Watch a video recordings of St. Paul's "Is Human Trafficking Happing in My Community" zoom event. The video Chosen, a teen's first hand account at nearly being trafficked is also provided.
Studies suggest nearly 420,000 people are trafficked in the United States each year. Every 45 minutes, a case of human trafficking is reported in the United States. Sadly, many cases go unreported, hidden in plain sight. In 2019, Pennsylvania ranked 4th in human trafficking prosecutions. These are just some of the startling statistics that prompted St. Paul’s Working for Justice group to join the fight against human trafficking.
The Department of Homeland Security website states, “human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide – including right here in the United States. It can happen in any community and victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality. Traffickers might use violence, manipulation, or false promises of well-paying jobs or romantic relationships to lure victims into trafficking situations.”
January is slavery and human trafficking prevention month. The Working for Justice group at St. Paul’s is observing the month by supporting the local organization Living in Liberty, which is dedicated to combatting human trafficking in our community. Working for Justice hosted speaker Sherrill Rudy from Living in Liberty last March and learned a great deal from her expertise. Hosting or attending an educational session is the highly recommended first step in increasing awareness and learning about prevention. Check out www.LivinginLiberty.org for more information.
Living in Liberty not only educates adults, but high schoolers as well. For our youth, often a peer – not an adult – is the first person to notice signs of trafficking. In fact, through Living in Liberty’s education program at a local high school, two female students knew to contact their designated school official when they received trafficking-oriented text messages. Their actions, resulted in authorities to apprehending the traffickers.
Another way to increase awareness is by promoting “The Blue Campaign,” a public awareness effort to educate on human trafficking indicators. Do this by posting a picture of yourself, friends, family, and colleagues wearing blue clothing on social media, along with #WearBlueDay.
In addition, a purchase of “All God’s Children,” a song by Christian music artist Tauren Wells gives 100% of proceeds to The Tim Tebow Foundation’s Anti-Human Trafficking ministry. The lyrics of Well’s song sum up Working for Justice’s belief that “We are all God's children, made in His image, perfectly loved, worthy of freedom. This is our fight, ‘til every life is set free.”
Vote With Christian Values
WHERE IS MY POLLING LOCATION: Click here.
Below you will find links to materials prepared by the League of Women Voters to help young, senior, or actually any voter fulfill their Christian obligation to vote guided by faith. The UMC urges us all to do so.
The United Methodist Church – Book of Resolutions: “The church should continually exert a strong ethical influence upon the state, supporting policies and programs deemed to be just and opposing policies and programs that are unjust.” ( ⁋ 164, page 472 )
Some of this terminology seems a little unusual, doesn’t it. That is because the UMC is an international church, these words are not just for us in the United States. Not everyone can vote in this world. But we can.
Why vote? Click here.
Understanding Elections. Click here.
Voter Registration. Click here.
Voting at The Polls Click here.
IF YOU ARE VOTING BY MAIL:
Mail-in Voting. Click here.
Applying for Your Ballot – On Line vs. Paper Application Click here.
Nitty Gritty of Mail-In Voting Click here.
One way we can take personal action to counter systemic racism is to purchase from black and minority owned businesses. Of course, buying one lunch or just a few items one time from a black owned business will not solve racism, but it could be the first, or perhaps the next small step you take towards this worthy goal. Hopefully, it will be followed by more of your steps, and by hundreds of millions similar steps by others in the coming months. And that is how change happens.
To help you in this endeavor, we have prepared a list of black owned businesses in the greater Pittsburgh area. Hoping to bump into you at one of these locations.
