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The Brashear Association serves community members in South Pittsburgh neighborhoods and works with them to solve challenges they may be facing. Brashear understands that moving children, families, and adults (including seniors) from the margins means surrounding those facing hardships with a strong community infrastructure.



Based on the core belief that everyone deserves a fair shot, The Brashear Association provides South Pittsburgh residents and community groups with access to quality programs and services that address social, education, health, and economic issues.



As a catalyst for change, we envision and support a South Pittsburgh where every individual, family, community group, and business thrive and reach their full potential.



Brashear involves individuals, families, and partners in authentic dialogue and action, addressing the issues facing South Pittsburgh neighborhoods.


Brashear advances its mission through the delivery of high-quality programs and services based on industry best practice, partnerships, and collaborations.


Brashear board and staff operate with the highest level of integrity, transparency, and respect.


"We have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night"


The Brashear Association was founded in 1917 by Mrs. Harriet Phillips, wife of Pittsburgh industrialist and conservationist John M. Phillips. Mrs. Phillips served on the Pittsburgh School Board. (Phillips Elementary School bears the family name.) Over the years members of the Phillips family have served on the Brashear Association Board of Directors, including Lee Phillips and Jennifer Jeffers.


Pittsburgh’s John Alfred Brashear (1840-1920), a self-taught scientist and astronomer, was a man of many accomplishments and contrasts. He was a diligent millwright but became world renowned for other skills.

An amateur astronomer with little formal education, he built telescopes and other precision instruments for the world’s greatest observatories – including Pittsburgh’s own. The instruments he designed and built still contribute to man’s knowledge of the vast unknown of outer space. He was honored by the most respected universities and scientific societies and served as chancellor of the Western University of Pennsylvania (now the University of Pittsburgh) and a director of Carnegie Institute of Technology.

Never a wealthy man, he was nonetheless a trusted friend and valued business associate of some of America’s richest and most influential industrialists.

The world’s great scientific institutions revere him for his contributions to astronomy, physics, astrophotography and aeronautics. Yet his love of people – especially children – earned him his favorite title. Throughout the city people knew him as “Uncle John.”

It is John Brashear – humanitarian – who lives on in the people served by the community houses founded in his honor by The Brashear Association. Today, people in South Pittsburgh communities, where he lived and worked, can access a full spectrum of programs and services for babies to grandparents and community service to community action.

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