Daily Archive: August 19, 2011



Urban League, Community PARTners and Courier collaborate on health initiative

The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh was founded in 1918 with the shared National Urban League mission of enabling African Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights. Today, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh has become one of the most accomplished affiliates in the country. The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh focuses on serving African American constituents and other minorities, but no one is ever turned away. Last year, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh served more than 28,000 individuals in Pittsburgh and the surrounding counties. As the largest comprehensive social service/civil rights organization in Southwestern Pennsylvania, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh provides services in the areas of education, health advocacy, housing, early childhood and youth development, hunger services, employment and career training/counseling and economic empowerment. From left: Esther L. Bush, Community PARTners co-director pictured with Michael Yonas and Jessica Griffin Burke, Community PARTners deputy directors. (Photo by Joshua Franzos)


Martial Arts used to combat violence

Street violence, especially among young Black men, has increasingly become an epidemic. While many think the war on street violence is becoming a losing battle, a local martial arts studio in Pittsburgh says that with a unified effort there is hope in winning the war. Master Yusuf Owens has created Martial Artists Against Street Violence, a program aimed at teaching youth of the community traditional Tae Kwon Do as a way to develop self discipline and an alternative outlet for negative energy. He hopes that instead of picking up a gun, his students will use their energies to perfect themselves at this art form. BROKEN—Master Yusuf Owens stands with students after a board breaking martial arts lesson. (Photo by J.L. Martello) “We (as a community) haven’t hit our plateau. We all are kings and queens and until we take confidence in our own self value we will not hit it,” Owens said. “This is an epidemic that is going through all communities. When I hear of another kid dying, I feel it in my soul. We have innocent bystanders dying for a cycle of violence.” Owens said he has lost two of his students to street violence.


Take charge of your health today. Be informed. Be involved.

“Differences in health based on race, ethnicity, or economics can be reduced but will require public awareness and understanding of which groups are most vulnerable, which disparities are most correctable through available interventions, and whether disparities are being resolved over time.”—Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The city of Pittsburgh has been in the national spotlight lately for its revitalization—in appearance, spirit, and even economic momentum. But, what about the people of Pittsburgh? How well are we doing? In terms of health, we should be concerned. According to findings recently published in the report Allegheny County Health in Black and White, produced by the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, the Allegheny County Health Department and the University of Pittsburgh’s University Center for Social and Urban Research, we have some work to do, especially with regard to minority health and health disparities. It’s time to pause, refocus our game and take charge of our health.


Urban League of Pittsburgh CEO appeals for community participation

This series on health disparities in the Pittsburgh region is the result of collaboration between the New Pittsburgh Courier, Community PARTners, a core service of the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Institute and the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh. Pitt assistant professors Michael Yonas, DrPH, and Jessica Griffin Burke, PhD, and professor Ronald D. Stall, PhD, co-direct Community PARTners with Esther L. Bush, president and CEO of the Urban League. Dr. Yonas recently sat down to speak with Ms. Bush about the partnership. CTSI PARTICIPATES?IN?BRADDOCK COMMUNITY DAY (SUMMER 2011) MY: Why is “Take charge of your health today. Be informed. Be involved.” important to you?


Gibson gala raises 50K ‘Mr. October’ honored

by Malik Vincent The centennial celebration of a Pittsburgh-rooted legend involved a more modern-day one, in his own respect. On Aug. 13, at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Downtown’s Grand Ballroom, people of all different races and from many walks of life came together to commemorate former Homestead Grays catcher Josh Gibson, who was born in Buena Vista, Ga., in 1911. JOSH GIBSON Baseball great Reggie Jackson, who garnered the nickname “Mr. October,” was heralded for his heroics during postseasons in his days as a member of the Oakland A’s. It would eventually continue on into his tenure with the New York Yankees. He earned a 1993 induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Also, his Reggie Jackson foundation has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to help provide at-risk children with computers and other technological equipment.


Racist flyers distributed in Ohio following murder-suicide of interracial couple

(NNPA)—Authorities in Ohio are investigating the appearance of racist flyers left around a neighborhood in the wake of a murder-suicide of a local interracial teen couple.According to reports, the flyers left in Deerfield Township, Ohio, were addressed to White parents, their headline reading “Don’t Let Your Daughters Date Blacks, It Might Be a Matter of Life and Death.” “Some bigot came in the middle of the night, skulking in the middle of the night, putting this on people’s cars,” resident Greg Stanforth told Cincinnati NBC affiliate WLWT. AMANDA BORSOS and TROY PENN


Clyburn and Becerra only minorities on debt committee(NNPA)—During her last round of picks for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (“Debt Supercommittee”), intended to help solve the nation’s debt crisis, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

(NNPA)—During her last round of picks for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (“Debt Supercommittee”), intended to help solve the nation’s debt crisis, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appointed Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., and Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., adding diversity to the important panel. The Demo­crats are also represented by the only woman on the committee, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. The 12 member bipartisan panel will have until November to decide how the country should save $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.



England struggles to understand causes of riots

(NNPA)—England’s attempt to fully understand rioting touched off by a policeman’s fatal shooting of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old Black man, in many ways mirror the debate that followed the urban unrest that the United States underwent in the wake of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination in 1968. The BBC and other news organizations have cited the competing arguments on the underlying causes of the outbursts.



Rick Perry enters the race: now we can pay attention

(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—So far the Republican race to become the nominee to face Obama in 2012 has been more interesting because of what is missing than what it actually has. The field of candidates was inherently flawed; no big names (2012 will be only the third time in the last 30 years that a Bush hasn’t been on the Republican ticket) were present. No one with an exciting back story or star power, no POWs or television personalities to keep the public interesting. In fact, the entire race had elicited little or no real attention until last weekend, when during the straw poll Texas governor Rick Perry finally announced that he was entering the race for Republican nominee, and for the first time this year the race is truly worth paying attention to.


Getting children ready for school

(NNPA)—From new backpacks to sharp pencils, parents across the country are doing their best to cross the items off their children’s back-to-school checklists. They want to be sure that when the first day of school comes, their children will have everything they need to be ready to start and ready to learn. But as a country we’re failing to do the same thing and in the current budget debate, some of our leaders are threatening to do just the opposite. Instead of budgeting our limited resources wisely so we’ll be able to stock up on the things we know our children need, some shrill, ideologically driven leaders are hijacking the political process and trying to grab money out of our children’s small piggybanks and spend it on more gift cards for big corporations and billionaires. No new tax pledges have been signed by 277 members of Congress throwing the entire weight of debt reduction on children, our poorest Americans, the homeless, jobless, helpless and a middle-class treading water and trying to stay afloat.