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Equity and Opportunity Overview

What do the words “equity” and “opportunity” mean to you?  Some people have never had to think twice about whether they’ve had a fair shot at attaining their goals.   But a growing number of people are feeling as though they're losing ground when it comes to the possibility of economic advancement.  Others say the lack of resources in schools, on the job front and in the community have been lifelong barriers for them and their neighbors.

A Multi-Platform Project

Our second topic in our ongoing THINK! initiative is “Equity and Opportunity.”  The multiplatform project started with the public and local organizations choosing the issue. From there, a social media and web component helped spread the word and garnered additional input. The THINK website featured On-line forums that served as “virtual town squares” to collect the experiences and concerns of users. Website visitors were also invited to participate in a survey designed to gather opinions on ways to improve equity and opportunity in our region. Neighborhood community forums came next, with attendees sharing their stories and providing valuable insight. During our discussions, we examined the roles bias, fear and lack of understanding play in denying people personal and professional growth. How do these challenges impact the general population’s ability to advance and prosper? We expanded the dialogue to include  the broader implications on society.

  • What can be done to empower those who feel disenfranchised?  
  • How can broad coalitions be built to transcend differences?  
  • What options exist to increase economic stability and mobility for all?

Live Broadcast Event


Betty Cruz, Director, Change Agency
James Guffey, Executive Director, South Hills Interfaith Movement
Dr. Jamil Bey, Executive Director, UrbanKind Institute
Angela Allie, Director of Equity, Pittsburgh Public Schools
Wasi Mohamed, Executive Director, Islamic Center of Pittsburgh
Tay Waltenbaugh, CEO, Westmoreland Community Action
Majestic Lane, Deputy Chief of Neighborhood Empowerment, Office of the Mayor

On April 6, 2017 WQED continued the THINK! initiative with a special town hall event - televised and live-streamed. This forum on Equity and Opportunity examined ways to promote equity, empowerment and inclusion for all in Southwestern PA. The program was hosted by Chris Moore, and social media host Lisa Washington and included a panel of experts and community leaders in their respective fields.

Along with participation from our live studio audience, viewers were also able to shape the conversation during the live broadcast by tweeting, emailing and posting questions to Facebook that were channeled to the THINK hosts and panelists allowing them to respond in real time.

Video Resources

Pittsburgh's Melting Pot Mission

Cities thrive economically, socially and culturally when they welcome and retain new arrivals. Who are the people and organizations working on this mission – and how are the immigrants and refugees faring in Pittsburgh so far?

Closing the Gap

A discussion on the factors behind the nation's gender wage disparity and strategies to help close the pay gap.

Renewal & Reality: Why Not Wilkinsburg?

Wilkinsburg is among many local communities fighting to come back – but it faces unique challenges. Economic development and the spirit of rediscovery are giving many neighborhoods a second chance. So - why not Wilkinsburg?

Renewal and Reality: Has the Smoke Cleared?

Pittsburgh tops national lists on livability. But despite the high rankings, the city lags in diversity and air quality. And some critics worry that a trendier Pittsburgh will drive up the cost of living and displace people with lower incomes.

Renewal and Reality: Rebuilding Braddock

As Braddock struggles to rebound from unemployment, poverty, and crime and the devastating loss of its hospital, there are signs of revitalization and hope. But who benefits from the rebirth?

Get Involved

Allegheny County

Allegheny County Department of Human Services
Immigrants and Internationals Initative

The Immigrants & Internationals Advisory Council was established to inform and advise the Director and Executive Staff of the Department of Human Services (DHS) regarding the human service needs of immigrant and international residents of Allegheny County.

Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh

Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh

Catholic Charities is the primary social service agency of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, serving all, regardless of religious affiliation, at their time of great need.

City of Pittsburgh Office of Diversity and Inclusion
City of Pittsburgh Office of Special Initiatives

Welcoming Pittsburgh is an immigrant and Latino integration strategy launched by Mayor William Peduto in 2014.

 The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh

The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh (GLCC) provides gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, their families and supporters in Western Pennsylvania with resources and opportunities to promote visibility, understanding, and equality within the LGBT communities and the community at large.

The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh

Our mission is to shape the American-Muslim identity by educating, empowering, and uniting our dynamic and diverse community.

New Voices Pittsburgh

New Voices Pittsburgh promotes the complete health and well-being of Black women and girls in the Greater Pittsburgh Region, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Urban League Young Professionals of Greater Pittsburgh

The Urban League Young Professionals of Greater brings together Pittsburgh-area professionals between the ages of 21 and 39 committed to serving the region through activities that support the National Urban League.

YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh Center for Race and Gender Equity

YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s Center for Race & Gender Equity promotes awareness of equality issues, educates individuals, and advocates for change in communities throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Casa San Jose

Casa San Jose

Casa San José is a community resource center ​that advocates for and empowers Latinos by promoting integration and self-sufficiency.

Change Agency

Change Agency

Change Agency is a social enterprise. Flagship project: advancing immigrant integration through the Community Blueprint.

City of Pittsburgh Office of Innovation and Performance

The City of Pittsburgh Office of Innovation and Performance work to better service all residents of Pittsburgh by closing the digital divide, fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, improving access and application of information, and empowering neighborhoods, especially vulnerable communities.

The Hill House Association

The Hill House Association sustains and enriches the people and places of Pittsburgh’s storied Hill District.

Jewish Family and Children’s Services

Jewish Family & Children's Service of Pittsburgh’s mission is to help people through life's changes and challenges by providing psychological, employment and social services.


PublicSource is a leading investigative news organization, providing Pennsylvania citizens with in-depth information.

South Hills Interfaith Network

Please join us to combat hunger and hopelessness with food, clothing, employment assistance, and a lift up to a better life.

YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh

The Y is a cause-driven organization that is for youth development, for healthy living and for social responsibility.