Creating solutions that address institutional racism and structural impediments that continue to plague Black communities


Vaccinations distributed (both flu and COVID)


Number of events participated in


Number of engagements with community residents

Welcome to the
Black Equity Coalition

The Black Equity Coalition (BEC) supports the creation of equitable systems to affirm the dignity of every human being through collaborations, networks, and policymaking.

The Black Equity Coalition is comprised of a group of physicians, researchers, epidemiologists, public health and health care practitioners, social scientists, community funders, and government officials concerned about addressing inequities in vulnerable populations. Originally focused on responding to COVID-19, the Coalition quickly realized that the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on the health, well-being, and economic stability of Black people highlighted the need to address institutional racism and structural impediments that continue to plague the Black community. Thus, the Black COVID-19 Equity Coalition committed to working on matters of racial equity beyond the pandemic’s eventual end and became the Black Equity Coalition.

Fred Brown Fred Brown is President & CEO of The Forbes Funds, a philanthropic organization focused on strengthening the management capacity and impact of community nonprofits in the Pittsburgh area. Prior to that time, Mr. Brown served as the President & CEO of the Homewood Children's Village, a non-profit that takes a multi-generational approach to improve quality of life in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood; previously he worked for the Kingsley Association developing green/sustainable communities through holistic visioning, resident capacity building, community empowerment, micro/macro planning, and sustainable redevelopment implementation. Read More
Dr. Jerome Gloster Dr. Jerome Gloster is currently the CEO/CMO for Primary Care Health Services (PCHS) and is a Pediatrician with 25 years of experience in clinical medicine, all of which have been with Federally Qualified Community Health Centers. He accepted the position of CEO/CMO in November of 2018 for PCHS, a Federally Qualified Health Center Corporation of ten clinical health center offices throughout the greater Pittsburgh area with its headquarters located at the Alma Illery Medical Center in the Homewood neighborhood of the city of Pittsburgh. He has become known for his passion for providing the highest quality Health Care and services to the underserved and those who need it the most. To this effort, he has dedicated his entire career while declining the opportunity to join other private and hospital-based practices with much higher salaries, which wouldn’t allow him to concentrate all of his attention on these communities and families in need. Read More
Mark Lewis Mr. Mark S. Lewis, President and Chief Executive Officer of POISE Foundation, February 2002 to present. Mark is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in accounting, he began his career as a financial auditor with the Pittsburgh office of Price Waterhouse, a public accounting firm. After spending two and one-half years as a financial auditor, Mark transferred to the Information Systems Risk Management group. Here he specialized in auditing and advising companies on security and controls within computerized environments. After eight years with Price Waterhouse reaching the level of manager, Mark joined the accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP as a manager. He reached the level of senior manager prior to departing his position 5 years later to accept an opportunity to head POISE Foundation. Read More
Richard Garland For over thirty years, I have been a practitioner and specialist of violence prevention for at-risk youth and those associated with gang and drug violence. My work has resulted in lives transformed from violent offenders to community members, major truces between gang members locally in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, and community organizing around gun violence and homicide research. My approach is to understand violence as a disease and to work with the individual and organizations infected with this disease to restore, prevent, and stop the spread. My academic appointments and courses taught have allowed me to influence the next generation of community organizers and violence prevention specialists. Read More
Dr. Tracey Conti Dr. Tracey Conti joined the Latterman Family Health Center faculty as a part-time preceptor in 2002 and became full-time faculty in September 2005. She has held many leadership roles within the residency including; Director of Research and Scholarly Projects, Medical Director, and Associate Program Director. Dr. Conti became the Program Director in 2012. ​She is a native of Pittsburgh and graduated from Woodland Hills Senior High School. She attended Benjamin Banneker Honors College at Prairie View A&M; University in Texas and received a B.S. in Biology. Dr. Conti received her M.D. from Temple University in Philadelphia PA. She found a ‘right-fit with family medicine as it represented a medical specialty with the scope and breadth to provide transformative care experiences for a wide variety of patients regardless of socioeconomic status. Read More
Dr. Noble A-W Maseru Dr. Noble A-W Maseru served for more than a decade as health commissioner for the City of Cincinnati Health Department where he oversaw more than 400 employees in seven divisions; seven preventive and primary health care centers; twenty-two school-based health centers; environmental, surveillance, chronic disease prevention and public health preparedness programs; creating healthy communities initiatives; and an annual budget of $49 million dollars. Maseru devoted his energies to achieving a healthier Cincinnati through establishing strategic partnerships with numerous public, private and grassroots agencies with the overall goal of elevating the department's health equity impact on Cincinnati---particularly vulnerable and underserved populations. Read More
Dr. Jamil Bey Originally from Beltzhoover, Dr. Jamil Bey is the President & CEO of UrbanKind. On a mission to create social justice, he is focused on improving communities and creating change. He endeavors to establish Southwestern Pennsylvania as a place where Black children and families can prosper and thrive. In addition to Dr. Bey's role as UrbanKind's visionary and his myriad charitable efforts, Dr. Bey serves on many boards and councils throughout Pittsburgh. Dr. Bey serves on the boards of The Pittsburgh Housing Opportunity Fund, The Forbes Fund Advisory Council, the Joseph Ibberson Community Forestry Chair. He is a founding board member at Landforce and is on the Steering committee of the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council and the Advisory Council Advisor for the Penn State Center Pittsburgh. Read More
Liv Bennett Raised in Manchester, Liv is passionate about improving social equity. She is currently a resident of Northview Heights where she has been and continues to be, a community activist. Liv graduated Magna Cum Laude from Carlow University in May of 2018 and is currently attending graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh at GSPIA where she is studying Public Policy Management. Liv lives with her husband, Terrence, and her 18-year-old son. She has three other children and three grandchildren. She also serves as the Chair of the Public Safety Committee. She is honored to serve them in this role and seeks to represent all of the diverse folks within her district. Liv’s work on Council includes passing legislation banning conversion therapy, banning hair discrimination, declaring Juneteenth a Countywide paid holiday, and declaring racism as a public health crisis. Liv rose up out of the activist world and is a member of the Black Activist/Organizing Collective. She also works as a part-time community organizer for Take Action Mon Valley. Liv is always humbled and honored to serve in any way she can. Read More
Dr. Dara D. Mendez Dara D. Mendez, Ph.D., MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences and Interim Director of the Center for Health Equity at University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and an affiliate faculty member of the Geoinformatics Laboratory at Pitt. She completed her postdoctoral training as a Kellogg Health Scholar and earned her MPH and Ph.D. in Maternal and Child Health with a focus in Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and BA in Sociology/Anthropology pre-med at Spelman College. Mendez applies a variety of methods and approaches in her work related to the complex intersections between racism, multiple forms of oppression, stress, and place in understanding Black maternal and infant health as well as racial/ethnic inequities in pregnancy, birth, and women’s health. Mendez works closely with community-based and governmental agencies including serving on the Infant Mortality Collaborative for Allegheny County, the BEST Allegheny Initiative, the Pennsylvania Maternal Mortality Review Committee as well as the ACHD/DHS COVID-19 Equity Advisory Task Force, and the Black COVID-19 Equity Coalition. Read More
Dr. Tiffany L. Gary-Webb Tiffany Gary-Webb, Ph.D., MPH is currently Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion and a tenured Associate Professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health. She is an accomplished researcher having authored or co-authored over 100 scientific publications including journal articles, book chapters, and editorials. Her current research agenda is the culmination of her 20 years of experience working to understand the social/environmental determinants of chronic disease and implementing interventions to improve prevention and control. Dr. Gary-Webb’s research program is divided into three defined areas: 1) the social determinants of diabetes and obesity, 2) interventions to improve diabetes outcomes for Minority populations, and 3) translation of research findings to practice and real-world evaluation. She’s held leadership positions in several national organizations including the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the Council on Black Health (CBH). She is now expanding her national and international reach to work on larger structural issues that will affect the nation’s progress toward understanding and eliminating health disparities. Read More

