Leo Deng

Outreach and Community Engagement Intern

May 2022 - Present

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Where are you from?

Born and raised on Long Island, NY in the small town of Roslyn Harbor until 2017, when I moved for High School in Andover, Massachusetts. I have been in Pittsburgh for the last year.

What are the primary responsibilities of your role? 

I work with Tiffany on all the different initiatives we do for the Greater Hazelwood community. So, I flyer, doorknock, edit the website, and help alongside any Hazelwood Initiative events and meetings.

Why is this job important to you and how does your educational, professional, or personal background help you to do your job well? 

I believe housing should be a human right. As an aspiring social activist who desires to help low-income and working-class communities/peoples, Hazelwood Initiatives' mission and concrete contributions to affordable housing and helping people with multiple problems that affect such communities make it such an important endeavor. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor's combined degree between Philosophy and Art as I am particularly interested in how art (from visual to music to popular media) affects youth political consciousness. So, I feel the need for my studies in social and political theory to be applied in practice rather than be limited to the restrictions of academia. Combined with my moving to gradually more diverse places in my life, my experiences with differences in culture (immigrant, first-generation, race, nationality) shape the way I think and act for change.

What do you love about this neighborhood? 

I love how community-orientated this neighborhood is as everybody here says hi to each other as they pass by on the sidewalks. From the pharmacy to the car barn (senior center) to Dylamato's, the people are all so welcoming and hospitable. The family feel is really what makes this neighborhood so special.