About 412Connect

Who We Are


We are Grief to Action (G2A), a transdisciplinary working group at the University of Pittsburgh dedicated to building online platforms to serve marginalized communities. A project of the Center for Analytical Approaches to Social Innovation (CAASI) at GSPIA, we are composed of Pittsburgh community activists, Pitt alumni, faculty and staff, and students across schools and degree programs in and outside of Pitt (WUStL, UCBerkeley, GWU, Tufts, and more), united in our conviction of universities’ public service role.

When the George Floyd protests began in late May 2020, CAASI Director Sera Linardi reached out to the Pitt community and invited students, faculty, and staff to join her in a weekly Zoom call to discuss ways to turn our grief into action. We came together in heartbreak and outrage and even a sense of helplessness -- what could we do? We’ve met nearly every Friday since to discuss this question, and currently have two projects under development: 412Connect and Project Police Union Contract (PxPUC).

412Connect works to increase the visibility of Pittsburgh underrepresented communities, such as Black-owned businesses (BOBs), in local universities. For 2020-2021, we are building a platform that enables BOBs to connect directly with university students through online activities that are linked together as a scavenger hunt. We are grateful for the support of community partners such as Adam Gerard and Juan Garrett of Riverside Center for Innovation (on scavenger hunt content curation), Alex Jackson of Data for Black Lives, Herman Johnson of Community Forge (on surveys of BOBs’ needs), Khamil Bailey of Cocoapreneur, Kyley Coleman of Blackowned.pgh (on data collection for a future BOB directory), and David Walker of WPRDC (on technical advice). We also thank Dr. Alex Labrinidis and Dr. Luis de Oliviera of SCI Pitt for programming support through the CS1980 capstones.

PxPUC is building tools to help citizens better understand the police accountability process in Allegheny County, which has over 100 police departments. We do this by building a database of contracts and an accompanying search tool. We will be announcing the launch date soon, so stay tuned!

G2A is always seeking new members who are passionate about racial justice. We need people with all skill sets: community building, marketing, programming, legal, and research. Whether you are a community member, undergrad, grad student, alumni, staff, or faculty able to spare one or 100 hours, your presence will have a lasting impact on G2A. We meet Fridays at noon over Zoom, and begin every meeting with a brief moment of mindfulness. To learn more or join the team, please email caasi@pitt.edu!

Our Team


Advisory Board


Herman Johnson
Herman Johnson

Community Forge and Root 28 Clothing

Miguelina Javier
Miguelina Javier

American Eagle Outfitters

Management Team


Sera Linardi
Sera Linardi

CAASI Director, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh GSPIA

Claire Guth
Claire Guth

Senior Program Manager, PhD Candidate, University of Pittsburgh GSPIA (June 2020 - May 2021)

Mara McCloud
Mara McCloud

Project Manager and Community Engagement Coordinator, MPIA candidate, University of Pittsburgh GSPIA (June 2020 - August 2021

I Younan An
I Younan An

Project Manager, PhD Candidate, Political Science, University of Toronto (June 2020 - May 2021), GSPIA Alumni

Collin Griffin
Collin Griffin

Technical Project Manager, Computer Science and Economics Student, University of Pittsburgh SCI

Ivy Bryony Chang
Ivy Bryony Chang

Communications Coordinator, Finance and Economics Student, University of Pittsburgh DSAS

Tyler Olin
Tyler Olin

User Experience Designer, University of Pittsburgh SCI Alumni

Community Engagement Team


Sonya Akhgar
Sonya Akhgar

Community Engagement Liaison, PhD Candidate, Political Science, UC Santa Barbara, GSPIA Alumni

Diane Cohen
Diane Cohen

Assistant Director, University of Pittsburgh GSPIA

Alex Jackson
Alex Jackson

Masters Student, Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College

Vannie Wang
Vannie Wang

MPA Student, University of Pittsburgh GSPIA

Technology Team


Kevin DeMaioribus
Kevin DeMaioribus

University of Pittsburgh SCI Alumni

Andi Halim
Andi Halim

Data Science Student, UC Berkeley

Gurmail Mathon
Gurmail Mathon

University of Pittsburgh SCI Alumni

Jeremy Olin
Jeremy Olin

University of Pittsburgh SCI Alumni

Platform Design Team


Mike Hamilton
Michael Hamilton

Research Lead, Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh Katz School of Business

Alex DiChristofano
Alex DiChristofano

Data Lead, Data Science PhD Student, Washington University at St. Louis

Our Partners


Community Forge logo
Community Forge

Representative: Herman Johnson

BlackOwnedPGH logo
blackowned.pgh

Representative: Kyley Coleman

Vibrant Pittsburgh logo
Vibrant Pittsburgh

Representative: malachiah/kai koehler

Cocoapreneur logo
Cocoapreneur

Representative: Khamil Bailey

Black Action Society logo
Black Action Society

Representatives: Angel Christou and Kayla Pierre

Data For Black Lives logo
Pittsburgh Data for Black Lives

Representative: Alex Jackson

GSPIA SOCA
GSPIA Students of Color Alliance

Representative: Uchenna Mbawuike

Riverside Center for Innovation
Riverside Center for Innovation

Representative: Adam Gerard