Friday, December 12, 2014

Pittsburgh Joins 10 Other U.S. Cities in Citizenship Initiative Supporting Obama's Action on Immigration

On Dec. 15, Pittsburgh and 10 other cities were scheduled to formally join Cities for Citizenship, an initiative launched by Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago in partnership with Citi, the founding corporate partner, which aims to increase citizenship among eligible U.S. permanent residents to forge more inclusive and economically robust cities.

Leading officials from Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chattanooga, Denver, Milwaukee, Nashville, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. will announce their active participation in this growing initiative at a special event during the National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC 2014).

Pittsburgh's growing immigrant community has made significant contributions to the city and take pride in actively participating in the communities where they live. Taking a cue from cities that have been active on this front, the Peduto administration plans to work in partnership with city schools, nonprofits, and libraries to create citizenship corners in targeted areas across the city and support immigrants on their path towards citizenship.

Mayor William Peduto launched the Welcoming Pittsburgh Initiative in May to celebrate the city’s immigrant past and build a more welcoming future. An advisory council was formed in August to work on a long-term implementation plan to engage both existing Pittsburgh residents and new ones, and synthesize welcoming practices into city government and its partners in local business, nonprofit and community groups. Facilitation of the initiative is underwritten by a grant from the Hillman Family Foundations.

Additionally, next year the administration plans to host naturalization ceremonies at the City-County Building.

A recent report, Citizenship: A Wise Investment for Cities, by the Center for Popular Democracy, National Partnership for New Americans and the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) at USC Dornsife, found profound economic benefits to naturalization.

Monday’s conference will feature a welcome from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a keynote address by Leon Rodriguez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and Cities for Citizenship leaders, including Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development and Microfinance.

Pittsburgh’s nonprofit and faith-based manager Betty Cruz is attending the conference on behalf of the city.

About National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA)
NPNA harnesses the collective power and resources of the country’s 20 largest regional immigrant advocacy organizations, aiming to advance the integration and active citizenship of immigrants to achieve a vibrant, just, and welcoming democracy for all. NPNA sponsors the annual National Immigrant Integration Conference and, in the past two years, NPNA partners have assisted over 50,000 immigrants to become U.S. citizens and pursue legal status.

Additional information may be found at www.partnershipfornewamericans.org | NIIC: http://www.integrationconference.org/ | Facebook: www.facebook.com/newamericanspartnership | Twitter: @npnewamericans

About The Center for Popular Democracy (CPD)
CPD promotes equity, opportunity, and a dynamic democracy in partnership with base-building organizations, organizing networks and alliances, and progressive unions across the country. CPD builds the strength and capacity of democratic organizations to envision and advance a pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial and economic justice agenda.

Visit www.populardemocracy.org and www.twitter.com/popdemoc.

About Citi
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

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Pittsburgh-Based Brother’s Brother Foundation Again Top-Ranked by Forbes; Responds to Requests for Medical Assistance in 6 Countries Including Ebola-Stricken Sierra Leone.

Pittsburgh-based Brother’s Brother Foundation is one of only two American charities with a 100 percent rating for fundraising efficiency and for charitable commitment of the 50 largest U.S. charities reviewed by Forbes in December 2014.

This week BBF is sending major medical shipments to hospitals and clinics in Argentina, The Philippines, Dominican Republic and Guatemala. These shipments contain over 60,000 bottles of medicines including antibiotics, antivirals and other requested medical supplies and equipment.

On Dec. 15, two containers were scheduled to be loaded for Haiti with 65,000 bottles of requested medicines and other medical supplies in two sea container shipments.  A third container of medical equipment supplies was scheduled to be loaded for Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone the following day. The Sierra Leone shipment was to include personal protection equipment for medical staff among 12 hospitals and 40 clinics supported by BBF in that country.

BBF is a 56-year old Pittsburgh-based international charity with a newly-opened warehouse in the Washington, D.C., area. BBF has provided over 100,000 tons of medical supplies, textbooks, food, seeds, and other humanitarian supplies to people around the world in over 140 countries. With the help of gifts from the general public, corporations and foundations, in 2014 BBF sent product contributions to those in need in 60 countries. These shipments are the equivalent of more than 320 tractor trailer loads. Also in 2014, BBF provided supplies for over 250 medical and humanitarian hand-carry mission trips.

The Better Business Bureau continues to give BBF its “Wise Giving Alliance Standards” seal of approval. BBF achieved a 4-star rating for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency from Charity Navigator.

Donations to assist with shipping costs are always accepted. Credit card donations can be made at www.brothersbrother.org or by calling BBF at 412-321-3160. Checks should be made to the Brother's Brother Foundation and sent to:
Brother's Brother Foundation
1200 Galveston Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15233


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Monday, November 17, 2014

Number of International Students in Western Pennsylvania Rises 17 percent During 2013-14 School Year - Twice National Rate of Growth, New Report Says

The number of international students in the Pittsburgh region rose 17 percent during the 2013-14 school year - more than twice the national rate for the second year in a row - to a total of 13,393 students, infusing a total of $386 million into the region's economy, according to a new joint report by the Washington, D.C-based Institute of International Education and NAFSA, an organization representing international educators.

Across the state of Pennsylvania,  a total of 41,446 international students - an increase of 11.2 percent - were responsible for $1.4 billion in economic stimulus, and for sustaining nearly 6,411 jobs in higher education and another 14,451 jobs indirectly related to higher education through their spending during the school year, NAFSA/IIE reported.

In total, international students brought $27 billion into the U.S. economy during the 2013-14 school year, with the number of students growing at an 8.1 percent rate nationally to a total of 886,052, the report said.

Economic impact includes tuition, housing, food, shopping and other expenditures for undergraduate and graduate students and their spouses and children, creating thousands of jobs in the region and making education one of the region's biggest exports.

"International students not only contribute economic value, they build bridges between the United States and other countries; bring global perspectives into U.S. classrooms and research labs; support U.S. innovation through science and engineering coursework, making it possible for U.S. colleges and universities to offer these courses to U.S. students; and support programming and services on campus for all students by paying out-of-state tuition, funded largely by non-U.S. sources," NAFSA said in issuing its report.

NAFSA reported the economic impact of international students by dividing data into U.S. Congressional Districts. The Western Pennsylvania region includes Congressional Districts 3, 9, 12, 14 and 18.

The new report confirms the importance - and the economic value - of attracting more international students to the Pittsburgh region, which is the goal of GlobalPittsburgh's Study Pittsburgh initiative.

"This report confirms once again the importance of our efforts at GlobalPittsburgh to bring more international students to the Pittsburgh region, and then to engage them in activities and help them feel welcome so that they will have a positive experience," said Michael Malloy, GlobalPittsburgh Board Chair.


