The 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates African American Heritage Celebration at PNC Park was held June 8-9.
This annual event captured the essence of our community efforts and highlighted the contributions of African Americans in Pittsburgh.
The celebration included a weekend of promotions and special events that focused on honoring and recognizing African Americans in baseball while celebrating the African American culture in our community.
The Saturday, June 9 included a special post-game FanJam concert featuring Boyz II Men.
The Pirates also hosted the 2012 African American Heritage Sports Luncheon on Friday, June 8 in the Lexus Club at PNC Park.
The Keynote Speaker was Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, who became the youngest head coach in NFL history to both coach in and win a Super Bowl in 2009. Tomlin has reached the playoffs in four of his last five seasons and is the 10th African American head coach in NFL history, the first in Steelers history.
For more information about the Pirates' African American Heritage Celebration, please contact Chaz Kellem at (412) 325-4731.
Throughout the Pittsburgh Pirates rich history, there have been many champions - on and off the field. Players like Willie Stargell and Roberto Clemente thrilled Pirates fans with their baseball achievements. They also supported their communities in many ways by showing character and integrity in all aspects of their lives.
As part of our 2012 Heritage Weekend Celebration, the Pittsburgh Pirates accepted nominations for the "Pittsburgh Pirates Community Champion Award". This award is given to area individuals who are "champions" of their communities and have positively contributed to the betterment of the diverse community in our region.
Dr. Linda Clautti has served in education for over 35 years, mostly of that time in the Washington, D.C. area. Dr. Clautti has experience at all three levels of primary education and has been a principal and superintendent in the traditional public school setting. She now serves public charter schools. Her doctoral degree is from Duquesne University. She is beginning her 10th year as the Chief Executive Officer of Urban Pathways Charter Schools (UPCS). UPCS has had many awards given to the staff and their employees in recent years. Most notably, the school received national recognition from the US News and World Report on High Schools, scoring in the top 10% nationally. UPCS was one of just two charter schools in the state that was awarded the Keystone Opportunity Grant and an English teacher on staff was the only teacher in Pennsylvania awarded the national "Milken" award in 2009. Dr. Clautti is the recipient of the 2012 "Spark" award from Strong Women Strong Girls Organization and was also among the recipients of the "Women of Achievement" award and the "Stop the Violence Award" from the Smart from the Start Foundation.
Roland Ford, a 63-year-old Pittsburgh native, has motivated all age groups to have fun while getting in shape with his line dancing as well as a Healthy Lifestyle 2012 Program which also incorporates, walking, running, fitness training and nutrition. He is a certified group exercise instructor, disc jockey, choreographer and marathon runner. Roland has really set Pittsburgh on fire with his high energy dance classes, enthusiasm, creative talent and drive. He can be seen at many events, healthcare centers, night clubs and has been featured in local broadcast and print media and has multiple videos on YouTube.
Paula Kelly, a native of Whitehall, Pa, began working part-time at the Whitehall Public Library in 1997-- never realizing that it would eventually lead to a whole new career. Paula made the decision to attend graduate school, and received her Masters of Library and Information Science degree in 2009. Shortly thereafter she was promoted to the director position for the Whitehall Public Library. Paula became a certified ESL Literacy tutor with the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council in 2010 and volunteers her time weekly. During her tenure, the library has served a unique population of multi-ethnic resettled refugees. Through a cooperative arrangement with the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council, the Baldwin-Whitehall School District, and the Friends of the Whitehall Public Library; the library established its LEARN Bus program (Library Easy Access for Residents in Need). Residents ride the LEARN Bus to the library for a rare family evening out. The library offers special programs and materials for all ages and English proficiency levels, ensuring that everyone has a positive library experience. For many, it is their first library encounter of any kind. The program has garnered awards and recognition from Commonwealth Libraries of Pennsylvania and the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council. In addition to LEARN Bus successes, Paula has written and received grants to acquire funds for ESL family literacy projects, and this summer is working with the Children's Librarian on ESL Summer Reading outreach initiatives.
Miles Loewy has served Hermitage Community Initiatives (HCI) in several different ways over the years. As Director of Community Services, Miles served as the day-to-day project manager of Heritage WorkLink transportation service. Miles was responsible for monitoring and planning all van routes, implementation of new technology to track ridership and van service, supervised the mobility management program, served as Manager of the Ship of Zion program, and supervised the four full-time WorkLink and SOZ staff people. Miles was also responsible for the rehab of 2 houses in the community and full construction of 6 more for low income local families. In his current role as Volunteer Manager, Miles specializes in implementing community projects that help to make even the most distressed communities feel like a place worth living in. In doing so, residents begin to feel pride in the in the area they live and become more socially engaged. Miles works closely with corporate, community, school, church and university volunteer groups to provide the human resources to complete large and small community betterment projects. Combining volunteer work with private funding, he is able to secure the skills and tools necessary to plan and implement various projects that communities never thought possible and see them through to completion.
Gerald Thompson, Sr. is currently the Director of Youth Services at the Rankin Christian Center where has been employed for over 20 years. He is a devoted father and educator and has been a facilitator, and mentor to countless number of youths within the Mon Valley area. His current duties include the after-school program for kids 6 to 13 years of age and the late youth program for 14 to 18 year olds. He assists with Woodland Hills Junior High in the Learn and Serve America program. He has coordinated programs for juvenile delinquency to advocacy for troubled youth during court proceedings. One of his teen groups, Leaders of Tomorrow, provides youth with life skills training year-round from various speakers, from executives of large local corporations to local politicians and leaders and other volunteers. Local organizations that have participated in his programs are the Heinz Endowment, Highmark Healthy High Five, and the Andy Warhol youth program as well as countless others. Gerald continues to service the Woodland Hills School District and surrounding communities by building and creating programs that provide various opportunities for the youth.
The winners from 2011 were:
The winners from 2010 were:
The winners from 2009 were:
The Pirates hosted the 2011 African American Heritage Sports Luncheon on Friday, July 22 in the Lexus Club at PNC Park.
Herman Boone, the legendary football coach of T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, VA, was the keynote speaker. Boone's inspirational story was captured in the film "Remember the Titans," starring Denzel Washington.
Through the game of football, Boone united this small Virginian community as they put aside long-standing intolerance in support of their children and their team.
The 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates African American Heritage Celebration at PNC Park was held July 22-23.
This annual event captures the essence of our community efforts and highlights the contributions of African-Americans in Pittsburgh.
The celebration included a weekend of promotions and special events that focus on honoring and recognizing African Americans in baseball while celebrating the African American culture in our community.
Heritage Day was held on Saturday, July 23, when the Pirates hosted the St. Louis Cardinals.
Fans enjoyed live music, food and festivities on Federal Street, during the Heritage Festival. During the game the Pirates wore Homestead Grays uniforms.