The JKM Library is honoring the cultures and history of Native Americans through a book display. Native American and Indigenous Peoples’ Heritage Month may have already passed (please take a look at our related resources page), but we should continue to reflect on the past, present, and future of these communities and their relationship to of the United States of America: how Indigenous people were colonized, how they were almost decimated, and how they are still oppressed. We recognize that we occupy the unceded, ancestral land of many Indigenous peoples, including the Delaware, the Shawnee, and the Seneca Nation, who were members of the Haudenosaunee (hoe-dee-no-SHOW-nee) Confederacy. As recently as the 1960s, nearly one-third of the Seneca’s tribal lands were taken by the U.S. government to build the Kinzua Dam northeast of the Pittsburgh (for more on land acknowledgments, see this handout).
Located in the first floor, the display offers a curated selection of more than 40 books with an interdisciplinary focus, ranging from literature and history to environmental studies. Part of our goal is to make these resources more visible, which often remain hidden in the stacks. In addition, we wanted to center texts by Indigenous voices. In the case of books by non-Native American authors, we have tried to include works that are inclusive in their approach and do not reproduce problematic stereotypes.
For instance, we excluded a critically acclaimed book, S.C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon, because of its description of the Comanches as “primitive” and “barbarian.” Such language harks back to the racist discourse of past centuries, but the book was published only ten years ago and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. We also did not choose to share most of our Native American art books because they perpetuate the colonialist idea that Indigenous cultures are to be collected by white institutions without any attention to Native American perspectives. It is therefore urgent to share correctives to these narratives, especially from the perspective of institutions like ours, which not only occupy unceded land but also play a role in the formation of collective memory. In addition, the library’s DVD collection does not include any films directed by Native Americans except for Reel Injun, a documentary about the depiction of indigeneity in Hollywood movies, which is part of the display. We hope to be adding more items to our collection that reflect these concerns.
We invite everyone to experience the exhibit and check out any books that might interest you. Some books that we would like to highlight because of their importance for Native American history and cultures are:
Roxane Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (history)
Two-Spirit People: Native American Gender Identity, Sexuality, and Spirituality(gender and sexuality)
Natalie Diaz, When My Brother Was an Aztec (poetry)
Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves (fiction)
The Book of Elders: the life Stories of Great American Indians (testimony)
Terese Marie Mailhot, Heart Berries (memoir)
Native Americans and the Environment: Perspectives on the Ecological Indian (environmental studies)
David J. Silverman, This Land is their Land: the Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled history of Thanksgiving (history)
Sean Sherman, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen (cooking)
Khalila Chaar-Pérez (she/they) is Reference Associate at the JKM Library and also works at the People’s Media Record, a grassroots video archive in Philly. She’s a proud trans Puerto Rican committed to cultivating transformative justice, antiracism, and a world without capitalism. She is also an avid hiker, a film nerd, and a trekkie.
The Chatham University Archives & Special Collections is pleased to present “Eden Hall Farm: A Visual History from the Chatham Archives” in the lobby of the JKM Library.
A presentation of compelling images accompanied by contextualizing ephemera, the video surveys the founding, the purpose, and the experience of Eden Hall Farm guests before the site was donated to Chatham in 2007. Students, faculty, and staff can expect to see familiar Eden Hall Farm landmarks, like the Lodge, as they were enjoyed by farm guests in the 1930s through the 1960s. During those years, the farm was a vacation and retreat center for female employees of the H. J. Heinz Company.
Following a brief introduction describing the impetus for founding Eden Hall Farm, the video presents photographs of farm guests alongside textual snippets from a brochure about the farm produced in the 1940s. All materials in the video are part of the Eden Hall Farm Collection, which is housed in the Chatham University Archives and includes records ranging from guest books and paintings to land deeds and ephemera.
Those interested in exploring the collection more fully are invited to visit the online photograph collection, to review the collection finding aid, or to contact the Archivist for information or to schedule a research appointment (virtual or in-person).
We’re back with our second year of the Judge a Book By Its Cover Bracket! No one should be surprised that there are still many more delightfully goofy library book covers in our collection to judge and enjoy. We all know how outdated and silly some book covers can be to us now, and this bracket is all about embracing and enjoying everything these covers have to offer! We have selected 16 of our most ridiculous covers for you to compare and vote for the best/worst. Each book featured in the bracket is from our collection and is available for check-out by Chatham community members.
