Friday, August 21, 2009

Diversity and Multicultural Event Scheduled for Aug. 29 to Launch African Communities Group

The Union of African Communities in Pittsburgh will make its official debut at a Diversity/Multicultural Event at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29, at the Union Project in Highland Park.

"With the evolving globalization and diversity of our society, community members, leaders, policy makers, service providers, funders and the general public require an understanding of the varied ethnic and cultural populations that exist in this region," said Rufus Idris, general secretary of the newly founded group.

Admission is free, although donations are gratefully welcomed, Idris (left) said.

Goals of the event include:
• Showcasing the 20-plus diverse African communities in Pittsburgh & Allegheny County
• Displaying the rich culture through food/ethnic dishes, attire/costumes, music/drum and dance representing the various regions of the continent (North, East, South, West and Central Africa)
• Creating an atmosphere for networking, cultural exchanges and bridging the gaps between African Immigrants and the indigenous Western PA populations
• Sharing the important and integral roles that Africans are playing in the development of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County
• Launching the Pittsburgh Africans website with detail information on all African Communities/countries in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, Community/student groups, Businesses, Religious groups, activities/events and news
• Soliciting collective effort and collaborative support to offer solutions to existing needs in the African refugee/immigrant communities based on the increasing numbers and need assessment

The event will host representatives from over 20 African countries and other internationals living in Pittsburgh/Allegheny County, and welcomes all people and stakeholders of Pittsburgh/Allegheny County.

Invited to speak at this event are; Candi Castleberry-Singleton, Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer for UPMC; Robert Agbede, President and CEO of Chester Engineers (largest African-American owned engineering consulting services firm of its kind in the United States); Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, and representatives from the following; Mayor Luke Revanstahl, Sen. Robert Casey Jr., Sen. Arlen Specter and others.

"Come join us to sample ethnic foods and drinks, see native/ cultural attires and crafts and also have a refreshing experience of multi-cultural dance performances," he said.

The Union of African Communities comprises leaders of over 20 African countries and communities living in the Pittsburgh region, African student organizations and numerous other groups and companies. The group’s mission is “to foster unity, empowerment, linkages and improve the quality of life of Africans in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, through acting upon the needs, concerns, challenges and opportunities,” and “to have well-informed, empowered and united African Communities in Allegheny County, the entire United States and the African continent.”

The Union Project is located at 801 N. Negley Avenue at the corner of Stanton Avenue in the former Union Baptist Church, and is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a gathering and working space to connect, create, and celebrate for artists, community builders and people of faith. The Union Project brings Pittsburgh communities together through mission-based businesses and community events for youth and adults. More information about the Union Project, space rental or upcoming events can be found at

This event is sponsored by Christian Evangelistic Economic Development (CEED), Union Project, CCAC, La Roche College, Chester Engineers and UPMC. Idris also welcomed support from the Hispanic Center, Inc., Goodwill,, Welcome Center for Immigrants and Internationals, Department of Human Service of Allegheny County, Lawrenceville United, Three Rivers Bioneers, United States Census 2010, Tropic Groove, World Affair Council of Pittsburgh, African Studies Program of the University of Pittsburgh.

For sponsorship or inquiries, contact the Union of African Communities in Pittsburgh & Allegheny County at 412-759-4565 or send email to

1 comment:

  1. This is a great event to bring all the African groups in Pittsburgh together and to begin to showcase the strength and unity of the continent.

    African Christain Fellowship (ACF-Pittsburgh Chapter)will participate fully. Can you get the Igbo Kwenu (talk to Mike Okoye)and the Egbe Omo Odudua (Kola Adebiyi) to send represenatives? They need to be there as well.

    Also, don't forget AJAPO. Dr. Aganga -Williams has done tremedous work in Pittsburgh over the years.