June 27, 2022


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Pitt promotes CEC community development in the Hill District

4 min read

According to Allegheny Council to improve our neighborhoodPitts Auckland Campus Extended In relation to the urban renewal crisis in Pittsburgh in the 50s, a little less than a century ago. While the university did not have a direct attacker Displacement In Pittsburgh communities, she is actively working to heal relationships with these communities.

One way Pitt intends to do this is through community engagement centers, the oldest of which is located in Homewood and Founded in 2018. Meanwhile, located on Wiley Avenue, the Pitt CEC The Hill District is closest to Pitt’s Auckland campus.

Pitt’s current CEC building on Wiley Avenue in the Hill District.
(John Blair | Senior Staff Photographer)

Pitt’s Community Engagement Center Opened its doors Just a year ago in a mountainous district. As part of the CEC, Pitt has also confirmed 15 years commitment At least in this partnership neighborhood, according to Kirk Holbrook, director of Hill CEC. According to the CEC website, the goal of the time commitment is to allow the University and Pittsburgh communities to become stronger together.

At the beginning of its history, the building that now houses Pete CEC was at one time Pittsburgh Hebrew Institute. The building was used in the early 20th century as a place for cultural education for Jewish immigrant children. The Hebrew letter still stands over the door, declaring it a Pittsburgh Hebrew institution, although it no longer serves that purpose.

Later, 1908 became Wiley Avenue K Boys Club. The program served to provide after-school activities for boys, more commonly children who were affected by it. Economic turmoil At that time. Like the Pittsburgh Hebrew Institute, the Boys Club provides space for people with a common background to come together and collaborate.

Brenda Tate, longtime member and member of the community Neighborhood Advisory Council For the Hill District Community Engagement Center, she fondly remembers her childhood or the boys’ club.

“This house played a major role in my life and growing up. In fact, the room we stayed in was a kindergarten room, a young nursery-type room, ”Tate said. “When it was that boys club, I spent time in this room because you transition to a different room in each age group.”

According to Tate, Hill CEC is doing everything that previous organizations did in the same building – providing community space for meaningful outreach. While it is now a pit-attached building, its main goal is to serve as a resource for the community.

Now, both Pitt students and community members can come together and connect with the resources and programs offered by Hill CEC, according to Tate. The building is now called Blakey Program CenterTribute to Bill Blake, who did a great deal of community work through the Hill House Association.

According to Tate, Pitt had a low-ideal relationship with the Hill District community in the past. There is a main reason for this Urban renovation in Pittsburgh. Urban renovation took place during the 1950s, usually in cities across the country and also around the world. It includes plans to build various cities, while at the same time demolishing dilapidated buildings in poor areas. The black and immigrant population was disproportionately affected by various urban renewal projects.

In Pittsburgh, the Urban Redevelopment Authority Necessary buildings demolishedIncluding residences in the Lower Hill District to make way for the Civic Arena. Over time, the The Civic Arena was demolished But despite the trouble caused by the Civic Arena building, leaving the Hill District and moving the capital elsewhere in Pittsburgh gave it more impetus to remove.

The URA also demolished buildings now known as North Auckland. Although it is now considered primarily an area occupied by Pitt, it has not always been that way. Prior to urban renovation, North Auckland was considered part of the Hill District. The Coast Sports Center, Trees Hall and the Peterson Events Center are now there.

Regarding the commitment between Pitt and Hill District, another member of the Neighborhood Advisory Council for the Hill District Community Engagement Center, LaVet Wagner, said trust builds trust between the organization and the community when the organization is supportive.

“The organization is in the community for the right things, to help the community build community, not to take from and leave the community,” Wagner said.

According to Holbrook, the CEC regularly hosts programs that combine resources with Pete and the two have worked together to realize the ideas that the community has. Some programs are involved Career information sessions, Data literacy and skills training, PittServes And Swanson School Collaborative Outreach And others.

According to Marlow Hall, a community resident and former outreach coordinator at Hill CEC, accessibility is also crucial for the CEC to function. Center for CreativitySo phone calls and physical flyers are made in addition to online resources.

Right now, there’s Pitt રોકાણ 6 million investment At the New Grenada Theater and the brand new adjoining building that the Hill Community Development Corporation will develop as a new site for CEC in the Hill District.

The New Grenada Theater, Pitt’s new CEC building, on Center Avenue in the Hill District.
(John Blair | Senior Staff Photographer)

The important part about such an investment is that, according to Holbrooke, Pitt now has funds available to the community – this is not something he has to wait for. The money is not from loans or grants, Holbrook said, reflecting Pitt’s priorities in establishing good relations with the Hill District community.

According to Holbrooke, Pete has left ownership in the hands of each CEC to build stronger community relationships. Holbrooke said the goal is to maintain community engagement centers as a guaranteed hub between Pete and the communities he is working with.

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