Thank you very much to all of you who attended the "Critical Discussion and Analysis of the Community Benefits Agreement Process, Neighborhood Self-Determination and the One Hill Controversy" at the University of Pittsburgh.
Our discussion was riveting and I’m very pleased with the participation, the folks who came from the Hill (including One Hill members) and even from other neighborhoods, members of Pittsburgh United and the students, faculty and administrators who were in attendance. I was truly pleased by the amount and makeup of the audience, especially given our date changes and the many conflicting events occurring throughout the city.
Certainly, One Hill leadership and that of Pittsburgh United were missed on the panel, as it was never intended to be without these two organizations in formal representation; but many thanks to our panelists:
David Richardson, Center for Family Excellence, Hill District
Good Reverend Doctor James McLemore, Bethel AME Church, the oldest church in the Hill, displaced from the Lower Hill in the '50's
Marimba Milliones, Chair, Hill Community Development Corporation
Dr. Kimberly C. Ellis, Department of Africana Studies, Chair, Historic Hill Initiative
and our moderator,
Erv Dyer, Senior Editor, Pitt News, formerly served 16 years with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
for adding such a great level of diversity in perspective and approach, with regard to social services, faith-based institutions, development agencies and, certainly, the role of the press. My work was to provide an historical and political analysis of how we arrived at this point in the City and in our neighborhood. We then all answered questions posed by our moderator and then opened it up to Q & A from the audience.
Special thanks, also, to Dr. Ralph Bangs and Dr. John Wallace, of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Race and Social Problems for providing the kind of statistical analysis of “the state of Black Pittsburgh” so desperately needed for the City and important to include on this panel.
We were all able to provide perspective and insight into the Hill District and the CBA process, within a free, open, safe and secure space, to the extent that we all learned something and are now even more committed to the goal of securing a CBA and ushering the Hill District community swiftly and powerfully into the 21st century.
While others were and are intent to believe that the discussion and analysis were meant to be a One Hill / Pittsburgh United bash fest, everyone proved otherwise and we remain firmly committed to the idea and implementation of the series. The Chair of our department was exceptionally pleased with the discussion and found it entirely necessary, as did everyone else.
We lost some of our panelists with our date change but we will sweep them up again.
In the future, One Hill and Pittsburgh United will be invited again, in their formal capacity and we hope they each take advantage of the opportunity to teach and to learn.
I'll take your questions now.
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