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The City of Pittsburgh, in effect, shuts down when the New Pittsburgh Courier’s “Women of Excellence” event occurs.

African American women from various professions, along with their friends, family and supporters, descend upon a glamourous hotel site, with the perfect blend of fun, food, and of course, the awards.

It’s time for the Courier to select our “Women of Excellence Class of 2018,” but we need your help. Whom do you believe should be a Woman of Excellence? Who is taking this community by storm, making an impact in their company, striving for greatness at all they do?

Erica Upshaw-Givner is a 2014 Woman of Excellence. She’s the force behind A Peace of Mind Inc., described as a therapeutic art studio offering a variety of programming from hip hop aerobics and Zumba, to yoga and Pilates. She’s such a force in Pittsburgh that in 2015, the City of Pittsburgh proclaimed Dec. 15 “Erica Upshaw-Givner Day” in the city, for her unwavering commitment to her community.

Upshaw-Givner told the Courier it’s very important to have events like the “Women of Excellence.”

“Despite decline, there are women still making small or large steps towards progress,” she said. “We don’t have time to be looking towards what others are doing. We as women must continue to do our parts and make an impact where we can.”

Upshaw-Givner’s selection as a Courier Woman of Excellence “made me feel honored and proud to be amongst a legacy of greatness. It provided me another hope shot to keep plugging at this thing called life. It allowed me to remember why it’s important to continue to provide generational wellness one person at a time.”

Some of Upshaw-Givner’s “classmates” in the 2014 edition include Karen Colbert, director of communications for the Pittsburgh American Heart Association, Terri Baltimore with the Hill House Association, and Pittsburgh Public Schools Board President Regina Holley, PhD.

The Courier’s most recent “Women of Excellence” class, 2016, featured more heavy hitters. Linda J. Iverson, PhD, is head of the Wilkinsburg school district. Tammy Spencer Bey at PNC Bank. Tenel Dorsey of Dreamz Hair Salon. Jacque Fielder of Nabhi Christian Ministries.

So, who will be a member of the “Women of Excellence Class of 2018?” Nominate someone now at :



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