While we are clearly encouraging you to put on your judgment caps for this activity, don’t forget that the old saying is true: never judge a book by its cover…unless your librarians are demanding that you do it in the name of fun. But in all seriousness, some of the best books out there have been saddled with covers that just don’t fit what’s inside. So while we all love a beautiful book cover, don’t let the outdated covers discourage you from picking up what might end up being your next favorite book.
Now that the disclaimer is over, let’s get to the judgment. Feel free to download a bracket to fill out for fun prior to the voting. You can access the ballot HERE and on Instagram and Facebook. Make sure to follow us on social media to see which covers advance and how to vote in round two! Keep scrolling for a preview of the round one matchups and to help you fill out your brackets.
Welcome to (A)bridging Community: Social Responsibility During Multiple Pandemics, a virtual art exhibition curated by Chatham University student Chenoa Baker (’21, Cultural Studies) and hosted by the Jennie King Mellon Library. Starting October 18th, 2020, carefully selected pieces of art and corresponding library resources will be posted to the JKM Library’s Instagram and Facebook feeds over the course of a week. The entire exhibition (including information on the artwork, artists, and library resources) has been gathered together here as well.
“We live in a moment that exposes our interconnections. They exist as bifurcations: an afterthought for some and constant reminders of inequalities as well as white supremacist capitalist patriarchy for others. At the intersection of two pandemics, we see that the innocent bystander is complicit, the moderate is a danger, and without bridging these connections with compassion, we sever the bridge we stand on and crumble into the water.”
Kim, Byron. Synecdoche. 1991, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
Byron Kim (b.1961) is a contemporary Korean-American artist who explores racial identity through minimalist art. Synecdoche, one of his most famous artworks, is a collection of paint swatches matched to random sitters of different races. Some view this work as a collage of people, their untold stories, and the color of their skin speaking for them. Others may see this as a variety of people who are individuals part of the whole; similarly, the squares, put together, represent the human race.
Shimoyama, Devan. February II. 2019.
Devan Shimoyama (b. 1989) is a Pittsburgh-based artist and Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Shimoyama creates renderings of glittery fantasies and anxieties around navigating Blackness and queerness. He creates images with paint, collage, and glass to communicate his message. February II, dedicated to Trayvon Martin, signifies the innocence of Black children killed by police brutality by representing them with an article of clothing—the hoodie. The hoodie masks their true identity and skews their adolescence because of the lens of white supremacy. White supremacy obscures the child inside into a perception of suspicion. (Follow on Instagram @DevanShimoyama)
Ballard, Lavett. Hear My Call. 2020.
Lavett Ballard (b.1970) is a collage artist, curator, and art historian. She primarily uses the medium of wooden fences and wood. She reclaims this wood to represent a retelling of Black history. In her work of Breonna Taylor, Hear My Call, she celebrates her life and the collective that shaped who she was. There are motifs of flowers, circles, and a butterfly to represent femininity, softness, and transition of her life. Typically, in Black tradition, death is accompanied by a celebration of life, a time to dwell in grief and deep lamentation and to remember the interconnected network of ancestors that welcomes the deceased person into the fold. (Follow on Facebook at @LavettBallardArt)
Benjamin, Gavin. Dressed to Kill no. 1 (Hoodie). 2020, Parlor Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ.
Gavin Benjamin (b.1971) is a Guyanese Pittsburgh-based artist that works in paint and a variety of appliqued materials. His most famous series is Heads of State, which depicts portraits of Black royalty in a distinct Neo-Baroque style. In Dressed to Kill, Benjamin layers images onto the subject’s hoodie and face. On the subject are images of protests, George Floyd’s phrase during the time of his death “I can’t breathe,” and Skittles and Arizona drinks that Trayvon Martin and others picked up from a corner store before their deaths. All of these markers on the body and provocative title, stresses that victims of police brutality are dressed in a multilayered story ignored during their murder. (Follow on Instagram @gavinbenjamin)
Leff, Rosa. The Real Pandemic. 2020, private collection.
