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B-PEP summit seeks youth empowerment


them what they can do— not what they can’t,” she said. “I want to inspire peo- ple to go for it, to be deter- mined.” Asmore children and par-

ents arrived, themusic con- tinued and more joined in with free styling and im- promptu dance before ev- eryonemoved on to the Hill House Association for wel- coming presentations, lunch and the workshops at the Kaufmann Auditorium. Reggie Roberts from the

Black Political Empower- ment Project, was im- pressed by the young peo- ple coming over and intro- ducing themselves to him as they arrived, and thanked them for doing so. Flurry B., one of the dancers, said that was just part of the togetherness he is striving to inspire. “That’s what I want to come out of this,” he said. “We can’t be apart. We’ve still got a chance. I want unity. I want love.” The music continued at

the Kaufmann Auditorium with advisors and sponsors leading children in a West African call-and-response reinforcing the seven val- ues of Kwanza. Then singer Jacquea Mae lead everyone in a version of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” before introducing keynote speaker Celeste Taylor from B-PEP. Taylor, spoke of her inspi- rations growing up, chiefly

Gibson Gala

nial Negro League Gala, presented by PNC Bank, will be held on Saturday, Aug. 13 at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh in Down- town. Pittsburgh Steelers’ Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris, is serving as an honorary co-chair of the event along with his wife, Dana Harris. Josh Gibson, the star

catcher and prolific home run hitter for the Home- stead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords during the 1930s, was born on Decem- ber 21, 1911 in BuenaVista, Ga.Hemoved to Pittsburgh in 1923 when his father found work in the steel in- dustry. Gibson, who is often called “the Black Babe Ruth,” is believed to have hit nearly 800 home runs during his 17-year career. He died at the age of 35 in 1947 and was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1972.The Josh Gibson Cen- tennial Negro League Gala will be the signature event of this year’s celebration of his achievements. Hall of Famer Reggie Jack-

son will attend the Aug. 13 gala and accept the JoshGib- son Legacy Award. In addi- tion, members of the Pirates’ historic (and Major League Baseball’sfirst)all-Blackline- up that faced the Philadel- phia Phillies on Sept. 1, 1971 will be honored at the Josh Gibson Centennial Negro League Gala in conjunction with theG.I.B.S.O.N.Awards, which recognize outstanding achievement in government, sports, business, civil service, community service and edu- cation. Other G.I.B.S.O.N. Award

honorees include Rep. Jake Wheatley, Chuck Sanders, Jeremy Krock, Duquesne University, the 1971 All- Black Pirates line-up and the Tuskegee Airmen. “The 100th anniversary of

Josh Gibson’s birth provides a perfect time for us to rec- ognize his life and hismany achievements,” said Sean Gibson. “He was a great ballplayer and a great man, and I’m absolutely thrilled to have other great athletes such as Franco Harris, Reg- gie Jackson andAlOliver in- volved with our centennial gala.” Information regarding

tickets and sponsorship op- portunities for the Josh Gibson Centennial Negro League Gala are available by logging on to or by calling 412-771-6949.

her mother and her fa- vorite teacher. “He (her teacher) re- spected young people, and I want you to feel re- spected,” she said. “I want you to have a say in im- proving things.” Taylor then thanked those in the audience who had submitted reports and petitions in support of Jor- dan Miles, saying they in- spired her. “To see this gathering of

young people inspiring each other, inspiresme,” she said. “This iswhere you can share the good times.AliceWalker said, ‘anything we love can be saved.’ Let’s build this movement with peace, jus- tice, love and unity.” Following her remarks, B-PEP Chair Tim Stevens presented her with a painting done by her brother Marlon as a sur- prise—and it was.


AUGUST 10-16, 2011 A3

WATER OF LIFE—Jacquea Mae, of Sankofa, performs a West African libation ceremony at Freedom Corner with participants from the Aug. 5 Youth Empowerment Summit. (Photo by Rossano P. Stewart)

The children and older youth then split up to at- tend various workshops and classes including yoga,

health and wellness, sex- ual awareness, history, em- ployment and business, vi- olence prevention, and

family dynamics. The summit concluded

with entertainment by Gray and Penelope Howard

and dinner at the Ujamaa Open Air Marketplace. (Send comments to cmor-

Hill House selects Hall-Russell new CEO CONTINUED FROM A1 Hall-Russell is thefifthper- The Josh Gibson Centen- Hall-Russell completed two

son to lead the agency since its founding. She succeeds Victor Roque who resigned in June, and like Roque, she will also serve as president and CEO of the Hill House Economic Development Cor- poration. She starts her new position Sept. 1. “I’m very excited about coming to Pittsburgh. I didn’t know anything about the city, but I know about theHillHouse and their im- pact—so it’s not a mystery,” she said during a phone in- terview. “I’m pumped about the position and the oppor- tunities it presents.” After returning to Indiana,

master’s degree programs in nonprofit management and in philanthropic studies at Indiana University Purdue in Indianapolis. Hall-Russell currently

serves as CEO of the Indi- anaYouth ServicesAssocia- tion, which focuses on pre- venting juvenile delin- quency and providing crisis intervention, teen court, family counseling mentor- ing shelter and afterschool services and programming. Prior to that, she served as

vice president of Urban Ser- vices for the Greater Indi- anapolis YMCA. Her back- ground also includes eco- nomic development as the former executive director of the Indianapolis Coalition

for Neighborhood Develop- ment. Hall-Russell also servedasdirector of strategic services for the Community Centers of Indianapolis. Boards Chair Al Heiles

said Hall-Russell’s experi- ence is a perfectmatchwith the Hill House’s program- ming goals and initiatives. “Ms. Hall-Russell brings

to the table outstanding credentials and a deep un- derstanding of the issues the Hill House addresses every day,”he said. “She has committed her career to serving others and we couldn’t have found a better match for the Hill House.” Once on board, Hall-Rus-

sell will continue oversight of the HHEDC’s signature

development, Centre Hald- man Plaza. Currently under construction across Centre Avenue fromtheHillHouse, the plaza will house retail space and a 29,500 square- foot Shop ‘n Save grocery. Hall-Russell will also work

to expand and enhance the HillHouse’s stature as a pre- eminent


human services provider. The Hill House estimates it has provided education, health, community, and se- nior services to more than 500,000urbanresidents dur- ing the last 40 years. Inadditiontoher statewide

management experience, Hall-Russell is also a regis- tered lobbyist inIndiana. So, she also brings a successful

legacy of “shaking the tree” to her new post. “It’s a big part of what I

do,” she said. “If you can’t make the case for support, whether it’s financial or vol- unteer, you’re not doing your job.” Search Committee Co-

Chair Alex Johnson, said Hall-Russell will make a great addition to the Hill House and the community. “TheHillHouse will bene-

fit from her intelligence, community-minded ap- proach, and experience with the challenges non- profits face in this economic environment,” he said. “She’s an ideal fit.” (Send comments to cmor-

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