Made Local

Leon Ford

In conversation with Julius Boatwright, Founding CEO of Steel Smiling

Presented with The Pittsburgh Foundation

An Unspeakable Hope by Leon Ford is an unforgettable and stirring memoir in the vein of Just Mercy and The Sum of Us that both inspires and upends our understanding about the future of policing in the United States.

In 2012, nineteen-year-old Leon Ford was shot five times by a Pittsburgh police officer when racially profiled during a traffic stop. Waking in the hospital, he faced the life-changing reality of being paralyzed from the waist down. Ford shares how the force of forgiveness inspired his commitment to social activism. In the wake of countless similar shootings across the country, he has dedicated himself to bridging the gap between the police and the communities they are supposed to serve. With his compassionate voice, Ford offers fresh advice for social change and his vision of “leading with love” to end police brutality and heal our country.

Leon Ford, a native of Pittsburgh, PA, is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, international speaker, community organizer, and activist who has devoted his life to the betterment of his community and ending police brutality. He is the cofounder of The Hear Foundation, an organization that brings community leaders, Pittsburgh police, and residents together to build a safe, thriving community for all. He executive produced the Cannes Film Festival award-winning documentary Leon in 2019 and is a member of The Aspen Institute’s Inaugural Civil Society Fellowship.


An Unspeakable Hope is available for pre-order from White Whale Bookstore.


Promotional Sponsor

The Hear Foundation


Thursday, May 18, 2023 at 6 p.m.


Free, with registration
At a later date, the recorded captioned video can be accessed on our YouTube channel.
Registration may also be completed by email at or by phone at 412.622.8866.


Carnegie Library Lecture Hall
4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15213


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