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Black History Month Community Champion Spotlight: Pam Brown

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.

Pam Brown is the URA’s Senior Finance Review Specialist. She has been serving the Pittsburgh community at the URA for 44 years. In that time, she’s played a crucial role in plans that lifted up people in their communities and transformed the city. Hear from her: 

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

East Liberty Target and Whole Foods – These were distressed areas at the time. I assisted in determining what requirements each project would need to meet in order to obtain the necessary funding for completion. I also collected community impact data once each development was complete. What we found was significant job creation, millions in new tax revenue, major investment generated in the neighborhood, improved infrastructure and walkability for pedestrians, added commercial and retail, neighborhood connectivity, and increased access to transit because of the East Liberty Transit Center.  

Neighborhood transition is never easy, but I’m proud we were able to build partnerships that brought major economic impact and additional investment to the neighborhood and residents. It’s not about investing in places and developments, it’s about investing in the people who live there.

What advice would you give to other Black women in Finance?

Stay the course. Recognize your worth and don’t let anyone take your joy. As Black women in finance, we often face unique challenges and barriers in our professional journeys. It's important to remain steadfast in pursuing our goals and aspirations, even in the face of adversity. Embrace your strengths, expertise, and unique perspective, and never underestimate the value that you bring to the table. Seek out mentors and allies who can offer support and guidance along the way, and don't hesitate to advocate for yourself and others. 

Why do you think celebrating Black History Month is important? 

It’s important that young people of all nationalities see the contribution that African Americans have made to shape the cultural, social, and economic fabric of society. By highlighting the achievements and struggles of Black individuals throughout history, we honor their resilience, courage, and perseverance in the face of adversity. Black History Month serves as a reminder of the ongoing journey toward justice and equality for all, while also inspiring future generations to continue the legacy of activism, leadership, and empowerment pioneered by Black trailblazers. 

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