Thursday, October 27, 2011

Nonprofit Thursday Debuts!

WELCOME to this first Nonprofit Thursday post!

Nonprofits play a critical role in a community’s civic, business, social, and of course, religious life. In few places is this truer than Cleveland. A few years ago I found an online listing of US charitable organizations that showed Cuyahoga County among the top two or three locations in the country with upwards of 10,000 such groups.

Of course many of these nonprofits are dormant, having been the creation of an impulse or an idea that never actually gets off the ground.

The nonprofits that are our principal focus are those in some way connected to the African American community. I write this with some sense of irony because today’s daily paper reports on a study finding that some of Northeast Ohio’s whitest communities — Brunswick, Parma, North Olmsted, Avon and Wadsworth — are among Ohio’s most ethnically diverse municipalities! That’s a subject to tackle on another day.

What we intend to do today is provide a space that has been lacking in Greater Cleveland since the loss of the Plain Dealer’s vital City Streets column following Dick Peery’s retirement from the paper a few years ago. 

Peery’s followers included many in Cleveland’s nonprofit community. His weekly column was one of the few places — and certainly the best and most erudite — where you could find out what various community organizations were doing.

These organizations ranged from household names like the Black Professionals Association and the Urban League to all of the fraternal, social, and charitable groups — big and small, high and low — whose functions do so much to stitch together a community that pretty much exists under siege. These groups lost a valuable outlet with Dick’s retirement that has not hitherto been replaced.

So while we are famously nondiscriminatory here at The Real Deal, our emphasis on Nonprofit Thursdays will be on — in the spirit of City Streets — those organizations whose efforts resonate with the welfare and betterment of our local African American community.

This emphasis, if you will, has no exclusionary impulse; it is intended to address a perceived huge local void. We expect not to lose any of regular readers on Nonprofit Thursdays for two reasons. First, we think our readers are Cuyahoga’s most broadminded citizens, folk interested in and supportive of the welfare of our entire community. Second, our readers appreciate that what goes on in such a large segment of the community affects us all. This has certainly been true of the black presence in Greater Cleveland since World War I.

So without further ado, here’s what is happening around town that you would have be paying extremely close attention to know:

• Several major black institutions in town have new leadership at the top: Marsha Mockabee has secured the reins over at the Urban League since the removal of the interim tag earlier this year. … Arlene Anderson has been filling in on an interim basis at the NAACP since Stanley Miller resigned earlier this year as executive director. … Cecil Lipscomb has been lured away from a fundraising post at the Cleveland Clinic to become president of the United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland. Terri Hamilton Brown served as UBF interim director for much of this year.

We are glad to see this infusion of fresh leadership.

The real deal is that all three of these institutions need and should have the best and brightest talent in the African American community. With few exceptions this has not been the case for decades. The same stultifying attitudes and atmosphere that constrict and retard forward progress on the black political scene have been reprised and duplicated in far too many of our civic organizations. The whole community has suffered as a result.

We will get into the particulars of this on future Thursdays.


Huntington Bank giveaway. Details here.

• LECTURE: Restoring "Function" to Children and Young People on the Path to Family and Community Revival. 

WHEN: Tuesday, November 1, 2011, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

WHERE: CWRU Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations (MNO) Room 115

WHO: John McKnight, Professor of Education and Social Policy, Asset-Based Community Development Institute, Northwestern University

John McKnight has conducted research on social service delivery systems, health policy, community organizations, neighborhood policy, and institutional racism. He currently directs research projects focused on asset-based neighborhood development and methods of community building by incorporating marginalized people. Much of his recent work on asset-based community development is captured in McKnight's co-authored book, Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets (1993), which has circulated through a broad range of community, government, business, nonprofit, and educational institutions in the United States and Canada. McKnight serves on the Board of Directors of numerous community organizations including the Gamaliel Foundation and The National Training and Information Center. Before joining Northwestern, McKnight directed the Midwest office of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Discussants: Claudia Coulton, PhD, Co-Director, Center on Urban Poverty & Community Development; Lillian F. Harris Professor of Urban Research & Social Change

Geraldine Burns, Director, Friendly Inn Settlement Corp.

Free and open to the public. A light lunch will be served. Registration is strongly encouraged.
 • • •
“Educational Excellence with Equity: A Social Movement for the 21st century”
WHO: Dr. Ronald F. Ferguson is a Cleveland native who attended John F. Kennedy High School. His research over more than three decades has focused on reducing economic and educational disparities. His most recent book is Toward Excellence with Equity: An emerging vision for closing the achievement gap (Harvard Education Press 2008).

WHEN: Thursday, November 3, 1:00-3:00 PM
WHERE: Plymouth Church 2860 Coventry Road Shaker Hts.
The U.S. is undergoing a fundamental transformation. The baby-boom generation is retiring while the fastest growing segments of our future workforce are the lowest achieving academically. Compared to Americans, students in many other nations are achieving higher scores and more years of schooling.

Dr. Ferguson will argue that the nation is in the early phases of a national social movement to improve educational outcomes for students from all racial, ethnic and social class backgrounds.
NOTE: This is a City Club in the City event. Tickets to this event are free, but reservations are required. - 216.621.0082 for reservations.
  • • •
WHAT: Benefit for the Sarah J. Harper Children's Library, a library in the Outhwaite Homes in the Central neighborhood that encourages and promotes reading, learning and positive avenues for self realization.
WHEN: Sunday, November 6th. Doors at 4pm. Fashion at 5pm
WHERE: The Masonic Temple Performing Arts Center, 3615 Euclid Avenue
CONTACT: For ticket information, please call Vernon Robinson at 216.534.8145 or Gabrielle Ross at 216.322.0011. 
Tickets are $50 per person.


Need an Intern for the Summer?
Application Deadline: November 30, 2011
The Cleveland Foundation's Summer Internship Program is accepting applications from area nonprofits or governmental agencies until November 30, 2011. College students, recent graduates, and graduate students work full-time for an 11-week session during the summer.

The Cleveland Foundation provides funding to cover the intern’s stipend.

• The Cleveland Foundation is seeking nonprofit organizations in Northeast Ohio interested in receiving one or more pieces of modern art for use within their organization. The art works are from the extensive collection of the late Nancy L. and Frank H. Porter, and were bequeathed in 2003 as part of what was then the largest gift in the Foundation’s history.

There are of course some modest conditions, which you can find at along with pictures of the artwork and dimensions and descriptions of each piece.

Application materials are due by Nov. 7, 2011, to the Cleveland Foundation at:

Contact: Kara Copeland, program officer [216.615.7156;] for questions regarding the Porter Fund, specific pieces of artwork, or the overall application process.

Faith Credit Union is looking for an accomplished professional to serve on its diverse Board of Directors. Contact Faith CEO Vaughn P. Johnson @ 216.271.7111.
Two organizations looking for trustees:

Tip of the Real Deal cap to Montrie Rucker for this heads up. She writes:

“They are both fine organizations that serve our community. CLI is unique because their population is homeless, pregnant women and children. They also offer life skills to help them transition into their own homes. Can you imagine being pregnant and homeless?

You know all about East End Neighborhood House. It's been around since 1907 and it's still in its original building. Awesome programs for children and seniors. Not to mention the Rites of Passage Program.”
 • • •

Send Nonprofit Thursday info to:

Deadline for consideration is Fridays at 3pm.


Councilwoman Miesha Headen said...

Love the concept of non-profit Thursday!

Richard said...

Thanks, Miesha.

We are getting good feedback to our Nonprofit Thursdays launch but it is always good to have public feedback as it contributes to community.