This Wilkinsburg cafe offers a menu with items like the ‘Great Beyond’ (honey mustard grilled chicken, rice and vegetables), the ‘Fat Vegan’ (rice, peppers, onions and broccoli with red curry), and Pineapple Bowls, a fresh-cut pineapple, stuffed with shredded chicken, vegetables, and rice with teriyaki sauce. They also have fresh-squeezed lemonade, and Gin-tum, their signature fresh ginger and turmeric tea. 9 Cafe (900 Wood Street)
Aunt Cheryl’s Cafe
Breakfast and lunch options, including salads and sandwiches. Also serves house-made desserts, like Sweet Potato Pie, Apple & Peach Cobbler, and Vanilla & Almond Cake. Catering options are also available. Aunt Cheryl’s Cafe (416 Library Street)
Back to the Foodture
You’ll find more than 25 different burger options (like the Dusty Rhodes, with provolone, crispy onion, bacon and Carolina wing sauce), plus loads of fries, wings and hot dogs on the menu at this fun Pitcarin spot. Back to the Foodture (378 Broadway Blvd.)
The Blowfish BBQ food truck can be found at lots of places around town, regularly making stops at Brew Gentlemen and Roundabout Brewery. They offer pulled pork, brisket, ribs, and homemade sides, including Mac & Cheese and cole slaw. Follow their Facebook page to see their weekly schedule. Blowfish BBQ
Massive sandwiches are on the menu at Brrats Deli in Swissvale, with options that include the Parkway Pastrami, the ‘Love and Happiness’ (mozzarella, honey-roasted turkey, and corned beef), and the ‘Bob Marley,’ piled high with vegetables and cheese. Brrats Deli (1703 Monongahela Avenue)
Cafe on the Corner
Cafe on the Corner is a cafe and catering company, serving sandwiches, salads, wraps, and homemade desserts, along with soul food favorites, and their famous gumbo. Cafe on the Corner (2700 Shadeland Avenue)
Carmi Soul Food
Carmi Soul Food’s menu include favorites like fried chicken, turkey ribs, meatloaf, and stuffed pork chops. The South Side restaurant also offers catering, and the restaurant owners also just opened Carmi Express, a takeout spot on the North Side. Carmi Soul Food (1825 East Carson Street)
Casa Brasil serves up authentic Brazilian cuisine in Highland Park, including mouth-watering platters withen trees like Codfish Stew with coconut milk, Shrimp Moqueca, and a ‘Blue Collar’ special with pinto beans, rice, pan-seared chicken and farofa. Delivery is available Casa Brasil (5904 Bryant Street)
On the menu at C&D’s Kitchen in Hazelwood, you’ll find Chicken & Waffles (including specialty waffles with chocolate chips, jalapeno & cheese, and banana nut), plus lots of wings, Fish & Grits, burgers, salads and more. Call 412-224-2658 to order. C&D Kitchen (4901 Second Avenue)
Chef Kevin Watson opened Chef’s Table earlier this year, serving fresh, made-to-order healthy meal options, including salads, sandwiches, pizza and entrees, like Merlot-Braised Short Ribs, and Pan-Seared Salmon. Watson is also launching a give-a-meal program, to help serve Pittsburghers in need. Chef’s Table (2193 Babcock Blvd.)