Meet the
Black Equity Coalition

The Black Equity Coalition is comprised of doctors, community leaders, community members, and philanthropists who work in unison to create an equitable community for Black and Brown families in and around the Pittsburgh area. Like us on Facebook and follow us YouTube and Instagram to stay in the know!

Our Approach

We seek to establish a co-leadership coordinated collaborative strategic partnership model, using clustered social determinants of health as identifiers to target needed wrap-around services through local nonprofit organizations.We also plan to optimize the Federally Qualified Health Center’s (FQHC’s) community-oriented preventive and primary health care services for medically underserved and to address the structural, political, and Social Determinants of Health for the Black Community. Below is a graphic display of our organizational makeup. Email us at to get involved!

Leadership Huddle

The Black Equity Coalition is a network of government officials, scientists, academics, and community organizations who prioritize the health of black and brown residents. Click the logos below to learn more about our leadership organizations.

What the
Data Says

The Black Equity Coalition Data Group provides real-time COVID-19 updates. Click the chart above to see the most up-to-date information for Allegheny County. Information can be found on

Our Projected Results


Create and sustain a culturethat values


Build capacity for internal monitoring for continuous improvement


Employ external evaluation for
mission effectiveness


Co-create emerging responses that produce systemic
change within the hubs.


Share learnings to promote systems change through rapid prototyping.