Session Descriptions

 Session Block 1 – 9:30am – 11:00am
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Word! 
Interactive Workshop for Everyone -Long Hall Room 215 – Youth Track
Session Block 1 –  9:30am – 11:00am

1Hood Media teaching artists (youth and adult) take participants through a workshop that encourages skills in utilizing Hip Hop to speak to matters of social justice. With a beat, a subject matter, and empathy artists will be taken through steps used to create around issues of importance. The workshop culminates with participants having poetic prose highlighting social justice issues of the day. No experience necessary!

Presenters: 1Hood Media is a collective of socially conscious Hip Hop artists and activists who utilize art as a means of raising awareness about social justice matters effecting people around the world. We offer performance, written and visual art to connect communities and amplify messages.

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Solitary Confinement, Mass Incarceration in PA and Beyond
Panel Presentation for Everyone Long Hall Room 104
Track – Restorative Justice & Mass Incarceration
Session Block 1 – 9:30am – 11:00am

The workshop will address issues of mass incarceration in Pennsylvania including solitary confinement, imprisonment of people for life which includes juveniles and the elderly, the impact on families of having someone imprisoned and the hardship experienced by people reentering the general population. The workshop will also include ideas for actions and strategies that people can participate in.

Presenters: Shandre Delany, mother of Carrington Keys, one of the Dallas Six Five Mualimm-Ak, formerly incarcerated, Human Rights Advocate in New York, Donna Hill, family member in prison, President Fight for Lifers West Moderator: Scilla Wahrhaftig PA organizer, National Religious Campaign Against Torture

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Community-Control of the Police 
Informational Session & Discussion for Everyone
Long Hall Room 204 Track – Police
Session Block 1 – 9:30am – 11:00am

This session will define characteristics of Community-Control of the Police & provide a historical overview of demands and efforts to stop police brutality. Our goal is to encourage more community participation in educating, organizing and mobilizing to challenge the white-supremacy and racism within the law-enforcement community and criminal justice system.

Presenters: The National Mobilization Against Police Brutality and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)

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Education Reform and Race
Information Presentation for Everyone
Long Hall Room 205 Track – Education
Session Block 1 – 9:30am – 11:00am

Corporate Education Reform, increase in standardized testing and teacher evaluations coupled with the privatization and charterization of our public schools is an attack on teachers and students of color. Through the presentation we will examine specific examples from urban school districts from across the country to examine the outcomes off corporate ed reform. We will also examine alternative, community led solutions that challenge the status quo and provides the schools all of our children deserve while maintaining democratic and public control of our Public Education System.

Presenters: One Pittsburgh members, including Jon Walker and members of the Great Public Schools coalition will be co facilitating the session.

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American Apartheid: Housing Discrimination in America’s “Most Livable City” 
Information Session for Adults Long Hall Room 216 – Track – Housing
Session Block 1 – 9:30am – 11:00am

Pittsburgh has been named America’s “Most Livable City” by Forbes Magazine, revered for its transition from an industrial center to a city with a thriving arts and technology scene, made “livable” for its residents by its job prospects, safety and affordability. Many question just who this city has been made livable for, considering the high level of segregation and poverty that Pittsburgh still faces. This seminar explores connection between the Forbes standards and the gentrification and displacement that has had a disproportionate affect on people of color and low income communities.  We will discuss the important nexus between Fair Housing Laws and creating just, inclusive communities, imagining what housing justice looks like in order to make Pittsburgh a livable city of all of its residents.

This session is presented by staff from The Fair Housing Partnership: Jay Dworin, Executive Director with over 14 years experience in this particular field. Megan Hammond has been with FHP for over six years and is re-writing the methodology on how we approach testing for both the hearing and deaf communities. Raymond Moore while only at FHP for a little over a year has been a tester for the organization for over a decade.

