- 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.
The Grow Sto-Rox collaborative exists to improve the quality of life of Sto-Rox residents through programs which are trauma informed, strengths based, and create equitable economic impact.
Communities in Schools of Pittsburgh Allegheny County (CISPAC) – Bridget Clement, Executive Director
Focus on Renewal (FOR) – Cindy Haines, Executive Director, Adrienne Roberts, Dorian Glenn
McKees Rocks Community Development Corporation (MRCDC) – Taris Vrcek, Executive Director
Sto-Rox School District (SRSD) – Frank Dalmas, Superintendent, Samantha Levitzki, School Board
Zellous Hope Project (ZH) – Denise Zellous, Executive Director
The Sto-Rox community is composed of the racially-diverse, Pittsburgh rust belt communities of Stowe Township and McKees Rocks Borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. In 2014, an Allegheny County Department of Human Services study ranked Sto-Rox as a “Distressed Community”– the highest designation of rural and suburban poverty based on the number of single-mother households, unemployed males, housing vacancy and transportation scarcity. The Sto-Rox School District (SRSD), serving approximately 1,500 students 100% of whom qualify for free-and-reduced price lunch, has historically been one of the lowest performing school districts in Pennsylvania, known for significant gaps in digital access and struggles with charter school competition.
Despite these challenges the Sto-Rox community has many resources: over 10 Early Childhood Educational facilities, 5 Out-of-School (OST) providers, an active Community Development Corporation (MRCDC), revitalizing business and manufacturing bases, and a strong anchor human services organization (FOR) which runs a Community Resource Center and a powerhouse community arts center.
In 2014, when faced with budget and capacity constraints, SRSD called on local organizations to support critical youth and family programming. In response, the McKees Rocks CDC (MRCDC), Focus on Renewal (FOR) and over 15 other local organizations convened to form the “Sto-Rox Youth Partnership,” (SRYP) aimed at improving outcomes for youth and families. The SRSD and community partnered with Communities In Schools Pittsburgh – Allegheny County (CISPAC) to help guide the vision and resources. In 2017, the MRCDC, FOR, SRSD and CISPAC strengthened the efforts of the SRYP by forming an executive level steering committee and identifying key focus areas to support the work happening on the ground.
Concurrently, the McKees Rocks CDC (MRCDC) and Focus on Renewal (FOR) partnered with New Sun Rising (NSR) in 2016 to lead the development of a revisioning and activation plan while more deeply engaging the Sto-Rox community. The plan emphasized the voices and empowerment of stakeholders throughout the process, with special attention to underrepresented citizens. Building upon this research and feedback on the community’s development priorities, NSR, MRCDC, and FOR facilitated the Ignite Sto-Rox startup workshop in 2017 to identify local social entrepreneurs and provided ongoing intensive development support to 10 organizations through the Launch Sto-Rox incubator in 2018.
Building upon this period of increased collaboration throughout the community, New Sun Rising (NSR) began to meet with stakeholders to identify opportunities for transformational collective impact. Existing workforce and economic development assets were numerous but disconnected, including: Youth Workforce programs (Studio Sto-Rox Career Readiness, STEAM, Project Future and Learn & Earn), Adult Workforce programs (Pre-Apprenticeship Academy, Career Placement Services, and Asset Building), plans to establish a “Learning Campus” where Sto-Rox H.S. serves as a hub for learners of all ages, a “Maker & Co-Working Facility (The Joinery) that would include establishing a light manufacturing space, and most importantly a commitment to prioritize community outreach and engagement to vulnerable residents in all decisions through programs like “Voices of the Community” and related support from The Zellous Hope Project.
In August 2019, the Grow Sto-Rox founding partners (listed above) first met as a collaborative and committed to increase their efficacy by fully embracing the tenants of collective impact planning as it works to improve the quality of life of Sto-Rox residents through trauma informed, strength-based programs that improve the equitable economic future of the community. The founding partners acknowledge that this work is not possible without building trust, engaging the community, eliminating locally defined disparities, developing a culture of continuous improvement, and leveraging existing assets.
In acknowledgement of this shared vision and commitment, the Grow Sto-Rox collaborative was accepted into the inaugural year of The Forbes Funds C3 (Catalyst Community Cohort) program in late 2019. The C3 program provides funding and mentorship that will serve to advance the collaborative’s planning and capacity building efforts as they move towards implementation.
