Project Name: Data Justice for Pittsburgh’s Black Neighborhoods (Pittsburgh, PA)
Partners: Black Equity Coalition, Carnegie Mellon University Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment (CREATE) Lab, City of Pittsburgh, The Forbes Funds, Gateway Medical Society, POISE Foundation, University of Pittsburgh Center for Health Equity, University of Pittsburgh Center for Social and Urban Research, Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center (WPRDC), UrbanKind Institute
Data Justice for Pittsburgh’s Black Neighborhoods aims to help residents in Black communities that have been harmed by residential segregation and disinvestment in the City of Pittsburgh gain tools to improve the quality of housing and the built environment. The goal of Data Justice for Pittsburgh’s Black Neighborhoods is to ensure that members of the Black community have a meaningful participatory role in the design of public data systems that will help redress environmental injustices.
The City of Pittsburgh will work with the Black Equity Coalition to build meaningful community participation into City data governance practices, allowing public agencies to be held accountable for their use of data and technology. Community involvement in data governance will also help to ensure that sufficient resources are devoted to producing and sharing high-quality data and documentation that can be used to address environmental challenges that disproportionately impact Black communities in Pittsburgh.
Data literacy training workshops for data stewards designed by the Black Equity Coalition and the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center will increase understanding of how power imbalances in data systems perpetuate structural racism and harm members of Black communities. Participation in these workshops will also prepare community leaders to engage in data governance processes.
Photos Courtesy of Black Equity Coalition
Thoughts from Community Leaders
“Making sure everyone, regardless of race or financial status has access to equal health care is the best thing for the people who call Pittsburgh home. Removing the barriers whether seen or unseen allow residents the opportunity to have a full life.” – Mayor Ed Gainey, City of Pittsburgh
“Equity is at the core of POISE Foundation’s philosophy. We are excited to partner with the City of Pittsburgh and BEC’s Data Working Group who are focused on developing equitable practices that gather, analyze, design and communicate information using an equity lens. We are equally excited to be a part of this national cohort to both learn and share what we hope to be leading practices in the field.” – Mark Lewis, President and CEO, POISE Foundation
“Throughout my career in public health and epidemiology, I have worked to collect data for disadvantaged and underrepresented communities that others weren’t. During the pandemic, it became more apparent that the most-vulnerable members of our community haven’t been centered in the design of our local, state and national data systems. I’ve been working with colleagues through the Black Equity Coalition’s Data Justice Working Group over the past couple of years to ensure an equitable response to the pandemic including advocacy for data transparency and accuracy within our public data systems. I am very excited about this partnership with the City of Pittsburgh that will build a community-centered approach to data governance.” – Dr. Tiffany Gary-Webb, PhD, MHS, Professor and Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Pittsburgh and BEC Data Justice Workgroup Co-Chair