Rosa Leff is an artist and educator that is known for her paper cutting prowess. She cuts elaborate cityscapes by hand and by X-Acto knife. The Real Pandemic is an accumulation of already present pathologies—systemic racism, a failing healthcare system, and broken economic infrastructure. Through the pandemic, it shows that we lost some of our main tenants of community. While we revisit this concept, police are central to the narrative of state power that was never created for the community and only disrupts it more by metaphorically tearing down bridges and literally ripping apart families. (Follow on Instagram @rosaleff)
Click on the images below to view enlarged versions.
Hear My Call
Dressed to Kill no. 1 (Hoodies)
Dressed to Kill no. 2 (Hoodies)
Dressed to Kill no. 3 (Hoodies)
Dressed to Kill no. 4 (Hoodies)
The Real Pandemic
Art can be described as the culmination of cultural, social, and historical context into statements, stories, and expression of creativity. Knowing that context can dramatically change the reading of a piece, but it is not always necessary to appreciate the work. At the Jennie King Mellon Library, we do believe that discovering and understanding the context behind a piece of information (such as a work of art) is critical to full understanding. We try to communicate that importance through our work as library and information professional. To that end, here is a list of resources that we feel can help aid in building your personal understanding of the context behind these pieces.
Issues & Controversies is a wonderful tool for both academic and personal use. Focusing on controversial topics such as systemic racism, Issues & Controversies gathers pro-con articles, primary source material, news publications, various media content, court cases, editorials, etc. to help offer a well-rounded view of difficult topics we see on the news and in life. It is an excellent tool for helping build context and understanding around some of the most hot-button topics of the day.
Adam Matthew Collection
The Adam Matthew Collection contains multiple relevant collections of primary source materials that touch on America’s history with white supremacy, Civil Rights, enslavement, and race relations. These materials are important when becoming familiar with our own history, especially when looking at the role community plays. Documents, newspapers, images, illustrations from the time, artifacts, and more all ground researchers in the correct historical context.
African American Communities: Focusing predominantly on Atlanta, Chicago, New York, and towns and cities in North Carolina this resource presents multiple aspects of the African American community through pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals, correspondence, official records, reports, and in-depth oral histories, revealing the prevalent challenges of racism, discrimination and integration, and a unique African American culture and identity.
Race Relations in America: Documenting three pivotal decades in the fight for civil rights, this resource showcases the speeches, reports, surveys, and analyses produced by the Department’s staff and Institute participants, including Charles S. Johnson, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Thurgood Marshall.
Slavery, Abolition & Social Justice:This resource is designed as an important portal for slavery and abolition studies, bringing together documents and collections covering an extensive time period, between 1490 and 2007, from libraries and archives across the Atlantic world. Close attention is given to the varieties of slavery, the legacy of slavery, the social justice perspective, and the continued existence of slavery today.
DO NOT RESIST is an urgent and powerful exploration of the rapid militarization of the police in the United States. Starting on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, as the community grapples with the death of Michael Brown, DO NOT RESIST – the directorial debut of DETROPIA cinematographer Craig Atkinson – offers a stunning look at the current state of policing in America and a glimpse into the future.
Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Anthony Mackie, Issa Rae, Algee Smith, K.J. Apa, Common. Starr Carter navigates the perilous waters between her poor, black neighborhood and her prestigious, mainly white private school. This all changes when she finds herself in the middle of racial activism after her best friend is shot by police officers, and she’s forced to make a decision. Allow the media to skewer her friend to protect the status quo, or stand up and tell the truth in memory of Khalil?
From the dated to the down-right goofy, we all know that library books can have some of the most outlandish covers ever seen. We know, we know…we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover. And that’s true! Many amazing books have been saddled with less than appealing covers, and we should give them a fighting chance before writing them off, but for right now, for just this purpose, in this moment, we are going to judge the heck out of some book covers!
Join us in March and April for our first ever Judge a Book by Its Cover bracket. We have selected 16 of our most ridiculous covers for you to compare and vote for the best/worst. Each book featured in the bracket is from our collection and is available for check-out by Chatham community members. You’ll be able to browse them at the Popular Reading display on the first floor of the JKM Library. We encourage you to pick them up and read their synopses! Because, after all, we can’t judge what’s inside by what’s outside, can we? We welcome you to check them out at any time.
Round One will begin on Friday March 6th and last until Tuesday March 17th. Each following round will last about a week, wrapping up on Monday April 6th!
