PublicSource maps and chronicles the strengths of diverse communities.

Wilkinsburg — like so many Western Pennsylvania communities — has seen population loss, disinvestment and abandonment. It also shares with many neighbors an unshaken community pride that even newcomers can’t help but notice.

“Wilkinsburg has a very loyal and passionate citizenry,” said Denise Bunger, a real estate agent who chose Wilkinsburg after returning to her Pittsburgh-area roots after living in Washington, D.C., the state of Washington and Hawaii. “People who are from Wilkinsburg care a lot about what’s happening in Wilkinsburg and don’t want to leave.”

When PublicSource set out to map the strengths of diverse communities, feature its people and build relationships toward deeper, more complete news coverage, Wilkinsburg stood out as a great starting point. Whether you already know Wilkinsburg or not, we hope this coverage will add to your understanding.

Communities are powerful because of the infinite ways in which their members interact and join forces. A map can scratch the surface of a community’s depth. PublicSource’s outreach to Wilkinsburg identified many assets, shown here, and we know there are more. Write to to suggest other resources in Wilkinsburg.

Wilkinsburg’s spirit and resourcefulness shone in a season spent chronicling — in pictures, stories and a resource map — Pittsburgh’s eastern neighbor.

By Quinn Glabicki, Stephanie Strasburg & Rich Lord

Follow the brownie crumbs from a long-abandoned Wilkinsburg address and you’ll meet an entrepreneurial baker, a nonprofit developer, affordable housing advocates and more.

By Rich Lord
Violet Scott of Veez Decadent Brownies stands for a portrait with some of her baked goodies in the commercial kitchen in St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church where she bakes for her business on April 12, 2023, in Wilkinsburg. (Photo by Stephanie Strasburg/PublicSource)

The ministry’s director went from food stamps to a professorship to running an essential resource in times of rising food prices..

By Betul Tuncer
Melissa Wilson stocks a produce refrigerator in between guests at the Wilkinsburg Community Ministry food pantry. Reed has seen an increase in people using the pantry since SNAP benefits were cut back in March. (Photo by Stephanie Strasburg/PublicSource)

Sister Thea Bowman Catholic Academy has about 100 students. While other private schools “wouldn’t have even opened the doors” to that small class size, one parent says the school’s tuition costs and curriculum make it a valuable asset to the community.

By Emma Folts
Lucy Lane, left, 8, and her mother, Emily, stand for a portrait outside Sister Thea Bowman Catholic Academy where Lucy is in second grade, on April 25, in their neighborhood of Wilkinsburg. Emily comes to school to volunteer with the school’s cooking club. (Photo by Stephanie Strasburg/PublicSource)

Wilkinsburg’s Alive and Kicking Team strives for health, fun, intergenerational relationships — not to mention sponsorships and a better practice field.

By Jourdan Hicks
From left, Kia Foster, of Penn Hills, Jasmine “Happy Feet” Thomas, of East Liberty, team manager Yvette Harrison, of Wilkinsburg, Sandra “Ma Duke” Douglass, of the Hill District, and coach Haywood “Cheddar Melt” El, of Wilkinsburg, come together at the end of practice for their Wilkinsburg Alive and Kicking Kickball Team on April 26 at Whitney Park in Wilkinsburg. Games start on Sundays in June, and are broadcast on YouTube. (Photo by Stephanie Strasburg/PublicSource)

More Wilkinsburg stories