Grow Sto-Rox creates pathways to the middle class for multi-generational residents by achieving the following goals, which are informed by local research presented in “Recommendations for an Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Agenda for Pittsburgh” from Urban Kind and based upon “The Path to an All In Pittsburgh” from Policy Link.
G1: Grow good accessible jobs that provide pathways to the middle class
G2: Increase the economic security and mobility of vulnerable families and workers
G3: Cultivate homegrown talent through a strong cradle-to-career pipeline
G4: Create a healthy, opportunity-rich neighborhood for all
The founding partners of the Grow Sto-Rox collaborative fully believe that our goals can only be achieved by implementing solutions which are Trauma informed and Strengths-based. Initial activities include training and community engagement on developing these two competencies – as well as systemic racism education.
Trauma informed is realizing that every individual’s experience results in varying levels of trauma that plays a big role in how they respond to everyday interactions. People develop masks to hide the fact that they are traumatized. In community, these masks manifest in real ways, such as mental health with addiction, indifference in hyper masculinity, and false confidence hiding fear in educators. Trauma-informed approaches allow you to take your own mask off and engage with the real person. Being vulnerable and recognizing that trauma is manifesting in another human being provides people with a different experience, avoiding the reinforcement of their current mental model. Providers must be aware of our own triggers, levels of chronic stress, and ability to avoid escalation by reframing conversations. Dealing with trauma has been relatively absent in our community and is critical for people to move into strengths-based approaches and ultimately, equitable economic growth.
Strengths-based means genuinely getting to know the people that you are working with and valuing that their knowledge and experience can be used to help them reach their goals. Providers, leaders, and peers must develop the ability to truly meet people where they are at – sometimes that can mean admiring people for just showing up. People who are caught in generational poverty are made to feel less important than others. In order to break this cycle we must understand what success looks like to each individual, help them to see their strengths, and build upon them. People who feel powerless need to be given options and have the opportunity to share how they feel. By facilitating a greater understanding and practice of strengths-based approaches throughout the broader community, Grow Sto-Rox will help to lift the power of individuals in poverty to participate in their own growth. Not by leading, but by following their lead.
The Crisis Mitigation Relief Fund (the “Fund”) provides up to $5,000 to small businesses and nonprofits who demonstrate critical economic needs as a result of unemployment or underemployment due to the COVID-19 crisis.
NSR is committed to increasing data sharing and transparency. Please click the Fund Overview image to learn more about applicants, funded organizations, and community needs supported. Special thanks to the generous and timely support of the Hillman Foundation for providing $100,000 in seed funding. Applications are currently closed due to depletion of funds. If you are interested to contribute or partner, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or consider making a donation.
Successful applicants receive funds and technical assistance by selecting between two options:
- Loan Repayment. Organizations who do not elect the Loan Forgiveness option will enter into a standard loan agreement (0% interest, 3 year term, 6 month no payments)
- Vibrancy Corps (Loan Forgiveness). Organizations that elect to participate in the Vibrancy Corps are eligible for full loan forgiveness. The Vibrancy Corps requires organizations to make a 1-3 month commitment to use funds to implement projects which address community needs. Failure to complete a final report of Vibrancy Corps activity will result in a default to the Loan Repayment option.
- Create Impact. Use your organization’s products, services, or staff to address a validated community need, improve public health and safety, or help other organizations to improve their operations or generate income during COVID-19 recovery. Positive community impacts of your work should be reasonably expected within 30 days. Note: Vibrancy Corps activity will be reported as 1099 activity for individuals and for-profit businesses, and as an award to non-profits.
- Connect. Attend a 1-hour phone or online weekly support meeting with other Corps members. Provide photos of you and your team doing this work so we can amplify your organization through our media channels.
- Be Flexible. We encourage flexibility, creativity, and adaptiveness when proposing Vibrancy Corps projects. Organizations will have the opportunity to share high level details in the program application.
Fund availability is contingent upon available financial resources. New Sun Rising reserves the right to adapt Fund goals at any time to reflect the emerging nature of community needs.
ELIGIBILITY, APPLICATION, + DETERMINATION
Nonprofits, for profit businesses, social enterprises, and cooperatives in Allegheny and Beaver County, are all eligible to apply. New Sun Rising reserves the right to prioritize support for organizations who have previously participated in our programs. Organizations are not eligible if they have received Crisis Mitigation Relief Funds in the last 12 months, are seeking support for candidate campaigns or other partisan activity, leadership transitions, or start up costs.