Voting during each round will happen in a number of ways. First, we will have the bracket laid out on our Art Wall on the first floor of the JKM Library. Don’t know where that is? Ask at the Circulation or Reference desks! Each book cover will be posted, and you will be able to vote for you favorite in each matchup by adding a sticker next to the cover you love to hate the most.
We will also be posting each matchup to social media and will encourage folks to vote for their favorites in the comments. Votes will be tallied at the end of each round and added to the votes from the Art Wall. Winners will then move on to the next round, and so on and so forth until we have selected our most gloriously bad book cover!
If you want to play along, you can download a bracket here or pick one up in the library. The book covers are included with the bracket, and they are added below along with the Round One matchup. If you want to share your filled-out brackets with us, post to social media with #BookCoverBracket. We would love to share your perfect bracket!
We hope you enjoy our inaugural Judge a Book by Its Cover bracket and that it inspires you to check out a book you might have discounted before.
Matchup 1: Flaubert and Madame Bovary: A Double Portrait vs. The Demon Lover
Matchup 2: A Taste for Death vs. Millennial Women
Matchup 3: Death Notes vs. The Greek Ideal and Its Survival
Matchup 4: Elric at the End of Time vs. Secrets and Surprises
Matchup 5: Startide Rising vs. The Devil Tree
Matchup 6: Dragonseye vs. A Brief Life
Matchup 7: New Worlds for Old vs. Warlock
Matchup 8: The History of the Psychoanalytic Movement vs. Eyeless in Gaza
As we live more and more of our lives on the Internet, it’s important to take personal digital privacy seriously. Hacking techniques can be very sophisticated, and a breech in your privacy can have devastating effects. Learning how to protect your data and your privacy online, as well as how to develop good digital hygiene, is becoming more and more important.
Last semester (fall 2019), we conducted an informal #BeCyberSmart survey of our patrons, asking which level of familiarity they have with personal digital privacy and which actions they take to protect their personal information online.
Patrons were asked to select a sticker color that corresponded with their knowledge level and place those stickers in the columns representing actions they have taken to protect their personal digital privacy. Below are the results of this interactive informal survey.
While most participants have indicated that they know at least a little bit about personal digital privacy and cybersecurity, there is always room for more knowledge! The more you know, the better able you are to protect yourself online. Below we’ve compiled a quick list of resources for you to use when going about a personal digital detox or increasing your personal digital privacy.
From the website… “The Data Detox Kit’s clear suggestions and concrete steps help people harness all aspects of their online lives, making more informed choices and changing their digital habits in ways that suit them.”
Follow simple step-by-step guides to cleaning up your digital presence and locking down your digital privacy
Includes tips and tricks for how to maintain your privacy and good digital hygiene
Offers alternatives to popular apps that do not respect your privacy or pose threats to your privacy
Developed by Berlin-based organization called Tactical Tech in partnership with Mozilla
From the website… “You deserve a better Internet. So we reimagined what a browser should be. It begins with giving you back power. Get unmatched speed, security and privacy by blocking trackers. Earn rewards by opting into our privacy-respecting ads and help give publishers back their fair share of Internet revenue.”
Brave goes beyond protecting your privacy. It revolutionizes how companies monetize their online presence and put that power in your hands. Instead of suffering through ads, you get to decide where your money goes. And if you decide you’re ok with ads, you get rewarded for it!
Brave does not collect your data and gives you incredible control over your own Internet experience
From the website… “The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. We work to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology grows.”
They advocate for safe, secure, and equitable access to Internet resources for all
As part of an ongoing, rotating showcase of recently digitized media in the lobby of the JKM Library, the Chatham University Archives & Special Collections is pleased to present “Issues for the 90s: A Conversation with the President.” This film features Dr. Rebecca Stafford, President of Chatham from 1983 until 1990, discussing a proposal for coeducation brought forth to the college community in 1990. The footage was reformatted through support from the Council of Independent Colleges. Members of the Chatham community and the public are welcome to enjoy the presentation.
The film digs into the questions and concerns alumnae had in the 1990s about the coeducation proposal, enrollment issues, and the future of Chatham College (now University). According to the footage, coeducation was being considered because of concern about enrollment projections and a desire to sustain the institution. Dr. Stafford mentions that growth in adult education at women’s colleges, like the Gateway Program at Chatham, served to increase enrollment numbers overall but did not provide a sustainable model over the long term. Rather, she concluded, Chatham needed to develop a plan to attract more residential students.
