- be an organization populated & led by people who are affected by OCD;
- foster a vibrant OCD community by offering support groups, social gatherings, community projects, & artistic endeavors;
- champion OCD-specific peer support & OCD-specific peer sponsorship;
- provide education about OCD & proven treatment modalities such as Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP);
- advocate for redefined health insurance standards & guidelines for OCD treatment providers;
- be ambassadors for our community.
SkatePlus is a non-profit project of Shred Your Fears with a mission of promoting health, creativity, and education through skateboarding.
We held our first workshop (Skate+Write) in December 2019 in partnership with Write Pittsburgh and Switch & Signal Skatepark. This event for female-identifying and non-binary teens ages 11-14 combined learning to skateboard with a creative writing workshop led by Shred Your Fears Founder Maya Haptas.
We are launching our next event Skate+Construct in Spring 2021. For Skate+Construct, artist Abe Dubin (Orange Man) will be constructing unique, skateable art from items collected during a community clean-up.
To be notified by email of future events and programs sign up here.
“If you empower women, you can change the world.” Tabitha’s Daughters believes this assertion.
Where women gather to transform an issue or challenge, you will find our stories of strength, resilience, and determination. We want to change Pittsburgh! In order to change our city – a city where women, and especially African-American women are living with health, educational, housing, and economic disparities that are ” the worst in the nation,” (based on the Gender Equity Commission Report of 2019), women must be a part of the solutions for change. In a city which claims to be the “most livable city in America,” women must force change in political, social, educational, and economic systems that impede our progress and keep us from participating in the growing prosperity of Pittsburgh.
Our project is a social justice initiative where women of all ages and ethnicities are invited to be a part of the transformational change that needs to happen in Pittsburgh. Using the Gender Equity Commission Report as the framework, we will gather to analyze and honestly discuss this report, choose an indicator to attack, and build an initiative that will improve, via one of the 5 indicators, the living standard of women in our city. This project will involve 3-4 mini symposiums where experts will assist us in being a part of what must change in our city.
Training the Trainers – Interactions that will employ techniques and strategies to train those who will lead the discussion group and build the strategies for affecting the negative indicators affecting women.
1st Mini – Symposium – Collaborating with experts on the Gender Equity Commisison Report that can lead the women who gather to understand and unpack the report.
2nd Mini- Symposium – Group “table talks” on what the report means to the women mentioned in the report (African-American, Latina, Asian, & Euro-American women)
3rd Mini- Symposium – Choosing one of the 6 indicators (health mortality, infant mortality, educational, housing, economic) to build a strategy of improvement and impact around. Building out an initiative that partners with collaborators to continue to work the program and promote change.
why we’re doing it
Tabitha’s Daughters believes the “future is female.” Women, who occupy more space on the globe than men, must be moved to leadership positions that allow us to be a part of our own solution. Our project, through the information provided in the Gender Equity Commission report, allows women to take ahold of our own future. This report gives us the problems and challenges; now, Tabitha’s Daughters wants to build out solutions to create equity within our city for women who live, work, worship, and support their families.
Our project will ultimately be a solution to the statistics housed in the Gender Equity Commission report through concerted action. Whether educational, health, housing, or economic disparities, we will work one of these indicators to viable solutions and affect change in the city. We believe that small groups can make a difference and this project is constructed to make that difference.
The “Unshakeable Motherhood” Project is a movement for new mothers, veteran mothers and soon to be mothers with similar desires and interest. Over the past two years, we have raised funding to support the training of seven aspiring African American birth doulas while offering community educational workshops that educated the community of doula support that lead up to a one-night event. Which offered the opportunity for each expecting mother to explore new options and find resources on the aspects of pregnancy, birth, babies, or parenthood that are most important to her. We provided attendees with the opportunity to consistently be refreshed, build relationships with a community of moms to be restored by education and proper guidance.
The mission is to establish a community of diverse women who support, exhort and encourage one another along the journey of motherhood. The goal is to ensure Pennsylvania adopts and maintains an adequate system for inspiring and educating women and mothers through proper parenting skills, financial foundations and navigation support.
