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TAMARA WHITING penned a letter to Ciara Bailey and Liza Wilson. (Photos by Njaimeh Njie/PublicSource and Guy Wathen/PublicSource)

More than 60 people gathered for a mentorship event Saturday, Sept. 23, to celebrate a collaborative project between YNGBLKPGH, a mentorship book project created to inspire African American youth, and PublicSource, a nonprofit media organization delivering public-service journalism in the Pittsburgh region.

Ciara Bailey and Liza Wilson

The event took place at Repair the World in East Liberty and featured YNGBLKPGH’s ambassadors who wrote letters directly to the young women who participated in the PublicSource “I am a Black girl and…” project, exploring the inequities Black girls face in Allegheny County.

BRIAN BURLEY, author and founder of #YNGBLKPGH, speaking at the Sept. 23 event in East Liberty.

The letters aspired to encourage and empower Pittsburgh youth who have openly spoken about the many challenges of being Black girls in a region that struggles with diversity and readily visible examples of African American excellence.

During the event, the girls met their mentors and spoke on stage about what it meant for them to receive those letters from the YNGBLKPGH ambassadors.

The girls talked about how reading these letters from people who look like them made them feel “not alone,” or “like I could keep fighting,” or “I felt more comfortable sharing my struggles and speaking up.”

VICTORIA AND DAILE, the women who wrote letters to Sienna Rodriguez-Truley of Jeannette, speaking at the Sept. 23 event in East Liberty. (Photo courtesy PublicSource)

PublicSource’s “I am a Black girl and…” project was made possible with support from the FISA Foundation. To read the letters, visit: http://blackgirlspgh.publicsource.org/letters

– PublicSource


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