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 ‘‘There is no good reason to bury a child. There is no justification for why this unnatural act has become normal in Hazelwood. Here, we recognize the countless individuals who have felt the pain of saying goodbye to loved ones whose lives were cut short by street violence. Their stories of loss encourage us to share our own, and through this exchange, we take part in something bigger than ourselves. We become a community empowered by vulnerability, strengthened from our compassion, and engaged with the issues that matter to us. This exhibit describes the journey of Hazelwood and asks us how we have arrived to a world with such systemic loss. We question the larger forces in our society, as we strive to find peace in our personal histories. We look for opportunities for positive change, and recognize the power of this community many people call home: Hazelwood.”


ABOUT Hazelwood and The Center of Life:

Hazelwood was once an important part of Pittsburgh’s steel industry, which provided jobs for thousands of workers in the vibrant community. With the closing of the mills, however, Hazelwood’s resources, economy, and population declined. The Center of Life was established in the community to provide skills-building, academic, artistic, and athletic programs to strengthen the community and its families.



As a group, the Carnegie Mellon Design class of 2017 was approached by Tim Smith, the President and Executive Director of the Center of Life, to create an exhibit in its church/community space commemorating lives lost due to gun violence in Hazelwood. Not only was the exhibit to provide a safe space for grief in the community, but also to highlight many of the systemic issues that continued to contribute to the lack of resources as well as accentuate the strength and resilience of the community members.




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