Downtown nd East Liberty
You can order (almost) any kind of cobbler you want from Cobbler World, along with cheesecakes, cakes, pies and turnovers. There are dozens of varieties available, in flavors like Pineapple, Hawaiian Punch, Cherry Chocolate Chip, Red Velvet and Peach. Check out their Facebook page for daily menu updates. Cobbler World (multiple locations)
The “farm-to-soul” fast-casual restaurant has locations in West Mifflin, Tarentum and Greensburg, and serves dishes like BBQ Chicken, Fried Catfish, Chicken & Waffles and collard greens – and cornbread, of course. Cornbread (multiple locations)
Crabs R Us
Snow Crab Steam Pot, Seafood Samplers (with snow crab claws, crab cakes, Teriyaki salmon, fried shrimp and shrimp scampi), and Stuffed Salmon are just a few of the menu items you’ll find at this Wilkinsburg spot. Order takeout or delivery by calling 412-871-5740. Crabs R Us (764 Penn Avenue)
Deep-fried whole chicken, sandwiches, hoagies, burgers, pulled pork and more is available at Cuddy’s in Homewood. They’re open for takeout, and delivery. Cuddy’s (7901 Tioga Street)
Sweet treats from Dana’s Bakery include doughnuts, cupcakes, Pineapple Upside Down bites, Ladylocks, and their famous Butter Crust Rolls. Place an order to go by calling (412) 731-0929. Dana’s Bakery (720 N Homewood Avenue)
Coffee, tea, pastries, and breakfast and lunch options, including sandwiches, wraps, paninis, salads and flat breads. Open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Everyday Cafe is also a cashless restaurant. Everyday Cafe (532 North Homewood Avenue)
Fireside Caribbean Restaurant
Generous portions of delicious Caribbean food can be found at Fireside in Wilkinsburg. The restaurant serves specialties like oxtail with beans and rice, curry shrimp, jerk chicken and curry chicken. Order by calling 412-243-6344. Fireside Caribbean Restaurant (796 Penn Avenue)
Flavors Famous Street Food
Marshall – Shadeland
You’ll find all kinds of cuisines at Flavors Famous Street Food, including more than a dozen flavors of wings, plus hoagies, burgers, fried chicken, tacos, wood-smoked BBQ, loaded fries and salads. They also offer catering. Flavors Famous Street Food (3231 Brighton Road)
Looking for some of Pittsburgh’s best milkshakes? You’ve come to the right place. The Fudge Farm (with locations in Bloomfield, on the Waterfront and on the South Side) offers super-loaded milkshakes, plus handmade fudge, chocolates, fruit bouquets, and chocolate-covered fruit. Fudge Farm (multiple locations)
The Hill District
The Hill District’s Grandma B’s is a lunch counter serving homestyle diner fare, including French Toast, pancakes, Shrimp & Grits, Philly cheesesteaks and more. Grandma B’s (2537 Wylie Avenue)
Griff’s Grounds Coffè
Griff’s Grounds Coffè coffeehouse offers a number of special coffee blends (like French Apple, Tiramisu, and Butter Rum), along with special teas, espresso, and traditional coffee drinks. Griff’s Grounds Coffè (1817 Leechburg Road)
Happy Day Dessert Factory
Find homemade hard ice cream, water ice, frozen yogurt and almond milk soft serve at Happy Day Dessert Factory on the North Side. Other products include freshly-baked waffle cones, milk shakes, sundaes, fresh-baked cookies, and ice cream sandwiches. Happy Day Dessert Factory (906A Western Avenue)
This small spot in Carnegie offers Caribbean dishes, like Jerk Pork, Curried Goat, Stewed Chicken and Pork Ribs, served with sides like steamed cabbage, rice and beans, and plantains. Island Spice (116 Washington Avenue B, Carnegie)