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Public Speaking Workshop for Racial Justice Activists/Organizers
Informational & Interactive Workshop –  – Star Dining Room
This session is limited to 10 people who have never taken a Public Speaking workshop or class.
Session Block 1 – 9:30am – 11:00am

In this workshop, participants will learn about and practice some basic public speaking skills they can use to further their racial justice activism, community organizing, and advocacy. Beginning on the premise that each of us has personal experience with three communication resources—conversation, writing, and performance—the workshop will invite participants to build on these resources and craft, deliver, and give constructive feedback on very short speeches. The first part of the workshop will mainly be a brief presentation by the workshop presenter; the second part will be facilitated and interactive.

This session is presented by Lynn Clarke, who has taught public speaking for over a decade and is excited to share her expertise with people who want to use and improve their public speaking skills for the cause of racial justice.

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Understanding Privilege and Oppression
Interactive Workshop for Everyone – Long Hall Shak
Session Block 1 – 9:30am – 11:00am

This session is a chance for participants to gain a greater understanding of their own personal identity and social location as well as the areas of society where the most power and privilege exist. We’ll look at race, but also disability, sexual orientation, class, gender, nation of citizenship, and more. We’ll also talk about how to leverage areas of privilege for justice.

Presenters: Tiffany Wilhelm from WHAT’S UP?! Pittsburgh (Working and Healing to Abolish Total Supremacy Undermining Privilege). anupama (anu) jain, PhD, is the founder of Inclusant, which specializes in diversity & inclusion education. Her expertise includes original research, college teaching, and innovative community-building activities in varied contexts.

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Pittsburgh Workers Rising! Organizing for Economic and
Racial Justice in the Fight for $15  

Interactive Workshop for Everyone – Long Hall Room 210
Session Block 1 –  9:30am – 11:00am

Participants will learn concrete facts and figures about the impacts of racial and economic disparities in communities of Pittsburgh. Low-wage employers in the city, such as hospitals and fast food restaurants, will be called out for promoting racial inequity and acting as structural barriers to economic and racial justice in our region. Workers leading the Fight for $15 and a Union in places like UPMC and McDonalds will explain why low wage jobs in Pittsburgh are a form of everyday racism. They will share struggles and VICTORIES of organizing in the workplace against greedy multi-billion dollar corporations. Participants will have the chance to end the session by partaking in an immediate high-energy Fight for $15 action with the whole group!

This session is presented by Carlin Christy, a union organizer with the Hospital Workers Rising campaign with the service workers union SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania. Ashona Osbourne, a leader in the local Fight for $15. She currently works at McDonalds and the Pittsburgh Zoo and has served on the National Organizing Committee of the Fast Food Workers Union. Other worker leaders from the Fight for $15 will be present.

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Islam from the Muslim Perspective
Informative Presentation with Group Discussion for Everyone
McNaugher Lounge
Session Block 1 – 9:30am – 11:00am

The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh will present on the discrimination Muslims feel within their communities. We will expose different areas of discrimination based in: Religion, Immigration, Race, & Gender among the Muslim Communities, and much more. Addressing multiple areas we show that discrimination occurs both from outside of the faith along with the members inside of the faith. Utilizing Religious Dialogue we show how all forms of discrimination are unacceptable according to the faith itself, using specific quotes and verses to prove how equality and understanding are needed intersectionally.

This session will be presented by the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh Outreach Department

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Using Cross- Cultural Art as a Tool for Building Community Bridges: Pittsburgh and PA Case Studies 
Info session and group discussion for Everyone – Room 203
SESSION BLOCK 1 – 9:30am – 11:00am  

Cross-cultural arts projects play a fundamental role in designing and carrying out creative, community-building programs. Promoting constructive interaction among people and communities through the arts creates the kind of connections between people that lead to collective civic action. In addition, including young people as meaningful contributors to community building brings more adults into the picture. The social capital that is built through collaborative arts & culture programming provides the glue in any community, and in social and civic groups. Community-based arts practitioners bring members of a community together to solve problems, build relationships, and get involved in ways that rebuild social capital.