GlobalPittsburgh's Study Pittsburgh Initiative, which represents a growing consortium of colleges, universities and English Language programs in the region called the GlobalPittsburgh Education Partnership (GPEP).

GlobalPittsburgh augments the international recruiting efforts of local educational institutions by:
 Providing a conduit for prospective applicants to ensure delivery and full review of applications.
 Ensuring that applications are complete.
 Directing applicants to information about visa and documentation requirements.
 Providing welcoming activities and networking opportunities for students after they have enrolled.

The Study Pittsburgh initiative provides information and publicity materials to selected advising centers and counseling offices around the world using GlobalPittsburgh’s strong relationships with government agencies and diplomatic channels. These channels include:
 EducationUSA, a U.S. State Department program designed to attract international students to the United States through a network of more than 400 advising centers in 170 countries around the world providing information and assistance to prospective students.
 Trade offices of U.S. Commerce Department and Pennsylvania Department of Economic & Community Development, which are committed to increasing international student enrollment in the United States.
 Education agencies and recruiters in targeted countries around the world.
 U.S. Embassies & Consulates around the world.
 Foreign Embassies & Consulates in the United States.
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Friday, November 14, 2014

Reach Thousands of Globally-Minded People by Advertising on GlobalPittsburgh Website and Social Media

GlobalPittsburgh is now offering advertising opportunities on its website, blog and social media pages. These pages attract thousands of unique viewers each month with an audience representing a well-educated, globally-minded demographic.

Advertisers can build brand recognition and reach this desirable audience at affordable rates while also supporting the work of GlobalPittsburgh in connecting Pittsburgh with the world to achieve important international talent attraction and retention goals.

Rates are for banner box 185px square of your design, which can be updated monthly. The banner will link to your website.

Website (all pages, including home)                $250/month
Twitter Page                                                    $150/month
GP Facebook landing page                            $100/month
GlobalPittsburghNEWSletter                          $50/month
PACKAGE DISCOUNT (all of the above)     $450/month
(Above rates based on three-month contract – one month contract add $50 each.)

PLACEMENT EXAMPLES:                       
Website                                               Facebook Page
           


For more information, please contact Thomas Buell, Jr., Director of Development & Marketing at tbuell@globalpittsburgh.org or 412-392-4513.


           
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pittsburgh-Area Immigrant Entrepreneurs Invited to Enter Contest with $1,000 Prize for Best Success Story; Winners to be Included in Story Project. Deadline Now Dec. 5

Immigrant entrepreneurs and immigrant-owned small businesses in the Pittsburgh region are invited to enter a contest offering a $1,000 prize for the best success story describing their experience. Deadline for entries has been extended to 11:59 p.m. on December 5, 2014.

Called “A Day in the Life of an Immigrant Entrepreneur,” the contest is sponsored by the Global Great Lakes Network (www.globalgl.org), a regional initiative bringing together organizations working to tap into the economic opportunities created by immigrants, in collaboration with New America Media (www.newamericamedia.org).

The local lead organization for the Global Great Lakes Network in Pittsburgh is GlobalPittsburgh (www.globalpittsburgh.org). Entries should be submitted to Thomas Buell, Jr. at tbuell@globalpittsburgh.org.

Local entries will be judged by the Lead Organization in each of the cities in the Global Great Lakes Network. A single winner will be selected at random from the winners selected for each participating state or metro area. (The lead organization can nominate up to three local winners. If a lead agency nominates more than one entry, the managing committee of Global Detroit, New American Media, and GlobalPittsburgh will narrow it to one finalist based upon diversity for the final publication).

CONTEST RULES
Entries may be written and edited by someone other than the subject of the story, including the point person in the Lead Organization in the member community.
Entries may include articles that have been published in blogs or other media outlets, although permission should be obtained to reprint the article, if necessary.
Final judging of the stories will be based on the subject of the story as well as the quality of the storytelling. Lead organizations may work with the entrants to revise and improve the stories, but the submitted version must have the approval of the subject of the story.

More information on the contest is available on the Global Great Lakes Network website at http://globalgl.wordpress.com/adayinthelife/.

ABOUT THE GLOBAL GREAT LAKES NETWORK
Over the past four years, initiatives to promote immigration as an economic development opportunity have produced Vibrant Pittsburgh, GlobalPittsburgh, Global Detroit, St. Louis Mosaic, Global Cleveland, Welcome Dayton, Global Michigan and Global Lansing, as well as similar economic and community development focused programs emerging in other areas.

The Global Great Lakes Network’s mission is to engage in activities that strengthen the work, maximize the impact, and sustain the efforts of individual local initiatives across the region that welcome, retain, and empower immigrant communities as valued contributors to local economic development initiatives.

Participants in the Global Great Lakes Network seek to make their regions more appealing to immigrants by improving the quality of life and economic opportunities that exist in the region for immigrants as a tool to economic growth.

Immigrant communities, when welcomed in their new home, can generate greater economic growth, job creation, and prosperity for an entire city or region. The Global Great Lakes Network comprises regional economic development initiatives working to tap into the opportunities created by immigrants.

For more information about the Global Great Lakes Network, go to www.globalgl.org or send email to globalgreatlakes@gmail.com.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Sanitation Mission to Bangladesh Teaches Pittsburgh “Super Volunteer” Greg Smith About Health Challenges Facing Developing Countries


By Greg Smith

Inadequate safe water, sanitation, and good hygiene practice is endemic in rural communities throughout the developing world. Today 2.5 billion people do not have access to proper sanitation and 900 million have no source of safe drinking water.

Bangladesh is good example of a country with these problems. Bangladesh is located between India and Myanmar, half way around the world from the United States, at a latitude similar to Cuba. It is considered the most densely populated country in the world, and two-thirds of the country is river delta with elevations less than 12 feet. Tropical cyclones, spring flooding from the Himalayas, and the monsoon season make Bangladesh a difficult place to maintain clean, safe sources of water and appropriate areas for sanitation. The temperatures are high and the humidity is oppressive.

In Bangladesh, 46 percent of the population has access to improved sanitation; however only half of those that have access to improved sanitation also have convenient access to clean water and soap. The most recent statistics for Bangladesh indicate that there are 51,000 deaths from diarrhea in children under 5 years of age. Sadly, washing hands with soap and water can prevent more than 50 percent of these deaths. Awareness of proper sanitation and hygiene practices is low in most rural areas.

In late September, I joined three other trainers and spent two weeks in Bangladesh teaching WaSH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and Community Development principles to 19 Bangladesh Nazarene Mission development workers. These students would then travel to rural villages to teach these practices.

