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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.

Over the past three years, SLB convened groups of African American male students in Homewood, Hazelwood and the Hill District (Summer 2012), McKeesport, Northside and Hilltop (Summer 2013) and Sto-Rox, Wilkinsburg and East Liberty (Summer and Fall 2014). While learning about digital audio recording, each group also spent time discussing attributes of male role models and identifying African American men with a connection to their community that could be interviewed. With support as needed, students then arranged, conducted and edited these interviews. The results were published in Homewood VoicesHazelwood VoicesHill District VoicesMcKeesport VoicesNorthside Voices, Hilltop Voices, Sto-Rox Voices, East Liberty Voices and Wilkinsburg Voices; each a full-color book (with CD) with 1,000 copies distributed throughout the community. Community celebrations were held in each community as well as at the August Wilson Center and The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh at which time StoryBox units were presented to allow the general public to hear interviews and student reflections.

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

East Liberty




IMG_0116 - mr brown kids



McKeesport Crossing Fences





Charles Grayson (6)






Hill District














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.

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