Monthly Archive: November 2011


Teenie Harris book and Jazz CD are ideal for holiday gift giving

The acclaimed retrospective exhibition Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story, on view at Carnegie Museum of Art through April 7, 2012, is accompanied by two products that will be of interest to devotees of photography and jazz music. Teenie Harris, Photographer: Image, Memory, History, a 208-page fully illustrated book on the life and work of notable African-American photojournalist Charles “Teenie” Harris, and Hill District Beat: A Tribute to Teenie Harris, an enhanced CD of original jazz music inspired by Harris’s photographs and featuring more than 100 of his images, are available for holiday gift giving at the Carnegie Museum of Art Store.


Adoption families needed

When Janise’s mother got locked up, so began her own journey through the system. From the age of 2 she moved around, living with relatives and then at the age of 5 was removed from the home. After leaving, she was placed in about five homes. But it was her placement in September 2009 with Denna Zenmon, of the Hill District, that changed her life for the better. Now, 7 years old, Janise has been legally adopted and now has a permanent family and home that she can call her own. NEW FAMILY—Janise Zenmon,7, stands with Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge John McVay and her legal mother, Denna Zenmon, at the county’s National Adoption Day Celebration at Children’s Court. (Photo by Margaret Stanley, Allegheny County photographer) “I wouldn’t say I chose adoption, it chose me. I’ve been a foster parent for 12 years and looked at my home as a good place. When I met Janise two years ago her goal was adoption. I felt she needed a permanent home and to be surrounded by support,” said Zenmon the week before the adoption. “I am excited. This will be new for me because I am not a biological parent. She’s (Janise) been apart of my family unit for two years. I don’t think a lot will change, except legally I’ll be her mother. She views my relatives as her relatives.”


BNY Mellon honored for helping foster care kids

In November of last year, BNY Mellon launched a $6 million workforce development initiative targeting youth aging out of the foster care system. As the initiative celebrates its inaugural anniversary, BNY Mellon has already been recognized for its philanthropic efforts and the positive impact it has had on Pittsburgh youth. BNY Mellon was one of nine honorees at this year’s annual Association of Fundraising Professionals National Philanthropy Day awards held Nov.17. The corporation was recognized in the category of “Outstanding Philanthropic Organization” for its “Powering Potential” program that works with at-risk youth. POWERING POTENTIAL—BNY Mellon volunteers work with youth from Auberle. “There really are no other corporations who are stepping up to aid foster children aging out of the system. This is an intervention to break the cycle of extreme poverty and homelessness,” said Lane Cigna, spokesperson for BNY Mellon. “This is a group that really needed a champion and we’re honored to be the champions.”


YWCA reflects on KKK at Racial Justice Awards

Last week, it was reported that Ku Klux Klan recruiting materials were found posted throughout areas of Westmoreland County. The flier, with the words, “The KKK Wants You!” featured an illustration of a person in traditional KKK robes, pointing in a fashion similar to illustrations of the “Uncle Sam” character used in army recruitment materials. That night, Nov. 16, the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh held its 20th Annual Racial Justice Awards, where they reflected on the inception of the awards and its tie to KKK activity in the area over the past three decades. 20TH ANNIVERSARY—Brenda Frazier, left, and Lavera Brown reflect on the history of the Racial Justice Awards. “There were people in Uniontown who were having swastikas painted on their garages. I remember reading a column about the Klan coming and them being protected by the ACLU,” said Brenda Frazier, a former county councilwoman and longtime civil rights activist. “Several groups came together to figure out how to combat Klan activity in the area.”


Panera charged with racism

Scott Donatelli, who was fired as the general manager of the Panera Bread cafe in Mt. Lebanon, has filed suit claiming the reason for his termination was that he would not abide by the racially discriminatory personnel policies of his employer, franchise owner Sam Corvelli. His lawyer Sam Cordes said the policy was not reserved for just the Mt. Lebanon restaurant. “There will be evidence presented that store managers were told, ‘we don’t hire anyone who’s fat, Black or ugly,’” he said. “The evidence we have is that this was standard policy and practice throughout the Corvelli empire.”


Westinghouse in chaos

At a Jan. 4 meeting of the Pittsburgh Public School District Board of Directors Education Committee, a presentation outlining progress on the establishment of the Academy at Westinghouse detailed the steps already being taken to ensure a successful opening of the new school. However, seven months later, when the school opened its doors, the students, dressed in their new uniforms, didn’t even have schedules. “You can not open a new school and not have in place the first day of school, student schedules. You can’t open and on the first day of school not have rosters for teachers and if you do, you’re asking for chaos,” said a former Westinghouse teacher who asked to be kept anonymous. “You had kids who were excited to be there. And then after an entire week of still having no clear schedule, you then ask teachers why their classes are chaotic.”


AGH Heart Study focuses on African-Americans

With the incidence of heart attack, heart failure and stroke for African-Americans continuing to outpace rates for the White population, Allegheny General Hospital has embarked on a large scale study to find out why. Called ESCADAA (the Epidemiological Study of Cardiovascular Risk in Urban African Americans), the study will examine the prevalence of nine changeable risk factors for cardiovascular disease among African-Americans: abnormal lipids, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, abdominal obesity, psychosocial factors, consumption levels of fruits, vegetables and alcohol, and lack of regular physical activity.


Community Calendar

World AIDS NOV. 30—Bonacile Enterprises and R.A.P.H.A. Programs, Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church will host “Celebrate Life! Red Plate & East End World AIDS Day Kick-Off Event” from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Tana Ethiopian Cuisine, 5929 Baum Blvd., East Liberty. Attendees will be able to meet the Awardee for the Clifton Maxwell Consumer Advocacy Award. There will also be jazz at 9 p.m. For more information, call Rev. Dr. Marla Johnson at 412-204-7182 or email


Gadhafi planned retirement in South Africa

by Fungai MaborekeFor New Pittsburgh Courier (NNPA/GIN)—The late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi believed he was headed for Karoo, a desert-like area in South Africa, where he would live in a tent under the protection of his allies, when he was fatally ambushed by joint NATO-Libyan forces. REBELS REST— Rebels rest in the bed of late Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi in a palace in Sirte, Libya, Oct. 10. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)