We worked through Lifewater International, a non-profit, Christian water development organization based in California that works around the world to eliminate water-borne disease and inadequate access to water. The training provided is a hands on “train the trainers” program that emphasizes participation and interactive learning.

Bangladesh Nazarene Mission (BNM) is a Christian development organization that has worked in Bangladesh among the “poorest of the poor” for more than 20 years. It is a well-established organization and works in many development areas, including WaSH, emergency relief and food security.

Between flight time and the 10 hour time change, it took almost two days to arrive at the training center. Transportation was interesting as always and included flying in a plane, walking, sitting in a rickshaw, standing in a flat topped boat to cross the river, lounging on a steam driven boat, and finally taking a two-hour trip in an ambulance.

Why an ambulance? The out-of-power political party had called for a transportation strike on the day we arrived and the only motorized ground transportation allowed was an ambulance. Any other transport risked being stoned or having its tires slashed or even being burned. Our hosts somehow found an ambulance and we raced off to the training center, horn blaring and siren screaming!

The training center was quite modern. We had rooms with hot water, flush toilets and air conditioning. However trekking up the 80 non air-conditioned steps and down the long hot hallways to our rooms when the temperatures were consistently over 100 was a constant reminder about what conditions were for most of the country.

The students were primarily project managers in their early to mid thirties and consisted of 13 men, six women, one Muslim, one Hindu, and the rest Christian. This group had a broad background in community development and came from various development sectors, such as disaster relief, training, WaSH, etc.

The native language of this group is Bengali. Even though many of the students knew or understood a fair amount of English we worked through several translators, The translators were energetic and quite interested in the subjects we were discussing, which unfortunately led to many ‘off topic’ conversations between the students and the translators. Ultimately the outcomes were good but the discussions were often tedious and confusing.

The students were excited about both the material and how it was presented. As in many places they were accustomed to sitting for hours and hours through boring lectures. The idea of interactive instruction, role-playing, and somebody actually asking them their opinion on a subject was exciting to them. They loved developing and acting out short plays, which they called dramas, and creating a posters and poems about the training material.

This group loved to sing and dance. Our training sessions were regularly filled with singing, dancing, and even jokes, none of which I understood because jokes don’t make it through translation very well.

This photo is an example of the “hands on instruction” we were conducting. Here we were discussing the disease transmission route from "poop" to mouth and the ways that this transmission can be blocked.

The “poop” is on the left with a “mouth” on the right. The pictures between them represented conditions when germs can be spread, such as through dirty water, on flies, through animal droppings, etc. The strings represent germ transmission routes and the pictures over the strings represent ways to block these routes, such as boiling water or fencing animals in or hand washing.

Typically I laid the posters on the ground and showed them one route and one blocker. I would then ask volunteers to find other routes and to come up with ways to block the routes. This created a lot of discussion about the subject. This is a very simple way to teach the subject and can be done in the most basic of situations.

Other subjects such as hand washing, making and keeping safe water, the sanitation ladder, transformational change, and cleaning latrines were presented in the same way. The group developed numerous plays and songs about each subject, including my favorite –the latrine cleaning dance!

At the conclusion of the training we had a “Cultural Night.” Primarily the students wanted us to dress in indigenous clothing and dance to traditional music. We laughed a lot and even learned a step or two.

We spent one day in the field visiting a BNM site called JoyMoni. A typical day in JoyMoni at this time of year is balmy with a heat index near 100. The day of this site visit it was very hot and humid with heat index at 115 in the shade. Of course we had to be there at noon. Even the locals were complaining about the high temperature, and I was surprised to see both men and women using umbrellas to shade themselves from the sun.

This site is located on the Bay of Bengal and has no local source of fresh water as the wells, even those 250 feet deep, are contaminated with salt, arsenic, and iron. Since the village is encircled by ever changing water levels due to tidal changes, spring floods from snow melt in the Himalayas, and monsoons, healthy sanitation practices are uncommon. One way the people of JoyMoni they have learned to cope with water level variability is to build floating toilets.

While floating toilets are a good solution to “where to go,” this same water often is source of drinking water and has become contaminated. This is a good example of the difficult choices that many rural communities face. 


Lifewater and BNM have partnered with this community to develop alternate strategies for situations like this, while at the same time teaching good hygiene and safe water practices. The BNM employees will work through local safe water and sanitation committees to teach WaSH principles to the entire JoyMoni community.


Lifewater follows the progress on a weekly basis and will be studying the effects of the training and making recommendations for improvement. The goal in communities like JoyMoni is to improve awareness of good hygiene and sanitation practices which can result in a 50 percent reduction in diarrheal disease.

As we said goodbye to our new Bangladeshi friends, I was inspired to see the enthusiasm and dedication they bring to solving some of the more difficult health issues facing their fellow countrymen. It reminded me of this quote from Mother Teresa:

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”
(Greg Smith lives in Pittsburgh. He is a member of The Global Switchboard.) READ FULL ARTICLE

Sunday, November 9, 2014

GlobalPittsburgh Launches 'Keep Pittsburgh Global' Campaign to Raise Awareness of Community of Practice Focused on International Engagement

GlobalPittsburgh has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of a growing movement focused on understanding and spreading the benefits of international engagement in the Pittsburgh region, as well as promoting its activities, events and programs aimed at connecting like-minded people and organizations locally and around the world.

Click for your own printable banner.
The new "Keep Pittsburgh Global" campaign will bring together what we call "globally-minded" people interested in embracing and expanding the region's international connections, which have been shown to provide economic and cultural benefits to the entire community. This concept is called a "community of practice."

Funded in part by Pittsburgh's Sprout Fund, the campaign is designed to bring together international newcomers, globally-minded residents and those uncertain about their position on globalization, in a series of events and activities during which they will participate in conversations and coordinated interactions resulting in a collection of documentary photos and videos for public viewing.

The Keep Pittsburgh Global campaign officially kicked off Dec. 4 at GlobalPittsburgh's First Thursdays monthly networking happy hour. Continuing into 2015, the campaign will enable participants to hear and learn from the experiences of others, including the newcomers and the local residents.

At each event, a camera/video booth will be set up to record opinions and stories of as many participants as possible. They will be asked how long they have been in Pittsburgh, what brought them here, what they like about it, and also their response to the question, “What does global engagement mean to you?”

In addition, participants will be asked to sign a pledge of support for the global community of practice, and have their picture taken holding a sign saying “Keep Pittsburgh Global,” and/or video-taped holding the sign and saying “Keep Pittsburgh Global.” Resulting photographs and videos will be placed on the GlobalPittsburgh website and social media outlets, and widely promoted. They also will be displayed at a future public Keep Pittsburgh Global event.

