CAIR’s vision is to be a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding. CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims. The Council on American-Islamic Relations Pennsylvania (CAIR PA) is a nonprofit, grassroots civil rights and advocacy group. CAIR is America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, […]

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  1. CAIR Pittsburgh

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    CAIR’s vision is to be a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding.
    CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

    The Council on American-Islamic Relations Pennsylvania (CAIR PA) is a nonprofit, grassroots civil rights and advocacy group. CAIR is America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, with regional offices nationwide and in Canada. The national headquarters is located on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.

    Since its establishment in 1994, CAIR has worked to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America. Through media relations, lobbying, education and advocacy, CAIR puts forth an Islamic perspective to ensure the Muslim voice is represented. In offering this perspective, CAIR seeks to empower the American Muslim community and encourage their participation in political and social activism.

  2. The Polar Opposite Project

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    The Polar Opposite Project, also known as POP, is a student-led organization that connects high schoolers (or students aged 13-18) around the world who have different beliefs, backgrounds, and identities so that they can have open-minded, respectful conversations. By participating in POP, students will get a chance to share their views, hear the perspectives of others, and learn easily outside of the classroom, making them more cooperative, empathetic, and informed about global issues. POP aims to inspire teenagers to use their voices and work with other students from around the world to solve complex, worldwide problems.

    Any teenager who wants to participate in POP just has to fill out a short form that asks questions about their viewpoints and background, and they are matched with a group of three other “polar opposite” teenagers with whom they have very little in common. They are then free to message each other and start talking about whatever sparks their interest, from their personal beliefs to current events and everything in between.

    Already, POP is becoming a global phenomenon. POP has gained almost 200 participants from five continents and several different countries in just a few weeks, and there are no signs of that growth slowing anytime soon. And expansion beyond just discussion groups is coming in the near future; speaking events, larger discussion forums, and student-led projects fostering social change in their own communities are on the horizon. Anything is possible when POP has a powerful, important cause and passionate participants.

  3. RealTime Interventions

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    RealTime Interventions creates theatrical events and public experiences that depend upon the immediate nature of real time: events that come to life when people come together. We seek to generate human connection, curiosity and wonder, and to help audiences re-see their surroundings in new and unexpected ways. RealTime creates narrative art in conversation with a broad range of collaborators, from theater artists to scientists to rock bands to social workers to our neighbors down the street. We create vibrant “companies” with every new project, peopled by individuals from diverse walks of life and realms of experience who are bound by their stake in the story we are telling together.

  4. International Free Expression Project

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    The International Free Expression Project is dedicated to building mass support around the world for free-expression rights but also seeks to attract international attention to Pittsburgh as a world-class center of creativity and innovation. The organization is forming alliances locally, nationally and internationally to:

    1) Build in Pittsburgh the world’s first iconic work of public art dedicated to free expression;
    2) Build in the blocklong pressroom of the vacant Post-Gazette building at the Point a “Marketplace of Ideas” full of food and drink and art and innovation — an explosion of expression;
    3) Invent immersive educational tools and activities that drive home the importance of free expression; and
    4) Commission artworks and other creative endeavors.

  5. Emma Schutzius

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    Hello! I am a recent graduate of Bryn Mawr College where I majored in International Relations and minored in both Film/Media and Sociology. My focus is on global engagement, advocacy, and women's issues. I also have a passion for media creation, and enjoy looking for ways to incorporate those skills into other projects. I believe film is an integral and accessible platform for project exposure, issue education, and empathy-building, all dire needs within both international affairs and the non-profit sector. I'm currently working at the Global Switchboard non-profit in Pittsburgh as a fellow with PULSE.

  6. Katina White

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    Katina serves as the Group Sales Manager for Pittsburgh Public Theater and is passionate about sharing theater with all. She grew up in Florida before moving to Pittsburgh to attend Carnegie Mellon University. She strives to make Pittsburgh Public Theater a truly public theater for all.