Presenters: Kenya C. Dworkin y Méndez has been a professor at Carnegie Mellon University since August 1993, but is also involved in community-oriented arts and socially-oriented work that integrates her professional background with community work to help people build cultural bridges of respect, dignity and inclusion, to understand each other’s communities and legacies.

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DAISY LAMPKIN LUNCH SESSION 1  11:15am – 11:55am
 [Community Resource Tables & Vending open in the John Knox Room]
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Community Accountability: Dealing with Violence and Oppression in Activist & Organizing Spaces
Group Discussion for Everyone – Long Hall Room 215
DAISY LAMPKIN LUNCH SESSION 1  11:15am – 11:55am

We will open the workshop by quickly summarizing our group, In Our Hands: our goals, progress, and some of the community accountability models we have learned about, as well as problems and solutions we have identified. We will also pass around a zine we collectively made, with this information. The rest of the workshop will be dedicated to facilitated discussion about sexual abuse and violence, specifically in activist & organizing communities, the dangerous intersections of oppression and sexual violence, and how to support survivors while holding perpetrators and our communities accountable.  We will keep progressive stack to give preference to the voices of survivors and people of color in the group.

Presenters: Krissy Abdullah is a co-organizer of In Our Hands, and works with Lets Get Free: the women and trans* prisoner defense committee & ACJ Health Justice Project. Raiona Gaydos is a co-organizer of In Our Hands. She also co-organizes Pittsburgh Zine Fair, Feminist Zine Fest Pittsburgh and New Yinzer Presents Reading Series, works at a civil law firm, and is soon to begin volunteering with Pittsburgh Action Against Rape.

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What to do when pulled over……
Interactive Workshop for Everyone Long Hall Room 216
Track – Police
DAISY LAMPKIN LUNCH SESSION 1  11:15am – 11:55am

The workshop will open with a short, directed by local filmmaker, Billy Jackson, and produced by the Pittsburgh American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) office, entitled “Pull Over….What to Do”. Immediately after the showing of the 12 minute film we will explore our personal interactions with the police and criminal justice system through discussion and a facilitated activity.

Presenters: Maritza Mosquera has practiced liberation and diversity work for over 20 years; leading workshops and assisting in community transformation objectives through art and dialogue. Thomas Poole is a filmmaker, curator and media educator.

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GRACE LEE BOGGS LUNCH SESSION 2   11:55am – 12:35pm
[Community Resource Tables open in the John Knox Room]

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Anti Racism in American Jewish Communities & Palestinian Solidarity
Group Discussion for Everyone — Long Hall Room 215
GRACE LEE BOGGS LUNCH SESSION 2 11:55am – 12:35pm

This is an informal discussion about confronting racism within American Jewish communities and mainstream American and Israeli discourse. Structural racism in the US parallels the Israeli oppression of Palestinians, which is supported by American politicians, media and mainstream US Jewish communities. Jewish Voice for Peace, the fastest-growing American Jewish organization, highlights these connections and invites Jews and non-Jews from all ethnic and religious backgrounds to speak out against racism in all forms. This includes Islamophobia, which is used in both the US and Israel-Palestine to deny people of their rights. Let’s explore how alliances among communities in America, Israel and Palestine can build on the momentum of the past few years to win the fights against racist police abuse, institutional discrimination and occupation.

Presenters: Moriah Ella Mason is a Pittsburgh-based bodyworker, artist and teacher who is one of the founding members of the local chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace.

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#YesAllWomen Burnout: Transforming Self-Care in the Intersectional Fight for Social Justice
Group Discussion for Women & Trans* People – Long Hall Room 216
GRACE LEE BOGGS LUNCH SESSION 2 –   11:55am – 12:35pm

Through storytelling and group discussions, this session speaks truth to the intersectional reality of women in activist circles, “analyzing the contradictory currents within the category of care,” empowering participants to support mental health under the strain of fighting for social justice. Utilizing the Crimethinc article, “For All We Care,” and zine, “Self as Other: Reconsidering Self-Care,” as basis for facilitated discussions and as take-away materials, we’ll explore how “it has become commonplace to speak of self-care… maintaining the image that we’re successful, autonomous individuals, regardless of the reality. In this context, rhetoric about self-care can mask silencing and policing: ‘Deal with your problems yourself, please, so no one else has to.’”

