On June 22, 2022, more than 150 business and community leaders, activists, government
officials, clergy, police officers and young people came together at the August Wilson Center to
learn about the launch of The Hear Foundation and its efforts to build a safer, stronger
community for all.
The standing room only crowd heard Leon Ford’s personal journey of mental and spiritual
healing after being shot by police in 2012, and the story of how he and Pittsburgh Police Chief
Scott Schubert met following the murder of George Floyd. The audience learned of the
friendship that Leon and Scott built over time, and their work co-founding The Hear Foundation
in order to build relationships between community and police. And they heard from Executive
Director Kamal Nigam, who announced The Hear Foundation’s first round of grants in support
of programs serving youth and those who have experienced violence-related trauma.
There were powerful moments, with speakers including Mayor Ed Gainey, Allegheny County
Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Reverend Cornell Jones, and Allegheny County Police Dept. Retired
Assistant Superintendent Maurita Bryant recognizing the challenges Pittsburgh faces as gun
violence continues to take a toll on individuals, families, and neighborhoods in Pittsburgh.
But most notably, those who gathered shared a sense of hope and a recognition that change
will come when barriers to collaboration between police and community are addressed and
new relationships are built.
We are grateful to all those who are standing with us in our mission and look forward to sharing
news on the impacts of programs funded by The Hear Foundation in the coming months. For
more insight on our launch, see the following highlighted news coverage:
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial
Hear Foundation shows the fruits of talking, and listening, across divides