This fall from October 1-4, Pittsburgh will play host to Intersections, a national conference focused on pursuing racial justice through housing. Each year, the conference, organized by the national affordable housing advocacy group, Grounded Solutions Network (GSN), chooses a new city for the conference, looking at the housing programs, policy, and activities happening in the local community.

“Intersections 2018 provides an unequaled chance to network, learn, and gain essential tools to revitalize communities and provide greater access to opportunity,” said Jessica Grant, operations manager for GSN. “Sessions and seminars are led by some of the most committed and creative professionals dedicated to building equitable and inclusive communities in our nation.”

Who’s coming to Pittsburgh

The majority of attendees come from GSN’s member organizations, which include a variety of people and initiatives dedicated to affordability and strong housing policies, from local housing advocates to community land trusts. Many conference guests will be traveling from across the country to attend the event where they will participate in sessions on different topics and take bus and walking tours of different Pittsburgh neighborhoods, including Lawrenceville and Garfield.

“This year we look forward to partnering with local members to bring some Pittsburgh spirit and flair to general sessions, panel discussion, receptions, and tours,” Grant noted.

The local host organizations include; the Garfield Land Trust, Grow Pittsburgh, Lawrenceville Corporation, Oakland Planning and Development Corporation, and Pittsburgh United.

Sessions will cover diverse topics such as gentrification and displacement, homeownership program design and practice, and storytelling for advocacy, to name a few.

Learning how to fight the legacies of racism

The main goal is to provide support and learn from what other cities are doing around the country to combat the legacies of redlining and other racially discriminatory practices.

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act yet, despite the original intent of the policy, racially segregated residential communities and the lack of equal housing opportunity remains a harsh reality for far too many Americans,” said Grant.

“At Intersections 2018, we seek to illuminate both the opportunities and challenges inherent in the struggle to achieve equitable progress, including frank conversations regarding continuing barriers and potential solutions.”


> Registration is open for the conference and some scholarships are available. Learn more and find out how to attend by visiting