Community Action | BLOGH: City Paper's Blog |


Monday, November 26, 2018

Posted By on Mon, Nov 26, 2018 at 11:36 AM

There's no greater feeling than having enough left over at the end of the year to give back to others this holiday season. But, if you're anything like me, your inbox this time of year gets filled with tons of emails from local charities, asking for donations on Tue., Nov. 27.

#GivingTuesday originated back in 2012 as an awareness campaign to counter the consumer spending of the holiday season. Last year alone, an estimated $274 million was raised online in the U.S.

Which Pittsburgh organizations deserve the cash this year? Well, if we're being honest, almost all of them.

We recommend browsing through the full list if you have time. Visit and type in your location to browse through a list of participating local organizations, broken down into types: corporation, faith-based organization, foundation, nonprofit, school, small business, and universities. Each lists their website so you can do your research before Tuesday.

Short on time? If you want to give, but don't have the time to look through all 300 of the local organizations participating, we've highlighted a few worthy nonprofits, broken down into categories, to get you started.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Posted By on Wed, Nov 14, 2018 at 9:06 AM

Indian Community Center holding fundraising concert today for Tree of Life victims
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
Krishna Sharma at Carnegie's Indian Community Center
When 11 people lost their lives to the mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill, a diverse set of Pittsburghers stepped up to help with the healing.

The Muslim community raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. Pittsburgh Catholics organized special collections. Black and Latino activists joined the Jewish community in mourning and in marching. Celebrities like Tom Hanks and Michael Keaton recently joined the cause, too.

Now, the Indian Community Center in Carnegie is doing its part. Yesterday, the center organized an interfaith prayer for the Tree of Life victims that brought together Indian-American Muslims and Hindus, as well as non-Indian people from Carnegie. More than 150 people attended.

And today, the center is continuing its support efforts with a brass band concert, where proceeds will go to the Tree of Life congregation to assist victims and their families.

Krishna Sharma runs the Indian Community Center, which functions as a gathering space for the Pittsburgh’s large Indian community. She says it's important for the Indian community to support the victims.

The concert will feature the River City Brass Band, which plays a variety of Big Band music. Sharma says the concert will also include traditional Indian music, as a way to showcase Pittsburgh’s diversity and spirit of the aftermath of the Tree of Life shooting.

Ashkay Hari will provide vocals for the show. The concert starts at 7 p.m., and is preceded by a light dinner at 6 p.m. A flier for the event is shown below.

Music Night at the Indian Community Center, 6 p.m., 205 Mary St., Carnegie. $15.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Posted By on Tue, Oct 30, 2018 at 1:34 PM

click to enlarge Children of couple killed in Tree of Life mourn their parents and share their story
Photo courtesy the Simon family
Sylvan and Bernice Simon
Alleged shooter Robert Bowers killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday in Squirrel Hill. The congregants were attending a bris, and among the victims were Bernice and Sylvan Simon.

Many family members of the victims have remained quiet in their time of mourning. This mass shooting is believed to the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Bernice and Sylvan Simon were 84 and 86 years old respectively. They were married at Tree of Life 62 years ago. Their children wanted to share their feelings about the death of Bernice and Sylvan. A statement from the children was sent to City Paper from KDKA, who asked CP to share it here:

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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2018 at 12:27 PM

click to enlarge One person’s trash is a Garbage Olympics team’s treasure: A local competition returns to tackle Pittsburgh’s litter
Photo: Garbage Olympics
Lawrenceville team at the 2017 Garbage Olympics

Teams of volunteers from all over Pittsburgh are ready to clean up the streets for the second annual Garbage Olympics.

Garbage Olympics co-organizer Alicia Carberry, describes it as a “friendly competition to get as much litter out of Pittsburgh as possible” and as a way to raise awareness of the fact that neighborhood groups are able to receive cleanup resources from the Department of Public Works.

“It’s a driven effort to complement what the [City of Pittsburgh] already does and is getting better at,” says Carberry, who co-organizes the event with Lena Andrews.

She points out how the city has tried to eliminate litter with the launch of smart receptacles that use sensors to tell when a block needs more trash cans. But more can be done.