Presenters: Gene-Leigh Ziegler (activist, lover of all things literature and music): PSL party member, family-based therapist, 35-years old, survivor of one major depressive episode/generalized anxiety disorder lasting 2 ½ months as well as dysthimia; Stephie Jane Rexroth (artist/activist, author, autodidact): 33 years-old, survivor of 21 episodes in 17 years of life-disrupting depression, each 3-6 months in length, layered with generalized anxiety and suicidal ideation/attempts.

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SESSION BLOCK 2 12:50 – 2:20pm
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Restorative Justice in Action
Interactive Workshop for Everyone – McNaugher Lounge
Track – Restorative Justice & Mass Incarceration
SESSION BLOCK 2 – 12:50 – 2:20pm

Restorative Justice uses dialogue to address the harms resulting from wrongdoing and crime. This session will use the principles of restorative justice as a foundation to explore participants’ thoughts about what is needed in order for Pittsburgh to have more just responses to harm in our families, schools and communities.   Session attendees will be invited to take on the perspective of a participant in a restorative justice process in order to more fully understand the risks and opportunities of this work.

Presenters: Dawn Lehman, M.A., is the Restorative Justice Coordinator at Center for Victims where she promotes respectful dialogue in response to harmful acts. Vanessa Mayers, MSW, is the Community Engagement and Mediation Specialist at Center for Victims where she regularly supports people to handle conflict constructively.

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Allyship vs Co-Conspirator
Interactive Workshop for Everyone – Long Hall Room 203 – Youth Track
SESSION BLOCK 2  12:50 – 2:20pm

In this workshop, we’ll dive into the much needed discussion of allyship regarding race while pinpointing how to transform from simply being an ally to a co conspirator to the issues of race, specifically in Pittsburgh. How being apart of change helps not only the people of color but white people too.

This session is presented by: Rori Cain who will be a graduate of Shady Side Academy this year, they actively work in groups such as Youth United for Change, Youth Undoing Institutionalized Racism (YUIR), and Diversity League Council; fighting against systematic oppression is something that has been made an everyday lifestyle for them. Nyjah Cephas, a student at The Ellis school who is passionate about combating racism and wants to gain a new sense of understanding for issues that affect Pittsburgh to ensure a progressive environment that the residents of the area can thrive in. Jordan Schultz-McArdle is an apprentice for YUIR

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Accountable Accountability
Panel and Discussion for Everyone – Long Hall Room 210
Track -Police
SESSION BLOCK 2 – 12:50 – 2:20pm

This session will familiarize the audience with existing mechanisms available within established local government for the purpose of redressing concerns about police conduct as well as expose some contemporary issues from the perspective of the fact-finders, police officers, administrators, civilians and educators. This session also relies on audience participation to inform panelists & offer critiques, solicit information on process and evoke mutual commitments for follow-up engagements.

Presenters: Winford Craig, Chair, Commission on Human Relations, Deborah L. Walker, Director, Office of Municipal Investigations, Thomas C. Waters, Vice-Chair, Independent Citizen Police Review Board, Cameron McLay, Chief, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police (invited), Jason Lando, Commander, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police , Brandi Fisher, Alliance for Police Accountability (invited), Leah Rae Bivins, Educator, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Elizabeth F. Collura, Solicitor, Independent CPRB, Len Jordan, Community Representative, Leon Ford (invited)

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Dismantling Institutional Racism and Fighting for Racial Equality in Organizations
Interactive Workshop for Adults – Long Hall Room 216
SESSION BLOCK 2 – 12:50 – 2:20pm

‘Institutional racism refers to the policies and practices within and across institutions that, intentionally or not, produce outcomes that chronically favor, or put a racial group at a disadvantage.’ Participants will gain a deeper understanding of institutional racism and how it manifests in organizations of all kinds. Hear from local organizations about what they are doing to take steps on a long-term path to being actively anti-racist. We will break into groups that participants identify with to maximize relevant conversation and brainstorming. The workshop will also impart practical knowledge to combat racial discrimination at workplaces in the greater Pittsburgh area. Information on how to file complaints at the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and state and local human rights commissions will be provided.

