work in North Carolina, Means collaborated with a team of graduate students and a faculty member to interview Black students from a rural community about their college and career aspirations. As he engaged in the study, he realized that conversations in research, policy and media about rural people primarily centered on white people and their narratives.
“That got me thinking about how little we discuss the intersection of being rural and Black,” said Means.
What the research team found was rural Black students had encouragement from their families, school counselors, teachers and coaches to pursue postsecondary education. However, students experienced academic and financial constraints connected to class, spatial and racial inequities.
“Where you live and where you attend school can shape access to opportunities and resources. That also applies on a global scale. We need to spend more time discussing spatial and place-based equity and justice and thinking about how it intersects with other forms of oppression. It’s about disrupting monolithic portrayals of rural communities,” he said.
Means says that, in addition to his grandparents, his inspirations are bell hooks and Pitt’s Renée and Richard Goldman Dean of the School of Education Valerie Kinloch. He noted that her unrivaled work ensuring the School of Education focuses on addressing educational injustices is what brought him to Pitt in 2020.
“To be successful as a research scholar means collaborating with people who have vision that allows the capacity to do more,” said Means.
He and Kinloch formed a committee to develop more Pitt initiatives and partnerships with rural schools and communities. The committee’s strategic plan is based on data collected from three schools in Western Pennsylvania through listening sessions that involved more than 70 students, parents, school board members, teachers, staff, principals, superintendents and district-level administrators.
“We need to begin with listening,” said Means, who emphasizes building rapport and sustaining relationships with community organizations and partners.
Means is working with colleagues to launch programming this summer to expand collaborations focused on spatial equity and justice in rural communities across the University, Pennsylvania, the nation and the globe
Jenay Willis is a higher education doctoral candidate and graduate research assistant working with Means during his Rockefeller Fellowship. She followed Means to Pitt from the University of Georgia, she said, because he embodies moving theory into practice.
“As someone who identifies as a rural Southern Black woman, I often see myself in the work of Dr. Means,” said Willis. “His work is significant in challenging the deficit narratives of rural populations, specifically rural students, through critical and asset-based lenses. It is an honor to work alongside him.”
As Means continues to disrupt educational inequities, he’s challenged decision-makers to consider the assets and networks rural students bring to the table — and the powerful outcomes that occur when they’re given space and agency.
“That is why I wanted to pursue the faculty route,” said Means. “This is an opportunity to work with students who had similar experiences as me, to engage in research that could have implications for many more and support them as they navigate their pathways to college.”
— Kara Henderson, photography by Tom Altany
As lawmakers reconvene at the state capitol, the ACLU of Pennsylvania has released its third iteration of More Law, Less Justice: Pennsylvania’s Statehouse-to-Prison Pipeline, a report analyzing the General Assembly’s consideration of legislation related to criminal law. The statehouse-to-prison pipeline is the practice of introducing bills that create new crimes, enhance existing penalties, or expand current laws that result in more people going to prison or jail. The report details the acceleration of that practice.
The current crimes code was codified in 1972. In the ensuing decades, Pennsylvania lawmakers have created 2,000 “new” offenses and suboffenses, the vast majority of which cover behavior that was already illegal in 1972.
“Mass incarceration begins at the statehouse,” said Elizabeth Randol, legislative director at the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “The purpose of this report is to highlight the role and responsibility of the Pennsylvania General Assembly in fueling our state’s ongoing mass incarceration crisis.”
During the 2021-2022 legislative session, 308 “pipeline bills” were introduced. Sixty-three of those bills—or 20 percent—were considered. And 18 pipeline bills were enacted, adding 8 new sentencing enhancements, 25 new offenses or suboffenses, and 50 new penalties to Pennsylvania law.
Compared to the previous two legislative sessions, legislators introduced and enacted more pipeline bills and outpaced the number of new crimes, penalties, and enhancements they added to Pennsylvania’s already bloated criminal code.
“None of these bills make Pennsylvanians any safer,” Randol continued. “And yet lawmakers insist on reaching for the same, broken tool in their toolbox. The mere introduction of so many of these bills signals to fellow legislators, stakeholders, news media, and others that the answer to almost everything legislators and others do not like or do not understand is solved through criminalization and mass incarceration. We cannot arrest, convict, and incarcerate our way out of this crisis.”
The report recommends that Pennsylvania state legislators oppose any proposed legislation that adds new criminal offenses, penalties, or sentencing enhancements; increase their reliance on public defenders as stakeholders and experts when analyzing legislation; and subject legislation that proposes a new criminal offense to a crimes comparison to existing law and an impact statement regarding any racial or economic disparities that the new legislation might compound. The report also encourages legislators to decriminalize non-violent behavior, like drug consumption and consensual sex work.
You can find the report at aclupa.org/MLLJ2021-22.
Inclusion Council Intends to Impact a Workforce that Reflects and Considers the Diversity of the Nation
As part of national law firm Eckert Seamans’ longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB), a new council was created to reinforce the firm’s ongoing efforts to advance DEIB across its workforce and the communities it serves. The Inclusion Council at Eckert Seamans was formed to provide time, space, and representation across various constituencies of the firm for inclusion to be both a priority and a point of focus.
“This marks a major milestone in tackling our challenge to work beyond programs and headcounts and implement policies and accountability that propels our efforts forward. The goal is to innovatively create the type of inclusive culture, reflected in a sense of belonging, that will enrich Eckert Seamans – and our world,” said Danielle Mundekis, Director of Inclusion.
