This has been a week of sorrow, anger, and inward reflection.
Our Riverlife team is saddened by the pain and trauma inflicted on communities of color by the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breona Taylor and so many other Black Americans who have died from police violence and systemic racism. We grieve with you.
Like many cities, the history of “urban planning” in Pittsburgh is fraught with policies and decisions that have disproportionately impacted communities of color in negative ways. As we work in this space right now, we face the hard truth that many of Pittsburgh’s civic and economic improvements over the past several decades have not benefited all equally, and in some cases have caused direct harm to communities of color.
Nationwide, we are reminded of what people of color already know to be true: not everyone has been able to enjoy parks, trails, and public open spaces equally. This was illustrated by Christian Cooper’s experience in Central Park, and too many other instances where Black people have been harassed or made to feel unwelcome in open spaces intended for everyone.
We commit to be agents of change and allies. We know that it’s up to us–it’s our responsibility–to confront injustice and to create an equitable and inclusive table; one that authentically elevates Black voices and experiences in shaping our riverfront experience. We have a lot of work to do. We begin by acknowledging that we have so much to learn.
We stand in solidarity today and will work in earnest to create a more equitable Pittsburgh.
President and CEO