photo illustration of hand holding strike sign with a question mark on it

The fight to unionize Amazon workers excited the labor movement. What does their loss mean for organizing in 2021?

In the lead-up and aftermath of the vote, writer Nathaniel Pettit spoke to Pittsburgh-area union supporters and heard two key points: First, that the power of Amazon, aided by federal law that favors employers, means the defeat of a worker's union was in many ways expected; and second, that labor organizing is a long-term fight, where even a loss can inject energy into a resurgent labor movement.

Episode 8, Season 2: Sweat equity — A conversation with Pittsburgh activist Dena Stanley

In this episode, you’ll hear Dena Stanley, activist and executive director of TransYOUniting PGH, on the emotional and mental labor it takes to defend equity and the protection of human rights for the Black and trans community. We discuss how protests inform community organizing, how she feels about her “radical” reputation and the vulnerabilities of being a visible public defender of human rights in Allegheny County. TRANSCRIPT
 

Jourdan: Representative John Lewis' philosophy on activism with simple. If you see something that's not fair, that ain't right, say something, do something, get in some trouble over it, get in good trouble over it in Allegheny County. Dena Stanley is doing all three of those things and more in defense of your human rights. 

Dena:  I just go, I was I was put here for a reason.

‘We’re gonna keep fighting’: Chauvin guilty verdict brings bittersweet hope, continued calls for criminal justice reform

“The fact that people were on edge that this man might not be found guilty speaks volumes about the changes that need to be made to our criminal justice system." That's how Brandi Fisher, president and CEO of the Alliance for Police Accountability, described the guilty verdict of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in a rare rebuke for police violence Tuesday evening.

Historic photo of Bethel AME Church, a large, Romanesque-style cathedral, amid demolition. A crane hovers over the building, and a few construction workers stand in front.

Pittsburgh’s oldest Black church was demolished as ‘blight’ in the 1950s Lower Hill. Today, members seek justice.

As conversations heat up over development plans for the Lower Hill District, one voice is drawing religious history into the spotlight. Bethel AME Church, founded in 1808, was once a thriving congregation and center of learning and social activism. As part of the Lower Hill redevelopment project of the 1950s, the City of Pittsburgh seized the church by eminent domain and demolished it, despite eminent domain laws excluding churches from their reach. 

The county’s Human Relations Commission investigates discrimination. It’s hoping to boost its modest caseload.

William Price heads the Allegheny County commission charged with investigating discrimination. With all of the turmoil in recent months — including the rise of protests for racial justice and concerns about targeted evictions — he finds something surprising: The county Human Relations Commission handled only 11 cases in 2020 and just one through March of this year. The six members of the all-volunteer Allegheny County Human Relations Commission have backgrounds ranging from the legal field to the nonprofit sector. Price said the group feels as though they are not using their powers to the fullest potential, a concern reflected by the low case count. In contrast, the City of Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission has seen large numbers of cases during the past couple of years but declined to detail how many. Allegheny County Council established the county commission in 2009 to handle cases regarding discrimination against race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation and disability.