Millions of people across the U.S. have participated in anti-racism demonstrations over the death of George Floyd. The New York Times tracked the scale of the movement and concluded that it may be one of the biggest in U.S. history.

PublicSource staff and freelance partners have covered a lot of racial justice marches in the city of Pittsburgh over the course of two months.

But to capture a more comprehensive picture of the scale, we asked local reporter Mark Kramer to explore the extent of the Black Lives Matter movement in our region’s small towns. It’s not a secret that our region is among the most fragmented, with more than 100 police departments in Allegheny County alone, and even more municipalities. Mark went to a handful of protests in these towns and covered them in his story.

To show the scale of the movement in our region, we’ve mapped dozens of towns that held anti-racism rallies. If you know of a southwestern Pennsylvania town that had a Black Lives Matter protest but we haven’t included it here, please send us a note with a location to info@publicsource.org and a link to an event on social media or an article covering the protest.

Mark Kramer is a freelance writer and creative writing teacher based in Pittsburgh. He can be reached at mark@mnkramer.com.

Juliette Rihl is a reporter for PublicSource. She can be reached at juliette@publicsource.org.

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James Baldwin wrote, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” PublicSource exists to help the Pittsburgh region face its realities and create opportunities for change. When we shine a light on inequity in our region, like the “completely unacceptable” conditions in low-income housing in McKeesport, things change. When we ask questions about policymakers’ decisions, like how Allegheny County is handling COVID-19 safety for its employees, things change. When we push for transparency on issues that affect the public, like in the use of facial recognition software by Pittsburgh police, things change.

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Juliette Rihl

Juliette Rihl reports on criminal justice, public safety and mental health for PublicSource. Her 2020 series on how court debt impacts low-income Allegheny County residents prompted the county to join...