Julia Zenkevich

Production Intern, The Confluence
Courtesy of Kamara Townes

Kamara Townes, who goes professionally by Wavy Wednesday, is an emerging artist who uses satire in her work to explore pop culture and racism. She uses bright colors and draws on cultural symbols like Barbie to confront social justice through her work. 

Andrew Harnick / AP

Republican changes to the 2018 tax code moved the target for Americans hoping to itemize charitable donations. The higher threshold—now $12,000 for single filers, up from $6,000 in years prior—could result in larger but less frequent donations for higher-income donors, or fewer donations altogether. 

AP

Sala Udin has been a political activist for more than 50 years. He marched on Washington, was a freedom rider and eventually took up a career in politics, serving first as a city councilman and today as a Pittsburgh Public Schools board member. 

Phil Mansfield / The Culinary Institute of America

East Liberty native Tim Ryan grew up wanting to be an attorney, not a chef, but an early stint at dishwashing changed his mind. 

Charles Sykes / Invision/AP

Cartoonist and writer Alison Bechdel started writing when she was just a child with a diary. But even then, she was preoccupied with issues that would define the lesbian experience.

Courtesy of Therese Rocco

Therese Rocco joined the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in 1948 as a temporary replacement in the missing persons office. In post-war Pittsburgh, she says, most male officers believed women couldn't handle police work, let alone carrying a weapon. 

Matt Rourke / AP

 

Criminal convictions can affect people's working lives and chances of finding safe and suitable housing for decades to come, even when the charges were minor and put no one in harm's way.

Pexel

Small business owners need help to grow, but often the people who could help them most aren't accessible, or don't know someone is looking.

Doris Carson Williams, president and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania, says black-owned businesses employ thousands of workers in the region, but Pennsylvania's business climate still scores poorly. She joined The Confluence to talk about the chamber's history, membership and goals for 2019.