Pittsburgh Says NO MORE at Third Annual Event
On June 16, Pittsburgh communities demonstrated their united commitment to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault when government, business, faith and community leaders convened in the Allegheny County Courthouse courtyard for the third annual Father’s Day Pledge Signing event, an inspiring call to action for our region.
During the rally, leaders from multiple sectors and a groundswell of supporters recited the Father’s Day Pledge, a commitment to take action.
Among other speakers, Dr. Gary Cuccia shared his personal story and delivered the keynote address on preventing teen dating violence. Dr. Cuccia’s daughter was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2007. Since then, Dr. Cuccia has advocated for violence prevention through the Demi Brae Cuccia Awareness Organization, which he founded. “I am no expert on dating violence. I’m a dad who lost his daughter to something I had no idea was even possible. […] This is something you think could never happen to you or your family,” he said.
Pittsburgh City Council President Bruce Kraus spoke along with Allegheny County Manager William D. McKain and Allegheny County Department of Human Services Director Marc Cherna. “Our tradition of setting aside this day to remind ourselves and rededicate ourselves that speaking up and speaking out against this toxic culture is where we ultimately find our power” said Mr. Kraus. “We can do this.”
Leroy Ball, president and CEO of Koppers, lead the signing ceremony saying, “It’s important to me that we continually look for ways to improve the safety and well-being of our people. So I view today as an important first step.” More than 60 Koppers employees were in attendance. Following his remarks, Mr. Ball invited his counterparts, more than 20 corporate and community leaders, to step up and sign the Pledge.
Douglas Jackson, director of operations and maintenance at Alcosan, was one of the leaders who stepped up to take the pledge. He stated “I say NO MORE because of our daughters, wives, sisters, mothers and grandmothers. Nobody should live in fear.” Alcosan promoted the pledge in various ways to reach employee and stakeholders.
This event is part of the statewide campaign organized by Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV), PA Says No More and Southwest PA Says No More. Pittsburgh became the first city in Pennsylvania to participate in the Father’s Day Pledge in 2014, and the first downtown Pittsburgh public signing event was held in 2015.
More than 2,500 southwestern Pennsylvanians have signed the pledge online. Add your signature here.
Click here to watch the event via City Channel Pittsburgh.
Photography by Renee Rosensteel