The Inclusion Council will, among many roles:
“Now more than ever, a diverse workforce that holds space for different experiences and perspectives makes us stronger and more equipped to learn about and resolve issues our communities face. Inclusion is the effort that we as a firm put forth to begin to understand and support people as we learn more about them, while belonging is the way that people respond to those efforts and how we measure the success of those efforts,” said Mundekis.
Eckert Seamans is committed to developing, promoting, recruiting, and retaining talented individuals from a variety of diverse backgrounds and professional experiences. “As part of our firm culture and mission with developing our Inclusion Council, we are striving to make a difference in our business communities and ensure we are valuing and advocating for all people,” said Timothy Hudak, Chief Executive Officer.
The Inclusion Council, which is comprised of a host of work levels, experiences, and locations, will work closely with the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Committee to assist the firm in implementing change through direction and oversight, fulfilling the firm’s inclusion strategy and vision. The firm’s council includes the following members:
Working as a community, the Inclusion Council will build a network that the entire firm and its clients can be proud of, supporting the advancement of inclusion efforts throughout the legal industry and beyond. The Inclusion Council at Eckert Seamans is committed to implementing change and fulfilling the firm’s inclusion strategy and vision.
Source: Eckert Seamans
Danielle Mundekis, Director of Inclusion
Lisa Schroeder is president and CEO of The Pittsburgh Foundation. She was appointed in February of 2019 and took the helm in June that year to lead the philanthropy, which was established in 1945. As the leader of one of the oldest and largest of the country’s 750 community foundations, Lisa is only the sixth president and first woman appointed to the position.
The Foundation has about $1.5 billion in total assets and oversees about 2,500 individual charitable funds. The main mission is to improve quality of life in the Pittsburgh region by evaluating and addressing community issues, promoting responsible philanthropy and connecting donors to the region’s critical needs.
In 2020, less than a year into her term as president, Lisa directed the Foundation to the frontlines of crisis response as Covid-19 strained the limits of the region’s public health system, shuttered the economy and illuminated longstanding racial inequities. The Foundation raised millions of dollars for immediate relief, collaborated with its foundation partners to raise more for longer-term recovery and developed programs and services to address racial justice issues.
She incorporated many of the lessons learned during that period into a new strategic plan that has a vision statement committing the Foundation to realize a region free of inequities, and one in which all residents have opportunities – not just to survive but to thrive.
Her life experience has prepared her to take on these challenges. As a nonprofit executive and civic leader in Pittsburgh and Baltimore, she has a distinguished record in turning place-centered organizations into powerful movements for quality-of-life improvement.
From 2002 until 2015, she led Riverlife, a public-private partnership established to guide and advocate for redevelopment of Pittsburgh’s three rivers. Riverlife is still shepherding her vision and the result today is a spectacular 15-mile system of riverfront parks, trails and spaces for millions of users in the heart of the city. The organization has led $132 million dollars in riverfront infrastructure development, which, in turn, has leveraged $4.2 billion dollars in investment along the three rivers.
Returning to her hometown of Baltimore to become president and CEO of the Parks & People Foundation, she oversaw completion of a $14 million capital campaign. Her “Every Kid Deserves a Park” program led to construction of new family-friendly parks serving more than 60,000 people in city neighborhoods struggling from decades of disinvestment. She also launched an international competition to create a waterfront park connecting 22 neighborhoods along the Patapsco River to $500 million worth of development opportunities.
Lisa serves on numerous nonprofit boards, including the Pittsburgh Promise, the Forbes Funds, the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute of Politics Board of Fellows and the National Center for the Humanities. Her awards for leadership include the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal, the Pittsburgh Business Times’ Outstanding Women in Business Award and Baltimore’s 2016 Community Service Award. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of William Smith College, she received a Master of Science degree from Columbia University.
PUM ONE ON ONE CEO, Lisa Schroeder
PUM: Your team at the Pittsburgh Foundation recently announced a new Strategic Plan: From Surviving to Thriving. Tell us more about the strategic priorities under this plan and its significance.
Thank you for your interest and we’re excited to be able to share the foundation’s new work plan with PUM readers!
We will be ramping up our fundamental role serving as a hub for the residents of our region who want to undertake personal philanthropy to support the causes that they believe will improve quality of life.
The new vision underlying our commitments is to realize an equitable, vibrant and just Pittsburgh region in which everyone – regardless of race or other aspects of identity and circumstance – can thrive.
To get there, we will ramp up three functions: We will promote the philanthropy of our donors, Support Community through grant-making, and Catalyze Partnerships through convening and advocacy for policy change. Overarching all three is a commitment to address racial and economic inequities.
PUM: That commitment to Racial Justice is significant. Your plan points to racial disparities in access to resources and opportunities. Can you explain more about the range and how we can address them in the region?
We recognize that making the region a model of racial justice – becoming a society in which race is no longer a determinant of who thrives and who gets held back – is a big challenge, but one we need to take on because an inequitable Pittsburgh is a Pittsburgh unable to thrive. We believe the need to set an aspirational goal is clear, based on the flood of data showing shocking quality-of-life differences according to race and economic condition. Some examples we referred to in developing our plan:
· Of the $12 billion in home loans approved for Pittsburgh homebuyers between 2007 and 2019, just 7% went to minority residents.
