Frequently Asked Questions
What Are We Doing?
We are building a broad, cross-sectoral coalition of organizations and residents to create a platform of shared values centered on equity and justice.
The coalition and platform should reflect the realities and threats that COVID-19, environmental hazards, and climate change present to overburdened and under-resourced populations in Allegheny County and beyond.
To prioritize the voices and needs of overburdened and under-resourced populations
To build solidarity across issue areas and neighborhoods and municipalities → to DE-SILO and to work collectively
To strengthen organizations' and residents' ability to advance and achieve change. (We’ll do this through mutual support, replicating programs, scaling-up programs, connecting to resources, and so on)
To better reflect the complexity and interconnectedness of challenges and solutions. Problems and challenges are interconnected, so solutions need to reflect that. Solving one smaller, simpler issue won’t solve a bigger, more complex problem.
To anticipate and prepare for continued climate change and worsening income inequality. Climate change and income inequality are already getting worse.
To promote and secure equity, justice, and transformational change
To contribute to a narrative about building a better future, rather than the “back to normal” narrative. The pre-COVID-19 “normal” was really bad for a lot of people.
Organizations, neighborhood groups, advocacy groups, and individuals committed to equity and justice are all welcome to join the coalition.
UrbanKind Institute is the organization convening/hosting the coalition.
UrbanKind; Black Women, Wise Women; and Mongalo-Winston Consulting are the team managing the coalition. (“Project team”)
Current coalition partners include: Bob Damewood, Regional Housing Legal Services; Hill District Consensus Group; Malik Bankston; Neighborhood Allies; Pittsburgh United; and Riverside Center for Innovation. These organizations and individuals were part of the All-In Pittsburgh Initiative that the Equitable and Just Platform for Pittsburgh coalition is expanding on. 42 additional organizations and individuals have expressed their interest in continuing to being part of this work.
How Long Will This Take?
We are currently working on building the coalition and will soon start having meetings and conversations about the content of the platform. By next year, we plan to have a platform in place that the coalition can then use to push for change. Throughout the process of building the coalition and the platform, we will connect people and organizations with each other and activate other ways of mutual support and benefit.
How will we strengthen organizations' and residents' ability to advance and achieve change? (stated in “Why”)
Through the platform itself, we will provide better solutions for complex problems. We will push for the changes people want to see to make the region more equitable and just, now and in the future.
As a broad coalition supporting the platform, we can show elected and other government officials, corporations, banks, and foundations, what people want for the region.
We will also advance and achieve change while we build the coalition and platform and work together. We’ll do this through making-connections, mutual support, replicating programs in different neighborhoods or municipalities, scaling-up programs, connecting people and organizations to resources, and so on)
How are we defining the platform? / What do we mean by “platform”?
We mean a statement of shared values, principles, policies, and outcomes that we want for our future. This is something we want to build together.
What makes this effort different from other equity initiatives, regional and national?
Relation to AIP: This effort builds off of the work of the All-In Pittsburgh equitable development initiative. That initiative brought together policy-makers, funders, banks, non-profit organizations, community groups, and advocacy organizations. Housing and employment/entrepreneurship were the two focus areas of that initiative. The EJPP effort broadens this work by including multiple additional focus areas, by building neighborhood-based groups and organizations more squarely into the structure, any by emphasizing the connections between topics, between neighborhoods, and between topics and neighborhoods. EJPP works to build alignment between organizations, groups, and individuals focused on equity and justice.
While other equity initiatives are focused only on one or two particular topics, EJPP raises up multiple different topics and finds connection and overlap between them.
EJPP is framed in the context of COVID-19, environmental degradation, and climate change.
The Equitable and Just Platform for Pittsburgh draws on other national platforms for inspiration. Such platforms include: the Equitable and Just National Climate Platform, that National Housing Justice Platform, The People’s Bailout, and the Black Lives Matter Los Angeles COVID-19 demands
The EJPP draws from these other platforms to build a similar-type platform more relevant to the specifics of the Pittsburgh region.
What achievements in the next 6 months/12 months would be considered successes?
Success in the next six months includes:
Building a coalition that includes broad participation from issue-based organizations, neighborhood-based organizations and groups, and individuals
An advanced draft of a comprehensive platform
More transparency and equity in the distribution of local COVID-19 bailout funds
More organizations signing on to letters outside of their own issue area (e.g. environmental organizations signing on to letters written by housing advocates)
Neighborhood orgs and groups from different neighborhoods identifying and common priorities and sharing them with issue-based organizations
Awareness across the coalition of the concerns and challenges of neighborhoods and issue-based organizations