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Crossing Fences

A community program based on a simple, age-old process ‒ people learning from one another through the oral tradition. There are stories, insights, perspectives and facts within all of us. And, all too often, we take little time to share them.

2016 Crossing Fences Celebrations

SLB is about to release three new oral history publications and we hope you, your guests and your family can celebrate with us. Each event will provide you with the opportunity to meet, congratulate and hear the stories of participating men and boys. All ages are welcome to these open-house style celebrations. While walk-up attendance is fine at the community celebrations, please RSVP for the City-Wide Celebration.

Northview Heights
Tuesday, November 29th
Location: Northview Heights Community Center
533 Mt Pleasant Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15214
Time: 5 to 7pm
Penn Hills
Wednesday, November 30th
Location: Penn Hills High school Cafeteria
309 Collins Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15235
Time: 5 to 7pm
Garfield
Thursday, December 1st
Location: Brothers and Sisters Emerging
5315 Hillcrest Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Time: 5 to 7pm
City-Wide Celebration
Join us, RSVP Here!
Tuesday, December 6th
Location: August Wilson Center
980 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Time: 6 to 8pm

Since 2012, SLB has worked with local community centers to bring together African American male students to acquire and document stories from African American men raised, living or working in their neighborhood. The Crossing Fences process requires that participating students work hard as they:

  • Discuss the meaning of role models and mentors
  • Identify men in their neighborhood they’d like to know more about
  • Learn about interviewing, digital recording and audio editing
  • Work in small groups to interview neighborhood men about their lives, career paths, triumphs and challenges
  • Listen to and edit audio they’ve acquired
  • Write and record reflections based on the interview

The project requires dedication and a commitment of 40 to 50 hours per student. Work is done during the summertime. At the conclusion of their work, each student receives a tablet or laptop computer in gratitude for the summertime hours they have volunteered and for their hard work in giving voice to others.

As shown below, Crossing Fences has been brought to three communities each year. The resulting audio for each community is published in a multimedia book and released at citywide and community celebrations designed to reunite participants, share stories across as well as within the neighborhoods, and let the general public know about the availability of these powerful stories. Stories, reflections and photographs for each neighborhood are also distributed via public radio, SLB StoryBox kiosks in libraries and community centers and this website.

Crossing Fences is a project of SLB Radio Productions and is made possible by the African American Men and Boys Initiative of The Heinz Endowments. Year 2016 projects were also made possible with support from:

remakelearning

pwa-with-wealth-management

childrens-museum


and August Wilson Center, Bistro To Go & Company, The Northside ChronicleNew Pittsburgh Courier, and Urban Media Today.

The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the individual represented and do not necessarily reflect those of The Heinz Endowments or any collaborating organization.

Select one of the locations below to see photos and listen to audio clips:

Braddock Voices, 2015

East Liberty Voices, 2014

Garfield Voices, 2016

Hazelwood Voices, 2012

Hill District Voices, 2012

Hilltop Voices, 2013

IMG_0116 - mr brown kids

Homewood Voices, 2012

Homestead Voices, 2015

McKeesport Voices, 2013

McKeesport Crossing Fences

Northside Voices, 2013

Charles Grayson (6)

Northview Heights Voices, 2016

Penn Hills Voices, 2016

Sheraden Voices, 2015

Sto-Rox Voices, 2014

Wilkinsburg Voices, 2014

 

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