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ANNUAL EVENT—Community members stand together for the Y’s “Stand Against Racism.”

Sewickley native Henry Thorn said he felt it was important for him to walk over from his office near the convention center to stand with the Y.

“Racism is something I’d like to help make go away,” he said. “Hopefully, by showing our respect for women of color, they will choose to lead.”

District 1 Allegheny County Councilman Tom Baker, who is also Chief Community Affairs Officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh, said his organization partners with the Y on several initiatives to combat racism including how it matches its “Bigs” and “Littles.”

“More than 70 percent of our matches are cross-race matches,” he said. “But this, this is awesome seeing so many people taking time out of their days to come out and do this. This is a great way to make new friends.”

Leon Jackson, from the Hill District, said he will always stand against racism because it’s there whether people see it or not.

“I’m standing here because people don’t think racism still exists. Well, it does,” he said. “Just look at what’s happening with people getting thrown out of their homes in East Liberty, and the URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority) trying to take homes in the Middle Hill. I’m standing for the people that can’t stand for themselves.”

In addition to the vigil, Stand Against Racism events were held by various partners including Big Brothers Big Sisters, CCAC, the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project, Pittsburgh Career Institute, Ellis School, Pittsburgh Manchester K-8 and Pittsburgh Greenfield schools, and Northside Common Ministries.

 

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