Presenters: Mary Parker, a founding member and principal trainer of Just Collaboration; Tiffany Wilhelm, a part of WHAT’S UP?! Pittsburgh (Working and Healing to Abolish Total Supremacy Undermining Privilege) and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council; Lizzie Anderson, WHAT’S UP?! and the other founding member and principal trainer of Just Collaboration; and Margot Nikitas, who is a Young Activist Program Coordinator and Attorney for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), a progressive, member-run labor union headquartered in Pittsburgh.

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School Discipline:
Moving Beyond Zero Tolerance toward Justice

Interactive Workshop for Everyone
Long Hall Room 207 – Track- Education
SESSION BLOCK 2 – 12:50 – 2:20pm

This workshop will explore student disciplinary practices and consequences for African American students in Pittsburgh Public Schools and how students, parents and community groups are working to change them. We’ll take a deeper look at restorative practices as a promising alternatives to exclusionary discipline. Participants will become more informed and empowered to work for change in and out of school.

Presenters: Brandi Taylor. a community organizer for A+ Schools. Sarah Brown, a youth program manager for A+ Schools.

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Locked Up: Prison Industry 101
Interactive Workshop for Youth – Long Hall Shak – Youth Track
Restorative Justice and Mass Incarceration Track
SESSION BLOCK 2 – 12:50 – 2:20pm

This workshop defines the prison industrial complex (PIC), breaks down the dominant myths about the PIC in the U.S., and explores the truth behind these myths. Participants will also examine the effects of PIC on their communities.

Presenters: Amachi Ambassadors: Teiara Hughes, who is a 16-year old junior at Steel Valley Senior High School and Na’taya Richardson, who is a 16-year old junior at Oakland Catholic High School. Also joining them is the Amachi Ambassadors Coordinator, Kayla Bowyer.

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Environmental Justice: Is it a beautiful day in your neighborhood?
Interactive Workshop for Everyone Long Hall Room 215
SESSION BLOCK 2  12:50 – 2:20pm

Each participant will receive the powerfully illustrated comic book curriculum, “Truth and Dare”. We will discuss strategies and tactics to apply environmental justice and address environmental racism in Pittsburgh. Environmental justice is about where we live, work, play, and go to school as well as the physical and natural world. Environmental justice can address power imbalances, lack of political enfranchisement, and redirect resources so that we can create safe, healthy, and sustainable ways to live. “Now’s the time! This is it! The crescendo, and the moment we have been waiting for. Not the end, but the beginning!  All of the world’s profound spiritual and revolutionary traditions converge for the preservation of life and beauty, in the world and time in which both are threatened.”

Presenters: Wanda Guthrie, GreenFaith Fellow and Chair of the Thomas Merton Center Environmental Justice Committee; Celeste Taylor, member of the Black Farmers and Gardeners of Pittsburgh Co-op and Manager of the Monticello Hospitality House and Garden, Homewood; and Raqueeba Bey, President, Mama Africa’s Green Scouts, and Co Founder Black Farmers and Gardeners of Pittsburgh Co-Op. For More Info Click Here

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Using International Human Rights Treaties to Advance
Racial and Gender Justice in Pittsburgh

Panel Presentation for Everyone – Long Hall Room 204
SESSION BLOCK 2 12:50 – 2:20pm

Human rights begin at home. Organizers in Pittsburgh are working to help raise awareness of the opportunities for improving human rights practices in our region. This panel will discuss two national initiatives to advance concrete policies and practices that achieve human rights; one, the Cities for CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women) and two, the national U.S. Human Rights Network effort to press public officials to honor U.S. treaty obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). We will be seeking to bring in new volunteers to support work around both of these treaties that will help us address structural racism and its many effects on people in our region.