Located in Webster Hall, Kevin’s Deli serves breakfast and lunch, with egg-and-sausage sandwiches, burgers, Pittsburgh salads (piled high with fries!), Reubens, cheesesteaks, and lots more on the wide-reaching menu. Kevin’s Deli (4415 Fifth Avenue, Suite 120)
Mobile food truck Kilimanjaro Flavour serves up authentic Tanzanian food at various spots around the city. On the menu (available at MobileNom), you’ll find dishes like Zanzibar-style Coconut Chicken, Vegan Makande, samosas and Braised Beef with sauteed vegetables. Kilimanjaro Flavour
Leon’s Caribbean Restaurant
Pittsburgh favorite Leon’s Caribbean Restaurant serves authentic Jamaican cuisine in Allentown for lunch and dinner. All entrees are served with their house Rice & Peas and Steamed Cabbage, and options include dishes like Steamed Fish in Pumpkin Sauce, Curry Goat, Curry Fish and Brown Stew Chicken. Leon’s Caribbean Restaurant (823 E Warrington Avenue)
Lettuce Eat is located in the Monroeville Mall, offering build-your-own salads, wraps and soups, all made with locally-sourced produce. Lettuce Eat (200 Mall Circle Drive, Monroeville)
Live Fresh Cold Pressed Juice + Smoothie Bar
Healthy eatery Live Fresh offers cold-pressed juice, smoothies, acai and smoothie bowls (like the Pittsburgh Pina Colada, with banana, mango, pineapple, house granola, honey and toasted coconut shreds), and immunity-boosting shots. Live Fresh Cold Pressed Juice + Smoothie Bar (114 East 8th Avenue, Homestead)
Serving lunch and dinner, Los Chiludos offers tacos, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas and fajitas, along with a healthy selection of flavored margaritas. Los Chiludos (325 Southpointe Blvd., Canonsburg)
Love Rocks Cafe
Located in the Father Ryan Arts Center in McKees Rocks, the Love Rocks Cafe serves homemade breakfasts and lunches from an ever-rotating menu, with options like Stuffed Cabbage, Shrimp Scampi and BBQ ribs. Love Rocks Cafe (420 Chartiers Avenue, McKees Rocks)
Ma’s Honey offers all-day breakfast and lunch options, like blueberry French toast, homemade pancakes, hoagies and more. Homemade sides include Mac & Cheese, fried cabbage, and fresh-cut French fries. Ma’s Honey (11101 Frankstown Road)
Ms. Jean’s Southern Cuisine
Ms. Jean’s Southern Cuisine is a Wilkinsburg staple, serving an array of Southern specialties, including pork ribs, chicken wings, smothered chicken, and homemade pies. Ms. Jean’s Southern Cuisine (807 Wallace Avenue)
Naka EndZone BBQ
Crafton’s Naka EndZone BBQ serves fall-off-the-bone pork ribs, turkey ribs, and chicken wings, along with sides that include sweet baked beans, sweet candied yams, Mac & Cheese and cabbage & greens. Naka EndZone BBQ (1310 Crafton Blvd.)
Nana’s Place by Gibson’s
Nana’s Place in Bloomfield and Gibson’s Takeout in Penn Hills serves homestyle favorites, like smothered chicken, baked chicken, roast beef, baked ham, catfish and BBQ ribs. Nana’s Place by Gibson’s (multiple locations)
Observatory Hill Deli
Deli sandwiches (including their signature options, like Meatball Hoagies and Italian Hoagies), plus salads and sides – along with homemade sweet potato pie and cheesecakes – are on the menu at Observatory Hill Deli. They also offer a massive “Big Dipper” Italian hoagie sandwich that must be ordered a day in advance (call 412-251-0416 to order). Observatory Hill Deli (2856 Baytree Street)
Pauline’s Caribbean Soul Cuisine
There’s lot s of Caribbean dishes to choose from at Pauline’s on the North Side, including Brown Stew Chicken, Curry Chicken, Oxtail platters, Curry Goat, Jerk Pork, Callaloo & Saltfish, and Pepper Steak. Vegetarian options are also available, like Curried Vegetable Stir Fry. Pauline’s Caribbean Soul Cuisine (1204 Federal Street)
