Archive for : Pittsburgh

Vigils held for Pittsburgh synagogue shooting victims

This article originally appeared on Fox Detroit on October 29, 2018.

By WJFK

People around the world are praying for the victims of the tragic Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and their families.

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Repair the World Highlight: Nisha Blackwell of Knotzland

By Rachel Bukowitz

Nisha Blackwell is a self-taught seamstress and founder of Knotzland, a company dedicated to sourcing and rescuing high quality materials and repurposing them into unique, handcrafted bow ties. Born and raised in the Homewood neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Nisha now works with local women in the community by teaching them to sew and make bow ties for Knotzland. Nisha has created a business that supports people and the environment, all the while creating fabulous bowties!

What was your inspiration in starting Knotzland?

I love reuse and reclaiming. Essentially, I’m really passionate about using things that exist already to make things that we want to exist. I initially made a hair bow for friends daughter, and then one thing lead to another and now I’ve ended up in bowtie space.

Can you share a story or example of the impact that Knotzland has had?

There are so many stories, one of my favorite impact areas is working with local women in the seamstress industry. I train women [to make bow ties]. They come in and pick up their supplies and then do their pieces at their home and then they bring them back. The community of women is really special and has impact on the outside community.

What has been the biggest challenge you faced in founding and running Knotzland?

It’s challenging to always be thinking about what growth looks like. People want to scale fast, but I want to scale intentionally and ethically. The bowtie world doesn’t mean scaling fast.

How has investing in sustainability been good for your business?

It’s refreshing for people to see and hear how impactful it is to reuse things that already exist. There has been a huge education component involved. This is slow fashion; it’s not at your doorstep like Amazon Prime. I usually have to have that conversation with customers, explaining why slow fashion is good for the environment.

What is something you are working on now that you are proud of or excited about?

My most recent project was commissioned by City of Pittsburgh through Innovation and Performance (IMP) Inclusive Innovation Week. On the project I was proud to continue working with Darrell Kinsel, a local artist from BOOM Concepts, to make bow ties that were very direct and powerful. We got together and made bow ties with words on them like “Collaborate”, “Peace”, “Equity”, “Innovation”, and “Inclusion” The bowties were then purchased by the City for the ambassadors to wear during Inclusive Innovation Week.

I am proud to make a statement with a brand. Knotzland focuses not just on environmental aspects of the world, but also on social good.

What was it like to be chosen for Facebook’s Small Business council?

[Nisha was chosen to be in the 5th class of Facebook’s Small Business Council which is a private group that consists of 60 members from all types of different companies]

It was a crazy experience! I flew to the Facebook headquarters in San Francisco and had two days of intensive training on topics ranging from creating great content, to advertising, to actually using products. They provided us with a lot of Instagram insight on how to capture audiences and create effective content. Overall, they advised us on tools that help small businesses. Since small business owners usually do a little bit of everything, there is not as much time to learn some of these things like there is in a large business where they can hire a person to do one thing full-time. They answered a lot of our questions and offered us amazing networking opportunities.

Is there anything else you (Nisha) would like me to know, or have included in Repair the World’s blog?

I would like to say that I really appreciate Repair the World. Repair the World provides a platform and space for social justice. Also, Fellows have been customers of Knotzland! Zack [Block, Repair the World Pittsburgh’s Executive Director] and the Fellows have been really supportive of Knotzland.

Who’s Next: Philanthropy; 17 people invested in making Pittsburgh a better place

This article originally appeared in The Incline on February 13, 2018.

By Rossilynne Culgan

For some people, helping others is their life’s mission. Every day, these 17 Pittsburghers work to make Pittsburgh better — both in the office and after work. From grant writers to development officers, volunteers to funders, these young people are molding Pittsburgh today and for the future.

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CMU to offer scholarships, merit-based aid to Repair the World fellows

This article originally appeared in the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle on February 8, 2018.

By Toby Tabachnick

A new partnership between Repair the World and Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy has catapulted RTW into the ranks of such acclaimed social service groups as Teach for America and AmeriCorps.

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Service organization, Heinz College form partnership

This article originally appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on February 5, 2018.

Participants in a Jewish-based community-service project will be eligible for financial and other aid in enrolling in graduate studies in public policy and related fields at Carnegie Mellon University. The organization Repair the World and CMU’S H. John Heinz III College of Information Systems and Public Policy recently announced the initiative. The college offers numerous master’s and doctoral degree programs in policy and information-related fields.

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Carnegie Mellon Pledges Partnership and Support for Repair the World Fellows

This post originally appeared on eJewish Philanthropy on January 28, 2018.

By EJP

Repair the World and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) have initiated a strategic partnership to support alumni of Repair the World Communities fellowship who choose to pursue a degree in one of the 25 unique programs in CMU’s H. John Heinz III College of Information Systems and Public Policy. Repair fellowship alumni will receive financial support and more than usual flexibility in timing their start of the program, if they are accepted.

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Carnegie Mellon offers scholarships to Repair the World participants

This post originally appeared on TribLive.Com on January 27, 2018.

By Matthew Santoni

Carnegie Mellon University is partnering with a Jewish community-service organization to offer scholarships in the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy. Participants in New York-based Repair the World’s fellowship program will be eligible for a merit-based scholarship of at least 30 percent of their tuition in the college’s 25 degree programs, and will get options for deferred admission and waived admission fees. Similar to some AmeriCorps programs, Repair the World fellows get a $600-per-month living stipend and insurance in exchange for a year-long commitment to service at non-profit organizations in New York, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Detroit or Miami, with a focus on issues of hunger and education. Pittsburgh partners include 412 Food Rescue, Grow Pittsburgh, Homewood Children’s Village and Just Harvest.

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Repair the World’s Pittsburgh Shabbat Dinner held in East Liberty

This article originally appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on January 22, 2018.

By Natalie Bencivenga

When and where: Friday night at the Repair the World headquarters in East Liberty

#ReadBetweenTheLines: Repair the World: Pittsburgh held its annual Shabbat-style dinner in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., this year with a focus on racial disparities in children’s literacy. This free event welcomed people from all ages and backgrounds to break bread together and discuss the topic of educational justice as it pertains to child literacy. “This is a form of resistance,” said Zack Block, executive director. “We want people to become activated and serve in their community to help make positive changes on the micro level. This conversation tonight is just one example of that.”

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Get caught up in the Westmoreland Museum of American Art’s latest exhibit

This article originally appeared in Trib Live on January 12, 2018.

By Mary Pickels

“Repair the World,” 6:30-9 p.m. April 11. Dinner and discussion in collaboration with “Repair the World: Pittsburgh,” digging into immigration and identity in Southwestern Pennsylvania. After exploring “Emigration-Immigration-Migration,” settle in for a night of delicious food and good conversation about these important topics. Free, RSVP requested.

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MLK Day Means a Weekend of Activities in East Liberty

This post originally appeared in Pittsburgh City Paper on January 12, 2018.

By Bill O’Driscoll

Continuing our roundup of Martin Luther King Jr. Day events that didn’t make it into our print issue:

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