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Pittsburgh anti-violence advocate makes Forbes’ 30 Below 30 listing for 2023

For the final 12 years, Forbes has acknowledged what it calls “trailblazing innovators throughout North America” with its annual Below 30 listing. At the moment, the media large introduced its 30 Below 30 listing for 2023, and amongst them is Leon Ford, an area anti-violence advocate.

Ford is amongst 600 folks throughout 20 completely different classes, who, based on a press launch, have “turned to entrepreneurship to unravel the world’s most complicated challenges – from international warming to reproductive well being.”

Ford, 29, was named within the listing’s Social Impression class for his work to positively change relations between the neighborhood and legislation enforcement.

“In 2012, Leon Ford was shot 5 instances by a Pittsburgh police officer and paralyzed throughout a visitors cease that in the end arose from a mistaken identification,” reads the Forbes profile. “Ford has since grown into an internationally-recognized voice for social change, police reform and reconciliation between legislation enforcement and communities.”

The profile additionally highlights how, in 2020, Ford “cast a friendship” with Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert, and, collectively, they based The Hear Basis to “convene packages addressing gun violence discount, trauma, and workforce improvement.”

Collectively, Forbes claims, the awardees have raised over $5.3 billion in enterprise funding, practically 5 instances greater than the $1 billion raised by the category of 2022. Ford contributed to that quantity with $1.27 million in grants and particular person giving in November 2022, with The Hear Basis making a gift of $150,000 in mini-grants to “native leaders dedicated to gun violence prevention and psychological well being.”

The announcement places a nationwide highlight on a determine who has been frequently acknowledged for his work in Pittsburgh. In 2017, Ford was named Pittsburgh Metropolis Paper’s Pittsburgher of the yr for talking out towards police brutality, advocating for reasonably priced housing, and decrying the displacement of residents in East Liberty.

Extra not too long ago, Ford donated the garments he wore on the evening he was shot to the Heinz Historical past Middle as a option to “showcase his ache whereas reminding the general public of the necessity for extra reform and therapeutic.”

Ford reacted to the information on his Fb web page, posting, “Ten years in the past I used to be preventing for my life within the ICU. At the moment I made Forbes 30 beneath 30. That is what religion, love, redemption, and unspeakable hope seems like. God is sweet! Congratulations to the entire leaders making an influence. I’m very pleased with you all @forbesunder30.”

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