Wednesday, March 12, 2014


The Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation annual meeting scheduled for late this afternoon has been POSTPONED and rescheduled for March 26.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

NONPROFIT THURSDAY REPORT: Black Males, "the Negro Woman", Christians and Democrats

This is the first of what may turn out to be three Nonprofit Thursday posts today. Here we want to call attention to several events taking place this evening, any of which you might want to take in on your way home from work, or to make the subject of an evening excursion in celebration of the impending heat wave.

Post two will offer some observations on the intriguing Hank Willis Thomas exhibit that closes this weekend at the Cleveland Museum of Art after a near five-month run.

And then, assuming there is time, we will offer more timely notes on some upcoming events.

For now, we just learned today of the third and final discussion in the Blueprint Roundtable discussion, a series of events thematically related to the Hank Willis Thomas exhibit. Tonight’s program will be at Friendly Inn Settlement House, 2386 Unwin Road.

The event flier describes this evening’s event as a panel discussion of established and emerging black male leaders from the Central neighborhood and the Cleveland community about what it means to be an African American male today. One goal of the conversation is to break down boundaries between generations.

A special guest panelist on tonight’s program is star actor Bill Cobb, a Central native and Karamu alumnus.

Tonight’s panelists also include Cordell Arellano, Central resident and Promise Ambassador; Jerome Baker, founder, Men of Central; East Tech student Edgar Hoyle; Tri-C student and Promise Ambassador Nathaniel Johnson; Donald Jolly, academic superintendent, Cleveland public schools; Gerald Leslie, principal of Marion-Sterling School; Prester Pickett, coordinator of the Howard A. Mims African American Student Center at Cleveland State University; Amir El Hajj Khalid Samad, CEO of Peace in the Hood; Michael L. Walker, executive director of Partnership for A Safer Cleveland; and Peter Whitt, president of Enlightenment Consulting Group.

Call the panel moderator, Neal Hodges at 216.774.9570 and let him know you are coming.
• • •
Moving east to University Circle, a talk will be starting soon with the captivating title, “An End to the Neglect of the Problems of the Negro Woman”: Black Women Communists of the Old Left and Critical Perspectives on Global Capitalism.

This event starts at 4:30PM on the campus of Case Western Reserve University in Clark Hall, Room 309, 11130 Bellflower Rd.

Erik S. McDuffie, Ph.D., associate professor of African American Studies at the University of Illinois, will be speaking about how the experiences of black women in the US Communist Party during the first half of the 20th century can provide important lessons for diagnosing current social injustices. The event is co-sponsored by Case’s Social Justice Institute.
• • •
Still in University Circle, and probably a less intense experience, is tonight’s Network Night, a monthly gathering where seemingly whatever interests you will find an audience. This event takes place from 6-8PM on the first Thursday of the month at University Circle Methodist Church, 1919 East 107 St. on the corner of Chester Ave.
You can also head uphill from the Circle to Shaker Square where the Cleveland Realtists Association is hosting Real Estate Night at the new Zanzibar location, 13225 Shaker Square. This event, from 6:30PM until nine, will showcase the real estate mogul, Jay “Mr. Real Estate” Morrison.
We hate to put the Christians last, but hopefully they will forgive us, especially as they have two events. The Christian Business League is hosting a business networking reception from 6:30-8PM tonight at JumpStart, 6701 Carnegie Ave.

The League will also host its quarterly Faith and Finance breakfast tomorrow at 7:30AM at Manor Party Center, 24111 Rockwell Dr., Euclid. The speaker will be Dr. Derrick Harkins, director of outreach for the Democratic National Committee.

This is the only event with a charge: $15. All are open to the public. If you attend any of these events, tell them you read about it in The Real Deal.

Friday, February 28, 2014

More Civic Revelry as Black History Month draws to a fulsome and frigid close.

If you are still working your schedule for tonight to decide whether to stop at Karamu’s mixer before or after stopping by the Cleveland NAACP Open House, there are yet several other civic worthy choices to add to the mix:

• Esperanza is launching its Alumni Association tonight at Pura Vida restaurant on Public Square. Esperanza raises funds to provide education, support and scholarships to Hispanic students in northeast Ohio.

Tonight’s event, which starts at 6PM and runs until 11PM, promises heavy hors d’oeuvres, valet parking and live music by Son Gitano. Tickets are $50 [$90/couple]. For more information, call 216.651.7178.

• A good option for the whole family is being offered by the Rockefeller Park Community of Opportunity & Equity, which is sponsoring this month’s Fourth Friday Family Film Night at St. Matthew United Methodist Church, 8601 Wade Park Ave. Tonight’s offering is The Great Debaters, in honor of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and the black youth who helped shape Black History in America.

Co-produced and directed by Denzel Washington, the film stars Washington along with his fellow Academy Award winner, Forrest Whitaker. Oprah Winfrey was also involved in the production.

Showtime is 7PM. The doors open at 6:30PM and refreshments are served. 
Questions? Call  216.231.7622.

• Finally, we would be remiss if we did not pause to note tonight’s retirement celebration for the Rev. Roland Hayes Crowder, who is retiring after 48 of service at Second Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, one of the early outposts of African American spirituality and culture on Cleveland’s west side.

I first encountered Rev. Crowder one summer when I was home from college and working at the old Parcel Postal Annex at the north end of West Ninth St. Even a callow fellow could not help but notice Rev. Crowder’s gracious bearing, and the gentle spirit of caring and concern for others he radiated even in that depressed environment.

