Painting with a Twist in Monroeville, PA | Soul Pitt Business Spotlight

by Kennedy McCoy

A painting sets a mood. It projects into the onlooker’s mind through the lens of personal interpretation. Some may feel inspired, while others could be discouraged. A handful could be confused or contemplative. The possibilities are endless for art—just as they are for life. Kimberly S. Carson is an African-American business owner of Painting with a Twist in Monroeville, PA. She worked in communications for twenty-three years, and as retirement approached she bought a Painting with a Twist branch. The business caught Carson’s attention after hearing about it through a friend: “I wanted to be a part of a therapeutic, enjoyable outlet. I realize nothing can predict the future but faith in your higher power can give you strength, and I am grateful for the opportunity to help this franchise grow and flourish.” Continue reading

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Yung Old Headz | Pittsburgh Music Spotlight

By Ron Fisher

Pittsburgh based hip-hop group, the Yung Old Headz, is quietly putting on for the Steel City. The group’s lead member, TNT, has been in the game since the early 1980s and hasn’t looked back since.

A few years after stepping foot onto the rap scene, TNT would link with fellow Pittsburgh emcee Mello. The two rappers would drop bars back-to-back until the group’s third member, TNT’s son DTAZ, joined the group several years ago.
Now a trio, the group is working to bring back the pure essence of hip-hop.  After dropping numerous albums and appearing on more than 30 mixtapes, the Yung Old Headz are proud to announce the release of their new project The Godfathers of Hip Hop, which dropped on March 21st. Continue reading

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Elected Officials Aim To Work With Community For Change

By Diane I. Daniels

Photo by Diane I. Daniels
Pittsburgh Black Elected Officials Coalition members: State Legislator Jake Wheatley, City Councilman Reverend Ricky Burgess, City Councilman Daniel Lavelle, State Legislator Ed Gainey and County Councilman DeWitt Walton.

The results are in and the report is completed. Now what? Recently close to 100 people were on hand during the Pittsburgh Black Elected Officials Coalition Peace and Justice Initiative Policy Report Release Event awaiting results and ready to learn next steps.

According to State Representative Jake Wheatley and the four other PBEOC members; State Representative Ed Gainey, City Councilman Reverend Ricky Burgess, City Councilman Daniel Lavelle and County Councilman DeWitt Walton now that the phase one report is complete next steps is continued community involvement. “Your input is desired and is a necessary part of the process,” explained Wheatley. In order to move the agenda forward, the PBEOC is requesting that residents get involved by participating on one or more of the six identified committees. Areas include public safety, affordable housing, family outcomes, business and organization, education and employment. “It is time to be intentional about our work. We have fallen in an attitude of acceptance,” said Gainey. “We have to be on fire for change.”      Continue reading

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Johnstown Spotlight: Prisoners Of Iron | BY RON FISHER


Greg Nash

Greg Nash, Owner of “Prisoners of Iron” (POI)

     Sometimes it just takes a little push from someone else to get you in the direction that you need to go. That’s a belief that Johnstown native Greg Nash believes to be true. Nash’s fitness brand “Prisoners of Iron” (POI) has recently started a wave in the City of Johnstown, pushing individuals to put their best foot forward.

     What once was just a cool logo has now turned into a movement, Nash said. Prisoners of Iron started as just a little gym group, from there, I had a real purpose and my purpose came about from not wanting to be a prisoner of the system. That’s what really drove me to lifting weights so much,” said Nash.

     Nash’s drive is what led him on this journey, but it is his desire for more that led to his following. Continue reading

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LIFE AFTER RETIREMENT — Brenda Tate Employment to Entrepreneurship | By Renee P. Aldrich

LIFE AFTER RETIREMENT — Brenda Tate Employment to Entrepreneurship | By Renee P. Aldrich

    Brenda Tate is a lifelong resident of the Hill District and a 40-year veteran of Pittsburgh law enforcement where she served in various capacities. These include, from foot patrol to the protection of three visiting Presidents and in 1998 she was the first African-American female assigned to a new unit  The Witness Protection Program.

     BT Community Consulting, LLC is her business, wherein she works with organizations to assist them build positive community relations, respond to safety needs and create effective partnerships with law enforcement. Continue reading

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How to find out if Your Ancestors Rocked the Vote | By Alonna J. Carter

rockthevoteAfrican-Americans and other minorities have long been key constituents in election years. Our population, though small yet growing, has the power to literally change the direction and outcome of a potential victory—if we actually get out and vote. It is well known that the journey toward even having to right to have our voices heard was not one that was easy. For that reason, it is important that we not take what our ancestors had to fight and sometimes pay the ultimate price for, for granted. Continue reading

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Adaptive Behavioral Services, Inc. (ABS), Kevin Jordan, CEO | by Dessie Bey

  kevinjordan   Exposed to entrepreneurship by his family, Kevin Jordan’s desire to own his business was inevitable. Internships at Duquesne University exposed him to Corporate America, he then realized he wanted to be the boss. I had to learn the mechanics of running a business: the key aspects of assessing business risk, understanding supply and demand, target marketing, team building and raising capital gave me the ability and confidence I needed. Continue reading

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The Rug Lab: Cleaning Carpets More Than Just a Job | By Renee P. Aldrich

Rug LabAmong other things, Chris Floyd, owner of The Rug Lab, a local commercial carpet cleaning company, has held a variety of different jobs in his past. He’s been everything from a dishwasher to a sergeant in the Marine Corp, to a police officer just to name some of his endeavors. Plus he is the recipient of a masters degree as well as a Ph.D.

It is his work history that served as his motivation to turn the efforts he used to working for others, into growing his own business.

He used some funds he had set aside and purchased one van and got to work.  In 2007 his carpet cleaning company, The Rug Lab was established.  Floyd says, “I had been up and I had been down and I saw this chance to get back up again and realized that was the only way for me.”   Continue reading

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Cooking with Olga George | White Dumpling, Curry Baby Shrimp and Cassi

Cooking with Olga George White Dumpling, Curry Baby Shrimp and CassiWhile on a visit to California for my nephew’s high school graduation, my niece Nikki wanted a taste of some West Indian food that she didn’t have to cook.  Of course, being the nice auntie I am, I indulged her taste buds.  The dish changed several times because we couldn’t find any salt fish, red herring or goat so we went with the baby shrimps. Continue reading

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The I Am Movement | By Bonita L. Penn

What is unique about I Am Campaign Tees?


Owner Darrin Ward

Darrin Ward: Originally, it was an idea God gave to me. I was so blessed and inspired that I began to share with other people. This was the birthing of the movement. I was at a point in my life where I felt like a failure by society’s standards; I wasn’t where I should be in life or in my career. God began to show me through scripture that it doesn’t matter where you are in relation to the world’s definition of success. If He says you are successful, then you are successful, despite what things look like. That understanding helped me to see words such as: royalty; empowered; unstoppable, etc. So for me, my shirt is like my badge.  Some days I wake up and I’m faced with a situation I don’t think I can handle, then I remember what it says in the word, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” So I put on my Empowered shirt as a reminder to me and a declaration to the world. Continue reading

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