.

.

Hillombo

Lifting Black perspectives, negotiating and building alternatives to systemic racism and capitalism, in the memory of our ancestors, for the benefit of Black people.

.

.

Developing strategies with grantee partners

.

.

Current and Recent Projects

.

.

Community Engagement & Equitable Development

.

.

Welcome to Hillombo

Thank you for coming to Hillombo! After decades of working, failing, succeeding in building culture and community; while also working in almost all-manners of Pittsburgh’s non-profit sector: philanthropy, arts, community development, out of school time programming, community organizing, education, we have formed Hillombo LLC. Hillombo is a platform for us to “Lift Black perspectives, negotiate and build alternatives to systemic racism and capitalism, in the memory of our ancestors, for the benefit of Black people.”

.

.

"Some of the Hows and Whys of Grantee Inclusion"

by Justin Laing, Dana Bishop-Root and Celeste Smith

.

.

.

"Justin Laing possesses a rare combination of skills: strong knowledge of arts and culture; deep experience in philanthropic practice; and a lived commitment to equity. These skills converged to create important contributions to the work of the Heinz Endowments in making our culture and creativity giving more relevant , more exciting, more equitable, and more grounded in place."

Janet Sarbaugh,
Vice President, Creativity
The Heinz Endowments
"Dr. Young Laing has bridged scholarship and community service in ways that are meaningful and impactful. Her conceptualization of theoretical models of African American community empowermentare forward thinking and actively seek solutions to the problems."

Chishamiso T. Rowley, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Ashford University
"It has been my great privilege to listen to, observe and work with Justin Laing over the past seven years. During which time I’ve watched him look beyond the weaknesses of small grassroots non-profits and assist them, with a goal to help strengthen their work and connect them to vital resources. As a result of his passion to empower people, he has impacted my life and assisted me in bringing new and meaningful energy to the work of the organization where I serve as Executive Director.

Every once in a great while a person rises to power and realizes the obligation to serve and uplift. That’s Justin Laing."

Tim Smith
Executive Director
Center of Life
"Dr. Young Laing may be accurately referred to as a “scholar-activist.” She has a longstanding commitment to achieving social justice and promoting the empowerment of people. Her commitment is evidenced in the ongoing work that she has undertaken in the Hill District of Pittsburgh often serving as a voice for those who are unheard or marginalized."

Huberta Jackson-Lowman, Ph.D.
Professor, Florida A&M University.
President
The Association of Black Psychologists
"As a board member and officer, Justin Laing was instrumental in leading Grantmakers in the Arts' work in racial equity in arts philanthropy. He has a unique and informed perspective of the sector from his role as a leader of nonprofit organizations and his experience in private and public philanthropy. His knowledge and candid approach to recognizing and taking action to change the effects of systemic racism will provide positive results to all want to understand it."

Janet Brown,
CEO
Grantmakers for the Arts
"Dr. Young Laing is one of those rare academics who seamlessly blends theory and practice. Not only does she bring an intellectual rigor to her community activism, she does so in a way that is accessible and relatable by those who are directly engaged in the struggle. She approaches community development as an ally in a collaborative effort to arrive at the best solution, not as an expert who already knows what the solution should be. Dr. Young Laing also has an amazing ability to demystify planning concepts, so that the people who are impacted by planning decisions have the tools they need to at least have a fighting chance to influence the decisions that affect their lives and their neighborhoods."

Bob Damewood
Staff Attorney, Regional Housing Legal Services
"Justin Laing has the unique ability to provoke thought and galvanize action. Steeped in the knowledge of systemic intervention work, Justin has helped foundations, nonprofit organizations and individuals redefine their work, surpass their expectations and transform into new entities better prepared for today’s world. I can honestly say that my life and work has changed for the better because of time spent with Justin."

Angelique Power,
President
The Field Foundation
"We would like to thank you for all the work you have done in 2014, not only for Wesley Charities but for all the residents of the Hill District. You provide a very important service to small Non Profit Organizations like ours, that is committed to rebuilding our community."

Chuck Williamson,
Wesley Charities
"I cannot say enough about your skill level, patience, and generosity, in bringing this work to us. I have worked with many facilitators and facilitated many things myself. This is work on the highest level and ultimately, Justin, you are a fine teacher."

Richard Kessler,
Chair
Chamber Music America
"Thanks with your help with the business plan for the shelter. Bonnie Laing Ph.D is a professor at Cal State and a conscious active community member and developer. Bonnie helped me to successfully develop the business plan for the women’s shelter. It is now up and running. "

Sarah Jamilah Martin
Muslim Women’s Association of Pittsburgh

Kind Words About Our Work