· In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in Allegheny County, Black patients died at twice the rate of white patients.
· The poverty rate in Allegheny County for Black residents is nearly 30% compared to about 8% for white residents.
In taking stock of these disparities, we realize that our success in eliminating them depends on ramping up public awareness of the economic and social costs, because all of us, not just those figuring directly in the statistics, are harmed. Our work will involve leading public convenings to understand the needs, and forming partnerships with corporate, government, civic and philanthropic sectors in the region to leverage support and work toward solutions.
We believe that if enough of us make this a priority, we will achieve the goals of the plan.
PUM: The Foundation will invest $50 million of its unrestricted grant-making pool over the next five years to advance racial equity and racial justice. Can you provide more details about how this will unfold and specifically how the funds will be used?
We’ve made the $50 million commitment of support through our own Foundation-directed grants to increase the numbers of Black-led and Black community-serving organizations, because it is important to hold ourselves accountable. We are focusing our grant-making in the following areas:
· ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION: Helping communities at risk of environmental harm by preventing exposure. We also will support organizations that promote equitable access to healthy air, water and land.
· ECONOMIC MOBILITY: Reducing the racial wealth gap and supporting access to higher education, homeownership, career advancement and entrepreneurship.
· EQUITY & SOCIAL JUSTICE: Supporting civic participation, community organizing and citizen engagement to achieve policy changes and community-driven solutions that address the root causes of economic and racial inequities.
· ARTS & CULTURE: Strengthening small to mid-sized arts organizations and supporting the careers and lives of individual artists by fostering a diverse, healthy and just arts ecosystem.
· BASIC NEEDS: Ensuring that everyone has access to the most essential resources for wellbeing: food, shelter, physical and mental health care, child care, education and employment.
PUM: According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which reported in September that, while 12.8% of the nation – a total of 41.4 million people – live below the poverty line, Pittsburgh had a much higher rate across the board – 20.2%. More than a third of Pittsburgh’s Black and Latino residents, and more than one-in-four Asian residents lived below the poverty line last year. How will this plan help people of color living below the poverty line thrive specifically?
Our plan calls for us to increase our convening power. We will bring together leaders with diverse backgrounds, talents and perspectives, and from all sectors of community life, including nonprofit, government, education and business to better understand what people need to thrive. By bringing community leaders and resources together, we expect those partnerships to identify significant opportunities where we can work together to support progress.
An example of this is our work to provide affordable housing and end homelessness and eviction. The relationships we formed to provide emergency aid during the pandemic period will help us maximize opportunities to improve public health and the environment.
We will continue, as we have for 78 years, to provide expertise and connect our donors to organizations serving the causes they care about. We are excited about engaging young, mid-career people, especially those who are Black, Indigenous or identify as people of color (BIPOC), to engage in their own philanthropy along with us.
We are increasing our advocacy activity on issues where we can advance changes in policies that hold back BIPOC communities.
PUM: Other surveys your team used to develop your new strategies report that the racial and ethnic well-being gap widened during the pandemic, burdening BIPOC and immigrant communities and further highlighted historic disparities that have bolted the door to opportunities for generations of families. How will this be addressed through the strategic plan?
The Foundation will build on relationships established across the region over nearly eight decades to identify community resources and identify gaps; to nurture cross-sector partnerships and investments to transform systems in several ways: The Foundation has increased the diversity of highly qualified BIPOC-, women-, disabled- or veteran-owned management firms advising on the Foundation’s investment portfolios from 9% in 2021 to 17% last year. Nationally, only 1.4% of invested assets are managed by firms whose owners meet one or more of the diversity categories.
We are also expanding our support for nonprofits to include a variety of non-monetary sources of support and capacity building through a “More-Than-Money” program. We’ve created new staff teams devoted to public health, policy and community impact; and we’ve increased our budget for research and data analysis to better understand disparities and develop solutions.
While all of these measures are critically important to our success in eliminating disparities, the key determiner will be the number of residents who want to participate with us in creating opportunities for everyone to thrive. It will take all of us.
Lisa Schroeder, CEO, The Pittsburgh Foundation
In Pittsburgh, the pay gap between Black women and white men is greater than the national average. Pittsburgh's Black women are five times more likely to live in poverty than Pittsburgh's White men.
WE MUST FIGHT back!
Cities across the United States have made remarkable progress in closing the gender pay gap. Despite being awarded the title of “America’s Most Livable City,” Pittsburgh and the surrounding region continue to struggle with pay equity, especially when it comes to women of color. Employers in the Greater Pittsburgh region have the power to close the gender pay gap.
The Level Up campaign will be asking organizations throughout the Pittsburgh region to take the Pay Equity Pledge. This pledge, developed by a working committee of local businesses, nonprofits, and organizations dedicated to racial, gender, and economic justice, has five pillars:
This isn’t just about equity for Black women; It’s also about improving our region's economy, strengthening our region’s organizations, and building strength for our region’s families.
A new report from the University of Pittsburgh’s Center on Race and Social Problems (CRSP) is shedding light on educational barriers plaguing Black students and families in Pittsburgh and nationwide.
On Oct. 19, representatives from CRSP presented findings from “Strength for the Journeys: Lessons from African American Families on Academic Programming and Educational Involvement in Greater Pittsburgh,” a report the center has been working on since 2018. The Heinz Endowments-supported project offered a more in-depth look at the disparities outlined in previous CRSP studies and explored how the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated issues such as mental health challenges among students and parents alike.
