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Leader for Equity Jason Rivers Wins Local and National Awards for Community Engagement

Jason Rivers 2 PITTSBURGH, October 20, 2015 — Last night, Jason Rivers of the Pittsburgh Public Schools Office of Equity was presented with the Jeron X. Grayson Community MVP Award. 1Nation, a local mentoring program, recognized Rivers for his dedication to the community and in the lives of youth across the city.

This past Thursday, in Baltimore, the Pacific Educational Group surprised Mr. Rivers with its Family Engagement and Community Empowerment for Racial Equity Award at the 2015 National Summit for Courageous Conversation. This honor is awarded to one leader who effectively channels collaboration — focused on racial equity — between and among community members and their schools.

“Jason is an amazing equity leader for Pittsburgh Public Schools. His openness and candor about his own equity journey serves to engage those with whom he works. As a leader of the We Promise program, our young men see him as a role model and an advocate. Our young men benefit from his work in the district as well as in the community, through the basketball program he runs,” said Dr. Linda Lane, Superintendent.

Since 2013, Jason Rivers, has lead the District’s We Promise program as a Project Manager in the Office of Equity. We Promise mentors Black male high school students to increase GPAs and attendance rates necessary to meet Pittsburgh Promise scholarship eligibility requirements. He coordinates the work with school leadership and leads mentors, plans quarterly summit workshops for students, and builds relationships with all young men in the program.

In addition to his District responsibilities, Rivers started the AR3 Foundation in 2008 after losing his brother to gun violence. Through the foundation, Rivers and his family hosts a basketball league, community day, and other events to promote a movement for healing, forgiveness and atonement.

Jason Rivers, who joined the District in 1998, previously worked as a student services assistant at Frick Middle School and Pittsburgh Allderdice High School. In addition to his We Promise work, Rivers has made a mark as a driving force with facilitating dialogue about courageous conversations through professional development.

“For years, Jason Rivers has been on the front line in the war to save lives and change hearts and minds for racial and social justice. He has dedicated his life to eliminating racial educational disparities and increasing life chances for marginalized youth in Pittsburgh,” said Dr. Michael Quigley, We Promise Advisory Board Member and Robert Morris University Assistant Professor