  7. Odeese M. Ghassa-Khalil

    Odeese M. Ghassa-Khalil

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    A passionate educator, a proud mother of two young men, a legal guardian to a beautiful young lady, and an aunt to almost 35 nieces and nephews, Odeese’s main goal in life is to inspire others, especially women, of all ages and all walks of life. After her arrival in the United States as a young adult, and while assimilating into the new society and tackling the responsibilities of a growing young family, Odeese earned an Associate degree in Civil Engineering Technology from the Community College of Allegheny County, a Bachelor’s Degree in Technology Education and a master’s degree in Education from California University of Pennsylvania graduating with highest honors. She also obtained two K-12, Pennsylvania teaching certificates in Technology Education and Arabic. Believing in her motto: “Different Can Also Be Very Beautiful,” Odeese strives to pay back to society through leading by example. Her excellent academic performance and outstanding service activities to students and professional communities helped her embark on a successful career as a faculty member at both of her alma maters, CCAC and Cal U, among other higher education institutions. She taught courses in engineering and Arabic language and culture, both in the traditional classroom and online. She also served as the academic program coordinator for the B.A. in Arabic program at California University of Pennsylvanian. While leading the development of the program, she also served as a point of contact, advised students, served on university-wide committees, and provided service to the Cal U community. A lifelong learner, Odeese is currently in the process of completing her Doctoral studies in Instructional Technology and Leadership at Duquesne University, while running her small business, Cross-Cultural, Career and Language Training, (C3LT) LLC, with a mission to promote cultural competency by offering tailored professional development solutions, language services, and cross-cultural training and workshops to diverse industries.

  8. Abby Wilson

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    Abby uses design practice to change how we all work & to help women lead. She’s been a senior member of LUMA Institute’s instructor community since 2011. She most recently served as Dr. Karen Hacker’s Deputy Director for Policy at the Allegheny County Health Department, where she spearheaded design-led policy & civic engagement efforts on healthcare access, substance use, vaccination & lead exposure.

    In 2014, Abby completed her term as founding director of the federal government’s first design-led innovation lab. She partnered with The White House, USDA, FDA, VA & many other federal agencies to develop more people-friendly policies & services.

    Trained as a cultural anthropologist & international lawyer, Abby has lived, worked and studied in Africa & Europe, observing the power of people & organizations to solve even the most complex problems. She has contributed research to international tribunals, built a policy network across the Rust Belt & conducted health fieldwork in rural South Africa. She is a practitioner of deliberative democracy & used this approach to guide discourse on issues including climate change, natural gas drilling & municipal consolidation.
 She was a Press Secretary at the New York City Council, where she developed expertise in education, housing & health policy. She supported the drafting of numerous pieces of legislation.

    Abby holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University, an LL.M. in Public International Law from Universiteit Utrecht & a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a professionally trained alto & seasoned theatrical improviser.

  9. Open Field

    Open Field

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    Open Field (formerly CameroonFDP) is a Pittsburgh-based 501c3 nonprofit organization with international reach. Since 2010, our global team has engaged more than 3,000 youth in educational soccer programming, mentoring relationships, travel abroad experiences, and cultural exchange in Cameroon, Africa and Pittsburgh, PA. Our innovative approach to Sport for Good empowers youth to be leaders in their community and gain skills to help them succeed on and off the field. Sport for Good, also known as ‘sport for development and peace’ or ‘sport-based youth development’, is a theory and practice for youth engagement that leverages the passion and character-building attributes inherent in sport to create positive outcomes in the lives of participants far beyond the playing surface.

    Youth who participate in our programming stay in school and out of trouble.
    • 750 active youth participants in the U.S. and Africa
    • 13% increase in confidence in leadership skills*
    • 25% increase in knowledge about life skills topics
    • 40% more likely to have done service projects in their community*
    • Two past Cameroon program participants employed as Community Leaders
    • One past Cameroon program participant playing collegiate soccer in the U.S.
    *Multiple year vs. first year participants

  10. Greenheart Exchange

    Greenheart Exchange (branch of Greenheart International)

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    Since 1985, Greenheart International has been a catalyst for global transformation through the facilitation of cultural exchange programs, eco-fair trade purchasing, personal development opportunities, volunteer service initiatives, and environmental advocacy projects. Our mission of connecting people and planet to create global leaders drives all that we do in each of our branches: Greenheart Travel, Greenheart Shop, and Greenheart Exchange. Greenheart Exchange is a nonprofit organization that offers cultural exchange programs in the United States for people all around the world.