“We are calling attention to the collective issues that Black families face and the assets that have been supportive to them [and] are important for recommendations in the space of educational practice,” said James Huguley, associate dean and associate professor in the School of Social Work and the lead researcher on the project. “In this report, we see the day-to-day consequences of racialized economic and education oppression lived out.”
The Pittsburgh College Access Alliance (PCAA) — a coalition of community organizations formed to address educational inequities by fostering educational access, opportunities and a network of support within Black communities — approached Huguley to develop the report. The founding members include the Crossroads Foundation, the Fund for the Advancement of Minorities through Education, Higher Achievement, the Negro Education Emergency Drive and The Neighborhood Academy (TNA).
Although each organization had been successful in their respective missions before, including offering scholarships and college preparatory education, the consensus was that they could accomplish more together. To do so — and to better understand the needs of the families PCAA aims to help — the group engaged CRSP to initiate a listening tour with students, parents and alumni from each organization.
“When we attempted to study similar [collaborative] models within the nation, we quickly learned that no other organization was doing this work,” said Anthony Williams, TNA’s head of school.
The focus group sessions revealed that the barriers preventing Black families from obtaining quality education fall into three main categories: school and institutional, race and society, and financial. Structural issues included overcrowding, lack of funding, low expectations, peer distractions, teacher burnout and a lack of rigor.
While attending private school largely curtailed these challenges, many families faced economic barriers that made this an unattainable option. And those who could afford private school found that new issues replaced old ones; CRSP’s study noted that kids instead encountered racism, classism and racialized social isolation, among other negative experiences.
“The parents were loud and clear around the need for diversity in training, representation and curriculum to offset the racial isolation and discriminatory experiences they were having,” said Huguley. “These experiences lend support to what other parents have experienced and voiced in public and private settings in our region in the past year and a half.”
Families contributing to the project recommended a number of solutions to boost achievement and challenge oppressive systems, including more equitable distribution of educational resources, better training for educators, establishing Black parent support networks and much more.
“This work adds important validation and voice to the authentic struggles and strengths of real people that are behind every statistic that we see in striking publications like the Gender Equity Report or the Just Discipline school suspensions report,” said Huguley.
The report is just the first step in a broader CRSP plan to transform educational attainment in the region. The next phase will see the center partner with the Center for Urban Education on a project that will delve deeper into Black families’ pandemic experiences in Pittsburgh’s Hill District neighborhood.
For those interested in participating in the next community conversation about the research, a forum and dinner will be held at 5 p.m. on Nov. 1 at The Neighborhood Academy, 709 N. Aiken Ave.
SOURCE— Kara Henderson
Destenie Nock (right), an assistant professor in the departments of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy, is focused on applying high-level mathematical modeling to real-world issues in energy systems planning and equality. Her recent work has involved creating an energy equity metric that illustrates the socioeconomic divide in access to energy.
Q: In terms of improving public access to alternative energy options for more Americans, does the Inflation Reduction Act get it right? Does it do enough from an equity perspective to make it easier for more Americans to shift away from fossil fuels?
This is the first time we're seeing energy justice in a bill like this, with over $60 billion targeted for environmental justice efforts. There's also money to spur production of solar panels and wind turbines, and for processing critical materials in the United States. This is huge for energy justice and jobs.
A big part of the energy transition is what happens to the workers, not just ones who are selling and maintaining services, but the ones who are building, mining, doing research and development. Creating a domestic industry around that is critical to this transition. There are jobs that will come from manufacturing and construction, but with a domestic industry, it will be a much longer-term approach.
For example, there's $500 million for heat pumps and critical mineral processing. If we're trying to get people to shift away from natural gas to more electrical-based systems, we need to tie energy justice and housing by upgrading that infrastructure. Heat pumps that can both heat and cool will be central to that energy transition as well. They are more efficient than traditional heating systems, such as electric radiators, and that will help reduce our dependence on expensive energy generation systems like oil and natural.
Q: There were some carbon capture and storage provisions in the new law that some environmentalists saw as giveaways to the fossil fuel industry. How should we be thinking about those?
With one bill, it's hard to get it completely right, but compared to what we had before — the IRA — it's a good compromise. We weren't going to get this bill through the government without any support for fossil fuel. There are wealthy, powerful actors looking to protect their interests in that industry. I understand why some people are upset, but there's a larger picture at play here for reducing emissions.
One way to reduce emissions is to reduce the fossil intensity of the supply side. But there's also the demand side and reducing demand for fossil fuels. If we do that then it will start to push out those fossil fuel generators and that will be good for energy justice and climate justice.
Q: Shortly after this passed, California announced plans to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars beginning in 2035. Is that the kind of significant action we're going to need to see more of to deliver in terms of meeting emissions goals?
I think we'll see more actions like this in the future. It's great to try to get different people to invest in electric car manufacturing and improving number of vehicles made for sale. One challenge is that demand for electric vehicles has outgrown the supply. That leaves me worried that we could potentially be putting the onus on consumers to switch their technology when it is still not widely available.
I like to see in IRA that we're improving manufacturing capacity. But the law assumes people don't want to buy electric cars, when they do. Tesla has a long waiting list of people who want to buy their vehicles.
