Crossing Fences — A Community Celebration

Crossing Fences

A community program based on a simple, age-old process ‒ people learning from one another through the oral tradition. There are stories, insights, perspectives and facts within all of us. And, all too often, we take little time to share them.

In Summer 2012, SLB convened groups of African American male students in Homewood, Hazelwood and the Hill District. While learning about digital audio recording, each group also spent time discussing attributes of male role models and identifying African American men with a connection to their community that could be interviewed. With support as needed, students then arranged, conducted and edited these interviews. The results were published in Homewood Voices, Hazelwood Voices and Hill District Voices, each a full-color book (with CD) with 1,000 copies distributed throughout the community.

A city-wide celebration was held at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture on November 15, 2012 and was attended by approximately one hundred people.  In addition to the participating men, boys and their families, attendees included   Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Peduto and broadcaster Chris Moore as well as representatives from The Heinz Endowments, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Carlow University and other community stakeholders.   Community-specific celebrations also were held at Center of Life in Hazelwood, the Homewood-Brushton YMCA and University Prep at Pittsburgh Milliones 6-12 in the Hill District on November 17, 19 and 20th, respectively.

Click here for more celebration photos by Joey Kennedy

This project was made possible by the African American Men and Boys Initiative of The Heinz Endowments with support from:


with additional support from the New Pittsburgh Courier, Kidsburgh and Spark, a program of The Sprout Fund.

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