African-American men in their early 30s have been found to be twice as likely to have prison records than bachelor degrees. It has also been found that only three out of 100 Black students who enter kindergarten will graduate from college. These were some of the many startling facts presented at the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh State of Black Pittsburgh Nov. 6. In this year’s address, given by President and CEO Esther Bush, the scope was narrowed to focus on the state of Black men in Pittsburgh. Q & A—From left: Roland Martin and panelists James Harrell, Esther Bush, Tony Mitchell, Larry Hailsham and Wendell Freeland answer questions from the audience. “We need more doctors and fewer caskets, more lawyers and fewer criminals more educators and less dropouts,” Bush said. “Today we all must work together to restore Black men to their rightful place of dignity in our society.” Throughout her speech, Bush used many statistics to highlight the dire state of Black men in the areas of employment and education. She also focused on high incarceration rates and the absence of Black men in many families.
Daily Archive: November 12, 2009
When 20 or so Hill District residents attended the regularly scheduled Dinwiddie Community Alliance meeting, they expected to hear from Hill House CEO Evan Frazier that construction would soon begin on a grocery and retail center anchored by a Kuhn’s market. Instead they heard Kuhn’s has not committed to the project, despite giving that impression to the community, the Hill House and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh for nearly a year. NO GROCERY DEAL— Seated next to Dinwiddie Community Alliance President Marlene Jackson, Hill House President and CEO Evan Frazier explains that Kuhn’s has not yet agreed to operate a new grocery to be built on Centre Avenue in the Hill District and other operators are being contacted. Frazier, turning the Nov. 9 meeting over to developer Jason Matthews, who he said is working on the day-to-day grind of finding an operator for the center to be built across Centre Avenue from the Hill House. Asked if Kuhn’s was out of the project, Frazier said, “They aren’t out, but they aren’t in. They haven’t confirmed.”
by Karen Harris Brooks The title of the forum was not the Streets VERSUS the Suits. The correct title was the “Streets ’n Suits,” a combined effort to encourage dialogue between a gathering of young men from the streets of Pittsburgh and a group of men and women who represent the city’s corporate America. Each individual brought to the table diverse perspectives aimed toward issues that plague the African-American community. In so doing, they opened a door they hope will provide a viable means of communication. Through open dialogue, the groups are working toward growth and possible solutions to address the problems plaguing the neighborhoods of Pittsburgh. CONCERNED CITIZENS— Ed Gainey, second from right, speaks to the group. From left: Darryl Cann, Tim Stevens, Lee Davis and Stephan Broadus look on. Unaware that many of the “suits” hail from the very same streets, it was an innovative avenue that unlocked the door to a very candid and lengthy discussion. The meeting proved to be insightful to both today’s youths as well as the mature confidence of those attired in business suits. When one young man inquired about the visible lack of “suits” in African-American communities, the young people were informed of those who sit in board rooms rallying behind the scenes for funding programs within these neighborhoods, etc., thereby providing the necessary resources for the implementation of said projects.
Although he is gone, he will never be forgotten. Reverend Maurice Chauncey Doss, a community and church leader, died Nov. 7 at the age of 58. Reverend Doss was the senior pastor of Union Baptist Church in Swissvale for 25 years, helping the church grow to more than 600 members before having to step down because of an illness that led to his death. REV. MAURICE DOSS “It is so hard to put into words the work that Pastor Doss did. He is truly a ministry icon. No one in this region has done work like he has. He turned a small family church into a regional church,” Rev. Robert W. Tedder, senior pastor of Union Baptist Church Swissvale, said. “He has touched so many lives on a personal level, as well as from the pulpit. He was a mentor and opened the doors to many. The congregation will miss him. He has left a foundation that we’re building upon and his vision will continue to be pursued.”
Teacher Jamilla Rice is glad she went to work last Friday at Northside Urban Pathways Charter School, because when she left at the end of the day, she was $25,000 richer. A Nov. 6 assembly at the school, complete with a student steel drum band playing 1940’s swing jazz, was not part of a visit by state Deputy Education Secretary Michael Walsh, as she’d been led to believe. It was a ruse to surprise her with the Milken Educator Award. BIG WINNER—Jamila Rice, a teacher at Northside Urban Pathways Charter School, holds her $25,000 check. Michael Milken, a cancer survivor who paid a $200 million fine and went to jail for securities violations in the early 1990s, established the Milken Family Foundation in 1987 to honor achievements in education and medicine. Since then, the foundation has honored more than 2,400 educators with more than $60 million in cash awards.
The best news coming out of the Nov. 3 general election locally for African-Americans was appointed Common Pleas Judge Joseph K. Williams III winning the race to keep his seat. In a large field with five seats up for grabs, Williams had the fourth highest total—110,465 votes or 14.4 of the votes cast. “It was quite a process. Walt (Little) asked me to do this and then after saying he’d shepherd me through, he died. But I couldn’t quit,” said Williams. “I went places where I was the only Black guy in a room of 300. But my dad said you have to practice the things you aren’t good at to grow, and I did. So, it was a wonderful experience. Only now, I have a little post traumatic stress syndrome, thinking there’s some place I have to go, someone I have to meet or call. But that will pass.”
Dr. Cynthia Ayers, a Gateway Medical Society Physician of the Year in 2007, passed away peacefully on the morning of Nov. 4. Her family was at her bedside to comfort her. A viewing was held Nov. 7. Funeral services took place Nov. 8 followed by an internment at Homewood Cemetery. Both the viewing and funeral took place at Mt Ararat Baptist Church in East Liberty. She is survived by her son, Byron; daughter, Kimberly; grandchildren, Inaya and Jiya; brother, Julius; and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. DR. CYNTHIA AYERS
by Karen Harris BrooksFor New Pittsburgh Courier The Carrick High Alumni Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony honors outstanding coaches, teams and alumni athletes. The 16th Annual event was held at the campus auditorium on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 31. Former students who have made significant contributions throughout their lives were also recognized during the ceremony. Phyllis Hyman, Phyllis Jones
Mentoring program NOV. 11—Northside Urban Pathways’ Benefiting African-American Males and Minorities will host Women in Sync Everywhere at 7:30 a.m. at the Rivers Club, One Oxford Center, 301 Grant St., Downtown. This is the school’s second mentoring program. It pairs young African-American females with other Pittsburgh women. Amanda Green and Carmen Robinson will co-host event. Reservations are required. For more information, call Bryce Ann Koch at 412-392-4601, ext. 241.
Warrant issued Pittsburgh Bureau Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of Earl Wimbush, 21, from Bloomfield, for the death of a 23-year-old male and the shooting of a second victim. Timothy Bottoms was found with a gunshot wound to the torso by officers who responded to a call of a male shot in the 5300 block of Cornwall. Individuals in a crowd tried to give aid, but Bottoms was pronounced dead at the scene. The second victim was shot in the leg and taken to a hospital where authorities said he is in stable condition. It is still unknown what charges Wimbush will face. Anyone with information is asked to call the Pittsburgh Homicide Squad at 412-323-7161. Callers may remain anonymous.