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About P.O.O.R.L.A.W.

People of Origin Rightfully Loved and Wanted

People of Origin Rightfully Loved and Wanted (abbreviated P.O.O.R.L.A.W., or PL for short) Is all about standing up for what’s right no matter what the cost. When it comes to community building bridges that connect to a better way of living, those who are a part of POORLAW are willing to give of what they have. We are willing to do whatever we can do for a better Hazelwood and a better tomorrow.

Begun in Struggle

P.O.O.R L.A.W. began as a non-profit organization created by Saundra Cole and Terrell Johnson to fight for Terrell’s freedom. Terrell was 19 years of age when he was falsely accused of capital murder in 1995. Singled out by the police and based on false testimony, tried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

For 18 years Saundra organized the people in the community and secured resources through out the state. She, through the PL network, finally helped to overcome his sentencing and won his release from prison in 2015. It’s a story about a young struggling black family who had to go up against unfair odds to fight for the freedom of a young black man.

Read more about Terrell, Saundra, and the creation of P.O.O.R.L.A.W.

The Struggle Continues

After Terrell’s acquittal, Saundra and Terrell felt that the struggle must continue, and that PL must become the face of justice for young black men and women in Greater Hazelwood.

PL, after years of serving the community, discovered that racial disparities in discrimination regarding the criminal justice system, housing, employment, and in the social order affecting black people are clear and stark, driven by a complex array of inequities within our systems and social dynamics—biases and prejudices, overt discrimination, systemic and institutional racism, and many other related and intersectional forces—that impact their responses to the injustices that face black and brown people.

PL is advocating an end to systemic racism, to the systems in place that create and maintain racial inequality in nearly every facet of life for black and brown people. We are planning and implementing programs that affect all aspects of black and brown people’s lives. We have designed programs and services which include education, housing, workforce development, and advocacy.

P.O.O.R.L.A.W. (People of Origin Rightfully Loved and Wanted) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in the Hazelwood neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA, 15207. Our programs and services focus on education, housing, employment, workforce development, racial justice and community advocacy.