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Meet Saint: activism begins with serving your neighborhood | Neighborhood Profile | Pittsburgh

click on to enlarge Meet Saint: activism starts with serving your community

Photograph: Courtesy of Zara Livingston

Zara Livingston

Heyao, I am Zarah. You realize, I by no means know the place to start with phrases about myself. In abstract, I’m a Black queer femme born and raised within the ‘Burgh with so many concepts and so little time.

My objective in life is really to carve a constructive dent in a world filled with once-in-a-lifetime occasions. That at the moment contains ongoing mutual assist coordination, supporting hospital employees’ rights, and networking with different organizations alongside the best way.

There may be a lot that goes on on this neighborhood that I’ve wished for a very long time to present those that do the work “their flowers.” Particularly doing this work within the midst of an ongoing pandemic, concurring assaults on marginalized individuals(s), and extra. On this column, you’ll discover tales and lives I need to share authentically and straight from our associates’ mouths.

I need to give our neighbors, associates, comrades, and employees the shine they deserve and want on this neighborhood. Too usually our neighbors have solely acquired their accolades posthumously. Let’s change that.

click on to enlarge Meet Saint: activism starts with serving your community

Photograph: Courtesy of Saint


Q&A with Saint

Good morning, neighbors! I need to introduce you to Saint (he/they), somebody I’ve seen in motion personally. When considering of the primary group of parents to incorporate on this collection, I wished to start out with somebody who not solely focuses on uplifting the youth, but additionally has confirmed time and time once more that incomes the belief of the communities you need to work with ought to be on the forefront of what you need to accomplish. I personally have seen Saint at occasions and gone with Saint to distribute meals on the North Aspect.

Zarah Livingston: When and the way did you grow to be concerned on this social change work? What impressed you?

Saint: In 2020, I went to my first protest, and ever since then, I’ve been embraced by Black queer organizers within the metropolis of Pittsburgh. I ultimately submerged myself into the world of mutual assist and have been doing that as the vast majority of work I do.

ZL: This reply introduced me again to a query I ask myself very often, when requested to explain myself and “titles” I’d prefer to be referred to as. That query being, do you take into account your self an activist? Why or why not?

Saint: I’d not take into account myself an activist. Activism is praised because of the lack of participation from the vast majority of most people. We as individuals ought to be part of roles that make our neighborhoods the locations they need to be.

ZL: Whereas holding that thought in my head, I wished to get extra into Saint’s work and why they take pleasure in what they do. So I ask, What do you take pleasure in finest about your work in the neighborhood(ies) you go to?

Saint:. What I take pleasure in probably the most from the work I do is assembly individuals. At any time when we go into these neighborhoods and join with people, we’re making a neighborhood community. This community contains plumbers, electricians, academics, and different individuals with expertise and connections that we will use to lean on one another when in want as a substitute of politicians, who should not have our greatest curiosity.

ZL: What organizations or people do you work together with in the neighborhood? Have you ever began a company your self? How did you get began?

Saint: To start out with, Meals Not Bombs and the BYOC (Black Youth Organizing Coalition) are who I work with probably the most, but we’ve got solidarity with quite a few different teams! I’m part of BYOC. BYOC is made up of YVAC-PA (Younger Voices Motion Collective PA Chapter), BACC (Black Anarchist Neighborhood Council), and BLAC (Black Liberation Autonomous Collective). I’m one of many “founding” members of each BACC and BLAC. None of those teams are organizations, simply teams of those that need to assist our neighbors.

The group itself fashioned because of the lack of Black mutual assist teams inside the metropolis, plus the shortage of motion from Black organizations that declare to assist their communities and damaged guarantees they have been supposed to satisfy. Subsequently, BLAC was fashioned in 2021 and BACC later within the yr.

ZL: Now, I do have one query left to ask you. What are methods you suppose that the youth can take efficient motion for change in the neighborhood?

Saint: Take a look at your neighborhood and get suggestions from members of that neighborhood. We all know what’s finest for our people. Begin the place you might be at and don’t be afraid to succeed in out to native mutual assist teams for assist. There may be a lot love and solidarity amongst mutual assist teams. We’d have totally different names however we’re all one giant group of widespread, working-class individuals who take the outing after we can to assist people who want it. As soon as individuals understand that nobody goes to do the work for us, the earlier we will unite to result in change.

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