Ashton Armstrong is determined not to let her participation in the One Young World (OYW) Summit here last October end there.
As part of the Pittsburgh delegation to the event, which brought together 1,300 young people from across the world to connect and plan projects for positive change, she was tremendously impressed. "We had great international speakers and met a huge number of people who were doing fantastic things," she recalls.
Since then, the 24-year-old Highland Park resident (and student in Pitt's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs) attended a youth assembly at the UN and found herself among 4 or 5 Pittsburghers in the crowd of 500.
That made her realize: "Hey, Pittsburgh is really on the map, yet people here may not feel that global connection directly."
Receiving help from the Sprout Fund and the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, which had sponsored Armstrong's OYW attendance, she and other delegates decided to create the OYW Local-Global Festival at Market Square on Sept. 25 (follow its Twitter updates here
, or use the hashtags #oyw and #localglobal).
Their idea was to create a fun event that would also let people know that Pittsburgh is a place to connect with global concerns.
Among the groups offering information and interactive, global-themed activities are:
- Global Pittsburgh
- Global Links
- Global Shapers
- Food Revolution Pittsburgh
- Cameroon Football Development Program
- Building New Hope
- Point Park University
- Saudi Student Group Pittsburgh
- Ten Thousand Villages
- Vibrant Pittsburgh
- Global Solutions
- Umoja African Arts Company
- Women of the Cloud Forest
- Japan-America Society of PA
The main OYW table will be collecting stories about Pittsburghers' local-global interactions and preparing the best stories, including videos, to present to OYW 2013, which takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa, the following week, and to the OYW in Dublin, Ireland in 2014.
Performers in Market Square for the OYW fest include Umoja, 3rd St. Belly Dance, Yamoussa Camara (a West African drummer and vocalist) and Timbeleza, a local Brazilian drumming corps.
Concludes Armstrong: "We're looking for people to understand that there are not only young people but other globally minded people in Pittsburgh who not only want to connect to the world but want to bring the world here."
Writer: Marty Levine
Source: Ashton Armstrong, OYW Local-Global Festival