Leadership & Advocacy


"Leadership is being bold enough to have vision and humble enough to recognize achieving it will take the efforts of many people — people who are most fulfilled when they share their gifts and talents, rather than just work. Leaders create that culture, serve that greater good and let others soar."

"Advocacy is the process that enables people particularly the most vulnerable that their voices are heard and represented when decisions are being made about their lives, that they are able to access information and services, this is meant for those populations to defend and promote their rights once they are informed the rights they are entitled to.”


These two quotes summarize our Foundation’s philosophy of leadership and advocacy.  Because of our unique position in our community, being neutral to neighborhood, issue, or organization, we understand the need for a collective solution and collective response to the issues and plight of our community.

So POISE led an effort to define a community vision which included over 350 residents.  We also surveyed over 1100 individuals to determine the values that the community holds in high esteem.  Over the years, POISE has partnered with over 150 individuals and organizations who have pooled their resources to create endowment funds within the Foundation.  Together, we focus those resources in areas in which the donors and community believes are most warranted.  

Now more than ever, we need to talk and act around strategic collectivism.  This means that no one organization, one cause, one issue one person, or one neighborhood can be our focus.  We need to strategically determine how to take, often times, limited resources and make the most from them.  Its in our history, its in our very DNA to work, live and operate this way.

Philanthropy is about the love of mankind.  Love is about relationship with each other.  Relationship means we know, care and trust one another.

Leadership is what brings all of this together to make it a reality.  Leadership is being bold enough to have a vision and humble enough to recognize it will take the efforts of many people to achieve it.

We invite you to help lead Pittsburgh’s African American community to develop self-sustaining practices that will ensure all members are empowered and become self-sufficient.