Applications to the Fund are to be completed online or, if technology creates a barrier, through an application interview scheduled by emailing email@example.com. All applicants are vetted by a diverse Fund Committee, composed of New Sun Rising staff and community representatives, following the Selection Criteria.
Initial application deadline has passed on April 3rd. Applications received by 11:59PM on the deadline dates will receive a notification of their status within one week. Additional dates will be communicated through the New Sun Rising website (newsunrising.org) and social media accounts as determined by fund availability.
As part of the Crisis Mitigation Relief Fund, New Sun Rising and program partners will also provide recipients with support services and educational opportunities. This could include topics such as operations, human resources, finances, and leadership resilience to support organizations through the crisis. Peer support will occur through weekly Vibrancy Corps check ins.
Due to the rapid response nature of this Fund and evolving community conditions, the following criteria will be used to guide due diligence. All decisions will be made by a diverse Fund Committee, including New Sun Rising staff and community representatives, according to the NSR Vibrancy Score Rubric and prioritized using the following criteria:
- Values: Organizations who demonstrate a commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion throughout their staff, the people they serve, and community partners that are most impacted by racial and economic inequities will be prioritized. (e.g. communities of color, immigrants, refugees, formerly incarcerated residents, youth, low-wage workers, people with disabilities, low-income residents, LGBTQ community members, etc.)
- Need: Organizations who demonstrate a critical need for funds due to unemployment or underemployment since the COVID-19 breakout will be prioritized.
- Impact: Organizations who have products or services that serve basic human needs, public health and safety, or help other organizations to operate virtually or generate income will be prioritized. Operations must occur within publicly accepted and government mandated public health and safety standards.
The Crisis Mitigation Relief Fund is made possible through the responsive and extraordinary support of the Henry L. Hillman Foundation. Please consider a donation to help us support more organizations and leaders through this crisis.
RiverWise is a newly launched initiative in Beaver County focused on using our rivers and their surrounding communities as wisely as possible. At the heart of this work is a concerted effort to organize stakeholders to dream, learn, and collaborate about the future of our rivers. We are encouraging this process in two ways. First, we are forming ecodistricts in three communities (Aliquippa, Monaca, and Beaver Falls). Second, we are conducting community assessments in a handful of river facing communities (to be determined) aimed at growing the infrastructure on the rivers, creating access to the rivers, and generating meaningful connections between the rivers and the communities through which they flow.
It’s been an exciting first year for RiverWise and its growing list of partners. We’ve learned, dreamed, and collaborated together about the future of our region. We’ve set in place some very exciting projects. And we’ve bolstered relationships born out of shared vision and purpose. Take a look at this year-end retrospective of the work of our partners.
The Future of Petrochemicals in Western Pennsylvania – A Community Perspective
Three weeks ago, on October 30, 2019, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto publicly announced his opposition to additional petrochemical development in Western Pennsylvania. Responses to the Mayor’s comments were substantial and swift, quickly generating the kind of polarization that has become all too familiar in public discourse about important and contentious topics.
To date, the vast majority of voices speaking into this matter have come from outside of Beaver County, home to the most substantial petrochemical buildout in Western Pennsylvania. When Beaver County voices have been present in this conversation, little attention has been paid to the complex issues faced by community members who are most affected by regional decision making. This document seeks to widen the terms of the ongoing conversation, bringing to bear insight gained from working alongside more than fifty community organizations and several hundred residents who are seeking wisely to navigate the quickly changing landscape that is Beaver County.
Make no mistake: Beaver County is forging a new path for our future. We are embracing competence and vision, moving toward wisdom, and enacting principled change. Continue reading…
“Through science, we shall know it to be correct; through art, we shall know it to be beautiful”
The South Hilltop Men’s Group is a non-profit project of New Sun Rising, directed by Beltzhoover native, Jmar Bey. Their mission is to promote environmental protection through community training programs that use sustainable practices. With a broader goal to create hope and opportunity for those who have none. Since 2015, the South Hilltop Men’s Group has been working to support the responsible and inclusive revitalization of Beltzhoover.
In order to address widespread problems like blight and abandonment, lack of resources, and excessive unemployment while preserving and developing assets within the community, New Sun Rising and the South Hilltop Men’s Group acquired 600 Beltzhoover Ave on November 1, 2019 to become the eventual Beltzhoover Institute of Arts & Sciences. The proposed renovation will be led by the South Hilltop Men’s Group, creating a hub for revitalization and local jobs while addressing environmental issues. Allegheny County Economic Development has also approved a $250,000 CITF grant to support the initial phase of work.