  11. Hekima Place

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    Hekima Place is a home for orphaned and vulnerable girls in Kenya. Founded by a Pittsburgher, they have a board and office in both Pittsburgh and in Kenya. Both factions focus on the education and empowerment of all girls, and they are currently in the midst of construction of Hekima Hills, a primary school which will open in 2020.

  12. Pittsburgh Playback Theatre

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    Founded in 1986, Pittsburgh Playback Theatre is a community building company that explores and celebrates the human condition through improvisational storytelling. We collaborate with organizations, schools, community groups and businesses to help raise consciousness, while encouraging creative wisdom and action.

    A Playback Theatre event is described by co-creator, Jo Salas, in her book Improvising Real Life, as “an original form of theatrical improvisation in which people tell real events from their lives [and] watch them enacted on the spot…Any life experience may be told and enacted in Playback Theatre, from the mundane to the transcendent, the hilarious to the tragic–and some stories may be all of these.”

    Audience members voluntarily offer personal stories, then witness them come to life through improvised music, movement and dialogue. Playback follows no narrative agenda, but brings dramatic skills and humanity to embody on the stage the concerns and experiences of the audience. Each performance is structured uniquely in conversation with organizers to best suit the needs of the community and honor their truths.

  13. Jeremy Shapiro

    Jeremy Shapiro

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    Jeremy Shapiro holds a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has conducted research as a Post Doctoral Associate and Associate Research Scholar at Yale and Princeton Universities. His research focuses on economic development and behavioral economics, including multiple impact evaluations in India, the Philippines, South Africa, Kenya and Peru. Jeremy is a co-founder and former director of GiveDirectly – an organization making direct cash transfers to low-income households in East Africa via mobile money technology. He is also a director of the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics, which conducts novel research in decision science and provides advisory services to the private, public and non-profit sectors

  14. Elena Facchini

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    Elena has just returned to Pittsburgh, her hometown, after many years working abroad in Africa and Europe, mostly in public health, international development, sustainability, education, and social enterprise. She enjoys exploring cultures and languages, sharing ideas and knowledge, and is passionate about the potential of collaboration across borders, sectors, cultures (and other barriers, real or imagined) to bring about an improved quality of life and healthier, happier, more prosperous people and planet.

    She is currently consulting remotely part-time and volunteering, but is seeking her next challenge here in Pittsburgh. In her spare time, she is enjoying being back with family and old friends, and tries to hike, read, see movies and live music, workout, try new restaurants and recipes, and practice her photography skills as often as possible.

    Please contact me via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elena-facchini-8841266/

    Summary of Skills and Background: Partnerships, Business Development, Public Health, Non-profits, Capacity Building, Grant-Making, Social Enterprises, People-centered Management, Sustainable/Inclusive Business Practices, Adaptable, Agile problem solving in diverse and challenging environments

    Education: Master of Public Health (MPH) – Health Promotion, Post-Graduate Diploma (PGDip) – Global Business, Bachelor of Science (BS) – Pyschology/Sociology.

    Languages: English, German, Italian, French; Basic Spanish and Swahili.

  15. Ivonne Smith-Tapia

    Ivonne Smith-Tapia

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    Ivonne Smith-Tapia is a Cultural Anthropologist and Social Worker with a certificate in Human Services Management who works providing training and technical assistance to Family Support Centers at the Office of Child Development, University of Pittsburgh.

    Ivonne worked more than a decade with the Colombian government, Think Tanks, and international non-profits promoting community development, education, human rights, and leadership in diverse rural and urban communities.  She moved to the United States in 2012 and to Pittsburgh in 2013.  While in Pittsburgh, she has worked and volunteered in organizations where she contributed to advance knowledge and create positive changes within vulnerable communities including immigrants and refugees.  During this time, she has worked with different immigrant and refugee communities and provided trainings to organizations such as the Latino Family Center, SHIM Family Center, the Bhutanese Community Association, and Casa San Jose.

    Ivonne has a passion for exploring cultures and ways in which culture influences parenting, parents’ educational expectations of their children, leadership, and social participation. This passion has driven her to share her knowledge and experiences to motivate others to recognize the importance of cultural diversity as well as to create positive and productive relationships with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.    She is also an active member of different county initiatives in which she advocates for equal rights and culturally relevant opportunities and services for immigrants and refugees in Allegheny County.