Presenters: Carmen Alexander, New Voices Pittsburgh, Marcia Bandes, Pittsburghers for CEDAW coalition & WILPF, Carl Redwood, Hill District Consensus Group
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The Pittsburgh Construction Industry, Institutional Racism At Its Best.
Informational Presentation for Everyone – Main Dining Room
SESSION BLOCK 2 – 12:50 – 2:20pm

The Pittsburgh region has experienced a multi-billion dollar construction boom for the past several decades. New stadiums, a convention center, office buildings, malls, residential housing and more have been brought into reality with the support of taxpayers money. During that same period in time, unemployment, underemployment and multi-generational poverty, has remained prevalent in the African American community.  Attendees will gain a greater awareness of the racism in the construction industry in Pittsburgh and the nation, understand how institutional racism works and effects their lives and learn how to take action.

Presenters: Mr. Calvin K. Clinton Sr., President and Dr. Alfred Brown Secretary/ Treasurer of the African American Workers Union.

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The Working-Class Latino Un/Documented Immigrant Experience in Pittsburgh
Panel Presentation for Everyone – Long Hall Room 104
Track – Immigration and Refugee Experience
SESSION BLOCK 2 – 12:50 – 2:20pm

In this panel, several working-class Latino immigrants will be presenting their experience as un/documented immigrants in Pittsburgh. They will be exposing the reasons of their migration and how the city of Pittsburgh has treated them socially since their arrival. It is intended that the participants share their journey from their place of origin until their place of destiny, their struggles as immigrants, their fears, the injustices to which they have been subjected because of their race, origin, or legal status.

Presenters: Brenda Sólkez, an activist in Pittsburgh who fights for the rights of the undocumented immigrants and works with the Community Justice Project. Panelists to be announced.

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SESSION BLOCK 3 – 2:35pm – 4:05pm  
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Youth Court as a Means to Restorative Justice
Information Session for Everyone – Long Hall Room 210 – Youth Track -Mass Incarceration and Restorative Justice Track
SESSION BLOCK 3  –  2:35pm – 4:05pm  

The highlight of this session will be a demonstration of a Youth Court by the students of the Manchester Academic Charter School. They will act as Judge, Jury, Clerk, Bailiff, Peer Mentor and Respondent. They will show the advantage of assisting a student who has offended to make amends and to be restored to the school community through mentorship and goal orientation. Their school Principal, Dennis Henderson, M.Ed., will elaborate on the positive difference Youth Court has made in the lives of his students. Kathryn Atman, Ph.D., and Mary Hall of the Youth Court Initiative of Western Pennsylvania will present a Blueprint of how to implement a Youth Court and how the broader community can be involved.

Presenters listed above.

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Driving While Brown
Information Session for Everyone – Long Hall Room 104
Track – Immigration and Refugee Experience
SESSION BLOCK 3 – 2:35pm – 4:05pm  

Legal permanent resident with a misdemeanor?  Asylum seeker?  Mother & children fleeing domestic violence and gang violence from Central America?  Tourist who overstayed a visa?  Economic migrant who could not get a work visa?   For 20 years, the fastest growing sector of prison populations is immigrants who are held, not to serve a criminal sentence, but for immigration purposes.  In this workshop we will focus on immigration detention in Pennsylvania, the national business of private for profit immigration detention.  We will discuss ways to combat discrimination immigrants face today and talk about the rights of immigrants when interacting with Homeland Security, Police, and the Immigration Outreach Service Center.

Presenters: Samantha Tamburro (se habla Español) currently attends Duquesne University School of Law and is concentrating in International and Comparative Law where she anticipates receiving her Juris Doctorate in June 2016. Linda Theophilus is a member of the Detention Watch Network, a national network of service providers and activists working to end detention and deportation.  She is also a member of CIVIC, a group wich ends the isolation and abuse of people in U.S. immigration detention through visitation, independent monitoring, storytelling, and advocacy.

