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Lower Bloomfield UNITY Council ("UNITY") achieved its Mission to establish a cultural learning center in the inner-city neighborhood of Bloomfield where all generations, but especially children, are nutured and provided the tools to foster their creativity and persoanl growth. UNITY was established to eradicate illiteracy; provide vocational arts training; unify a diverse, nulti-cultural neighborhood through the performing arts; and to provide the first neighborhood library. It seeks to serve as an advocate for the rights of its members and local citizens; provide safeguards in public Health and Safety, strengthen families, civic involvement, and Community.
Lower Bloomfield UNITY Council ("UNITY") was Incorporated, Chartered, and federally recognized in 1995, although established in 1994. This all-volunteer organization represents hundreds of families from Bloomfield and bordering neighborhoods. In just 6 years, UNITY achieved its Mission to establish a cultural-learning center and the neighborhood's first libary. Located in the heart of Bloomfield, the neighborhood landmark, formerly called "The Ateleta" was an ideal site for the new Unity Center. The Center is still a wrok in progress. Early Italian immigrants to Bloomfield built every facet of the three-level building by hand, bringing bricks to the work site on Cedarville St. in lunch pails after laborning 10-hour workdays. Here, immigrants learned to speak and write English. The front doorstep--visibly worn away down the middle--and now as the entrance to Unty Center, is a threshold of opportunity for every generation and community member regardless of race or ethnic background. Prior to its acquistion, UNITY used satellite locatins throughout the neighborhood to bring quality public performances to a community that had no exposure to the arts. While it advocated for public safety and dealt with all the practicalities that make neighborhoods strong and safe, like the installation of traffic signals, it also gained experience as a Prsenter, from displaying in World War II tanks and memorabilia in the neighborhood, to showcasing Opera and a 60-piece symphnic orchestra. The Council provides a free Community Ballet School and has begun a Suzuki School of Music. It publishes a community-wide newsletter, engages in public health projects, and is an all-volunteer organization with a full-time, unpaid staff available 7 days a week. Unlike a bricks and mortar organization, the only thing UNITY wishes to develop is "human potential." This organizatons offers imost all of its programs at no or little cost. It has not begun to implement all its projects. This organization, in spite of its legal standing, track record, community contributions, and large membership, receives no support from the City of Pittsburgh or its District Council representatives. This serious inequity hasn;t waylaid our progress, only slowed it down. When first established, UNITY chose as its logo the symbol of the "Unicorn". This mythical beast symbolizes "sacrifice" and "dedication" the world over, and ancient legends claim that "only the pure of heart" can see one. The horn of the Unicorn is a straight and true as UNITY's Mission.
- Donna Uram
- (412) 621-2126
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