This Pittsburgh native, who began her early training with the Pittsburgh Black Theater Dance Ensemble, went on to become a contracted dancer with the internationally acclaimed Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. Since retiring from the professional concert stage in 2001, Greer Reed-Jones has taught at Pittsburgh’s Civic Light Opera Academy and the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. Ms. Reed-Jones is currently artistic director for Dance Alloy Theater, Pittsburgh’s premier modern dance company, and recently received an August Wilson Center Fellowship to create the August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble.
As a vice president and financial advisor with Blazer Capital Management in Pittsburgh, Rob Wilson provides advice and manages investments for successful professional athletes and entertainers. His work with these prominent young stars has earned him the moniker “Hip Hop’s Financial Advisor.” In service to his community, Mr. Wilson currently serves on the boards of the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, Program to Aid Citizens Enterprise (PACE), Northside Urban Pathways Charter School, Young Preservationists Association and the Allegheny County (Pennsylvania) Authority for Improvements in Municipalities.
CIVIL RIGHTS/COMMUNITY ACTION
PAUL A. ELLIS, JR., ESQUIRE
For nearly a decade, Paul A. Ellis, Jr. has been managing his own law firm as a solo practitioner. Mr. Ellis served as president of the Homer S. Brown Law Association from 2005 - 2007, during which time he successfully raised funds and implemented programs that directly utilized the services of more than 100 African-American attorneys and provided educational services to the community. He currently serves on the Allegheny County Bar Association (ACBA) Judiciary Committee and is a volunteer Street Law instructor for minority elementary school students and the ACBA Pro Bono Committee. Mr. Ellis’ endeavors include an effort to designate the childhood home of his late uncle – Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson – as a historic landmark. The renovated building would provide a space for programming services to benefit local artists.
Pittsburgh native Jamilla Rice is the director of curriculum at Northside Urban Pathways Charter School. She is the current education director of Rights and Responsibilities, a non-profit organization that uses film and other media to raise awareness of human rights issues impacting people of African descent, at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education, where she is currently a graduate student. In 2009, Ms. Rice was one of approximately 50 outstanding educators to be honored nationally by the Milken Educator Award.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Homewood native Monté Robinson is the head football coach at his alma mater, Westinghouse High School, where he served as captain of the varsity football team in the 1990s. After spending five years coaching Homewood Community Sports, in 2006 he became the president of the organization that serves more than 300 youth annually by providing sports activities including football, baseball and cheerleading. Mr. Robinson is employed full time as an educational liaison for the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, where he assists youth who are transitioning out of the child welfare system with achieving a level of higher education.
MAJOR LISA BELLAMY
In 1988 Major Lisa Bellamy, after graduating from Langley High School, joined the US Air Force and began a 3 ½-year tour, serving both overseas and in the United States. After leaving the Air Force to attend Christopher Newport University, she was recruited by the US Army ROTC cadre and the rest is history. Major Bellamy’s awards and decorations include the combat patch from Operation Iraqi Freedom, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Ribbon and Air Force Good Conduct Medal.
La'Tasha Mayes is the founder and executive director of New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice (NVP) – the only human rights and social justice activist organization in Pittsburgh for women of color, led by women of color, about women of color. Founded in 2004, NVP serves women of color primarily ages 12-35 in Pittsburgh through social change activism, civic engagement and leadership development. Ms. Mayes is a 2005 recipient of the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project (PUMP) and WQED Multimedia “40 Under 40” Award and the 2009 Choice USA Generations Excellence in Leadership Award in Washington, D.C.
Charles Chapman has always felt a calling from the Lord to help neglected people. During a mission trip to Washington D.C. – while in the 7th grade – Mr. Chapman engaged the homeless in soup kitchens and street evangelism. In 2002, while a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh, he and another student founded The L.I.V.I.N.G. Ministry (Love Initiated Ventures Investing in Neglected Groups). The organization has grown over the years to serve approximately 1,000 homeless men and women every year. Mr. Chapman and his associates focus on job fairs, housing assistance, a citywide celebration, and they have even opened a residential program for men.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
DR. BARRETT WOODS
Barrett Woods, M.D. was born and raised in Pittsburgh’s Lincoln-Lemington section and still lives in the same neighborhood where he grew up. This orthopedic surgeon – and graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine – has a tremendous passion for inspiring inner-city youth with the idea that it pays to invest in education. His goal is to lead by example. Dr. Barrett is a contributing member of the Renaissance Group, which was founded by his brothers and cousins. The goal of this organization is to develop a young, black professional community in the City of Pittsburgh and also to cultivate talent through mentorship and fundraising.
CONSTANCE F. HORTON
For the past 4 years, Constance F. Horton has served as the executive director of the Fund for Advancement of Minorities through Education (FAME), a non-profit organization committed to providing bright and talented minority students with financial need scholarships to attend high quality independent schools. The organization boasts a 100% college attendance and graduation rate for all of its scholars. Under Ms. Horton’s leadership, FAME has increased the number of students it supports each year, the amount of programming offered to scholars and alumni and the organization’s endowment and fundraising efforts dramatically. Ms. Horton has also lent her talents to the Three Rivers Adoption Council, and the Hosanna House, Inc.
(Photographs (c) Chuck Brown/Chuck Brown Photography)