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Monday, July 2, 2018

Posted By on Mon, Jul 2, 2018 at 12:47 PM

click to enlarge Weekend Pittsburgh protests focus on Antwon Rose Jr. and immigration reform
CP photo by Ryan Deto
Activist Jasiri X (right) and others protested Sunday outside of East Liberty Presbyterian Church
Typically marked by backyard picnics and fireworks, this past weekend before the Fourth of July instead continued Pittsburgh’s protesting trend.

More than 100 protesters shut down an intersection in East Liberty around noon Sunday. It was the latest of about a dozen protests in the wake of the shooting death of Antwon Rose Jr., killed by East Pittsburgh officer Michael Rosfeld on June 19. The Sunday demonstration was focused on the faith community’s role in advocating for the late Rose.

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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Posted By on Sat, Jun 23, 2018 at 2:25 PM

click to enlarge Pittsburgh protests of slain teen Antwon Rose extend into weekend
CP photo by Jared Wickerham
Scene from Antwon Rose protest on June 22
More than 200 hundred people marched from Freedom Corner in the Hill District to Point State Park on Saturday afternoon — a fourth consecutive day of protests in the name of late teenager Antwon Rose.

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Posted By on Thu, Jun 21, 2018 at 3:30 PM

click to enlarge Pittsburgh rally for police-shooting victim Antwon Rose begs people to get politically involved
CP photo by Ryan Deto
Sign from a protester at June 21 rally in Downtown Pittsburgh
Leon Ford was shot in the back during a routine traffic stop six years ago, leaving him paralyzed. After years spent speaking out against police brutality, he recently settled a lawsuit with the city of Pittsburgh. He has since become an integral part of the city’s and the country’s police-reform movement.

On Thursday afternoon, Ford sat in his wheelchair at the Allegheny County Courthouse amid thousands protesting the shooting death of Antwon Rose.

“This is painful for me,” Ford said. “I fought for six years and I didn’t think this would be happening.”

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Posted By on Fri, Jun 15, 2018 at 1:43 PM

click to enlarge Bike advocates call for extending Penn Avenue bike lane through the Strip District
CP photo by Ryan Deto
The end of the Penn Avenue protected bike lane
Good luck riding a bike from Downtown Pittsburgh into the Strip District.

After a pleasant mile-long ride on Penn Avenue’s protected bike lane, the lane abruptly ends at 16th Street in the Strip. From there, the protected bike area disappears and riders are forced to navigate crowded roads, alleys with poor visibility and several turns just to get to the shops a few blocks away. It’s not for the faint of heart.

“It’s a no man’s land,” says Eric Boerer of bike-advocacy group Bike Pittsburgh of the bike route into the Strip District.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 12:22 PM

click to enlarge Some Pittsburghers recently arrested while protesting for universal health care
Photo courtesy Ben Fiorillo
Protesters in Harrisburg staging a "die-in" to protest for universal health care
The push for universal healthcare is a serious movement. For Pittsburgh resident Lizzie Anderson, that means getting arrested.

Last week, Anderson and 200 others rallied in Harrisburg and called for the Pennsylvania state government to ensure no cuts were made to Medicaid or the food-stamp program. On June 4, about 30 of the protesters exited the Capitol building, and held a “die-in,” where protesters laid down in front of the doorway until they were arrested. Anderson says getting arrested was necessary to send a message to lawmakers that our current health-care system is not adequate.

“I am a therapist and work with people who can't always get therapy because of our broken health-care system,” says Anderson. “It seems in this country we need to disrupt everyday life to get the obvious done.”

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Posted By on Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 2:05 PM

Last week, TribLive discovered police officers in Allegheny County have been designating condoms as "an instrument of crime" in more than a dozen prostitution cases last year. The revelation has drawn criticism from several social justice groups and local defense attorneys. Some jurisdictions, like New York City and California, have even outlawed or restricted the practice since it can encourage unsafe sex.

And today, Pittsburgh's branch of the Sex Workers Outreach Project, is hoping to educate people  about the potential issues of Allegheny County's condom-criminalization practices.

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