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UPstander Update

Hazelwood Green (corner of Second and Hazelwood Ave.)

June 19, 2020

1 pm

This UPstander opportunity offers you the possibility of standing as an ally with our partner Rev. Tim Smith of the Center of Life in Hazelwood as he makes the statement:


Religious leaders of Pittsburgh will come together Friday, June 19, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. at Hazelwood Green (corner of Second and Hazelwood Ave.), to stand together as a community of faith to say unequivocally that Black Lives Matter.
June 19, Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

(It is a very big open space.  Physical distancing will be observed.  Please wear your mask.)

The leaders will address the history of systemic racism in Pittsburgh, invite people of faith to join in identifying, abolishing, and reforming the systems that sustain racism and discrimination against Black people and encourage people of faith everywhere to step forward, speak out and take action.

Rabbi Ron Symons, Center for Loving Kindness/JCC PGH, will stand as ally with Pastor Smith and make a statement grounded in Jewish values.

June 19 is a significant day for two reasons:

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. (

On June 19, 2018, Antwon Rose II was killed by a police officer in East Pittsburgh.

We hope that this gathering advances the cause of justice.

Sofa Spirituality

We also wanted to remind you of our ongoing Sofa Spirituality project. This week, we’re featuring interviews with three local leaders whom you might know! Please considering signing up to join a short dialogue inspired by their wisdom.

  • Visit
  • Watch a 6 minute interview.
  • Register for a 45 minute live zoom small group dialogue based on the interview.
  • Discover our shared humanity.

At 10 a.m. on Friday, June 19, our dialogue explores how to balance our cherished traditions and our emergent needs, inspired by our interview with Rev. Richard Freeman. If you can’t make it on Friday, sign up for the session on Tuesday, June 23 at 7 p.m.

At 11 a.m. on Friday, we’ll be talking about our interview with Wasi Mohamed, who teaches us about Muslim prayer practices that encourage continuous awareness of God. We’ll repeat this dialogue on June 23 at 8 p.m.

At noon on Friday, our dialogue will be inspired by the conversation with Kohenet Keshira Ha Lev Fife, who encourages us to recover practices in our own traditions that might have been lost or repressed in history. That dialogue will repeat on June 23 at 9 p.m.

Coming Events
Aug 16
7-9:15 pm
Family relationships are casualties of our toxic political environment. Preserve important family bonds while staying true to your values. Families and Politics workshops show participants how to talk about politics with their loved ones in a way that brings them closer together — not farther apart. Register by August 12 here: HERE About this event...
Aug 16
Countering Political Polarization Greater Pittsburgh Workshops This Summer and Fall 2021 All Via Zoom and Free of Charge Registration information below. Our country has become increasingly polarized over political issues. These FREE workshops will teach you strategies for both listening and speaking with people who have differing political opinions without trying to change anyone’s mind. You will learn...