YMAP: Pittsburgh Obama Ninth Graders' Billboards Protest School Budget Cuts
Ninth grade students at Pittsburgh’s Barack Obama public high school are putting up outdoor advertising to protest local and state education budget cuts. A billboard in Harrisburg will go up the week of March 19, and two transit shelter ads in Oakland will start the weeks of March 19 and March 26. The slogan of the billboard and transit shelter ads is “Cutting our funding is cutting our future.” The ninth graders created this slogan to express their concern that as education budget cuts are implemented, students won’t get the right education or the right materials they need to proceed to the college that they want to attend. They are “fighting the budget cuts to get the funding we need to succeed in life.”
click to view larger
Billboard advertising will be located in Harrisburg, as well as two Pittsburgh locations.
Ninth grader Montana Moore, who helped create the billboards, went on WRCT-FM’s Lockdown Radio show to express her dismay at the budget cuts, saying, “I have very strong opinions when it comes to my education.” Twenty of the ninth graders will address the School Board of Directors at the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ public hearing on Monday March 19. The hearing begins at 6 p.m. The students’ appearance coincides with the release of their billboard and transit shelter ads.
These students are participating in the Youth Media Advocacy Project. Carlow student mentors work with high school students to help them advocate for the changes the students want to see, particularly in education. High school students choose their own issues focus. Past projects have included a radio ad campaign about youth stereotyping, and bus ads encouraging parents to be more involved in students’ education. The Youth Media Advocacy Project is a collaboration between Carlow University and Greater Pittsburgh Student Voices, sponsored by Carlow University and funded by The Heinz Endowments. (Note: Portions of this press release were written by the ninth graders.)
The Pittsburgh Obama ninth graders' story was featured on this recent KDKA-TV news segment.
- Billboard in Harrisburg, on Forster Street near Susquehanna Street (week of 3/19)
- Transit Shelter ads in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, at Forbes and N. Craig (week of 3/19) and on N. Bellefield near Fifth Avenue (week of 3/26)
- Pittsburgh Public Schools’ public hearing at the Board of Education, N. Bellefield and Forbes Avenue in Oakland
THE HEINZ ENDOWMENTS
The Heinz Endowments supports efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center for educational excellence, and a region that embraces diversity and inclusion.
<<Back to Projects main page