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Using Improv to Combat Everyday Microaggressions
Interactive Workshop for Everyone – Long Hall Shak
SESSION BLOCK 3 – 2:35pm – 4:05pm  

In this workshop participants will identify how to intervene in everyday microaggressions using improv as an applied tool. We define microaggressions as everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership (Psychology Today). Participants will strategize how to challenge microaggressions through understanding the basics of improv, “Yes and” as a way to listen when triggered and feel empowered to intervene in uncomfortable situations. Using collaborative brainstorming based on shared personal experiences, participants will have time to learn tools and apply it during the workshop.

Presenters: This workshop is led and supported by improvisers who regularly perform in the Pittsburgh area, including the venues of Arcade Comedy Theatre and Unplanned Comedy.  Offstage, the facilitators work in areas such as the development of inclusive work and community spaces, creative design, and personal fitness for special populations. Facilitators also serve on boards and volunteer for local social and arts organizations and events.

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Turn Up for Freedom!
Group Discussion for Black students and students of color in the greater PGH area
Long Hall 217 Track – Youth
SESSION BLOCK 3 2:35pm – 4:05pm  

We invite middle school and college Black students & students of color into a youth-organized space to examine the recent national/international organizing against campus racism, do an analysis of the power that Black students/students of color in Pittsburgh hold, and to develop strategies/actions that could help Black students/students of color effectively challenge the white supremacy in our school systems.

Presenters: Joan Mukogosi is a senior at Winchester Thurston, president of the Black Student Union, and she also works with New Voices Pittsburgh. Tresa Murphy-Green is a student organizer who also works with New Voices Pittsburgh. Ada Griffin is a junior at Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, co-president of the school’s Feminist Student Union, and an active member of the Black Student Union. Charlese Dawson is a senior at Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, co-president of the Black Student Union. Tyra Jamison is a senior at Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, co-president of the Black Student Union. Wesley Peters is a senior at Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, and a member of Youth Undoing Institutionalized Racism.

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The Necessity of Islamic Schools in America, A Manifesto
Information Presentation for Everyone Long Hall Room 205
SESSION BLOCK 3 – 2:35pm – 4:05pm  

In effort to challenge racist stereotypes of Muslims, participants from the Universal Academy of Pittsburgh, will share information about this new local Islamic School. Considering the current political landscape, and all the racially charged rhetoric against Muslims we will assert the necessity of how Islamic schools serve a very important function in western societies from the perspectives of the school participants including teachers, students, parents and founder.

Presenters:  Ibrahim Yousef, Principal of the Universal Academy of Pittsburgh and others to be announced.

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Building Equitable Communities –
Strategies for Tenant and Community Organizing

Interactive Workshop for Everyone especially Tenants
Long Hall Room 216 -Track – Housing
SESSION BLOCK 3 – 2:35pm – 4:05pm  

As development comes to historically disinvested neighborhoods will existing residents benefit or be priced out? What can be done to avoid displacement, preserve and expand Pittsburgh’s racial diversity, and ensure that the wealth generated through higher property values stays in the community? Presenters will share models for equitable neighborhood revitalization and outline policies and initiatives to: preserve and expand affordable housing for low-moderate income families and individuals; secure greater tenant and community rights; ensure expanded access to public transportation for low income communities; and mandate democratic, community control of development in our neighborhoods. Workshop attendees will have the opportunity to share their experiences with these issues and to discuss ways that they can become more involved in the fight for equitable housing, expanded public transit, and community and economic development that benefits all people living in impacted communities.