The concern here is for low-income and vulnerable populations who tend to depend on secondhand vehicles, and secondhand batteries that tend to die. There is some data that shows second life batteries don't work as well — their range is unreliable and they don't hold a charge as well.
One thing for the California policy to be successful will be heavy investment in public transportation and I'm not seeing that yet. If we're going to ban the sale of these vehicles knowing people still have to get to work and there's still a gap between deployment of our technology needs and the public demand, then we have to take that into account. In places like New York City and the Washington, D.C. metro area, people don't have to own vehicles to get around as long as they are close to the subway. In California, I did not find that to be the case when I visited, and that's a big challenge. Here in Pittsburgh, my public bus service stops at 9 p.m., so unless I want to be Cinderella, I need my own vehicle.
So while I'm glad to see this move, let's make sure the alternative isn't just another personal vehicle but a strong public transit system.
U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA) announced that the City of Pittsburgh received $11,320,000 in funding for the “New Pathways to Equity” project to invest in human-focused infrastructure in the Hill District. The funding comes from a Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability & Equity (RAISE) Grant, funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
With this funding, the city will make construction improvements to the public right-of-way in the Hill District, particularly on Centre Avenue. Improvements will include the reconstruction of intersections, street corridors and city steps as well as the installation of traffic calming measures, sidewalks and green infrastructure. The “New Pathways to Equity” project is crucial to the revitalization of the neighborhood.
“The Hill District is a vibrant community that for too long has been disconnected from the rest of the City of Pittsburgh,” said Senator Casey. “This grant, made possible by the infrastructure law, will make Centre Avenue safer and more accessible to drivers, public transit users, pedestrians and all residents of Pittsburgh. This project will bring more businesses, customers and workers to the Hill District, boosting the neighborhood’s economic strength.”
“This grant is the culmination of years of hard work to invest in the revitalization of the Hill District,” Congressman Doyle said. “This project will provide safer streets, better transit, and improved accessibility in the Hill District. Along with the federal funding we secured to reconnect downtown and the Hill District with the I-579 Cap Project, this grant will ensure that we are investing in the middle and upper Hill District equitably. I worked persistently with Mayor Gainey and County Executive Fitzgerald to secure this funding – including arranging a meeting with the Mayor and Secretary Buttigieg earlier this year to stress the importance of this project – and I believe that the combination of unified advocacy and project merit won this grant for Pittsburgh. This project also bolsters the City’s Avenues of Hope project to work with local and minority business owners to invest in historically marginalized corridors throughout the City, a project for which I secured $2 million in Congressionally Directed Spending in Fiscal Year 2022.”
“We were glad to support this important project that will improve the quality of life for residents in the Hill District,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “Through continued investment in the neighborhood, we are improving infrastructure, mobility and access for those who live there, but also for those who come to eat, shop and visit.”
“This grant is not just an investment into essential infrastructure, it is also an investment in correcting long standing harms that have isolated the Hill from Downtown," said Mayor Ed Gainey. "Designing solutions and getting them funded required a true community partnership, and this is an example of the kind of ambitious reinvestment in our city that can happen when we all work towards a common purpose and shared goal.”
“This award will have a multi-generational impact in the Hill District neighborhood,” said Marimba Milliones, President & CEO, Hill Community Development Corporation. “Our infrastructure is in serious need of upgrading and this grant will support critical improvements to key corridors. We thank Senator Bob Casey, Congressman Doyle and Mayor Gainey for working to deliver these funds for the benefit of the Hill District’s residents and businesses. We are also hopeful that these funds can be leveraged to secure additional state and local resources.”
Allegheny Health Network (AHN) announced it has received charitable sponsorships from PNC Bank to improve health equity in the greater Pittsburgh region. The funding will support AHN’s Healthy Food Center at West Penn Hospital, as well as the health system’s ‘First Steps and Beyond’ program to improve Black infant health outcomes.
“AHN and Highmark Health have been fortunate to frequently work with PNC Bank over the years to promote health and wellness for all residents in Pittsburgh communities and beyond,” said Allie Quick, chief philanthropy officer at AHN. “We are so grateful for their involvement once again to help address the impact of racial disparities on birth outcomes in our region, as well as transform the lives of families with insufficient access to nutritious food choices.”
According to the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank, one in five Pittsburgh residents experience food insecurity – meaning they lack consistent access to nutritious foods, which are critical to an active, healthy lifestyle. Funding from PNC Bank will help to sustain the AHN Healthy Food Center at West Penn Hospital and its efforts to link food and medicine for improved patient health outcomes. In recognition of PNC’s generous support, this Healthy Food Center location has been designated the ‘PNC Pantry.’
The AHN Healthy Food Center, part of the network’s Center for Inclusion Health, serves as a food pharmacy where patients can obtain healthful food items, as well as education on disease-specific diets and resources to address other social challenges. The first center debuted in 2018 at West Penn Hospital, followed by locations at Allegheny General Hospital, Jefferson Hospital, Saint Vincent Hospital and Forbes Hospital. To date, more than 125,000 meals have been provided to patients and their families in the Pittsburgh region through the Healthy Food Centers.
Another sponsorship from PNC will support the ‘First Steps and Beyond’ program at AHN, which is designed to decrease Black infant mortality rates, reduce preterm birth rates and increase knowledge about safe sleep. Originally announced last December, the program seeks to expand prenatal, perinatal, birth doula and fatherhood services, as well as develop interventions for families experiencing oppression and hardship, especially due to racial inequality.