Moreover, it is illuminating to learn that coeducation had been considered several times over the course of Chatham’s history. The footage of Dr. Stafford was recorded in February of 1990, a full twenty-five years before Chatham’s undergraduate programs became coed. The Coeducation Debate Collection (click here for the finding aid) includes records of the first formal consideration of coeducation at Chatham in the late 1960s and petitions from faculty, students, and alumnae when the issue was raised in 1990. In the footage on view, Dr. Stafford mentions that Board of Trustees discussed coeducation when changing the school’s name from The Pennsylvania College for Women to Chatham in the 1950s. She notes the trustees were concerned that Chatham must “have a name that doesn’t have `women’ in it.”
Board of Trustee Minutes from 1954 discussing coeducation.
The “Issues for the 90s: A Conversation with the President” is on view in the JKM Library lobby for the enjoyment of members of the public and the Chatham community. Those interested in exploring the history of coeducation at Chatham are encouraged to explore the film and related material in the Chatham University Archives and Special Collections.
By Janelle Moore, Archives Assistant, and Molly Tighe, Archivist & Public Services Librarian
It’s the year of Morocco! The global focus of the 2019-2020 academic year here at Chatham has turned its eye to this multifaceted North African country. Morocco is located in an advantageous region of the world for trade and travel, which led to a fascinating blending of cultures, customs, goods, and people.
The Year of Morocco first floor book display
The region of modern day Morocco was originally inhabited by Berber tribes and were under both Phoenician and then Carthaginian rule, acting as a critical resource in trade activity with the Iberian Peninsula. When Roman rule expanded and then collapsed, control of Morocco went back to the Berbers. Arab populations invaded in AD 684, adding yet another cultural element to the region.
Over the centuries, Morocco found itself in a unique position in terms of early globalization. As empires blossomed and crumbled, trade expanded and new religious and scientific thought was shared. Morocco’s physical location placed it in the middle of much of this change and movement. Leadership and rule of the region changed as influence in Europe and the Middle East shifted.
The Chatham University Archives & Special Collections is pleased to share a selection from the Historical Film Collection featuring footage of the 1966 Commencement ceremony, the address given by then Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, and the protest that occurred outside the event venue. Captured by WTEA News, a portion of this footage is currently on view through September 22 at the Heinz History Center as part of their engaging and thought-provoking exhibit, Vietnam War: 1945 – 1975. The complete footage, including shots of an airport welcome by Chatham President Edward Eddy and extended views of the protests, is on view in the lobby of the Jennie King Mellon Library. Stop by, use the headphones (or read the captions!), and take a few moments to consider this moment in history.
1966 Commencement Footage in the JKM Library Lobby
So, why was the Secretary of Defense speaking at the Chatham commencement? Keep reading…
But first, a little background on McNamara. Born in 1916, McNamara received degrees from the University of California and from Harvard Business School. Disqualified from combat during WWII due to poor vision, he served in the Army Air Force developing logistical and statistical systems for a variety of war activities. Following the war, McNamara rose through the ranks of the Ford Motor Company, serving as company president for one month before accepting an appointment in the Kennedy administration as Secretary of Defense in 1961.
Sec. McNamara at podium at 1966 Commencement, PCC003, Chronological Photograph Files, Chatham University Archives
McNamara is known for the controversial role he played in escalating US involvement in the Vietnam War. Under McNamara’s leadership, the number of American troops—originally sent to Vietnam to train the Army of the Republic of Vietnam—increased rapidly. A fabricated “attack” on the American military in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964 allowed the US military to justify increased engagement in the region and McNamara led President Johnson, Congress, and the American public to believe that this further escalation was necessary to prevent the expansion of communism. McNamara is believed to have privately questioned US military involvement as early as 1965 and he launched a secret investigation of the US commitment to the war. Records of this investigation were leaked to the public in 1971 and are known today as the Pentagon Papers. Having recommended, in a memo to President Johnson, that US involvement should be scaled back, McNamara resigned and became President of the World Bank.