"The process of growing a community of practice naturally requires an ongoing process of connecting like-minded people who may not be aware of each other" said Michael Malloy, GlobalPittsburgh's Board Chair. "Connecting is at the core of GlobalPittsburgh’s mission."


Participants and supporters of the Keep Pittsburgh Global campaign are encouraged to post the banner on their social media pages using the #keepPGHglobal hashtag. A free, downloadable, printable banner is available by CLICKING HERE.

"The Keep Pittsburgh Global campaign involves activities bringing together diverse individuals from the regional community who have a passion for learning more about and connecting with cultures worldwide," Malloy said.

"Our activities naturally attract people who are globally engaged because of their work, research, area of study, curiosity, or passion for travel," he said. "Attendees frequently bring friends or colleagues who share their interests, creating a multiplier effect for the active global engagement that GlobalPittsburgh encourages. The ever-increasing number of young professionals drawn to our events will help to ensure that a global perspective is held by emerging community leaders whom we hope to retain in the region."

The campaign will bring together people – both foreign-born and local – who might not know the extent to which the community exists in the Pittsburgh region. In addition, promotion of the resulting photographs and videos on websites, blogs and via social media, as well as through public exhibitions, will serve to further grow the community by raising awareness and continuing the process of connecting like-minded people, Malloy said.

For more information about GlobalPittsburgh and the Keep Pittsburgh Global campaign, contact Thomas Buell, Jr. at 412-392-4513 or tbuell@globalpittsburgh.org.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

VOLUNTEER PROFILE: Diversity of International Activities Helps Cathy Shader Broaden Her Horizons

By Elizabeth Furiga

Cathy Shader learned about GlobalPittsburgh while reading the morning paper three years ago. She saw a letter to the editor from a man who volunteered as a driver for visiting dignitaries hosted by GlobalPittsburgh. He spoke highly of the organization and explained the many ways it had enriched his life. Cathy became curious and looked on the GlobalPittsburgh website. She found she could volunteer in the office, which she has done one day a week ever since.

Volunteer Cathy Shader (front
left) with interns Mariana Centeno,
Vase Mitev and Elizabeth
Furiga (author of  this article).
"I am a caregiver for my elderly mother and I was getting very isolated doing that," she said. "I needed to broaden my scope and this has given me the exposure that I wanted."

GlobalPittsburgh relies on a network of volunteers to help carry out programming and activities. Volunteer opportunities include driving distinguished visitors to meetings, hosting visitors for dinner, and assisting the staff in the GlobalPittsburgh office, which is where Cathy spends her time.

Volunteering for GlobalPittsburgh not only broadened her scope, but it also taught Cathy about the city where she lives. Through her work on preparing itineraries for international visitors, she has learned how vibrant Pittsburgh is, both through the people as well as business, research, and the ongoing cultural exchanges. She often finds herself wanting to share what she has learned with her friends.   

As an office volunteer, Cathy has many duties which vary from week to week. Typically, she arranges appointments through phone calls and email, helps organize information, and searches for restaurants in the area for visitors' itineraries. 

In her time at GlobalPittsburgh, she has also seen many interns come and go. One of her favorite parts of the job has been serving as an example and showing interns how to follow procedures and answer the phones to help the organization run smoothly.

After three years as a volunteer, Cathy has many stories about helping to make cultural and global connections. One of her favorites involves a group of MBA students at Duquesne who were invited to participate in an economics competition. 

"Their assignment was to come up with an economic plan for an energy company in Canada, Suncor Energy," she recalled. "Shortly after that, there was a group of Canadian professionals coming to Pittsburgh. Gail Shrott, [Director, International Leaders Program at GlobalPittsburgh] knew about the students participating in the competition. One of the Canadian visitors participating in that program worked for Suncor Energy."

Cathy made a phone call to the students' professor, arranging for the Canadian visitors and the students to meet. A connection was made, and for Cathy, that's the most exciting part about GlobalPittsburgh, "Connections that you had no clue were out there to be made, somehow Gail and the organization makes them happen," she said.

When she is not volunteering, Cathy enjoys cooking and reading as well as biking and cross country skiing with her husband. She also recently welcomed her first grandchild.

When asked why she has continued to volunteer, Cathy was ready with her response, “There’s always something different going on. Even though it’s the same procedure, there’s always a new group of people coming in, there’s always a new topic, and it’s certainly been interesting."

(Elizabeth Furiga is an intern with GlobalPittsburgh. She is majoring in Slavic Studies and Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh.)


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Saturday, October 18, 2014

GlobalPittsburgh All-Stars Re-Uniting for Play for a Purpose Soccer Tournament Nov. 15 - Support the Cause!

The GlobalPittsburgh All-Stars soccer team is coming back together to defend their championship title in the Cameroon Football Development Program's Play for a Purpose tournament on Nov. 15 at the University of Pittsburgh's indoor Cost Center.

Composed of international players now living in Pittsburgh, as well as some local talent, the team won the tournament in November 2013. This year, the team is also helping raise funds for CFDP's programs. (You can learn more about their efforts working with youth soccer programs to provide opportunities for growth and advancement in Pittsburgh and Cameroon at http://www.cameroonfdp.com/mission/.)

GlobalPittsburgh is asking for your support of this year's team. All money raised will go to CFDP. Please make your secure donation with a credit or debit card by CLICKING HERE or on the Donate button below.

Players also are being recruited for this playing/fundraising effort. If you or anyone you know would like to participate, please contact Thomas Buell, Jr., GlobalPittsburgh's Director of Development & Marketing (and team manager) at 412-392-4513 or tbuell@globalpittsburgh.org.

Support the team and the CFDP cause!



Thanks to Emeka Carter and E Properties & Development for their generous support.



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Friday, September 12, 2014

International Students Welcomed by GlobalPittsburgh Members and Friends at Annual Picnic at North Park

More than 125 international students from area colleges and universities danced, ate and made new friends at GlobalPittsburgh's First Annual Members' Picnic Sept. 20 at North Park.

With lunch from food trucks, global dance music from DJ Pandemic, a very popular photo booth, games and activities to entertain them, the students were introduced to Pittsburgh hospitality to help them settle in to their new home.

GlobalPittsburgh members and friends socialized with the students, acting as cultural ambassadors to show them why Pittsburgh is such a special place in which to live and get an education.

Students came from Robert Morris University, Chatham University, Slippery Rock University, the English Language Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State Beaver and Penn State New Kensington, all of which are members of GlobalPittsburgh Educational Partnership (GPEP) Study Pittsburgh Initiative.