This North Side fried chicken joint serves boneless strips, wings, sandwiches, chicken & waffles, and fried chicken dinners with all the fixings, like Mac & Cheese, cornbread stuffing, potato salad and red rice and beans. Quik-It Chicken (820 Pennsylvania Avenue)
Ribs n’ Bread
Turkey ribs and pork ribs dominate the menu at this BBQ restaurant, but there are sandwich options, including chopped pork and chopped turkey. Sides include Cole Slaw, collard greens, corn bread, Mac & Cheese, and green beans. Ribs n’ Bread (4707 Centre Avenue)
Royal Caribbean Takeout
Royal Caribbean Takeout offers traditional Caribbean favorites in Wilkinsburg. Look for tasty menu items like Curry Shrimp, Oxtail, Curry Goat, Brown Stew Chicken, Esco Snapper and steamed cabbage. Royal Caribbean Takeout (1568 Montier Street)
Savoy offers upscale dining options in the Strip District, with a dinner menu that includes dishes like Teriyaki Salmon, Handmade Chicken Fettuccine, Chilean Sea Bass and Bone-In Ribeye. Live jazz nights are also a regular occurrence. Savoy (2623 Penn Avenue)
East Liberty Farmers Market
ShadoBeni will sell their vegan Trinidadian cuisine at the East Liberty Farmers Market, starting June 15 this year. Menu items include Trinidadian Doubles, Aloo pie, Pelau, and Sorrel, plus they sell their homemade pepper sauce by the jar. Pre-orders are available each week. ShadoBeni
This BBQ joint serves dinner options (with ribs by-the-bone and chicken wings), plus sandwiches and sides, including red beans & rice, yams, green beans and baked beans. Showcase BBQ (6800 Frankstown Avenue #1370)
Simmie’s Restaurant and Lounge
Simmie’s Restaurant & Lounge has been open since 1991, serving specialties like include Steamed Snow Crab Legs, Chicken & Shrimp Jambalaya, and cod sandwiches. They’re also currently offering family-style meals. Simmie’s Restaurant and Lounge (8500 Franktown Road)
Soul Food Connection
Soul food dishes make up th emenu at Soul Food Connection in Wilkinsburg. Look for from-scratch items like fried fish, fried chicken, Mac & Cheese, ribs and green beans. Soul Food Connection (819 Wood Street)
Soul & Sea
The name says it all: Soul & Sea offers fantastic soul food (turkey ribs, pork ribs, Mac & Cheese), and seafood (crab cakes, crab legs, and shrimp boils). They have two locations, one in Penn Hills, and one on the South Side. Soul & Sea (multiple locations)
The Dream BBQ
This small restaurant serves BBQ ribs and chicken with homemade sides, including Mac & Cheese, collard greens and potato salad. They also offer a number of different sauces with their BBQ, including their crowd-favorite mustard sauce. The Dream BBQ (7600 North Braddock Avenue)
Wings, burgers, salads and sandwiches are on the menu at The Spot in Penn Hills. Restaurant specilaities include bacon cheeseburgers, Philly chicken hoagies, and steak salads. The Spot (11675 Frankstown Road, Penn Hills)
True Pizzeria & Lounge
True Pizzeria & Lounge in Robinson offers a huge menu, with a focus on pizza and African food, like Jollof Rice (tomato-based rice mixed with West African spices and a side of chicken wings), and shawarma. True Pizzeria & Lounge (5474 Campbells Run Road)
Every week, Veggies N’At posts a new menu of healthy plant-based available for pickup on their Instagram page. Look for tasty options like Deconstructed Lasagna (with lentil Bologonese and cauliflower ricotta), Curried Vegetable Pot Pies, and Chickpea and Cauliflower Bowls. Veggies N’At
Vibe Bellevue: Vibe Bellevue is a fun and positive energy bar serving healthy smoothies, protein coffees, energizing teas and more.
