Diversity in the Western Pennsylvania Region
Pittsburgh has a diverse population of ethnic groups contributing to the unique cultural atmosphere that makes Pittsburgh special. Your personality and life experiences are different from everyone else. Pittsburgh is a place to share that personality.
This city encourages individuals to be able to eat, sleep, work, play, and be themselves – all in the name of diversity.
The African American Community
Pittsburgh’s African-American community has a rich history and is continuously evolving. This history forms the basis for change and ongoing improvements through cultural expression, hearing the voices of African American communities. For example, there is an organization dedicated to providing resources to the African American residents of the Hill District in Pittsburgh, providing evidence of growth and focus on the future.
The city offers services, entertainment, and events for many African American communities. The Urban League Young Professionals of Pittsburgh is composed of African American professionals between the ages 21 and 39 who live, work and serve in the greater Pittsburgh region. The Soul Pitt provides information related to the African American community regarding entertainment, spiritual services, and employment opportunities. The August Wilson Center for African American Culture is a museum that showcases the history, culture, and art of African Americans from Western Pennsylvania.
The Hispanic Community
Pittsburgh’s Hispanic community is diverse and consists of various people from many parts of Latin America and Spain. Pittsburgh offers initiatives to strengthen the Hispanic workforce in Western Pennsylvania. The Soul Pitt Espanol is dedicated to providing news, resources, and events focused toward the Hispanic Community.
The Latin American Cultural Union is a great resource for listings of organizations, social events, employment, and religious communities for the Pittsburgh Hispanic culture. The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was established to promote economic growth within the Hispanic community living in Pittsburgh. This organization provides resources to entrepreneurial opportunities and professional employment.
The Asian Community
Asian culture can be found throughout the Pittsburgh community with its many offerings of authentic cuisine and grocery stores, organizations oriented to increase Asian contribution to the community, and listings for Asian owned businesses. The Pittsburgh Asian American Young Professional Association is an organization of young Asian professionals dedicated to networking within the area to promote cultural and professional growth. The Pittsburgh Indian Community Guide provides a complete view on Indian life in Pittsburgh. There are also a variety of services and businesses focused toward the Chinese Culture. Click here for more information regarding these businesses.
Professional women in Pittsburgh are a growing community. Pittsburgh hopes to continue this growth by offering new opportunities for professional women. The city offers several organizations that seek to improve the success rate of women in the workforce as well as their participation in community outreach.
The Executive Women’s Council of Pittsburgh is dedicated to providing political and economic opportunities for professional women. The Business and Professional Women of Pennsylvania (BPW/PA) is a statewide organization helping women to become self-sufficient in terms of financial security. Pittsburgh Bizwomen.com, which is provided by the Pittsburgh Business Times, offers various links for Pittsburgh’s professional women. Bizwomen offers motivational stories and tips on success for business women.
Pittsburgh is a city with a lot of opportunities and information to offer young professionals. The city is home to several organizations that are looking to provide resources and networking opportunities. Pittsburgh helps new young professionals adapt to the city’s atmosphere. The Young Professionals Guide To Pittsburgh Living is a great resource for someone who is new to the city. There are complete listings for services, city attractions, and business profiles.
Pittsburgh Young Professionals is another resource that was created by city natives of varied personal and professional backgrounds, who are dedicated to giving back to the community. The Urban League Young Professionals of Pittsburgh is an organization composed of professionals (ages 21-39) dedicated to social and civic service within the Pittsburgh community. The Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project (PUMP) is an organization dedicated to addressing and changing young professionals misconceptions of Pittsburgh.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Community
Pittsburgh has a thriving LGBT community. The city has an annual Pride festival that promotes equal rights and education. Many of the city’s LGBT organizations encourage networking, support, and advocacy. Thursday Night Live is an online community for gay and lesbian professionals to network. The site also offers links to events within the city.
The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh serves gay and lesbian residents within the Pittsburgh area. The site provides a great networking forum. The Out Publication offers information on events, news, plays, legal issues, and many other issues relevant to the gay and lesbian community.
Persons with Disabilities
Diversity includes ensuring that businesses and community organizations are representative of the communities they serve. According to Census data, 54 million Americans––20 percent of the U.S. population ––have some sort of disability, making them the largest minority group in the country. Nationally, people with disabilities control $175 billion in discretionary spending each year, making them an important target market (Source: US Department of Labor).
One of the greatest challenges experienced by individuals with disabilities is finding meaningful employment. Businesses often overlook this population when recruiting, believing that reasonable accommodations could be too complicated or expensive. However, according to the Department of Labor, these costs average only around $600 (e.g., increasing the flexibility of work schedules, purchasing assistive technology, or adapting the design of workstations).
Think Beyond the Label is a national campaign created to raise awareness for making the business case for employing people with disabilities. Twenty-five states have “opted in” to participate in this campaign.
The Pennsylvania Business Leadership Network is a statewide, employer-driven program designed for business leaders to promote hiring practices that enable qualified people with disabilities to enter and succeed in the workplace.
The Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation is a state agency responsible for helping persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain and keep employment.
The City-County Task Force on Disabilities is a panel of advocates, service providers, and consumers appointed by the Mayor and County Executive who advise on issues that affect people with disabilities: http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/mayor/BAC/bac_pages/city-county_taskforce_disabilities.html.
The Pittsburgh region has a national reputation for being accessible and welcoming to individuals with disabilities. Some businesses that have sprouted to meet the needs of this population, as well as accessible amenities and other resources are highlighted in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County at your Fingertips Download the Brochure.
Voices of Our Region is an oral documentary capturing the life, love and passion of area residents living with disabilities.
Disability crosses all groups of people and is a universal part of the human experience. Encouraged by the examples of other civil rights movements, the disability rights movement has become a significant force in building a more inclusive, diverse community.