“PNC is committed to promoting economic empowerment for all across our footprint,” said Lou Cestello, PNC regional president for Pittsburgh. “Allegheny Health Network is working to eliminate health disparities that can serve as significant barriers to overall equity, and we are proud to team up with them to improve health outcomes for underserved communities in our region.”
Onome Oghifobibi arrived at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2015 for a pediatric residency and then completed a neonatal-perinatal fellowship, caring for some of the most vulnerable infants in the neonatal intensive care unit. During these years, he witnessed a disconnect between the region’s world-class universities and hospitals and the striking health disparities that some people faced. He wanted to stay at Pitt to help.
His timing was perfect. Because of a University-wide initiative, Oghifobibi is now an assistant professor of pediatrics, where he helps by not only caring for infants but by developing a program with the Allegheny County Health Department to combat a significant health disparity — the distressing rate of maternal and infant mortality in Pittsburgh’s Black and Brown communities. For Oghifobibi, staying at Pitt meant “feeling valued and heard” and that other people cared enough about his community-driven work to retain and support him.
“Staying here is an opportunity for me to help with the health disparity crisis,” he says. “We have the resources — great universities and a world-class health care system.”
Oghifobibi’s hire was a part of the Race and Social Determinants of Equity, Health and Well-being Cluster Hire and Retention Initiative at Pitt. The goals of the initiative are to engage more faculty to conduct research, educate students and engage in service designed to eliminate racial disparities and improve measures of well-being in the Pittsburgh region, nationally and around the world. Leading Pitt’s cluster hire are Paula K. Davis, associate vice chancellor for health sciences diversity, equity and inclusion, and John Wallace, vice provost for faculty diversity and development in the Office of the Provost. The initiative calls for numerous faculty member hires over four years.
In less than a year, the cluster hire has already brought to Pitt many outstanding faculty members. And that’s just the beginning, according to Davis, who chairs the health sciences’ cluster hire committee with Naudia Jonassaint, associate professor and vice chair for diversity and inclusion in the Department of Medicine and associate dean for clinical affairs, and MaCalus Hogan, professor and vice chair of orthopaedic surgery in the School of Medicine.
In addition to Oghifobibi, the cluster hire is bringing faculty with a wealth of academic interests and research expertise to Pitt. Ashley Hill from the Graduate School of Public Health conducts research aimed at reducing disparities in sexually transmitted infections among young people. Taofeek K. Owonikoko is head of the School of Medicine’s hematology/oncology division and focuses on discovering new biomarkers in lung cancer and other solid tumors. Katrina Knight from the Swanson School of Engineering is improving synthetic mesh materials that are used to treat pelvic organ prolapse.
But recruitment is only one part of a successful cluster hire. Davis and Wallace are also actively working to retain new faculty, which involves evaluating the hiring departments’ mentoring and inclusion plans and planning opportunities for new hires to develop social networks. For example, to inspire and encourage collaboration and multidisciplinary research among the cluster hires, the Offices of the Provost and the Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences co-sponsor the Race &... Lecture Series, which provides a spotlight for each new faculty member to describe their work and interests to the Pitt community.
“The idea is not just to bring people here but to ensure that they’re successful and that we can retain them, as well as, frankly, effectively retaining our existing diverse faculty,” Wallace says.
That Pitt’s cluster hire in the health sciences was able to advance new areas of academic interest and research speaks to the efforts of Davis, Jonassaint and Hogan, each of whom credits the support of Anantha Shekhar, senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of the School of Medicine, who sparked the cluster hire’s success and helped it quickly gain momentum.
“Absent Dr. Shekhar’s and Provost Ann Cudd’s decision to take bold steps to support the hires, we absolutely would not be having this conversation,” says Davis. “In many schools, the approach to diverse, equitable and inclusive recruitment is passive. But this isn’t the field of dreams — you know, ‘if you build it, they will come.’ They’re not coming. You have to build relationships with people.”
To the committee, diversifying the faculty and its research interests through the cluster hire is nothing short of a paradigm shift. They believe the benefits will go beyond research: Pitt’s capacity for innovation will increase, and students and trainees will have role models to provide roadmaps for navigating academic life and career aspirations.
Despite early successes, Wallace, Davis, Jonassaint and Hogan are not done. All agree that investing the resources, creating infrastructure and empowering people to execute a vision will help Pitt become a magnet for change.
“Eventually, it won’t be ‘change’; it’ll just be who we are,” says Hogan. “We’ll be known for valuing people for who they are and what they do.”
The University of Pittsburgh is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution.
Source: University of Pittsburgh
Onome Oghifobibi, MD, MSc, FAAP
Neonatal Medicine Fellow
NEW HEALTH EQUITY SCORECARD: State-by-State Scorecard of Racial and Ethnic Disparities Finds All
States’ Health Systems Are Failing People of Color.
In Nearly Every State, Black Americans Are More Likely Than White Americans to Die from Preventable and Treatable Conditions Exacerbated by Lack of Timely, High-Quality Health Care
A new health equity scorecard released by the Commonwealth Fund finds
deep-seated racial and ethnic health inequities in all 50 states and the District of
Columbia — disparities that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Achieving Racial and Ethnic Equity in U.S. Health Care: A Scorecard of State
Performance is a comprehensive examination of how health care systems are
functioning for people of color in every state. Part of the Commonwealth Fund’s
ongoing series examining individual state health system performance, the
report uses 24 measures to evaluate each state on health care access, quality and
service use, and health outcomes for Black, white, Latinx/Hispanic, American
Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN), and Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific
Islander (AANHPI) populations.