US involvement in Vietnam continued and the sentiment of the American public soured. In 1965, 64% of the American public approved of US involvement in Vietnam. Four years later, approval numbers had sunk to 39%, with 52% considering the war to be a mistake. Months and months of regular US troop deployments turned into years, while news broadcasts delivered a gruesome reality of war casualties and wounded soldiers into living rooms across the country. Television broadcasts also presented the war’s impact on the Vietnamese population, many of whom became refugees after their homes were destroyed.
Newspaper Clipping showing protesters outside Chatham College 1966 Commencement ceremony.
In this video, captured by WTAE Channel four, you’ll see the anti-war protesters picketing in front of Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland, where Robert McNamara was gave the commencement address for Chatham College’s Class of 1966. Kathleen McNamara, his daughter, was a member of the graduating class. The video begins with McNamara’s arrival to Pittsburgh, where he was greeted by a crowd of cheerful people, including Chatham President Edward Eddy. There is a stark contrast between the airport greeting and the footage of the protesters, who marched outside the commencement venue carrying signs decrying the military activity in Vietnam. Protest signs were written in both English and Vietnamese.
The speech given by Sec. McNamara, titled “The Age of Protest,” acknowledges the controversies surrounding the Vietnam War. McNamara’s speech discusses freedom of dissent as a “privilege” available to the American public, but only an aspiration for the citizens of Vietnam. In his speech, McNamara presents the victimization of both the East and the West through the “bureaucratic tyranny of technology and autocracy that’s gradually depersonalizing and aliening modern man himself.”
1966 Chatham Commencement materials on display in the Heinz History Center’s Vietnam: 1945-1975 exhibit.
The Chatham University Archives is honored to loan material to the Senator John Heinz History Center for their exhibition on the Vietnam War. Combining material from the New York Historical Society and the Detre Library & Archives’ rich collection, the exhibit presents this tumultuous period in world history with both a global and a local perspective. In connection with the exhibit, the Heinz History is presenting a series of lectures by journalists, academics, and writers offering a variety of perspectives on the war and its aftermath. The complete footage of the 1966 commencement address by Sec. Robert McNamara is on view in the library of the JKM Library, Chatham University, and the text of the speech is available through the Chatham University Archives.
Not long ago, the JKM Library posed a question to the Chatham community: where do you like to volunteer? We received lots of awesome responses, including some folks asking for specific suggestions and other folks offering them up readily. We’re proud to see that this is a community who enjoys giving back.
Below are the responses you offered along with links so others can look into how they too can get involved. We hope that this inspires you to spend a free afternoon offering your time to an organization you feel passionately about over your Spring Break next week!
Animal Friends: This organization cares for homeless animals and provides animal healthcare, training, food, therapy, education, and more!
Best Buddies: Best Buddies International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Carnegie Public Library: Want to give back to you community through a local public library? Check out the list of ways you can help at a CLP branch local to you!
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank: The food bank aims to feed people in need and mobilize the community to eliminate hunger. They have multiple ways you can get involved, and each is important to their goals.
PAAR (Pittsburgh Action Against Rape): PAAR has offered services for more than 43 years, making it one of the oldest rape crisis centers in the country. Train to provide crisis support via their hotline (1-866-363-7273), offer support in person at police stations and emergency departments, and provide education and coping strategies to survivors. Help PAAR assist victims of sexual abuse and end sexual violence in our community.
Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse: This local non-profit inspires creativity, conservation, and community engagement through reuse. They operate a non-traditional art supply shop where people can donate used art and craft supplies, as well as shop for these unique items all in the same location. They also facilitate hands-on creative programming that educates the public about the benefits of reuse for the environment, community, and self. They have many ways you can volunteer!
Days for Girls: This organization makes it possible for women and girls around the world to live their lives uninterrupted by their menstrual cycles. In some places, women and girls do not have the resources or ability to access personal hygiene products, but Day for Girls makes reusable flannel pads and education for menstruating folks so they do not have to miss school or work days and can work toward their life goals uninterrupted and with less risk. Volunteer to sew reusable pads or distribute kits!
