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Black History Month Community Champion Spotlight: Laya Mathews

February 2024
This Black History Month, we’re celebrating community champions, who happen to be part of the talented staff and board at the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh.

Laya Mathews is the URA’s Senior Project Manager. In her 5+ years of service with the URA, she’s led major initiatives including the revitalization of the Centre Avenue corridor, creation of a Predevelopment and Infrastructure Fund, advancement of projects in Avenues of Hope neighborhoods, and bringing a grocer back to the Hill District. Most recently she’s been spearheading efforts to remove blight and stabilize neighborhoods in which the URA owns properties. Hear from her: 

What community impact and/or outcome are you most proud of achieving in your time with URA?   

I am proud that I have been able to participate in creating programs and initiatives that aim at lowering the barriers to entry for development opportunities in the city. Making development opportunities more accessible to create a diverse range of developers helps create cities that are representative of their demographic makeup.   

What excites you about the URA’s mission? 

Our mission demonstrates commitment to equitable community development and neighborhood revitalization.   

Why do you think celebrating Black History Month is important?   

I think it’s important to celebrate the Black experience and acknowledge the vital and broad range of contributions that African Americans have made to society across all industries. 


Connect with Laya on LinkedIn

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