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 firstname.lastname@example.org!