Vickey’s Soul Grill Takeout & Catering
Dinner options at Vickey’s Soul Grill include oxtail, chicken wings, fried whiting and catfish meals, plus homemade sides (like yams, mixed Southern greens, and potato salad) desserts, including peach cobbler, cream cheese pound cake, 7-Up pound cake and sweet potato pie. Vickey’s Soul Grill Takeout & Catering (410 9th Street, McKeesport)
Walter’s Southern Kitchen
Walter’s Southern Kitchen has been a Lawrenceville staple since they opened a few years ago, thanks to their fantastic BBQ and their massive outdoor space. Menu items include smoked wings, catfish sliders, Frito Pie, and a whole lot of smoked meats, including brisket, pulled pork, turkey and pork belly. Walter’s Southern Kitchen (4501 Butler Street)
Wild Rise Bakery
Wild Rise Bakery creates baked goods that are made using locally-sourced, gluten-free grains and wild and bakers yeasts. Menus are posted weekly for pickup (typically in Garfield), and options include treats like Orange and Cranberry Walnut Bread, Apple and Ginger Tarts, and Chocolate Chip Sourdough Waffles. Wild Rise Bakery
Wings And A Prayer
There are lots of wings on the menu at Wings and a Prayer, plus hot dogs, fish dinners, fresh fish sandwiches and ‘Goliath’ burgers, along with fried chicken and BBQ ribs. Side dishes are also available, including fresh collard greens, fried cabbage, baked Mac & Cheese and yams. Wings And A Prayer (226 Shady Avenue)
Young Brothers Bar
You’ll find lots of drinks at Young Brothers Bar, plus dancing, and food specials, too. Young Brothers Bar (1441 Woods Run Avenue)
Z-Best Barbeque, Chicken & Ribs
Just up the street from the PPG Paints Arena, you’ll find Z-Best Barbeque, Chicken & Ribs, serving platters of BBQ favorites, like pulled pork sandwiches, ribs and collard greens. They also offer catering. Z-Best Barbeque, Chicken & Ribs (1315 Fifth Avenue)
Other Black-Owned Businesses
First Sip Brew Box: First Sip Brew Box is a monthly subscription service that brings beer fear from some of the country’s greatest breweries to your door. Also available for one-time gift purchases, each box contains awesome swag, including branded glasses, stickers, and more.
Fresh Fest: The Fresh Fest Beer Fest is the country’s first Black beer festival, featuring Black-owned craft breweries from around the United States. Now in its third year, the organizers have just announced that this year’s festival will take place online during a live-streaming event that will be broadcast in August.
Power Bites: Made with organic, non-GMO ingredients, Power bites offers gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free vegan snacks that are packed with protein, like their Almond Butter Crunch Bites and Salted Peanut Butter Crunch Bites.
Pure Grub: Pure Grub offers weekly menu options for organic, clean-eating meals that can be delivered or picked up at Tupelo Honey Teas in Millvale. Menus change regularly, but can include items like Cubano Stir Fry, Spicy Japanese Sweet Potatoes, Zucchini Noodles Stir Fry, and their Balls of Goodness nut-based sweet treats.
The Smokey City’s 412 BBQ: Jamal Etienne-Harrigan owns The Smokey City’s 412 BBQ, featuring Uncle Jammy’s Sauces & Seasonings. His sauces and rubs, like the Bridge City Brisket Rub, Smile for Smokey BBQ sauce, and Cajun of the 412 seasoning, are sold in various spots around town, including Whole Foods, Janoski’s Farm, Tom Friday’s Meat Market, and RSVP in Greensburg. Etienne-Harrigan also owns 412 BBQ, a catering and BBQ company.
Black-Owned Apparel, Fashion, & Shopping
Black-Owned Arts Organizations & Groups
· African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund
· We owe it to ourselves, our ancestors, and our future generations to preserve—and share—the full American story. Sometimes preserving that story means working through a difficult past to create a more inclusive future. Sometimes it means amplifying the voices of those who historically have been silenced. No matter the approach, we believe every American should be able to see themselves, their history, and their potential in both our collective story and our national landscape.
· To encourage this growing movement, the National Trust and its partners are working to raise $25 million to create and invest in the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund—the largest preservation campaign ever undertaken on behalf of African American history. Our mission: to draw attention to the remarkable stories that evoke centuries of African American activism and achievement, and to tell our nation’s full history.
· Indeed, the stories and places of African American culture and heritage have always existed, but too often have not been fully acknowledged for the integral role they play in the fabric of American society.
· We are committed to crafting a narrative that expands our view of history and, ultimately, begins to reconstruct our national identity, while inspiring a new generation of activists to advocate for our diverse historic places.
Watch a video recordings of St. Paul's "Is Human Trafficking Happing in My Community" zoom event. The video Chosen, a teen&...