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Letter to Friends

Dear Friends,

The Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP), one of Pittsburgh’s premiere community collaborative organizations is celebrating a musical "fun-raiser."   B-PEP is commemorating 30 years of serving the Metropolitan Pittsburgh community.   We are proud to officially announce that the date for our Thirteenth Annual B-PEP JAZZ Concert is Monday, April 2nd  at “Bridges” in Holiday Inn – University Center, Oakland, from 5:30 pm-11:30 pm.   The event showcases many of Pittsburgh’s best jazz musicians and vocalists.

B-PEP was launched on May 21, 1986, with the goal of increasing awareness, within the African American community, of the need to VOTE in EACH and EVERY election.   This non-partisan community collaborative relies on the dedication of people who donate an incredible number of hours and willingly give of their time because they believe this organization has the ability to uplift our communities by providing hope and a sense of pride.

In addition to ensuring that African Americans participate in the voting process, we oversee other projects including the Coalition Against Violence, the Regional Equity Monitoring Project (REMP), and we partner with the Youth Media Justice Initiative and with CCAC’s Young Adult Empowerment Program (YEAP).   B-PEP is also a part of the Non-profit Voter Engagement Network.   In 2012 B-PEP, along with Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, hosted ‘The Corporate Equity and Empowerment Summit” to address the disparities in the Pittsburgh Region; it continues to meet annually as "The Corporate Equaty & Inclusion Roundtable."

Over the years, B-PEP has been fortunate to have received support from many area corporations and agencies, as well as the Heinz Endowments, the Pittsburgh Foundation, the POISE Foundation, the Three Rivers Community Foundation, and the nationally recognized Ford Foundation.   A large portion of our ongoing operating funds has been raised through our annual fundraising event "B-PEP Jazz."   We have found that these funds are not sufficient to support and continue the important programs we provide to the Pittsburgh Region.   We now seek to significantly increase income from our signature event.   One of our most vital needs is to expand our ability to have sufficient staff and financial support to market and implement the second edition of the Coalition Against Violence document which might be the most comprehensive anti-violence document in the nation.   Once again the University of Pittsburgh, through its Chancellor’s Office, has agreed to print this powerful document and the accompanying Coalition Against Violence "Community Services Directory."   Your financial support will tremendously help us meet our financial goals.   Therefore, we ask that you support our future success by making a generous financial donation in support of B-PEP Jazz.

If you are interested in supporting us, checks should be made payable to "The Black Political Empowerment Project/B-PEP JAZZ, 2018," with "B-PEP JAZZ" in the memo section of the check, and mailed to:

c/o Freedom Unlimited
2201 Wylie Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

If you have questions, or are interested in more details about the work we do in the Pittsburgh community, please do not hesitate to call us at (412) 758-7898 or (412) 361-2736.   You can also visit our website,, or e-mail us.   Thanks for your support!

Dr. James E. Taylor, Chief Diversity, Inclusion & Learning Officer, UPMC
Chair, B-PEP Jazz Host Committee

Tim Stevens
Chair, B-PEP