Prevention Point Pittsburgh: Prevention Point Pittsburgh (PPP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing health empowerment services to people who use drugs. PPP offers needle exchange services, comprehensive case management services, assistance to drug treatment, individualized risk-reduction counseling, health education, condom and bleach distribution, overdose prevention with naloxone distribution, and free HIV, Hepatitis C, and STD screening in collaboration with Allies for Health + Wellbeing, formerly the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force. Contact them to see how you can help.
Humane Animal Rescue: One of the largest animal welfare associations in PA tasked with providing enhanced services to domestic and wild animals alike. They provide all aspects of care to abandoned, neglected, and injured animals; reunite lost pets with their caregivers or seek new families for them; educate the community on humane care and interactions with all animals with the goal of reducing pet overpopulation and negative relationships with native wildlife; reinforce a standard of living for animals and prevent cruelty; and provide assistance and medical care to injured, orphaned, or ill native PA wildlife with a goal of returning them to their natural habitat.
PMI Pittsburgh: Are you a project manager or are looking to enter that field? PMI Pittsburgh allows project manager professionals to collaborate and gain value in professional development locally, nationally and internationally.
Little Sisters of the Poor: The Little Sisters of the Poor is a Catholic organization that offers support and care to impoverished elderly populations. Volunteer to support the organization and help those they seek to care for.
Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP): HELP is designed to prevent delirium in patients age 70 and older who are hospitalized at UPMC Shadyside. Volunteers spend quality time interacting with patients, offering services to improve the quality of the patient’s stay, while watching for signs of delirium.
412 Food Rescue: 412 Food Rescue aims to combat two issues: food waste and food apartheids. Volunteers take extra food from various business and institutions and redistributes it where it is most needed. Volunteers also help with education and gardening programs, events, administrative tasks, and more!
Lawrence County Historical Society: Lawrence county is located over an hour north of Pittsburgh. Its historical society preserves its history and historical sites, acquires artifacts related to county history, and encourages interest in county history with education and events.
Animal Friends of Westmorland: Another wonderful Animal Friends group, this organization helps abandoned, abused and neglected animals. They also educate the public to spay and neuter, spread awareness on embracing pet adoption, and inspire others to become animal advocates.
Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh: This local organization offers innovative and integrated health care, education, and social services for children and youth with special health care needs.
Girl Scouts: Girl Scouts provides leadership and community development for young girls and teens through immersive programs. Volunteer to give back to the next generation!
East End Cooperative Ministry: EECM supports its community from many angles. It offers programming for children and teens, soup kitchen services, shelters and housing, health recovery services, therapy, and much more. They offer many ways for community members to volunteer.
Planned Parenthood: PP offers affordable and accessible reproductive health services and education, birth control, cancer and STD screenings, and more! Folks of all genders are eligible for their services.
Climate Reality: This organization is dedicated to community action concerning climate change both locally, nationally, and globally. Join the local chapter to get involved today!
The National Aviary: Located right here in Pittsburgh is our country’s national Aviary! Volunteer to help those visiting from near and far make the most out of their visit to this amazing institution.
Jubilee Soup Kitchen: This local soup kitchen provides hot meals every day to those who have fallen on hard times. Volunteers help make them a success!
Haiti: Haiti has been devastated by natural disaster time and time again. There are several organizations set up for those interested in taking a trip to the country to help them get back on their feet, but make sure you do your research before signing up! Habitat for Humanity in Haiti is a good option.
Local Churches: If you belong to a religious organization, there are usually volunteering opportunities set up through them in your community. This is a very easy and fun way for you to give back to your community with folks you already know for a cause you are passionate about. Check in with your faith leader to see how you can get involved!
Literary programs: There are a plethora of excellent literary-based programs working locally, nationally, and globally to promote reading and literacy to a variety of populations. You can volunteer to make sure underprivileged children get free books, prisoners get access to important books and information in their prison libraries, you cna support the creation of literary programs around the country and around the work, or you could volunteer to do story time at your local public library. Interested in volunteering for a literary program but don’t know where to start looking? Ask JKM Librarian Jocelyn Codner!
Political campaigns: Perhaps folks weren’t serious when they mentioned volunteering for certain political campaigns on our question sheets, but regardless of their intentions, volunteering for the political campaign of a candidate you back is a valuable use of time. This is especially true for local campaigns where the immediate impact can be great. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the local races occurring and the candidates running. Maybe volunteer to work a phone bank or canvass a community on the weekends! Change starts on the local level.