Former ambassador to African Union talks Trump, American values on Pitt campus

Reuben Brigety spent three years of his life trying to help African nations develop their own governments. Now, as the retired U.S. ambassador looks at the United States, he’s concerned that the country is at risk of losing its values under President Donald Trump. “This great experiment we have is not guaranteed to stay forever,” Brigety warned a group of about 25 people during a Wednesday lecture at the University Club in Oakland. To keep the experiment in democracy and freedom alive, Brigety suggested an agenda of political activism, community engagement and faith in other Americans. Brigety, who lives in Washington, D.C., represented the United States at the African Union from 2013 to 2015, and has held other positions within the Department of State.

Donna Baxter Porcher, the founder of SoulPitt.com, attended the "Stand Up, Stand Out" event at the August Wilson Center.

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As an undergrad at Pitt, Donna Baxter Porcher started a website for fun. At the time, she had no idea her hobby would eventually blossom into a career with a six-figure salary. “I started the site so I could show my friends what was going on on the soul side of Pittsburgh,” she says. “They wanted to know where the barbershops were, where the churches were, where to get their hair done, stuff like that.” She’s quick to add that, “Soul is not just a color. Everybody likes jazz, and soul food, and knowing about different things to do in the community.’

The website, TheSoulPitt.com, has since expanded into a multi-channel media company that distributes a free, quarterly print magazine focused on the arts, events and stories most relevant to Pittsburgh’s minority communities.