"Portrayal & Perception: African American Men & Boys" is a three-year documentary series project supported by The Heinz Endowments and produced by WQED Multimedia. The television episodes feature individuals and organizations in the Pittsburgh region that are challenging common images of black men.

Portrayal & Perception 2012: The first year of the series included episodes on the Afro-American Music Institute’s Boys Choir, local black entrepreneurs, the 1Hood Media youth media literacy project and African American male educators.

Portrayal & Perception 2013: This year’s series features segments on black men in media or medical careers as well as those who are civil rights advocates or teachers either within or outside of the traditional classroom.

Portrayal & Perception 2014: “Fine Arts and Artists,” explores some of the challenges and accomplishments of African American men who have pursued careers in the fine arts fields of symphonic music, painting, playwriting, ballet and poetry.


 "Crossing Fences” is a Heinz Endowments-supported, multimedia project produced by SLB Radio Productions that uses recorded conversations to connect generations of African American boys, youth and men in Pittsburgh neighborhoods.

Crossing Fences 2012 – This first year of the project brought together youth and men in Hazelwood, the Hill District and Homewood.

Crossing Fences 2013 This year included recorded conversations between youth and men from Hilltop, McKeesport and the North Side.

Crossing Fences 2014 - The third year of this project focused on interviews and discussions between youth and men in Wilkinsburg, the neighboring communities of Stowe and McKees Rocks (referred to collectively as Sto-Rox), and the East End section of Pittsburgh.

Crossing Fences 2015 - For its fourth year, "Crossing Fences" went to Braddock, Homestead and Sheraden to have local youth find out the lives, goals and achievements of men in their communities.


  To promote more well-round depictions of black males, The Heinz Endowments is supporting the Game Changers Project, a national program that selects local aspiring and experienced young filmmakers to shoot “micro-documentaries” about black men in their communities who are “changing the game” in areas such as education, justice, entrepreneurship and fatherhood.

Game Changers 2012

Game Changers 2013

Game Changers 2014

    The Heinz Endowments’ investment in programming to improve opportunities and outcomes for African American men and boys includes the Black Male Leadership Development Institute at Robert Morris University. The institute provides leadership training for African American teenage boys during a week-long residential program in the summer and mentoring and other educational experiences throughout the year. It is co-sponsored by the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and also receives funding from The Buhl Foundation.








© 2017 The Heinz Endowments