Food was provided by Saucy Mamas and Brassero Grill food trucks. The photo booth was provided by DGM Photography.

Many thanks to our partners who helped make this event such a big success:











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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Zipcar Waives Sign-Up Fee for GlobalPittsburgh Members; Offers Discounts on Hourly Rates. Another Reason to Join GlobalPittsburgh Today!

Zipcar is waiving its sign-up fee for GlobalPittsburgh members and offering discounted hourly rates for Zipcar's shared vehicle service. Use a Zipcar for offsite business trips or personal errands anytime you like. Zipcar operates in Pittsburgh and dozens of cities across North America.

SPECIAL DISCOUNTED WEEKDAY RATES for Pittsburgh:
·         No Application Fee (normally $25)
·         Discounted Annual Fee (just $25 a year, normally $60)
Discounted Hourly Rate:  Starting at $9.25 (normally $10.25)
Business Day Rate (7am-7pm):  $55
24-Hour Day Rate:  $71 (plus taxes & fees)

All rates include gas, insurance, and 180 miles/day ($0.45/mile thereafter) for a $25 annual membership fee. These special rates cover all vehicles except BMWs, Mercedes and convertibles. Weekend rates vary depending on length of reservation.

This offer is available to paid members of the GlobalPittsburgh Network, including hosts, supporters and members of the GlobalPittsburgh Connect program. If you're already a member of GlobalPittsburgh , or have any questions, please contact Nadya Kessler of GlobalPittsburgh at 412-392-4513 or at nkessler@globalpittsburgh.org.

If you're not a GlobalPittsburgh member, you can also call Nadya at the number above to register by phone, and she can give you details of how to get the Zipcar membership and discounts. Individual memberships in the GlobalPittsburgh Network cost $40 per year and $50 per household. CLICK HERE to register online.



If you  have any questions or problems, contact Zipcar’s Christina Ricci directly (see contact information below), and she can apply the free set-up promotion. Sign up takes about 5 minutes. You’ll need your driver’s license and credit card. After you’re approved, your Zipcard will arrive at your billing address in 5-7 days.  Alternatively, you can elect to pick-up your Zipcard at the local Pittsburgh office. 


How it Works:
Once you’ve received your Zipcard in the mail, simply make a reservation online and use your Zipcard to access the reserved vehicle.  Invoices are online and updated after each reservation (click on “my stuff” then “my bill” to view your invoice).  Your company or personal credit card will be charged after the end of each reservation.

Already a Zipcar member?  Call or email Christina at 215-307-4867 or cricci@zipcar.com and your account can be upgraded to reflect the GlobalPittsburgh discounts.

Learn more about Zipcar at www.zipcar.com
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians in Philadelphia Receives Grants Totaling $692,000 to Launch Immigrant Professionals Career Pathways Program

PHILADELPHIA - The Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians has announced a program that will allow eligible immigrants to reestablish their professional careers by helping them secure industry credentials. The Philadelphia-based program is supported by $412,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and $280,000 from The Barra Foundation.

The nonprofit Migration Policy Institute estimates that there are 32,000 underutilized immigrant professionals in Pennsylvania. Many live in the Philadelphia region. These individuals have college or graduate degrees from abroad, but are often employed here in low-wage jobs that do not draw on their education and skills.

“We are thrilled that this funding will both expand our services for ambitious newcomers and help fill a need for these professionals in our region,” said Peter Gonzales, president and CEO of the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians. “People who were doctors or engineers in their home countries often have to navigate complex pathways in order to return to their professions; our new Immigrant Professionals Career Pathways Program will assist them in that process.”

“Philadelphia is increasingly attracting young, motivated talent from around the country and the world—but we must pursue more opportunities to keep that talent here,” said Donna Frisby-Greenwood, Knight Foundation program director for Philadelphia. “This new program will help do just that by opening new economic and leadership opportunities to established professionals that have the skills to contribute to a better future for our city.”

The Welcoming Center’s new program will help skilled immigrants with lawful status in the United States find training and jobs in Philadelphia in their fields of expertise. The program will guide these professionals in obtaining certification, finding transitional jobs and connecting with others in their fields through social and professional networks.

Support for these projects forms one part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to expand opportunities in Philadelphia, while fostering talent retention and attraction. Since 1970 Knight Foundation has invested more than $100 million in Philadelphia’s vitality.

The Barra Foundation’s grant reflects its commitment to supporting organizations in their efforts to test significant new approaches to their work. By funding problem-solving initiatives such as the Welcoming Center’s, Barra seeks to drive positive change across Greater Philadelphia.

The Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians is a nonprofit economic development organization based in Philadelphia. Founded in 2003, the agency has served more than 11,000 people from 140 countries worldwide. The Welcoming Center’s services include education and training, employment and entrepreneurship. Learn more at www.welcomingcenter.org.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.KnightFoundation.org.

The Barra Foundation invests in innovation to inspire change that strengthens communities in the Greater Philadelphia region. It provides approximately $4 million in grants annually that are focused on supporting innovation in and across the fields of Arts & Culture, Education, and Health and Human Services. For more, visit www.BarraFoundation.org.
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Friday, August 15, 2014

GlobalPittsburgh's Thomas Buell, Jr. Named to Mayor Peduto's Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council

GlobalPittsburgh Director of Marketing and Study Pittsburgh Initiative has been named to Mayor Bill Peduto's 40-member Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council, whose work will shape the city's immigrant attraction and retention activities over the next three years, it was announced today.

Thomas Buell, Jr.
Launched on May 28, Welcoming Pittsburgh is a citywide initiative designed to celebrate the city’s immigrant past and build a more welcoming future. The first step in its implementation is a 40-member advisory council that will determine Welcoming Pittsburgh’s work over the coming years.

“We are a stronger city, enriched with greater cultural and economic opportunity, when we create avenues that are accessible and welcoming to all of our residents -- whether they have lived here for generations or are migrating to Pittsburgh for the very first time,” Peduto said. “The Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council will lay the groundwork for greater immigrant integration.”

Buell also served on the Mayor's transition committee after Peduto was elected last November. He chaired the Global City subcommittee which made several recommendations about ways to help the city and its residents become more globally aware and realize the benefits associated with the city's growing international prominence.

The advisory council’s main task over the next six months will be working with a facilitator to write a long-term and sustainable Welcoming Pittsburgh implementation plan. That plan will include efforts to engage both existing Pittsburgh residents and new ones, and synthesize welcoming practices into city government and its partners in local business, nonprofit and community groups.

