Kick off the new year with healthy activities in Squirrel Hill
Cheers to a happy and healthy 2023!
In March (and every other month) we celebrate the past, present, and future contributions of all women. Join us in celebrating some of the women leading in Squirrel Hill and the city of Pittsburgh!
Erika Strassburger is a member of Pittsburgh City Council, where she represents the residents of the 8th District. Erika was instrumental in the renovation of Wightman Park, one of SHUC’s neighborhood treasures. She is an advocate for clean air, energy, and water, and recently introduced legislation to ban single-use plastic bags in Pittsburgh. As an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, Erika passed policies to prevent against discrimination based on gender identity and expression. Erika was previously a SHUC Board Member and remains very involved in the Squirrel Hill community.
Jasmine M. Cho
Jasmine M. Cho is a cookie activist, artist, and author in Pittsburgh. Jasmine uses cookie activism to elevate representation for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Her beautiful cookie portraits represent people and groups often left out of popular media and curriculum. Jasmine recognizes the power of baking as a tool to manage mental health, and is one of the pioneers of bake therapy. SHUC named Jasmine a Squirrel Hill Treasure in 2020 and we can confirm that her cookies are as delicious as they are beautiful!
Leah Lizarondo is the CEO and Co-Founder of Food Rescue Hero and co-founder of 412 Food Rescue. Both platforms connect surplus food from food donor partners (like grocery stores, caterers, and restaurants) to individuals and families experiencing food insecurity. Since 2016 the Food Hero Rescue platform has facilitated the recovery of 80M pounds of food that would have otherwise gone to waste. Watch Leah’s 2014 TEDx Talk “Why the farm is not getting to the table” here.
Nancy Polinsky Johnson
Nancy Polinsky Johnson is the publisher and editor of SHADY AVE magazine, a quarterly publication delivered to over 18,000 homes in Pittsburgh’s East End. Prior to SHADY AVE, Nancy worked in broadcasting for years. Pittsburghers will likely recognize Nancy from WQED and WQEX, where she worked as a producer, host, and star of WQED’s cooking programs. SHUC named Nancy a Squirrel Hill Treasure in 2021 because of how she uses her platform to connect with her community.
Sarika Goulatia is a Pittsburgh-based visual artist known for her large-scale sensory sculptures and installations. Sarika was named the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts’ Emerging Artist of 2016 and has since exhibited work in shows at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, the Mattress Factory, the India in Focus Festival, and more. Sarika is a diaspora artist, having been born and raised in India, and much of her work is inspired by her dual national identity. Sarika previously served on the SHUC Board and was a member of the organization’s Mural Committee.
Lynette Lederman is a Squirrel Hill Community Champion! She works as an executive assistant to City Councilperson Corey O’Connor, but is also a volunteer extraordinaire on top of that. Lynette has worked with the JCC, Tree of Life Synagogue, Uncover Squirrel Hill, school PTAs, and more. Her “baby”, as Lynette calls it, is her role as Board Chair for the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women, where she introduced a comprehensive package of community service initiatives geared towards schoolchildren and foster children. People like Lynette are what makes Squirrel Hill such a great place to live!
Maggie Feinstein is the director of the 10.27 Healing Partnership, a coordinating agency created in response to the October 27, 2018 mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue. The 10.27 Healing Partnership brings together the community, government, and faith-based organizations to help communities and individuals heal from hate-induced trauma. Maggie has an academic background in International Relations and Counseling Psychology, and has advocated for juvenile justice reform and collaborative health care.
Marian Lien was the Executive Director at SHUC from 2014 to 2019. Now Marian has her plate full serving as the president of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans, the Director of Education for Inclusion and Global Awareness at St. Edmund’s Academy, and as a Board Trustee for the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. Marian has committed her career to public service, social justice, and diversity education. As the Executive Director of SHUC, Marian focused on the walkability of Squirrel Hill and established the neighborhood’s annual Lunar New Year Festival.
Barbara Burstin, PhD
SHUC named Barbara Burstin a Squirrel Hill Treasure in 2020. Barbara earned her PhD in history from the University of Pittsburgh and is a long-time member of Pitt and CMU’s history departments. She teaches courses on the U.S. and the Holocaust and the American Jewish experience. Barbara has also written five books, including Sophie: The Incomparable Mayor Masloff about the first Jewish and first and only female mayor of Pittsburgh. Barbara brings awareness and historical accuracy of the Jewish American experience to her students and the community.
Hilda Pang Fu
Hilda Pang Fu is the founder and president of Luminari, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit founded to foster activities that broaden minds, inspire innovation, and promote community engagement. Hilda founded Luminari because she values open-mindedness and is guided by compassion and kindness. Hilda stays busy serving on many nonprofit boards including The Ellis School, Pittsburgh Opera, WQED-Multimedia, and more. She advocates for gender equity and is a founding board member of the Women and Girls Foundation of Pittsburgh.