community + cultural info



JULY 18, 2003



Ground breaking collaboration between major daily and Black press


PITTSBURGH, PA-In an unprecedented collaboration, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the New Pittsburgh Courier are jointly publishing a unique publication to highlight the work of the Urban League in observance of the National Annual Conference being held in Pittsburgh July 26-30.


This informative, eight page section will be available Wednesday, July 23 in both papers.  The Pittsburgh Post Gazette has a daily circulation of 245,000 and the New Pittsburgh Courier, a twice-weekly African American newspaper, has a circulation of 30,000. Both papers will print additional copies of this special supplement to be distributed at the conference. A link to the entire text of the publication will also be on the Post-Gazette's website:


The Post Gazette section is sponsored by local engineering firm Advanced Technology Systems, and the text is written by the New Pittsburgh Courier staff. PNC Financial Services Group is sponsoring the Courier section.


An additional 16 pages will appear in the New Pittsburgh Courier July 23 edition further highlighting the Urban League's legacy of achievement.



"We appreciate the opportunity to work closely with both the New Pittsburgh Courier and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to generate awareness about this important conference on the black family and the work of the Urban League, and the numerous benefits it offers to African-Americans and the entire Pittsburgh community," said Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League."


"We hope this sends a message to the conference participants and to this city that inclusion matters," said Karen Block Johnese, director of community affairs for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


"I don't believe a major city metro and an African-American newspaper have ever collaborated before on a project of this size. This is a first," stated Rod Doss, New Pittsburgh Courier editor and publisher.


Articles in this special supplement cover topics including the history of the National Urban League and its local affiliate; a statement from Esther Bush, president and CEO of the Urban League of Pittsburgh; the history shared by the Courier and the Urban League; and the Urban League Young Professionals movements.


Stephan A. Broadus
Assistant To The Publisher
New Pittsburgh Courier
315 East Carson Street
Pittsburgh, PA  15219
Office: (412) 481-8302 Ext. 129
Fax:    (412) 481-1360
Cell:    (412) 337-0819

"If we take care of our community first,
the community will take care of us."
John H. Sengstacke 1912-1997 
The National Urban League conference in Pittsburgh should be embraced by all
By now most of Pittsburgh knows that the National Urban League has selected our city as the site for its 2003 National Conference from July 26 through 30. What most of Pittsburgh doesn't know is that the entire community can benefit from embracing and participating in this important conference.
From an economic and marketing perspective, Pittsburgh's selection is significant. Over 3,500 registrants from across the country will be spending their money in our hotels, our restaurants and our shops. During their stay, these 3,500 registrants will learn what we already know and want to share with the world -- Pittsburgh is a modern, dynamic city, and is a leader in business, technology and more.
This could be said about any conference held in Pittsburgh. So why is this one so different? Because it offers us a unique opportunity to understand both the accomplishments of the African-American community and the challenges facing African-Americans in Pittsburgh. It also provides an opportunity for the whole community to work together on solutions.
For corporations, it's an opportunity to take a hard look at diversity training and development programs. Today, African Americans compose 12.9 percent of our population; yet, African Americans have an unemployment rate of 9.8 percent compared with a 5.6 percent rate for the nation. The opportunities for advancement in our corporations are seriously lagging. Making strides in this area is the right thing to do and it makes great business sense. After all, a smart company wants its workforce to be representative of its customer base and the communities it serves.
For health care providers and insurers, it's an opportunity to take a hard look at the health care disparity that is growing -- not shrinking -- despite enormous advances in medical treatments and technology.
For Pittsburgh educators, it's an opportunity to take a hard look at why, according to a study of test results, 78 percent of  
African American fifth-grade students are below proficiency in math and reading compared with 48 percent of white students. Proficiency levels are comparable in other grade levels. This is also reflected for the African-American population in
Pittsburgh in both lower graduation rates and lower rates of entry into post high school education.
For the African-American community, it's an opportunity to learn and grow. The conference includes a wide range of exhibits and events that are free and open to the public. This includes a Health Pavilion that will offer free screenings and health care information. A Career Fair that provides a unique face-to-face setting to learn about employment situations here in Pittsburgh
and across the country.
National consumer products companies will be showcasing their wares because they recognize the economic and social impact the African-American community holds. National and local artists will demonstrate through their works the cultural contributions being made by African-Americans. It's an opportunity we must all embrace.
The National Urban League Conference has something for everyone. It's a time for sharing, understanding, recognition and action. That's why PNC Financial Services is serving as a National Chair and Equitable Resources is serving as the Local Chair for this important and unique opportunity.
If you, your company or your organization hasn't already figured out a way to get involved, we urge you to do so now. There's too much at stake to let this important opportunity pass us by.
The National Urban League Conference is being held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center from Saturday July 26 through Wednesday July 30. To learn more, contact the Urban League of Pittsburgh at 412-227-4229 or 800-263-9926;
or visit the Web site at


General Co-Chairperson
Host Committee Chairman
2003 National Urban League Conference

Editor's note: Mr. Rohr is chairman and CEO of PNC Financial Services Group;
Mr. Gerber is chairman, president & CEO of Equitable Resources, Inc.