August 30, 8:30am - 10:00am EDT. Hosted at City of Asylum @ Alphabet City
part of a series on Justice
About the speaker
Summer Lee is a lawyer, a community organizer, and the Democratic representative for the 34th district of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. A member of the Democratic Socialists of America, Lee became the first black woman to represent Southwestern Pennsylvania in the state legislature.
Summer is a lifelong resident of the 34th district, growing up in the North Braddock and Rankin neighborhoods, and currently residing in Swissvale. She is a proud graduate of Woodland Hills High School, Pennsylvania State University and Howard University School of Law, where she specialized in civil rights and constitutional law. While at Howard, Summer worked with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where she was an Oliver White Hill Fellow, and in the Office of the General Counsel for the District of Columbia Public Schools. She also served as a student attorney in the Howard University School of Law Civil Rights Clinic, representing and assisting clients with civil rights complaints.
Since graduating law school, Summer has been a dedicated organizer, activist, and advocate for social justice. During the 2016 presidential election, she served as a Field Organizer in her home district for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, where she recruited, managed, and led volunteers engaged in direct voter contact. She has also worked in community and labor organizing, advocating for workers’ rights and a $15 minimum wage.
Summer has been a leader in the recent struggles to bring justice to the Woodland Hills School District. During the 2017 primary elections, she spearheaded a successful write-in campaign to bring immediate change to the Woodland Hills School Board after the board’s failure to address repeated instances of violence against students from police officers and schools administrators. She currently serves on the Woodland Hills Commission on Youth Development and Learning, where she has zealously pushed for increased cultural competency training for teaching staff, the elimination of an armed police presence in schools, and a commitment from the district to decreasing the disproportionate punishment of minority children and children with disabilities.
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1Hood Media is a collective of socially conscious artists and activists who utilize art as a means of raising awareness about social justice matters affecting people around the world.
New Sun Rising (NSR) designs and implements programs that create economic opportunity, solve social challenges, and strengthen the vibrancy of place. As a nonprofit 501©(3) charitable organization, we serve as an educator, resource provider, connector, and activator of neighborhood-scale innovation. Our focus is on underserved communities and how regenerative growth strategies can be utilized for equitable development.
City of Asylum @ Alphabet City is a hub for Pittsburgh’s readers and writers, jazz and small-scale music and performance, and artistic experimentation. It is a home for diverse voices from around the globe—a place where Pittsburgh meets the world and the world meets Pittsburgh. And it is also a home for many partnering artists and organizations in our own community.
By establishing a safe haven for writers and artists who voice ideas that are new, different, or provocative in a diverse urban community, we encourage new lines of communication, cultural exchange, and collaboration. Sharing one another’s narratives can transform the lives of both residents and artists and combat intolerance and exclusion.