The “Unshakeable Motherhood” project will extend to connect and build with the original selected birth workers that we have fund raised to support birth doula’s with training funds. As these birth workers will contribute maternity, birth, postpartum and beyond lessons. This would include parenting workshops, breastfeeding guidance, birth prep class, vegan eating guidance, virtual parent empowerment support group and inspirational talks with professionals. We will offer yearly membership options where mothers can have access to exclusive content that can help them in other areas after birth such as parenting and homeschooling methodology.
As the app and membership hub of video lessons and tutorials will offer support, educate and exhort women in their motherhood journey. Unshakeable Motherhood teaching videos, free informational downloadables and blog series spotlighting mothers, physicians and therapists. Mothers will have the opportunity to select a mommy concierge based off her profile to be able to support her prenatal and postpartum lifestyle needs.
Visible Hands creates a cohort of community mental health workers who are
certified to perform ICT, a unique form of community therapy that requires only short-term training, can accommodate groups from 15-200 people, and can be performed successfully in an online format.
Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books Sponsorships
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Note on Commercial Theater by Langston Hughes
You’ve taken my blues and gone
You sing ’em on Broadway
And you sing ’em in Hollywood Bowl,
And you mix them up with symphonies
And you fix ’em
So they don’t sound like me.
Yep, you done taken my blues and gone.
You also took spirituals and gone.
You put me in Macbeth and Carmen Jones
And all kinds of Swing Mikados
And in everything but what’s about me
But someday somebody’ll
Stand up and talk about me,
And write about me
Black and beautiful
And sing about me,
And put on plays about me!
I reckon it’ll be
Yes, it’ll be me.
DEMASKUS is a national service-oriented collective of artists and administrators seeking to make known the messages of the marginalized. We achieve this through the production and presentation of quality, compassionate, and inclusive artistic events. Everything around us is changing, but our purpose has not. Now more than ever, we must share profound truths from formally marginalized voices that refuse to go unheard and may even offer solutions and solace in a world in dire need of uncompromising reminders of what makes us most humane.
Most Christians will immediately associate DEMASKUS with Damascus–the Syrian capital that is home to the road where Saul of Tarsus had his transformative encounter with God. God struck Saul blind and confronted him about his past. High-born and scholarly, Saul was prone to violence toward early adopters of Christianity. The Collective’s name embodies the idea of revealing the truths that lie beneath the mask(s) of our own blind behavior and beliefs. Art, at its best, helps us to rethink and reimagine that which we think we know. Consciously removing a metaphorical mask certainly requires self-examination. (Based on an exchange with DTC member the Rev. Dr. Leah Lewis, J.D., alluding to Acts 9:1-8). Another source of inspiration for our work is the historic and notable poem, We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar. Whatever the masks you wear, we invite you to lay them down and join us on a journey filled with crossroads, but free from the expectations and oppressive standards of others. Our art is about us, made by us at times and is always for us. There is freedom here. Welcome home.
Images: You Wouldn’t Expect Production Photos © Martha Rial
Images: WINE IN THE WILDERNESS- Production Photos © Sager McDill
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The Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books (GPFB) showcases Pittsburgh’s historic, vital role on the national and international literary stage. Readers, writers, booksellers, publishers, critics, educators, and neighbors will connect with, learn from, and support each other. With free, diverse programming featuring nationally recognized authors (many living in Western Pennsylvania), and across age, genre, and background, the Festival will celebrate the joys of literacy.
Pittsburgh is a city filled with both national best-selling authors and budding writers, as well as established literary organizations; university presses; publishers of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction; independent and used bookstores; an active literary and arts community; and readers of all ages.
An annual Pittsburgh book festival will tie all these assets together in one celebration. What’s more, book fairs and festivals create and support a community of readers, attract all ages, introduce and enhance a lifelong love of literature in young readers.
The STEM Leadership Center offers a space and support for youth in grades 6-16 to pursue real-world projects in science and technology. The Center works with our Odyssey Fellows to partner with leaders around the world seeking to solve the real problems, to make meaningful projects possible, and to stoke the fires of what makes them passionate imagineers of a more beautiful world. Fellows tell the stories of today’s scientific and technological breakthroughs through published books, web resources, electronics prototypes, YouTube videos, games, virtual and augmented realities, and mobile apps. Odyssey Fellows, with the help of our project managers, take their creations to regional and national STEM competitions, science fairs and maker faires.