The health equity scorecard reveals that even among high-performing states,
racial and ethnic health disparities can be dramatic. For example, Minnesota’s
health care system, which has historically performed well in Commonwealth
Fund state scorecard rankings, has some of the largest health disparities between
white and nonwhite communities. Maryland, Massachusetts, and Connecticut
are other traditionally high-scoring states where white residents receive some
of the best care in the country but where quality of care is far worse for many
populations of color. Similarly, in states like Mississippi and Oklahoma whose
health care systems have historically performed poorly for both white and Black
populations, white patients still received markedly better care.
In addition to showing how people of different races and ethnicities fare within
each state, the Fund’s scorecard ranks how well each state’s health system is
working for each racial and ethnic group. For instance, the health care system in
California works better for Latinx/Hispanic people than the Texas health care
system. In both Texas and California, however, the health system benefits white
people more. Among states with large American Indian populations, South
Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming have the worst-performing
health systems for these communities while California’s system ranks at the
top — though there are still wide disparities with other populations in the state.
Structural racism and generations of disinvestment in communities of color
are chief among many factors contributing to pervasive U.S. health inequities,
the authors note. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, people in many
communities of color are more likely than members of white communities to
live in poverty, to work in low-paying, high-contact industries, and to reside
in high-risk living environments. Many Black, Latinx/Hispanic, and AIAN
populations then face an unequal health system when they need to access care.
They are less likely to have health insurance, more likely to face cost-related
barriers to care and medical debt, and more likely to receive suboptimal care.
Health inequities are perpetuated and reinforced by each of these contributing
factors — all of which have their roots in both past and current policies at the
federal, state, and local levels. The authors suggest pursuing four broad policy
goals to create an equitable, antiracist health system:
1. Ensuring affordable, comprehensive, and equitable health insurance
coverage for all
2. Strengthening primary care
3. Lowering administrative burden for patients
4. Investing in social services.
Since health inequities vary across states, there are also opportunities for
state programs to tailor interventions that address the unique needs of their
HOW WE CONDUCTED THIS STUDY
State health system performance was evaluated for each of five racial and ethnic
groups — Black (non-Latinx/Hispanic), white (non-Latinx/Hispanic), AIAN
(non-Latinx/Hispanic), AANHPI (non-Latinx/Hispanic), and Latinx/Hispanic
(any race) — among 24 indicators of health system performance. Indicators were
grouped into three performance domains: health outcomes, health care access,
and quality and use of health care services.
For each of the 24 indicators, the researchers calculated a standardized score
for each state/population group with sufficient data (e.g., Latinx/Hispanic
individuals in Texas). Within each performance domain, they combined
indicator values to create a summary score. The domain summary scores in each
state were then combined to create a composite state health system performance
score for each racial and ethnic group.
Based on the overall composite scores, each racial/ethnic group within each state
received a percentile score providing both national and state-level context on the
performance of a state health system for that population. The percentile scoring,
from 1 (worst) to 100 (best), reflects the observed distribution of health system
performance for all groups measured in this report and enables comparisons
within and across states. For example, California’s health system score of 50
for Latinx/Hispanic individuals indicates that it is performing better for those
residents than Florida’s health system does for Latinx/Hispanic people, with a
score of 38. However, both groups fare worse than white residents in California,
where the health system performs at a score of 89 for them.
New Pitt Research: Glaring Racial Disparities in Out-of-school Suspensions; a Warning About the Role of On-site Law Enforcement PITTSBURGH—A new University of Pittsburgh study of Allegheny County schools shows severe racial disparities in out-of-school suspensions with a rate that is double for African-American students compared to their non-Black classmates. The new report from Pitt’s Center on Race and Social Problems is titled “Just Discipline and the School-to-Prison Pipeline in Greater Pittsburgh: Local Challenges and Promising Solutions.” It uses the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Safe Schools Reports data from 2012 to 2016 for 51 school districts, covering all grades. As the new school year begins with more law enforcement officers assigned to schools, the Pitt researchers also expressed concerns about the “criminalization of school discipline,” whereby school law enforcement officers getting involved in common student discipline increases the likelihood that a student will become involved with the juvenile justice system. “More than 80 percent of our districts have problems with either overall suspension use, racial disparities in those suspensions or both,” said James Huguley, Pitt assistant professor of social work and first author of the report. “Our region has a problem that is not only a social justice issue, but also an economic one that is hampering our well-being and our future.” The report, funded by The Heinz Endowments, also offers a solution — an eight-point plan for a successful reform model, portions of which are already being used successfully in the Woodland Hills School District. “The Heinz Endowments is excited about the reforms underway in the Woodland Hills School District because they represent the type of work we support to promote just policy and practice in our schools and to help all of our children achieve the potential we know they have,” said Endowments President Grant Oliphant. “We have to end these suspension practices that limit education and future employment opportunities for our children and threaten to rob our communities of their talent and imagination. We’ve got to do better than this in our region.” Key findings from the report include: Across Allegheny County, suspension rates dropped by 16 percent in the comparison of 2012-13 to 2015-16. The top three school districts for reductions (per 100 students) were Penn Hills, Sto-Rox and