University of Pittsburgh
November 27, 2007

Sala Udin to Lecture at Pitt on Challenges of Race, Poverty, and Sprawl


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-Sala Udin, president and CEO of the Coro Center for Civic Leadership in Pittsburgh and a former member of Pittsburgh City Council, will deliver a lecture from noon to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at Pitt's Center on Race and Social Problems (CRSP), 2017 Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland. CRSP is part of Pitt's School of Social Work.

The talk, part of the Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney Fall 2007 Speaker Series, is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided, and registration is not required.

Udin's lecture, titled "Challenges of Race, Poverty, and Sprawl," will examine what he calls "profound demographic changes over the past 50 years in the population and resources of the urban core." He says that underrepresented people are locked in, prevented from accessing jobs, housing, and quality education. Meanwhile, the quality of life inside the urban core continues to deteriorate. "The long-term viability of the region is inextricably bound to the viability of the urban core to which it is connected," Udin says. "If the heart fails, the body dies."

During his 11 years on Pittsburgh City Council, Udin became known as the voice for the poor and oppressed. He led the city's contracting of a disparity study, which resulted in an unprecedented number of underrepresented groups obtaining jobs or construction contracts for the demolition of Three Rivers Stadium and the construction of PNC Park and Heinz Field.

Udin served as chair of City Council's Finance and Budget Committee for three successive two-year terms. He led two citywide referenda to amend the City Charter to include the Citizen Police Review Board and to create a jobs program called Pittsburgh Works. He oversaw the largest new housing construction in Pittsburgh's history-Crawford Square, Bedford Hills, Oak Hill and the Manchester Hope VI communities. Udin also was instrumental in the fundraising, design, and construction of Freedom Corner, a monument to living and deceased civil rights heroes at the entrance to the Hill District, also used as a staging corner for civil rights demonstrations.

More recently, Udin assumed his current post as president and CEO of the Coro Center for Civic Leadership. Coro is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen the democratic process by preparing individuals for effective and ethical leadership in the public arena. It has operations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Cleveland.

For more information about the Dec. 3 lecture, call 412-624-7382.