We accept donations to support those fellows whose families cannot afford the monthly lab access fees. Donors may choose which fellowships to direct their monies to:
Current fellowships include:
Heroes of Math: Promoting a new Heroes of Math Medal for school to 3D print and award annually to a student of their choice. heroesofmath.weebly.com/
Charging into the Future: Investigating advances in battery technology of Electric Vehicles. chargingintothefuture.weebly.com/
4 Step Robotics: Prototyping a robotic kitten for use in Alzheimer’s research and treatment. 4steprobotics.weebly.com/
River Robots: Programming solutions to Ohio River water pollution riverrobots.weebly.com/
Bridge Builders of Tomorrow: Looking at new tech in bridge building and repair. bridgebuildersoftomorrow.weebly.com/
Into Words: Online Workshops and meetings centered around teaching effective communication skills. intowordsclub.weebly.com/
Catching RFID Waves: Celebrating RFID Tech and the IoT catchingrfidwaves.weebly.com/
Taking Root: Building a text based choose your own adventure Python game centered around the life of 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Awardee Wangari Mathai.
Fellowships continue throughout the year. Any royalties or profits are donated to charities chosen by each fellowship.
Pittsburgh Restaurant Workers Aid provides resources and community support to low-wage restaurant and hospitality workers who have lost financial, housing, food, and healthcare security. Built as a coalition of service industry workers in response to the economic distress caused by COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, our goal is to create a mutual aid network that can address immediate needs, through this crisis and beyond, by distributing food, baby necessities, pet care items, cleaning and hygiene products, and small emergency cash grants.
In response to the closure of dine-in facilities in Allegheny County on March 15th, we partnered with the Irma Freeman Center in Garfield to set up the Pittsburgh Restaurant Workers Aid Food Distribution Center. Since then, we have delivered close to 400 care packages to the front doors of low-wage restaurant workers in the region, from our next door neighbors to folks in neighboring counties. Our Food Distribution Center acts as a hub to collect donations from community members and partner organizations, assemble care packages, serve meals, allow neighbors to pick up groceries, and send out volunteer drivers with deliveries. These resources will aid low-wage neighbors to maintain food security for themselves and their families during times of need.
Through reaching out to our greater community for support, the folks who eat at our tables and celebrate at our bars, the communities around us that benefit from the vibrant culture created in our dining rooms and on our stages, we will be able to better recover from these hard times and welcome our guests back with open arms.
Make Music Pittsburgh’s mission is to connect all Pittsburgh community members, regardless of age, musical experience, or ability, to make and enjoy music every summer solstice, while also encouraging further participation in music-making.
Every year on June 21st, Pittsburgh neighborhoods are filled with music making opportunities. Make Music Pittsburgh aims to enhance the cultural vibrancy of every neighborhood in Pittsburgh by supporting the existing musical events, music friendly venues, and citizens interested in participatory music making opportunities. They facilitate events to play music outdoors and celebrate the joy and curiosity music can bring a community.
Make Music Pittsburgh aims to build a city where all community members are enabled to make music and feel connected and supported in their musical engagement.
The Brown Mama Monologues is an annual showcase of 10 African-American mothers telling their unique stories around being a black mother in America with the purpose of redefining the American motherhood narrative to be more inclusive of the black mothering experience.
After six months of rehearsals and speaking and writing coaching our moms take the stage to vocalize their trials and triumps around topics ranging from co-parenting to adoption and mommy-guilt. Since its inception, the Brown Mama Monologues has boasted over 300 attendees per show. Audience members leave our theaters using words like “unifying”, “relatable” and “long overdue” to describe the experience of hearing a mom, like them, give voice to her most vulnerable moments.
In 2020, for the first time in three years, our show will debut outside of the Pittsburgh region as 10 moms from the DC Metro area take the stage at the Bowie Center for Performing arts to become storytellers under the Brown Mama Monologues banner.