- overwhelmed with the state of the world?
- tired of doomscrolling alone in your room?
- anxious about making the change you want to see in society?
Do you want to:
- channel those feelings into action?
- see this action in the world by getting hands-on experience working with local communities?
- meet like minded individuals (Pitt students, faculty, staff) working to enact change?
- integrate your classwork with local social justice work?
- discover your voice in social justice through tech, regardless of your experience?
- advocate with faculty and staff across Pitt for a more engaged education?
- build real world social entrepreneurship skills?
Who We Are:
We're the Center for Analytical Approaches to Social Innovation (CAASI), a center at GSPIA that is leading Grief to Action (G2A), an effort among community members, Pitt students, staff, and faculty across campus to create formal and informal pathways for students who aspire to integrate their education with local social justice initiatives.
In June 2020, CAASI launched the Grief to Action (G2A) volunteering platform to support the effort to fight the systemic racism that has been laid bare by the death of George Floyd and countless others. To date, over 100 volunteers (including 40+ non-Pitt community members) have contributed their expertise in our weekly Friday meeting.
G2A volunteers are currently working on 2 interdisciplinary data-driven projects:
- The Allegheny Policing Project (ACPP): A tool that facilitates transparency in the police accountability process. Click here to explore it for yourself! Learn about the need for the tool and its development by watching the tool’s launch video or by reading the following articles:
- 412Connect: An online platform that bridges university students with underrepresented communities. Find out more about the project's unique collaborative development by watching this 412Connect Year of Data and Society presentation! Check out 412Connect's Fall 2022 launch at 412connect.org.
In 2021, CAASI hosted the 50th anniversary NSF/CEME Decentralization Conference with the theme of Mechanism Design for Vulnerable Populations. Project 412Connect won the New Horizons Award for bridging practice and research at the ACM conference on Equity and Access in Algorithms, Mechanisms, and Optimization (EAAMO ’21). 412Connect also participated in the ESDI Summer Intensive Design program, and its project leaders earned the prestigious title of Engaged Scholarship Summer Design Fellows. ACPP was invited to present at the 2021 Annual Pittsburgh Racial Justice Summit.
How We Work:
We incubate student ideas on select social justice issues and engage with existing community efforts and academic units outside of GSPIA to bring them into reality. For example, in June 2020, GSPIA students and staff sketched out 412Connect. Through CAASI G2A, they developed and launched it with minority business incubator RCI in Fall 2021 and with Homewood CEC in Fall 2022. GSPIA srudents also co-designed, developed, and launched the Allegheny County Policing Project with Take Action Mon Valley, 1Hood Media, and Alliance for Police Accountability.
When We Do It:
We are active all year long, and our working groups have met continuously every Friday at 12:00PM since our first meeting following George Floyd’s murder in May 2020. During the school year we are joined by community members and capstone classes from GSPIA and School of Computing and Information (SCI), and during the summer, we host interns and fellows from Pitt and CMU.
How you can get involved:
- Sign up for our Weekly Friday 12:00PM Meetings here
- Learn about current CAASI events by following us on Twitter and Instagram
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!