Healthy Village Learning Institute uses African-centered process to transform participants’ lives

Located in McKeesport, the Healthy Village Learning Institute is a community organization where people can participate in culturally-aligned programs and services.

The village focuses on academic success, personal and community responsibility, technology competencies, manhood and womanhood rites of passage, Elders support, youth employment, adult employment training, African Arts, and health and wellness initiatives. 

The institute was founded in the basement of St. Paul African Methodist Church in 2012 where its members began building a program that emphasizes positive African identity.

One of the programs is Let’s STOP the Gun Violence. In it, Healthy Village Learning Institute serves as the community component of the McKeesport Alternative Police Strategies (MAPS) project.

Other programs and services include:

  • The P.O.W.E.R. (Positive Outcomes With Excuses Removed) Process — Created for children and youth, the process offers strength-based, African-centered character develop
  • Diversion Process — Provides first-time or low-level offenders with a second chance.
  • T.R.E.A.M. Process – Prepares children, youth, and adults for present and future demands Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Arts, and Math.
  • Innovative United Methodist sponsored Urban Camping and Retreat Center — Offers non-traditional, practical applications for understanding and participating in urban and global community issues.
  • African Museum of Culture, Art, and OUR-story — Features a museum that connects to the roots of the African experience globally, delivering truth, tragedy, and triumph that teaches all cultures.
  • International Rites of Passage (age 8-Elder) — Designed for young men and women in Allegheny County.
  • Community Mothers and Fathers (age 21+) — Supports and empowers villageparents.
  • Council of Village Elders — Celebrates Elders’ wisdom and lived experiences.
  • Summer and Afterschool Scholars Process — Designed to improve academic achievement.


To learn more about the Healthy Village Learning Institute, visit On the site, be sure and scroll down to watch YouTube videos that capture the Healthy Village experience.

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