Apartheid Cities: From Johannesburg South Africa to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

Professor Jerry Dickinson Associate Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh

Professor Dickinson’s keynote talk, entitled “Pittsburgh is America’s Apartheid City,” calls for a moral reckoning.

He challenges us to reorient the lens for which we gaze at the city; that the city is not the nation’s most livable city. It is America’s apartheid city.

“The hallmark of South Africa’s apartheid cities was not simply segregation. It was the racial inequalities exacerbated by the segregation. Likewise, for decades, Pittsburgh sowed a divided urban landscape that contributed to the city producing some of the nation’s starkest racial disparities,”


A Provocative and Informative Discussion. Professor Dickinson sets forth a moral vision that we can identify with and attach ourselves to. That collective moral imperative is to end Pittsburgh’s apartheid and to become a world-class city of racial equality. 

Professor Dickinson is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is a constitutional law professor, human rights activist and former Fulbright Scholar to South Africa. He conducts legal work on police accountability reform and represents tenants in eviction proceedings and fair housing discrimination cases in state court. Professor has submitted testimony to the U.S. Senate, and his legal opinions have been published in the Washington PostThe Atlantic and The Hill. He is also the author of the recent commentary, entitled “Pittsburgh is America’s Apartheid City” in Public Source. 

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