The roadmap will seek to improve efficiencies by identifying overlapping practices offered by different stakeholders in the community, and highlight opportunities for the Mayor’s Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment to build a model for creating a more welcoming experience for immigrants in Pittsburgh.

“Communities that successfully encourage welcoming practices for immigrants foster welcoming environments for all residents,” said Nonprofit & Faith-Based Manager Betty Cruz. “When we spoke with cities across the country to learn from their lessons it was clear that an important first step is to form a guiding council that will develop recommendations that make sense for our city.”

The council was selected out of more than 100 candidates who applied through a public online process. Those invited to participate share a wide range of perspectives including both direct and indirect experience with the diverse needs immigrants face. The council also represents a variety of skillsets ranging from executives in finance, law, and academia to individuals working on the frontlines on issues such as labor, human services, and community development.

The grant will also fund community conversations across the city and the production of marketing materials that the Bureau will use to build awareness for Welcoming Pittsburgh and the impact of immigrants in the city for its first three years.

The city has issued a Request For Proposals to hire a facilitator. The RFP is available here: http://apps.pittsburghpa.gov/omb/RFP_WelcomingPGH.pdf

Terms on the voluntary council will end upon delivery of the implementation plan in roughly six months. After that period those interested will be asked to serve as Welcoming Pittsburgh ambassadors who will help implement plans for the initiative. The hiring of the facilitator and awareness-building materials for the first year of the initiative is underwritten with a $50,000 grant from the Hillman Family Foundations.

Members of the Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council are:
Christopher Amar, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
Robert Bartle, AIReS
Joanna Bernstein, Casa San Jose
Elizabeth Bloom, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Thomas Buell Jr., GlobalPittsburgh
Janis Burley Wilson, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Patricia Cain, Latino Family Center
Nathan Darity, Amizade
Lou Fineberg, Dero Bike Racks & Co-founder Bike Pittsburgh
Ellen Freeman, K&L Gates
Melanie Harrington, Vibrant Pittsburgh
George Hazimanolis, WQED
Elizabeth Heidenreich, South Hills Interfaith Ministry, Prospect Park Family Center
Michael Hogel, Mt. Lebanon School District
Seth Hufford, The People Group
Kanak Iyer, Kanakadhara Financial Enterprise
Barbara Johnson, Carlow University
Brian Kovak, Carnegie Mellon University, Heinz School
Sandhya Krishnan, Giant Eagle Corporation
Bonnie McCloskey, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Kamana Mathur, MathurLaw
Kevin McKeegan, Meyer, Unkovic & Scott
Brandon Mendoza, Allegheny Conference for Community Development
Andrea Horton-Mericli, Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council
Ana Maria Mieles, Cohen & Grigsby
Kheir Mugwaneza, Northern Area Multi-Service Center
Gretchen Mullin-Sawicki, Community College of Allegheny County
Barbara Murock, Department of Human Services
Josephine Olson, University of Pittsburgh, Katz School of Business
Matt Pavlosky, Southwestern PA Commission
Guillermo Perez, United Steel Workers
Andrew Pugh, University of Pittsburgh, GSPIA
Carrie Ann Quintana, PNC Bank
Susan Rauscher, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Pittsburgh
Brent Rondon, Duquesne University Small Business Development Center
Kelsey Russell, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
Kannu Sahni, University of Pittsburgh
Jesus Torres, ParenteBeard
Sheila Wells Rathke, University of Pittsburgh (retired)
Carol White Mohamed, University of Pittsburgh, Office of Affirmative Action, Diversity & Inclusion
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mayor Peduto Launches Leading European Sustainability Conference Over Computer Linkup; Promotes Similar Event in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto today launched one of Europe’s leading sustainability conferences, the Futureperfect Festival, and promoted Pittsburgh’s efforts to create globally recognized development practices that promote innovation, equity and development.

Peduto said he is working with the leadership of Futureperfect to bring a similar international sustainability forum to Pittsburgh. The forum would follow a tour of Strip District, Hill District and Hazelwood development sites the Mayor co-hosted in March with Andre Heinz of the Heinz Endowments and Bruce Katz, director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution.

The Pittsburgh forum would also follow the Mayor’s trip to the Sustainable City Development conference in Ludwigsburg, Germany, in May, which he attended with officials from Carnegie Mellon University and local technology firms.

While still in the planning stages, the Pittsburgh forum “will address how we develop a resilient city, and what steps we need to take to make a city in a different way -- a way that combines sustainability, equity and connections to all neighborhoods," Peduto said.

The 2014 Futureperfect Festival is being held on Grinda island, off the coast of Stockholm, and Peduto opened it with welcoming remarks over a computer link, and then took questions from participants for more than an hour. The festival is hosting up to 500 Swedish leaders in urban development, technology and social enterprise working on sustainable urban development practices.

Mark F. Brzezinski, the U.S. Ambassador to Sweden, also addressed the festival in a pre-recorded message that praised Peduto’s work on sustainability issues.

“In the same way Andrew Carnegie depended on the rivers of Pittsburgh to turn it into a manufacturing powerhouse, I am working to innovate again, and build new riverfront developments that will be models the world over," Peduto said.

"While Pittsburgh’s water is abundant, we must be careful with this resource and protect it. I want, and the world demands, developments that contain elements of site reliance, energy-to-waste cycles and self-generation.”

Other speakers at the Futureperfect Festival are set to include TED Fellow Laurel Braitman, Lego’s Director of Mechanics Arturo Pasquel, and 70 other speakers in more than 45 sessions discussing the latest theories in sustainable development.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Days in the Lives of the GlobalPittsburgh Summer 2014 Interns - "We Don't Really Have Typical Days"

Here at GlobalPittsburgh we have five summer 2014 interns: Alexa, Siyu, Ellen, Colette and Lori. They have been assisting the GlobalPittsburgh staff for the past three months. I interviewed three of the interns and asked them this question; what have they been working on during this time?

GlobalPittsburgh's Summer 2014
interns (from left) Siyu, Ellen,
Colette, Lori and Alexa.
Siyu works directly under Gail Shrott, Director of our International Leaders Program. During the months of May and June he worked on organizing the programs for our incoming delegates. In July, Siyu worked on internal matters such as organizing the host family files. I asked Siyu about the biggest project he was asked to handle.

"The Data Privacy Program because it was organized by just me and Gail. I learned a lot from working on that program because I feel more comfortable making cold phone calls. I feel that my verbal and written communication skills have been improved.”

When asked about his favorite part of the job, Siyu responded,  “Getting to interact with so many international visitors. I’ve really enjoyed my time with them, it’s part of the reason why I’m here working for GlobalPittsburgh because I want to interact with people with other cultures. I especially enjoyed the time with the delegates from Pakistan since they’re such nice people.”