Cornell. The three districts with the biggest increase were Propel Schools, Duquesne City and Wilkinsburg. For Black students in Allegheny County, the suspension rate was 41 suspensions for every 100 students, compared to a rate of only 5.6 for non-Black students. The racial disparity stemmed from exceedingly high suspension rates in urban school districts, where Black students tend to be concentrated, and exceptionally high racial disparity rates in White suburban districts. Suspensions have serious negative academic and economic consequences for students and communities. Pitt’s findings show that a 10-point difference in suspensions per 100 was linked to an approximately 3 percent lower graduation rate. Economically, suspensions in a single graduating cohort will cost Allegheny County more than $9 million in lost tax revenue plus $30 million in total social costs over the course of these students’ careers. As a solution, the report proposes the model called Just Discipline, which departs from the punitive model and instead focuses on a relationship-driven method to build community and then leverage that community to engage the offender in repairing the harm. It requires, among other things: an adjustment of policies to reduce the possibility that minor offenses such as willful defiance or dress code violations will lead to suspensions; a focus on community and relationship building as the foundation of a strong behavioral climate; full-time in-school facilitators to focus on relational dynamics within the school and to become keepers of the school culture that undergirds the school’s behavioral fabric; and the acknowledgement of implicit racial bias and racial injustice histories and how they affect the schooling experiences of students of color. Huguley, who co-authored the report with Pitt Associate Professor of Psychology in Education Ming-Te Wang, said there is reason for optimism. He said that overall suspension rates are down across the region. He also noted that some of the districts are already adapting new policies and shifting practices, and that schools that are making the efforts to move toward positive change will reap the benefits.
PPG (NYSE: PPG) and the PPG Foundation today announces a commitment to invest $20 million by 2025 to address systemic racism and advance racial equity in the U.S. by funding educational pathways for Black communities and people of color. The commitment strengthens PPG’s focus on education – a priority giving area for PPG and the PPG Foundation – and furthers its support of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.
“We aim to reach diverse students and communities to champion change and empower historically underrepresented populations with greater opportunities to achieve brighter futures,” said Malesia Dunn, executive director, (pictured) PPG Foundation and corporate global social responsibility. “Through this important commitment, we will prioritize equity and justice within education to close the racial gaps in STEM learning and careers, and help our society meet collective challenges quickly, creatively and effectively.”
The $20 million investment reflects commitments to support:
Advanced STEM education and career development - Supporting Black people and people of color who are pursuing advanced studies in engineering, chemistry and data science by funding scholarships, and academic and career counseling programs. PPG will focus on programs that promote inclusion, provide professional development and build bridges that enable middle and high school students to successfully pursue advanced learning opportunities and STEM careers.
K-12 STEM education - Encouraging interest among more Black students, and students of color, through hands-on STEM experiences in afterschool programs, camps and in-school settings, as well as mentoring and career exposure.
Social justice - Supporting new partners dedicated to social justice that were identified in collaboration with PPG’s employee resource networks (ERNs). PPG will support a range of social justice initiatives that focus on civil rights, criminal justice reform and the cultural heritage of Black communities and people of color.
Beautifying diverse communities - Increasing the number of PPG COLORFUL COMMUNITIES® projects that impact diverse communities.
Ongoing impact opportunities - Funding additional opportunities impacting Black and people of color populations that will be identified in collaboration with PPG employees, leaders and community partners, on an ongoing basis.
The PPG Foundation will direct at least 25% of diversity funding to organizations serving the company’s global headquarters community of Pittsburgh. It also will continue to invest more than 50% of its U.S.-based grantmaking to support causes that focus on Black communities and people of color, veterans, women, LGBTQ+ populations, economically disadvantaged individuals and families, and people with disabilities.
The community engagement commitment supplements PPG’s actions to further progress diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) companywide. PPG will continue to identify additional opportunities to ensure support to underrepresented groups around the world.
“At PPG, we believe in DE&I and have long upheld these values throughout our company and community engagement efforts to create stronger, more sustainable communities,” said Marvin Mendoza, global head, DE&I, PPG. “Our new community engagement commitments build upon PPG’s purpose to protect and beautify the world and align with our practices to create an equal and just society.”
In 2020, PPG continued its focus on DE&I across the company. In response to George Floyd’s death and the widespread civil rights movement that followed, the PPG Foundation made initial investments in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense Fund, the Center for Policing Equity and the Equal Justice Initiative. In November 2020, the company appointed Mendoza to design, lead and execute PPG’s global DE&I vision and strategy, and leverage data-driven insights to accelerate the company’s DE&I agenda. PPG also relaunched and expanded its ERNs, providing employees with more opportunities to share ideas, learn from one another, and leverage the unique skills, experiences and perspectives of the PPG team.
PPG’s global community engagement efforts and the PPG Foundation aim to bring color and brightness to PPG communities around the world. We invested more than $11 million in 2019, supporting hundreds of organizations across 38 countries. By investing in educational opportunities, we help grow today’s skilled workforce and develop tomorrow’s innovators in fields related to coatings and manufacturing. Plus, we empower PPG employees to multiply their impact for causes that are important to them by supporting their volunteer efforts and charitable giving. Learn more at communities.ppg.com.