  16. PennsylvAsia

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    “Exploring the intersections between Pennsylvania and Asia”. This blog has been exploring some of the cultural, educational, and social links between Pennsylvania and Asia since 2011. That means news, events, movies, lectures, festivals, and random stuff, primarily as they happen in western Pennsylania. Frequent topics include:

    • Asian movies released in Pittsburgh, from brand-new Chinese films and Japanese anime releases to kung-fu and horror classics.
    • Lectures related to Asian studies, the social sciences, the humanities, cultural studies, and other academic topics at local universities and community centers.
    • Concerts from Asian, Asian-American, and Asian-inspired performers, from Korean rappers to Mongolian throat singers to Japanese punk bands
    • Restaurant openings (and, occasionally, closings).
    • Cultural and food festivals.
    • Postings for job openings in the Pittsburgh area that require bilingual or cross-cultural skills.
  17. Elisabeth Udyawar

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    Elisabeth is well versed in answering why she loves Pittsburgh. That is because as a SoCal native, it’s the first question always asked of her when meeting someone new: “Why are you here??” She holds an MA from George Washington University and a BA from University of California, Riverside in English Literature with a specialization in Postcolonial Literature from South Asia. After graduating from GWU, she moved to Pittsburgh due to two important factors: 1) its high volume of universities and nonprofits per capita and 2) it was where her heart already resided with her husband.

    Her six plus years of residence in Pittsburgh has been spent working for Carnegie Mellon University in various roles in the College of Engineering. Throughout her tenure at CMU, she has focused on aiding professors with administrative support for their innovative research in climate and manufacturing at both the local and global levels. Her professional skills include: project management, grants administration, event planning, Oracle systems, MailChimp, and html coding. In 2018, she also took the opportunity to use her academic training to begin teaching Comp 101 at Allegheny Community College and has specifically designed her syllabi to focus on women authors with 70% of her works represented by minority authors as well. In her creative pursuits, Elisabeth has begun a series of personal essays related to her journey through sobriety and hopes to start a project highlighting the stories of women’s everyday #resistance through the ages.

    Through The Global Switchboard, Elisabeth hopes to find new volunteer opportunities and to connect others with her vast academic network.

  18. Immigrants & Internationals Initiative

    Allegheny County Department of Human Services Immigrants and Internationals Initiative

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    The Immigrants and Internationals Initiative works to further the Allegheny County Department of Human Service’s mission of creating an accessible, culturally competent, integrated and comprehensive human services system for all residents of Allegheny County. It does this by efforts to meet the unique needs of immigrants and internationals living in Allegheny County through a combination of capacity building, research, information exchange, and community-empowerment activities.

    Our Advisory Council is the heart of the Immigrants and Internationals Initiative, actively participating with DHS in efforts to create accessible and culturally appropriate human services, and advance access for immigrants in healthcare systems, education, employment, public safety and others.  Members include immigrant community leaders, immigrant and refugee serving organizations working collaboratively.

     

     

  19. Latin American Cultural Union

    Latin American Cultural Union

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    Our Mission is to promote, preserve and enrich the Latin American culture, while unifying the Latino community and bridging with other communities within the Greater Pittsburgh Area.

    The Latin American Cultural Union (LACU) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit  organization dedicated to cultivating and preserving the culture and Latin American traditions in southwestern Pennsylvania.

    LACU is a PLATFORM for Latinos and members to engage in their visibility and promote the Latino cultures in the region.

    Come be part of the Latin American family in Pittsburgh while discovering what we have in common!

    ​Our work builds stronger communities by:​​​
    • Unifying the Latin American community in Southwestern Pennsylvania in a manner that helps its members to preserve and promote their cultural values and Latino identity.

    • Helping Southwestern Pennsylvania to overcome cultural barriers by improving the communication and understanding between the Latin American community and other communities in the area.

  20. La Roche University Office of International Admissions

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    A private, Catholic, co-educational university north of Pittsburgh founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence, La Roche welcomes students of all religions, ethnic origins and talents.

    The international engagement of La Roche University is based on a mission statement that clearly articulates a strong global commitment and dedication to peace and justice. With these values at the core of who we are, we continue to seek and implement new and innovative strategies that are rooted in that mission.

    International Admissions

    International Outreach

    English As A Second Language

     

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