Each month, PUMP will feature one of our members in our new “Member Spotlight” blog that will be posted on our website and shared through our newsletters and social media channels. There are so many PUMP members that are transforming our city and our hope is to share a little about what they’re up to and their thoughts on our City and region. We hope you enjoy it. For our first installment, we caught up with Allyce Pinchback, PUMP’s outgoing Board Chair, who just completed five years on the PUMP Board of Directors.
Looking back on your two years as PUMP Board Chair, what has this experience meant to you both personally and professionally?
Serving as PUMP Board Chair for the past two years (and five years overall on the board) has been an amazing experience. I feel like I’ve grown up with PUMP; being in this role has honed my leadership skills, provided a strong network of collaborators, and left me with lifelong friends. It has been great to be on the front lines of a successful organizational transformation and to participate in important projects, including the development of our strategic plan, the return to our Public Policy & Advocacy roots, and a brand refresh,
What is one thing you have learned that you would like to share with the PUMP network?
My biggest takeaway is to be your unapologetic self and stand firm in what you believe. When I joined PUMP, I was disappointed by the lack of diversity on the board, staff, and among 40 Under 40 recipients. I made my sentiments known early on, and over the past five years, this organization has worked tirelessly to become more representative of the Pittsburgh in which we desire to live. Sometimes when we stand for what is right, we stand alone, but I am appreciative to have served alongside such dedicated individuals with a shared mission, vision, and values.
Since PUMP’s founding over 20 years ago, Pittsburgh has changed a great deal and is now often cited as an attractive city for young people to live, work, and play. Yet, we at PUMP know that the benefits of this transformation have not reached everyone. What work lies ahead for Pittsburgh to ensure that all of our residents are uplifted?
In my opinion, the most important thing Pittsburgh can do to ensure that these transformational efforts reach everyone is to improve the K-12 public education system. A city is only as strong as its youngest citizens. Students must be provided high-quality, culturally relevant, and practical learning opportunities that prepare them for college, career, and life. Unfortunately, the quality of education that many of our students receive differs based on their skin color and zip code. Policies that perpetuate systemic racism and chronic underachievement must be dismantled, and the education system needs to be updated to accommodate the needs of today’s students.
How do you see PUMP playing a role in that change?
PUMP has a critical role to play in K-12 public education reform, as our membership consists of young parents, future parents, and the current/next generation of city leadership. We should continue our voter registration and education efforts to ensure that taxpayers understand the power they have to hold school boards and school districts accountable, and the role they can play in supporting our schools and students through advocacy, volunteerism, and mentorship.
Any final words as Board Chair for the PUMP network?
PUMP is a very different organization than it was five years ago. We have been intentional on trying to create space for every young person in this region to get connected and to see themselves in PUMP. We have made much headway, but there is still work to be done. I am hopeful that the next administration will continue to build on this legacy of making Pittsburgh a great place for young people to live, work, and play by supporting, elevating, advocating for the issues outlined in Public Policy & Advocacy agenda.
Author’s Note: We want to thank Allyce for all that she has done for PUMP and for her unwavering commitment to making Pittsburgh a city for all. Under her leadership, PUMP has re-emerged as a voice for young Pittsburgh and launched our Advocacy + Public Policy Agenda that outlines our vision for the future. Check it out HERE. We could not have done it without her – thank you Allyce!