Lori is another one of our five interns. She works with Colette and Director of Marketing Thomas Buell, Jr. on the Marketing aspect of GlobalPittsburgh as well as the Study Pittsburgh initiative. When asked what her favorite project was at GlobalPittsburgh she responded: “Probably the infographic I made because of how much of an interactive process it was. I worked on the infographic with Colette and we were given a lot of creative freedom which I enjoyed. We were able to bounce ideas off of each other.”

In terms of advice for people interested in interning with GlobalPittsburgh, Lori had this to say: “GlobalPittsburgh is a great organization to intern for if you want to learn more about working for a non-profit. I would definitely recommend applying if you want to learn more about marketing on a budget, working with different cultures or collaborating with international visitors.”

Alexa is our other intern who works on programming with Gail. Asked about her typical day at GlobalPittsburgh, Alexa replied: “We don’t really have typical days. Our days usually vary depending on the program I’m working on. For example, with the Open World program I would start the day by first checking the emails. I would call the speakers for the presentations for the delegates in order to see if they could meet with our group and schedule the meetings.

"I enjoyed the meetings because I got to review the bios of the participants from Kazakhstan. I also got to sit in on one of their meetings in the GlobalPittsburgh conference room for Mike Lickert from Giant Eagle and that was exciting because I helped to confirm that meeting. It was interesting to see what I had planned, come to life.”

The interns at GlobalPittsburgh work in a variety of different facets and parts of GlobalPittsburgh but they all collaborate in order to promote and assist GlobalPittsburgh in growing and spreading the message of international diversity in Pittsburgh.

- By Lori Wang, GlobalPittsburgh Summer 2014 Intern

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

HOST PROFILE: Fifty Years of Welcoming International Visitors has “Great Impact” on Longtime GlobalPittsburgh Host Family

Rosalyn Kummer and her husband, Lee, have been hosting international visitors since they signed up to volunteer with the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors (now known as GlobalPittsburgh) in 1966. Over the nearly 50 years that followed, they have had a multitude of international visitors, students and leaders walk through their door and into their lives.

The Kummers (center) and
some of their international visitors,
along with their son, Scott (left).
“We have had visitors from around the world, and all of our guests were truly unique and amazing,” Mrs. Kummer said in an interview. “It was really exciting to see how we could relate to all of these people from such different cultures and backgrounds.”

The Kummers found themselves volunteering to host international guests when they were convinced by a next door neighbor that it would be a worthwhile experience. With 300 acres of land and a herd of dairy cows, the Kummers spent most of their time taking visitors on hay rides around their land, exploring the large barn on their property, and explaining the finer points of dairy farming to their international guests.

All of the visitors who came to stay with the Kummers left a lasting impression on their hosts.  Mrs. Kummer laughingly recounted a memory from when she and her husband hosted a Japanese woman who was very “nimble and talented in the kitchen,” and loved preparing meals for them to try.

The Kummers' dairy farm.
When asked what she thought were essential qualities when hosting international visitors, Mrs. Kummer quickly responded, “You need to keep an open mind and be flexible. I remember [another] time we were hosting a boy from the Democratic Republic of Congo for a few weeks before he went to college. [He] didn’t speak English very well and he was very homesick so we had to offer him support and comfort while he stayed with us. This experience really impressed upon us the importance of being patient and understanding while we were working with our international guests.”

When asked if she had a favorite memory from hosting, Mrs. Kummer explained that it would be very difficult to choose just one from the varied and marvelous cultural exchanges that she and her husband had as hosts. They have entertained visitors from all around the world and their lives and experiences have been positively impacted because of it.

After years of participating as a host, Mrs. Kummer urged everyone to consider hosting for GlobalPittsburgh.

“Overall I would say that hosting is an amazing experience and if you are considering becoming a host just do it!  It will have a great impact on your life.”


(More information about hosting international visitors is available by going to the GlobalPittsburgh wesbite at www.globalpittsburgh.org/node/1120 or contacting Nadya Kessler at 412-392-4513 or nkessler@globalpittsburgh.org.)

By Colette Tano, GlobalPittsburgh Summer 2014 Intern

 
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GlobalPittsburgh Solidifies Reputation for Creating Itineraries for International Training Delegations

What does it mean when we say that GlobalPittsburgh has proven expertise in arranging short-term training programs for emerging international leaders?  The feedback that we receive from our clients regularly indicates that they are very satisfied with the itineraries and other arrangements designed for them by Gail Shrott, Director of GlobalPittsburgh’s International Leaders Program.

Nathaniel Phillips, Manager of 
Business Development at Mascaro 
Construction Co. (standing), met on 
June 17 with Open World Leadership 
Center-sponsored group from 
Kazakhstan examining Alternative 
Energy and Green Business
Our organization arranges logistics (hotels, transportation, meals, etc.) as well as appointments tailored to meet participants’ specific training goals. Additionally, GlobalPittsburgh partners with departments at regional universities and with other organizations and companies to enhance their training offerings. 

For these partners, we may arrange meetings with professionals addressing a very specific issue relevant to the interests of the training participants, or may arrange dinners or homestays with host families to help participants feel more welcome and more connected to the Pittsburgh region.
  
The training programs designed and implemented by GlobalPittsburgh are frequently sponsored by federally-funded programs, such as the Open World Leadership Center, and are created in close collaboration with our clients.

Kevin Sheen, Senior Director,
Development, EverPower Wind
Holdings, Inc. also met with
the group on June 17.
From June 13-22, GlobalPittsburgh hosted a group of five Open World delegates from Kazakhstan examining the topic of “Alternative Energy and Green Business.” 

According to the facilitator accompanying the group, Ms. Yuliya Beloslyudseva, “The program…covered many various themes and was very dynamic.”

GlobalPittsburgh arranged homestays for the delegates, daily transportation to and from meetings and activities, as well as fifteen interactive meetings or tours with local leaders working on the themes explored by the delegation.


Hosts Gail and Richard Kepple with 
Fulbright Scholar from Thailand, 
Anuchaya Montakantiwong 
on March 21.
Earlier this year, on Friday evening, March 21, GlobalPittsburgh worked in collaboration with the Institute for International Education to arrange dinners for 139 Fulbright Scholars attending a Fulbright Enrichment Seminar.  


Our organization coordinated small group dinners with a total of 44 host families, and orchestrated the logistics of having the Scholars connect with their hosts in four different areas of the city or suburbs.