The banquet in honor of his ministerial career begins at 6:30PM tonight at the Cleveland Airport Marriott on West 150 St. The Rev. Dr. Marvin A. McMickle, president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, and former longtime pastor here at Antioch Baptist Church.


For more information, call 216.252.1050.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kasich, Foundations, Parties, and Making Black History

Gov. John Kasich delivered
State of the State address
yesterday in neighboring
Medina County.
We had planned to watch online the State of the State speech yesterday but family exigencies intervened.  We did manage to catch the latter part of it in the car on the way home and what we heard the Governor saying made us curiouser and curiouser. He sounded so compassionate and so concerned about education that he might have passed for a Democrat.

Of course, the measure of an elected official is not what he says but what he does. We will be watching and reporting on which of the Governor’s promises and commitments find themselves supported by state dollars and new legislation. But at this point we will confess that the Governor has surprised us once or twice already during his term in office.

Meanwhile, we posted yesterday about tomorrow’s Blueprint Roundtable on chronic social issues affecting generations of African Americans. This promises to be an important public conversation that has as one aim the establishment of a multigenerational dialogue among black men of all ages, philosophies, and orientations.

The event runs from 11:30AM to 1:30PM. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Attendees may register either online or by calling 216.448.0607.

We will try to post live from the site, but the Clinic’s Bunts Auditorium is a true bunker and we may not have internet access even from our trusty hotspot.

The Presidents Council Foundation, BPA Charitable Foundation, Karamu and more

Also upcoming this week is the annual meeting of The President’s Council Foundation. Foundation officers will lay out the organization’s vision for the next three years, recognize the most recent graduating class of Emerging Entrepreneurs, and place last year’s successes in context alongside the Foundation’s strategic plan.

The program, which is being held at The Club at Key Center, will begin at 6:15PM, preceded by a 45-minute period of registration, networking and hors d’oeuvres.

If you plan to attend, you should probably call Erica Penick at 216.771.8702 at extension 225 tomorrow, since the RSVP deadline was Valentine’s Day.

Black Professional of the Year nominations due this Friday

The Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation annual meeting is coming up on March 12, at Tri-C’s Jerry Sue Thornton Building, 2500 East 22 Street. This year’s Black Professional of the Year will be announced during the meeting, which is scheduled for 5:30PM-7:30PM.

Dr. Michael Schoop, president of the college’s Metro Campus, will deliver the
Dr.Michael Schoop
keynote address for the meeting. Also on the agenda are the swearing of new trustees and recognition of the Foundation’s 2013 Class of Scholars.

This event is free and open to the public but seating is limited. Guests are required to RSVP by emailing their intentions to with the subject line “Annual Meeting RSVP” or by calling 216.229.7110.

There is still time to submit your candidate for Black Professional of the Year. Nominations remain open through this Friday, February 28. The organization has been working to increase community involvement in the nominating process.

To submit a BPOY nomination, visit and download the nomination form.

A Smorgasboard of Civic Revelry on tap this Friday

We don’t know if people suddenly woke up and realized that Black History Month was about to end or what, but there is abundant civic merriment scheduled for Friday, the last day of this year’s Black History Month observance.

We mentioned yesterday that the NAACP was hosting an open house at its new digs, 7100 Euclid Ave., in midtown. That event, which includes a Black History observance, runs from 6:30PM-8:30PM.

Only a few blocks away, another venerable institution, Karamu, is hosting its first-ever “Mix and Mingle” mixer, featuring live music provided by Kevin Conwell and the Footprints. We assume but don’t vouch for the group leader being the Glenville councilman.

We do know that the cost of admission is $7. And that attendees should bring their dancing shoes, a willingness to socialize, and their “own spirits”. We think that makes this a cabaret.

Of course you know Karamu is at the corner of Quincy Ave. and East 89th Street, where the revelry will extend from 6PM until 10:30PM.

And the latest event to come to our attention comes from a sponsoring cast of thousands. It’s a Cavs-Jazz postgame Black Heritage event inside Bridges at the Q. We guess that means you have to buy a ticket to the game, which you can do for as little as $19 here.  The reception will take place on Level 4 and last until 11:30PM. The Unit Band will provide the sounds and there will be complimentary cocktails.

The cast of thousands? Add up the membership rolls of the cosponsors, which include the Society of Urban Professionals, the Cleveland Chapter of the National Association of Black MBAs, the 100 Black Men of Cleveland,  the Women’s Leadership Forum, the National Pan-Hellenic Council of Greater Cleveland, the Norman S. Minor Bar Association, the Black Sports Professionals, the Cleveland State University Black Alumni, the Kent State University Black Alumni,  the Men of Morehouse local alumni chapter, and maybe more …

• • •

All of this activity makes you thing there must be a whole lot of educated and healthily employed African Americans in Greater Cleveland. It could make you wonder what they might do collectively as part of some dynamic, progressive, innovative umbrella organization.

Might they have persuaded the county prosecutor to take less than 453 or so days [and counting] to bring some serious charges against the policemen who fired 137 bullets into a vehicle with two unarmed occupants

State Sen.
Nina Turner
is running for
Ohio Secretary
of State
Or could they have pooled some resources to take concerted action that might have minimized the hollowing out of the neighborhoods where so many of them grew up — Glenville, Mt. Pleasant, Collinwood, Kinsman, etc.?

Could they unite to help one of their own become the first Democrat elected to statewide office EVER? 

Now wouldn't that make some Black History in 2014 to celebrate in 2015?