The building is strategically located along Beltzhoover Avenue, a major artery that connects McKinley Park and Emerald View Park, serving as a hub for learning, training, and creativity and connecting related projects along an eco-corridor. To support work in combating blight the project will be anchored by two departments: the Wangari Maathai Environmental Laboratory and an Art Studio. Together, these departments will provide space and opportunities for residents to become engaged in the revitalization of the community.
The Wangari Maathai Environmental Laboratory will provide space for equipment, research, and education on urban environmental topics, focusing on green space management. The Laboratory is named after Wangari Maathai, who became the first African woman and first environmentalist to receive a Nobel Peace prize. Maathai studied at the University of Pittsburgh and later founded the Green Belt Movement, which creates employment to combat deforestation through sustainable practices. The Laboratory will be located on the same block as the Lots of Pride experimental research garden. This project is actively testing various methods for soil remediation using sustainable, low-cost techniques. The strategically located site provides outdoor practical research space that will be supported by the Laboratory.
In addition to the laboratory and art studio, this building will feature green infrastructure and sustainable technologies which will also serve as educational tools, as the building itself will be transformed into a living classroom. For example, a rooftop greenhouse will be used to incubate plants for the various neighborhood community gardens. Stormwater will be captured for irrigation and cleaning on the property. A 2,000 gallon fish tank will display Pennsylvania’s native fish species and spread awareness about the importance of wildlife management. Solar energy will be used to power any lighting or other equipment. Mesh networking will be used to provide free internet access to project participants and local residents. All of these various components serve multiple purposes with education and awareness at the heart of it all.
The importance of this project isn’t just about rehabbing a building. The importance of this project is about resurrecting a neighborhood and bringing hope to a broken community. This building serves as a metaphoric symbol of our neighborhood. Battered and blighted it stands as one of the last commercial buildings left, in a once beautiful and proud area. A once happy community full of friendly people and thriving businesses. A safe place for children with a good school and good neighbors. The kind of place to raise a family in.
ReEngage is a live conference that inspires and empowers veterans to embrace their post-military purpose, connect to resources within their communities, and take the next step towards their greatest potential. It also provides an opportunity for community members to connect to the veterans around them and better understand their journeys.
The inaugural conference will take place on Saturday, March 7, 2020 at the Heinz History Center in the Strip District. There will be interactive breakout sessions, dynamic panel discussions, and motivational keynote speakers, including Pittsburgh Steelers legend and Vietnam war veteran, Rocky Bleier.
ReEngage is honored to partner with the following organizations for the 2020 conference: Veterans Breakfast Club, The Mission Continues, Veterans Leadership Program, Pittsburgh Hires Veterans, Operation Homefront, Adventures in Training with a Purpose, The Vet Center, Robert Morris University’s Center for Veterans and Military Families, and Duquesne University’s Office for Military and Veteran Students.
Our Project Pipeline Programming is designed to provide educational and mentoring opportunities for minority students as they matriculate through grade school, college, and the process of becoming licensed architects upon graduation.
We currently facilitate education programs for youth in Middle & High School through our annual architecture camp and design workshops. Providing students with exposure to architecture at a young age gives each child an opportunity to discover their artistic and technical passions early in their educational development. Students, parents, teachers, and counselors can then place students in classes that will build on the student’s interest in architecture and design.
As our older students enter college, we provide mentoring opportunities, portfolio reviews, and job shadowing experiences to give students a chance to walk a day in the shoes of an architect. We also encourage college students to join or even start a local NOMAS student chapter at their respective colleges and universities.
After college, we support emerging professionals through the Architectural Registration Exams by providing access to study materials, mentoring and study cohort groups. Our Licensed professionals have the opportunity to serve as mentors, grow as business owners and become key players at some of Pittsburgh’s most respected architecture firms.
PGH Map Lab is a social enterprise that empowers neighborhoods, non-profits, and municipalities to make data-driven decisions through the creation of maps, apps, and storytelling tools. We are motivated by healthy, equitable, resilient communities. It is our belief that a holistic approach to community development starts with good planning, which requires the best data possible. Our interest is to help organizations and municipalities find, use, and analyze this data to make better informed decisions.
PGH Map Lab is dedicated to enhancing the GIS capacity of individuals and organizations for the benefit of the greater good. Our vision of the Map Lab is an accessible, hand on learning space to test out innovative geospatial and data technologies. We will connect social justice, art, environment, and land use planning through the use of maps. It is our hope that these unique applications will provide clear communication and positively impacting local communities.