Letter to the editor: Proud of Pittsburgh

November 27, 2018

I am proud of Pittsburgh -- my home for over 12 years when I served as president of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh before moving to Colorado in 2009.

In 2000, when five immigrants were killed in Mt. Lebanon, I saw a community come together to reinforce the importance of our global communities in making Pittsburgh a better place to live and more competitive in a global marketplace. The result was GlobalPittsburgh, built by the World Affairs Council and the Alle­gheny Conference/Pittsburgh Regional Alli­ance with support from the Heinz Endowments.

In 2001, after 9/11 stoked fears and anti- Muslim sentiment, the mayor, Pittsburgh civic and faith leaders, and hundreds of people from across the region came together with the Muslim community at the mosque in Oakland to express solidarity and to speak out against defamation of the “other.”

Now, in 2018, Pittsburgh is showing the world how to come together to honor those who were gunned down in a hate-filled terrorist attack -- yes, it is terrorism -- and to emphasize our common humanity.

There will always be hate. It is up to us -- our communities -- to choose whether we encourage it, be indifferent to it, or renounce it and model the kind of civil norms that are essential to sustaining a free society. I am proud to say that I was once (and in some ways perhaps still) a “Pittsburgher,” which has again affirmed the correct choice.

Schuyler Foerster

Colorado Springs, Colo.

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