Presenters: Ronell Guy is a founding member and Executive Director of the Northside Coalition for Fair Housing. Alethea Sims is Director of the Coalition of Organized Residents of East Liberty.  Carl RedwoodJr. Is a Pittsburgh community organizer who lives in the Hill District. Molly Nichols is Community Organizer for Pittsburghers for Public Transit.
Bob Damewood is staff attorney for the statewide Regional Housing Legal Services, Pittsburgh office.
Zoe Mizuho, Facilitator, is a founding member of the Community Land Trust Working Group and a resident of Wilkinsburg.

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Violence against Women, Girls and the LGBTQ Community
An Interactive Workshop for Everyone – Long Hall Room 215
SESSION BLOCK 3 – 2:35pm – 4:05pm  

Violence against women and girls has too often been given low priority in the press and in the minds of many persons in this society.  So has the violence against LGBTQ communities, where violence against transgender women of color may most often lead to death. The Coalition Against Violence (CAV) will lead the conversation on how violence affects the health, well-being and safety of these most marginalized segments of society. Participants will strategize for possible solutions to end such violence.

Two of the newest sections of the CAV comprehensive anti-violence document, Strategies for Change: Building More Peaceful Communities – Violence against Women and Girls; and, Violence against the LGBTQ Community – will be used as the springboard for discussion. Outcomes can include solutions for implementing the strategies.

Presenters: Members of the Coalition Against Violence and representatives from agencies and organizations and persons most affected by the violence in the community.

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All Children Have the Right to Equal Education – Advocacy for Children with Learning Disabilities in Pittsburgh’s Public Schools
Information Presentation – Star Dining Room – Track – Education
SESSION BLOCK 3 – 2:35pm – 4:05pm  

This workshop will focus on a form of institutionalized racism in the Pittsburgh Public Schools that is often overlooked in the debate about equal, quality education. Presenters will examine the process of assessing a child for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). An IEP is a legal document that protects children having a learning or functioning disability. Learn how to protect your child’s success in school. Learn how to look for warning signs that a district might be violating your child’s right to a public education. Our children must be more than “functioning” illiterates upon high school graduation!

Presenter: Lisa Freeman (AA) – Ms. Freeman has a Masters degree in Social Work and in Public Administration and is an advocate for providing children like her son equitable special education assessment and support in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Pamela Harbin – Education Rights Network

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Nurturing Responsible Multiracial Families
Group Discussion for Everyone – Long Hall Room 203
SESSION BLOCK 3  2:35pm – 4:05pm  

In our Adopting Identity session we will share stories and perspectives of POC adoptees and biracial folks while addressing connections between the two, what trauma and liberation looks like for us and white responsibility in such relationships. This session, though heavy, is optimistic and enlightening and we encourage white parents of POCs and adoptees and biracial people in particular to join us. This is a topic often left out because whites are often seen as “liberal” and already “understanding”, therefore not held accountable for continual growth in these relationships and often our voices are silenced because of our presumed “luck”. Please join us as we have a heart to heart about building stronger multiracial families and begin to adopt our own identities.

Presenters: Liana Maneese, is an Afro-Brazilian transracial adoptee, social practice artist, entrepreneur and founder of Adopting Identity, an antiracist movement that facilitates individuals and families through deep internal conflicts of identity to foster true compassion and understanding in multi racial relationships. Born in Pittsburgh, during the 1990s, Pavel Gaydos has a Chinese mother and a white father. His experience growing up in a less familiarized family structure is what he credits his unique identity and the discourse around that identity.

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Children of Shangri-Lost
Information Session for Everyone Long Hall Room 204
Track – Immigration and Refugee Experience
SESSION BLOCK 3 – 2:35pm – 4:05pm  

We are a group of youth in Pittsburgh who want to show the world that despite being displaced and sometimes forgotten, we have not forgotten who we are and what we have to offer the world. Our story is one of survival and of hope. We may be the Children of Shangri-Lost, but we have found ourselves in our new homes around the world. We want to raise awareness  & educate people about the history and challenges faced by refugee and immigrants. Did you know Pittsburgh has a Bhutanese community which has more than 5000 people?

Presenters: Diwas Timsina, the founder and president of Children of Shangri-Lost.

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