Skip to main content

Inspire Change | NFL Social Justice Initiative | NFL

Click Here For All 32 Changemakers

Pittsburgh Steelers

SF 49ers_2

Anna Hollis

If you are looking for someone in Pittsburgh who has been leading the way for decades and creating space for some of the most vulnerable communities, you have to look no further than Anna Hollis. Anna has served as the Executive Director of Amachi Pittsburgh for 17 years, heading up the organization that is a unique partnership of secular and faith-based organizations working together to support children and families impacted by the criminal justice system.  

In the English translation, "Amachi" means "Who knows what God has brought us through this child?" That translation is and forms the centerpiece of the organization's mission to empower young minds to overcome the challenges of parental incarceration and thrive. 

About 17 years ago, Amachi found Anna when she was serving as the founding member of the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition, advocating for the end of genocide in the Sudan. Being an advocate for vulnerable populations and a voice for justice was always her purpose in life. So, when she heard that Amachi Pittsburgh was looking for extra help to meet their project goals, she immediately took the opportunity and a two-month contract turned into 17 years. 

Anna has a long history of being an advocate for equity and social justice by instituting programs to empower families and legislative reform. Some of these programs include: 

  • Advocating for the "Driven to Work Campaign" which is working to eliminate automatic driver's license suspensions after incarceration, where appropriate, so that people who have paid their debt to society can access gainful employment and take care of themselves and their children.
  • Implementation of the Pittsburgh DMC youth-law enforcement curriculum that would facilitate relationship building — getting to know each other as real, every day, valuable human beings. It's a building block towards mutual respect and dignity for the community.

More recently in 2022, Anna worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to implement an innovative virtual reality pilot program that leverages technology and community partnership to promote healthy relationships and engagement between incarcerated parents and their children. An overwhelming majority of incarcerated parents will return to their families and this program will help set them up for success as they return back to their communities and back to their families to rebuild their life.