an Oakland resident and a student talking
Features & Articles

These free block parties will bring Oakland residents and students together

  • Community Impact
  • Our City/Our Campus

Pitt’s annual Be a Good Neighbor Block Parties are making a big comeback this year. 

Oakland residents, both short- and long-term, are invited to join their neighbors for family friendly entertainment with activities for all ages. After last year’s smaller events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year, the parties are returning bigger and better than ever. 

The gatherings are particularly valuable for students, who often don’t get the chance to meet or know their neighbors and long-term residents.

This is a chance to put names to faces and create connections for the students to their place, to Oakland, and it creates an environment where residents can know the students as individuals,” said Justin Dandoy, director of community affairs for the Office of Engagement and Community Affairs (ECA). “We want to ensure our students feel a connection with their neighbors and provide students with the tools necessary to be good neighbors now and in their future communities beyond their time at the University of Pittsburgh.”

Neighbors will have the opportunity meet ECA staff and other University employees while connecting with their fellow residents over food, drinks, games and music. Some of the five party locations also have DJs and live music.

Pitt is also partnering with local community organizations such as the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative and Carnegie Science Center to bring a variety of activities to each of the block parties. Other partners include neighborhood organizations such as the Oakliffe Community Organization, Bellefield Area Citizens Association and the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation.

The events are organized by ECA in collaboration with the Division of Student Affairs and are part of the University’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the sense of community between Pitt staff, faculty, administrators, students, long-term residents and community groups and organizations.

“We live here, work here, play here and have a tremendous sense of pride for the place in which we do these things,” Dandoy said. “These block parties allow us to build connections and be a good neighbor, both as individuals and as a university as a whole.” 

All parties are scheduled from 5-7 p.m. and will take place on the following dates and locations:

  • South Oakland (3716 Frazier St.): Tuesday, Sept 6 
  • North Oakland (234 N. Dithridge St.) Tuesday, Sept. 13
  • Oakcliffe (Craft Avenue and Niagara Street): Wednesday, Sept. 14
  • Oakland Square (Dawson Street and Oakland Square): Tuesday, Sept. 20
  • West Oakland (200 Robinson St.): Tuesday, Sept. 27


— Donovan Harrell