Real Rap Conversations on Race: Pittsburgh Youth Lead

The third biannual Youth Undoing Institutional Racism Weekend (YUIR Weekend), a two-and-a-half-day anti-racist youth organizing training sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, kick-offs Friday, October 21 and runs through Sunday, October 23 at the Hosanna House located in Wilkinsburg, PA. 

Youth ages 14-23 from all over the Pittsburgh area will be attending this intentionally multiracial, multicultural conversation. Attendance ranges from 45-100 participants, representing over 25 area high schools (public, charter, private, city, suburban) and colleges and universities. YUIR Weekend happens twice a year with different neighborhoods and townships hosting it each time in order to build a stronger regional network of anti-racist youth leadership and break down the barriers of Pittsburgh’s cultural and geographic segregation. Past YUIR Weekends have been held in the Hill District and on the Northside.

YUIR Weekend is part of a national effort to educate young people about the history of racism in the United States in order to better understand the current realities of racial inequities and the intersections of racism and poverty. At YUIR Weekend young people will build a shared analysis of race and racism, learn about how people have been socialized within these systems, and how to organize for change. YUIR Weekend was developed in partnership with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. Particular focuses include the School to Prison Pipeline and the impact of racism on Pittsburghers.

Young people who have attended YUIR Weekends in the past had this to say:

YUIR Weekend really helped me to understand what racism is and its systematic effects in my life and in other’s lives. Also I’ve learned how to get out of my comfort zone and have conversations about internalized racism and unlearning self-hate, internalized racism, and the like. Lastly, YUIR in general has introduced me to the concept of self-care and I’ve become a more stable person because of it.
— Liza, age 17
When I went to YUIR Weekend earlier this year, I obtained a lot of knowledge about racism and how if affects people of color in this country. I learned that I’m not alone when it comes to the internalizations of the feelings that racism projects onto people of color.
— Aubrayia, age 18
I think YUIR Weekend is important because it is a chance for people to come together and talk about the problematic things of society. It is also a great learning environment too because it’s a loving, caring place where we respect each other and learn from each other.
— Wynston, age 16

Fall 2016 YUIR Weekend Pittsburgh is sponsored by American Friends Service Committee in partnership with the Hosanna House, is supported by the curriculum of the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, and received financial support through The Pittsburgh Foundation.

For more information, contact: Amanda Gross, (412) 315-7423,


*All photos by youth photographer, Traisaun Leake.

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