Thursday, December 16, 2010

GlobalPittsburgh Honoring Urban Youth Action for International Program Taking Inner City Youth to China, Building Global Awareness

Urban Youth Action, Inc., the Pittsburgh-based non-profit organization that has taken groups of African-American teens to China for the past two years, will be honored by GlobalPittsburgh and its parent organization, the National Council for International Visitors, for building bridges of understanding and communication between the Pittsburgh Region and other parts of the world.

Representatives from Urban Youth Action, including Executive Director Ruthie D. King, will receive the NCIV's coveted Gold Star Award for excellence in citizen diplomacy at the GlobalPittsburgh Annual Dinner on Monday, December 20, 2010 at LeMont Restaurant.

GlobalPittsburgh President Roger Cranville said Urban Youth Action’s program exemplifies the type of grass roots citizen diplomacy that helps strengthen international relations at the personal level.

“Global awareness has become an essential part of any young person’s education, and Urban Youth Action is creating opportunities for international travel that might not otherwise exist,” Cranville said. “We want to honor Urban Youth Action and Ruthie King for their admirable efforts in expanding the horizons of the next generation of the world’s leaders.”

While in China, the group of 10 teenagers participated in service learning projects and culture immersion programs, including harvesting apricots and garlic, converting used cooking oil into body soap, and attending a calligraphy arts, jade, silk and tea exhibition.

Urban Youth Action is a youth education and development program founded in 1966 to emphasize the importance of education, employment readiness, and community service. Its programs are designed to encourage minority business ownership, supply life-skills information, provide work experience and career exposure through internship placements, build mentor relationships for students with specific career goals with professionals working in those career fields, provide information regarding post-high school education, and provide academic enrichment services such as tutoring and homework help.

For more than 50 years, GlobalPittsburgh, formerly known as the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors, has forged relationships between the Greater Pittsburgh Region and the global community through citizen diplomacy – connecting people and institutions in the region with audiences around the world through a wide range of hosting, training, networking, educational and outreach programs and services.

GlobalPittsburgh also will present an International Bridge Award to Center Rock, Inc., the Somerset County drilling company that helped rescue the trapped Chilean miners in October.

In addition to honoring Urban Youth Action and Center Rock, the GlobalPittsburgh Annual Dinner will focus on the theme “Celebrating Chile – Connecting Countries, Cultures and Citizen Diplomats.” The event will run from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at LeMont Restaurant, 1114 Grandview Avenue on Mt. Washington.

Since 1993, the International Bridge Awards have been a unique recognition of the region’s global connections by GlobalPittsburgh, which engages international delegations, groups and individuals by creating itineraries and facilitating introductions through the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program and other international programming agencies in many fields, including energy and environment, life sciences and medicine, education, business and technology, clean/green design, advanced manufacturing, arts and culture, government and finance, social services and law, and other areas.

For more information about GlobalPittsburgh, go to or contact Thomas Buell, Jr., GlobalPittsburgh VP-Communications, at 412-392-4513 or 412-720-2218, or by email at

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