Formerly known as the Summit Against Racism, the annual event will go virtual this year and will host talks and panels about the future of racial justice in Pittsburgh. Included is a virtual fireside chat with three award-winning local authors - Brian Broome, author of Punch Me Up To The Gods, Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, and Damon Young, author of What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker.
Each speaker offers their own perspective on the issues Black people face in Pittsburgh and in the culture at large. In Punch Me Up to the Gods, for example, Broome explores how his being gay clashed with the idea of Black masculinity, and describes attending his first Pride parade in Pittsburgh. Philyaw put a spotlight on Black women with her book, which will be adapted into a series for HBO, and has spoken out about how poorly Black women are treated in Pittsburgh.
Young has covered his experiences with racism in Pittsburgh, both through his book and on his former blog Very Smart Brothas.
In a previous Pittsburgh City Paper article, Young said, "Whatever the national average is, the disparity is greater in Pittsburgh. We are a city that has always treated Black people like they should just be swept aside.”
The Pittsburgh Racial Justice Summit will begin on Fri., Jan. 21 with an
opening ceremony and choral performance of “Lift Ev’ry Voice” by the Pittsburgh Heritage Gospel Chorale directed by Dr. Herbert V.R.P. Jones. Recordings of the opening ceremony will be available on our Facebook and YouTube pages following the event.
In addition to the fireside chat, the two-day virtual summit will host workshops including Critical Race Theory - Myth and Reality, Even Nice People Have Unconscious Biases & Commit Racial Microaggressions, and For Mama and Her Babies: Combatting Racism in Maternal and Child Health, among others.
Visit the website for the Summit to find links and to see the full schedule of workshops and events.
As with previous years, free tickets are available for those in need. Tickets are also available for $15-50, and attendees also have the option to donate to the Jonny Gammage Memorial Scholarship Fund, which is described as being awarded to law students of color "with an interest in studying civil rights and social justice issues at the University of Pittsburgh Law School or Duquesne University Law School."
Pittsburgh Racial Justice Summit. Fri., Jan. 21-Sat., Jan. 22. Takes place on Zoom. Pay what you can. Registration required. pittsburghracialjusticesummit.org