Crossroads of the World: The Impact of Urban Renewal Then and Now

Date & Time
Tuesday, Jun. 27, 2023
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Location Heinz History Center 1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh PA, 15222
Ticketing Free with advance registration

Join the African American Program for a conversation on urban renewal in the Hill District. 

Local leaders will discuss how redevelopment has shaped the Hill District’s past, present, and future during a panel discussion at the History Center on Tuesday, June 27. The conversation will be moderated by Miracle Jones, director of advocacy and policy at 1Hood Media, and is hosted in conjunction with the museum’s new exhibition, The Negro Motorist Green Book.

Panelists include:

  • Dr. Bonnie Young-Laing, Former Director of the Hill District Consensus Group, faculty member in the Social Work Department at PennWest University, and Hill District native
  • Rev. Dr. Dale B. Snyder, Sr., Pastor of Bethel AME Church in Pittsburgh
  • Carl Redwood Jr., Chairperson of the Hill District Consensus Group, social worker, and community organizer

“The Negro Motorist Green Book,” which was published from 1936 to 1967, highlighted businesses that accommodated Black Americans during the era of Jim Crow laws – including more than 20 businesses in Pittsburgh. Most businesses, like the Hotel Terrace Hall, Harlem Casino Dance Hall, and Palace Hotel, were primarily located in the middle and lower Hill District.

During the mid-1950s through the 1970s, public policy and urban renewal projects displaced thousands African American residents in Black community centers like the Lower Hill District. Many thriving businesses listed in the Green Book disappeared.

Panelists at the “Crossroads of the World: The Impact of Urban Renewal Then and Now” program will examine the history of urban renewal and strive to define the term, its impact of the Hill District community, and prospects to reclaim and revive African American life in Pittsburgh.


This program is free with advance registration. The panel discussion will be held at the museum’s fifth floor Mueller Center. Attendees can tour the exhibition, The Negro Motorist Green Book, ahead of the discussion. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 6:30 p.m.

There is also a virtual option available for those who are unable to attend in-person. For further questions or information, please contact DaNia Childress.

About the Moderator

Miracle Jones is a community organizer and queer activist who works in the Pittsburgh area to advocate for equity along the intersections of gender, race, and class. She currently serves as the director of policy and advocacy at 1Hood Media. She received her Juris Doctor degree and Master of Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh. Her work focuses on implementing abolition-based principles and transformative justice through writing, policy, and advocacy.

About the Panelists

Dr. Bonnie Young-Laing is a faculty member in the Social Work Department at California State University of Pennsylvania. She is a native of the Hill District and is currently the Director of the Hill District Consensus Group. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in community and mental health from West Virginia University and a doctorate in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Laing’s scholarship documents some of the beauty and folly of community organizing and community development in African American communities, which she has learned from more than 20 years of effort helping to transform Pittsburgh’s Hill District. She has published work on organizing for economic justice, labor/community partnerships, slums and affordable housing, youth organizing and culturally competent community practice. She is a member of LDI Class 1, and she is the proud wife of Justin Laing and mother of Kufere, Etana, and Adeyemi.

Carl Redwood, Jr. is a social worker who has participated in community organization efforts on the local, national, and international levels. He is a part-time faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work and has led efforts for faculty unionization at Pittsburgh universities as a union organizer for the Academic Workers Association of the Steelworkers. He currently serves on the board of Pittsburgh United and The Abolitionist Law Center, and as the Project Director of the Pittsburgh Black Worker Center.

Rev. Dr. Dale B. Snyder, Sr. is a second-generation AME Pastor in the Third Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh. He is a veteran of the United States Army where he served as a chemical operations specialist. Rev. Snyder graduated from David Myers University with bachelor’s degrees in corporate management and business administration. He also earned a degree in Black Church Studies from Ashland Theological Seminary and has a master’s in divinity and a doctoral degree from Payne Theological Seminary. Rev. Snyder has a vast amount of business experience, he owned various businesses for over 20 years and managed government agencies for 14 years before committing to ministry full-time.

The Negro Motorist Green Book was created by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with Candacy Taylor.

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