Monthly Archive: March 2012


Expert to smooth Perry/Oliver transition

On Feb. 22, the Pittsburgh Public School District Board of Directors voted to accept a $1 million grant from the Heinz Endowments. The grant’s first component has been to bring in national urban education expert Pedro Noguera, who will be helping to ensure a smooth transition in the fall merger of Oliver High School and Perry High School. UNITY DAY—Perry/Oliver staff member Dion Dupree takes a shot while Pittsburgh Steelers player Charlie Batch (16) looks on. (Photo by William McBride) “Our goal is to learn about the school and that started today,” said Noguera a few hours before a community meeting at Perry on March 22. “The goal is to introduce them so they know who we are and what we’re doing.”


Suspect sought for death of teen near church

Authorities are looking for the male shooter who killed a 17-year-old male near a church in East Liberty around 7:52 p.m. Sunday, March 25. According to Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Commander Thomas Stangrecki, Deontay Smith, of Stanton Avenue, and another person were walking near Inner City Ministries in the 500 block of West St. Clair St., in East Liberty, when a Black male ran up to Smith and began firing shots. DEONTAY SMITH Stangrecki said Smith was shot multiple times, a majority of them to his head. He died at the scene.


Are breast implants absolutely safe?

by Tene Croom Carol Ciancutti-Leyva remains relentless in raising this question to the masses: are silicone/saline breast implants absolutely safe? She dives deep into that very subject in a documentary aptly titled, “Absolutely Safe.” ETAH ORGANIZERS—Authors and organizers of the conference, from left: Joy Maxberry Woodruff; Carol Ciancutti-Leyva; Audrey Ciancutti; Albertha Graham-Ellison, co-chair ETAH; Kezia L. Ellison, co-chair ETAH; and Judy Norsigian, co-author of “Our Bodies, Ourselve.” (Photo by Tene Croom) Ciancutti-Leyva directed and produced the film. She spent a decade documenting the issue and believes, as her website states, doctors should be required by law to inform their patients about the proven risks.


Women’s voices in politics promoted at conference

The importance of voting, female representation in politics and making issues affecting women main topics of discussion during the 2012 presidential election were just a few of the main themes discussed during the annual New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color For Reproductive Justice’s Women of Color HERStory Month Political Luncheon held February 23 at the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh. PARTICIPANTS—Magdeline Jenson, Priscilla Huang, Stephanie Alvarado, La’ Tasha D. Mayes, Tara Reynolds Marks, Jessica Byrd and Bekezela Mguni. For five years, New Voices Pittsburgh has taken the time to celebrate the accomplishments and history of women of color during February and March, two months where their stories are often under represented-Black History Month and Women’s History Month.


Conference: Environmental Justice impact on women’s lives

In the Black community where unemployment, violence and poor education are the key areas of focus, many African-Americans feel they don’t have time to take on other issues like “environmental justice.” However, at an event hosted by New Voices Pittsburgh, as part of their HerStory Month celebration, African-American women were shown how “environmental justice” has a great impact on their lives and their wallets. COST OF BEAUTY—LaKeisha Wolf and Sheba Gittens, a natural hair care stylist, talk hair dos and don’ts. “I hope people were able to see Pittsburgh is buzzing with all different kinds of women who want to see a positive change. I also want everyone who attended to realize we have a connection with the environment,” said Bekezela Mguni, program director of New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice. “I started by looking at the women in the community and their connection to health, environmental health, and reproductive justice.”


Dress for Success reaches 10,000

Dress for Success Pittsburgh is the region’s premiere one-stop resource for low-income women in their quest for employment and economic stability for themselves and their families. As the area and the state still struggle with unemployment issues, especially among low-income and minority populations, the services provided by Dress for Success Pittsburgh are more important than ever. DFSP breaks the cycle of poverty and dependence and provides the tools women need to secure and retain meaningful employment. From left: Judy Russell, Dress for Success CEO, Michael Aaron Glass and Ellena Johnson.


CEA helps young men share feelings

At the most recent installment of the Community Empowerment Association’s Brother 2 Brother Leadership Forum, a group predominantly made up of young African-American males, examined the role of Black men in society. “A lot of the times, the problems in our community come from a lack of strong Black men—positive Black men—mentoring our young men,” said Rashad Byrdsong, CEA founder. “In order for a young man to grow up to be a good Black man, he has to be around good Black men.”



Hubber Lee Starks Hatch, Hubbie, as she is affectionately known, was born in Griffin, Ga. on March 3, 1912. Hubbie attended the Hosanna Church School…



Unions are not friends of Black folks

It is insulting when unions attempt to portray themselves as ongoing friends of the Black community. It reminds me that some people preach that all Democrats are good and all Republicans are bad. Others put their heads in the sand and state all Whites are energized and all Blacks are lazy. It is not enough to simply reply how wrong these statements are. We must take time and do research.