GlobalPittsburgh has the capacity to arrange a training itinerary or training enhancements such as homestays or hosted dinners for small groups or individuals. For more information, please contact Gail Shrott at gshrott@globalpittsburgh.org.
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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Produce to People Program at Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank Distributes Fruits and Vegetables to Households in Need at 16 Area Locations Per Month

The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank's Produce to People Program distributes fresh fruits and vegetables to thousands of households in need every month at 16 locations throughout the region. (See chart below.)

Produce to People is meant to complement food households receive from area food pantries, providing items the pantries cannot stock or move quickly. Produce to People is open to anyone in need of food, including those already receiving food from a pantry. CLICK HERE for a list of local food pantries.

Produce to People has one distribution per month at 16 different sites: McKees Rocks, Braddock, Homewood, North Side, McKeesport, Duquesne, Allegheny Valley, South Side, Waynesburg, West Greene County, Butler, Beaver Falls, Aliquippa, Johnstown, Dunbar, and New Castle. CLICK HERE for a map of area distribution sites.

Any Pennsylvania household can qualify for the distributions in one of three ways:
- If total household income is below 150% of the federal poverty level. CLICK HERE to view guidelines.
- Receiving Social Security Retirement, Disability, Unemployment benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, or SNAP benefits (Food Stamps).
- Experiencing a food emergency, whether because of a recent move, a power outage that knocked out your refrigerator, or any other reason.


CLICK HERE FOR P2P Distribution Site Locations
Qualified Pennsylvania residents from any location are welcome at any of the distributions. Registration is not limited by county, township or any other geographic factor. For example, a resident of Evans City might go to any of the distributions in Butler, New Castle, Beaver Falls or Aliquippa, or even Pittsburgh, if they are willing to travel that far and can’t make a distribution nearby.

Registration happens at the distributions. Documentation is not required. Upon registration, recipients will sign a legal document certifying that they qualify for the food and answer a few questions about household size and location.

Recipients may be leaving with up to 50 pounds of food, so they are asked to bring something to help carry it all away: a box, strong bags, or ideally a cart with wheels. No bags or boxes are provided. Also, please dress appropriately for standing outside for up to an hour, and please do not arrive more than an hour before each distribution. 


For up-to-date information about Allegheny County Produce to People distributions, call 412-460-3663 ext. 727.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan Starts June 28; Local Groups Offer Public Interfaith Dinners to Raise Awareness

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims in Pittsburgh and around the world fast during daylight hours, begins June 28. Several local organizations will hold public interfaith dinners, known as Iftars, to raise awareness of their faith and Ramadan traditions.

On the evenings of June 30 and July 1-2, the Turkish Cultural Center of Pittsburgh and the Intercultural Dialogue Group of University of Pittsburgh will host Iftar Dinner Tent gatherings at 8:54 p.m. (sunset) on the lawn of the Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., in Oakland. The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited to 200 people each night.

On July 13, the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh will host its annual Humanity Day Celebration to honor members of the Pittsburgh community who are working to initiate dialogue and build bridges, thereby strengthening our bonds of humanity. The 6:30 p.m. event is open to people of all faiths, and will be followed by a complimentary Iftar banquet. More information is available at http://www.icp-pgh.org/humanity-day. The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh is located at 4100 Bigelow Blvd. in Oakland.

One of the five pillars of Islam, Ramadan is a time when the principles of generosity and hospitality become especially important. The breaking of the fast every evening, the Iftar, is an event where people traditionally host their neighbors and friends for dinner.

Several local restaurants also are serving Iftar dinners, including Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District, and Palmyra, which is located downtown. For more information, go to http://bit.ly/1lVnqSS for the article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

International Newcomers in Pittsburgh Urged to Sign Up for Mayor Peduto's Free Evening Civic Leadership Academy


Fall class designed to bring together 
U.S. born residents and new Americans

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is urging international newcomers and business owners living in the city to participate in the Fall 2014 Civic Leadership Academy (CLA), a free 10-week evening course to learn about city government and its departments. This season, the CLA will designate half of its available slots for new Americans and recent immigrants as part of the City’s Welcoming Pittsburgh initiative.

"The Civic Leadership Academy has empowered countless Pittsburgh residents to improve their communities and play an active role in local government," Peduto said. "By aligning with Welcoming Pittsburgh, we are opening the halls of government to all who contribute to the fabric of our community and fuel our economy.'

The Academy gives participants an opportunity to interact one-on-one with city department directors and staff members through tours, interactive presentations, and hands-on demonstrations. Program topics include city planning, urban redevelopment, public works, park services, protection of our waterways and rivers, public safety and more. To date, the City has held 11 classes with nearly 200 graduates.

The Academy will meet every Wednesday evening from September 10 to November 12; sessions run from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Applications are available online at http://www.pittsburghpa.gov/cla and must be submitted by July 11th.  Applicants must be at least 18 years old, live within city limits or be a business owner who operates within city limits.

To apply to the Civic Leadership Academy, go to http://pittsburghpa.gov/servepgh/cla/application

For more information on the Civic Leadership Academy, go to http://pittsburghpa.gov/mayor/release?id=3198

For more information on Welcoming Pittsburgh, go to http://pittsburghpa.gov/mayor/release?id=3112

Since 2011, servePGH has led the Civic Leadership Academy. This year, servePGH is excited to announce a partnership with the Office of Community Affairs which will take a leading role for this initiative. Please call Community Affairs at 412-255-4773 or email sally.stadelman@pittsburghpa.gov for more information about the Civic Leadership Academy.

ABOUT WELCOMING PITTSBURGH
Welcoming Pittsburgh is a citywide initiative to celebrate the city’s immigrant past and build a more welcoming future. Through heightened inclusivity, the city strives to boost the quality of life and economic prosperity for all. Welcoming Pittsburgh is part of Welcoming America, a national and grassroots-driven collaborative that promotes cooperation between foreign-born and U.S.-born Americans.

ABOUT COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
In an effort to respond to the needs of all of our 90 neighborhoods, Mayor Peduto created the Office of Community Affairs. The Community Affairs team has visited dozens of neighborhoods already, attending community meetings, responding to constituent needs, and assisting City Council in addressing ongoing challenges. The Office of Community Affairs is another example of Mayor Peduto’s commitment to serving all of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods.

ABOUT SERVEPGH
The Civic Leadership Academy is one of eight volunteer-fueled initiatives of the city’s servePGH initiative. Through these eight initiatives, citizens have been engaged in service to revitalize City blocks, restore homes of vulnerable residents, help middle-school youth navigate life’s challenges and more. To date, over 9,000 volunteers have committed over 57,000 hours of service through servePGH. Additional information is available at pittsburghpa.gov/servepgh.
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