Regular reporting and commentary on the interplay of race, class and power in the civic, business and cultural spaces of NEO from the inner rings of Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
Primary interests: Cleveland/NEOhio regional public affairs; African American politics, commerce, culture and society; public education; national and international affairs; Cavaliers∫Browns.
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
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.
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.
• LECTURE: Restoring "Function" to Children and Young
People on the Path to Family and Community Revival.
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
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.
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,
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
NOTE: This is a City Club in the City event. Tickets to this event are free, but reservations are required. www.cityclub.org - 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
Tickets are $50 per
• 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 www.clevelandfoundation.org along with
pictures of the artwork and dimensions and descriptions of each piece.
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
Members of STARS [Students
Teaching About Racism in Society] — an Ohio University student group
dedicated to the prevention of racism through education and awareness — have a simple message
especially timed for the start of Halloween season.
“Stop and consider”
the implications of what you do, say, and portray, is the way Seth Williams,
’13, describes the goal of the group's 'We're a culture, not a
costume' campaign. Williams, of Shaker Heights, is
not a STARS member but was recruited to pose for one of the compelling
posters the group has developed.
The group has mounted a
campaign to remind parents, students and children that ethnic groups and
historic cultures should not be caricatured by costume representations.
Ethnic and racial stereotypes become increasingly popular around
Halloween, and are often expressed in costumes that carry a deeper message than
may be intended by their wearers.
While the student-led campaign
has inspired much admiration on campus and beyond, detractors are also making
themselves heard, raising questions of free speech, political correctness, and
action, political correctness is one of those terms most people have an opinion
about, but few understand, thanks in part to a culture that reduces ideas to
sound bites and a corporate media and contentious blogosphere that thrive on
conflict in efforts to lasso those with short attention spans and limited
training in critical thought.
We commend the
students of STARS and join with them in the hope that open and honest dialogue
can free all of us from the stereotypes we bear.
Read more about the 'We're a culture, not a
costume' campaign here. Take a look at the posters here.
(Seth Williams of Shaker Heights is pictured in the upper right poster. His parents are Shaker city councilman Earl Williams and Viveca Williams, a teacher at Adlai Stevenson Elementary in Cleveland OH.)
We just received word of this event moments ago. * The Cleveland Young
Professional Senate (CYPS), the Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club, the Young
Latino Network (YLN), Young Nonprofit Professionals Network
(YNPN) proudly present: Get Informed!
The 2011 YP Voter Education Seminar What: A non-partisan
ballot education program to discuss general election information such as vote
by mail procedures, where to find a sample ballot, how to track your ballot and
how to be a poll worker Representatives from
the League of Women Voters will also be on hand to answer questions about
issues on the ballot Where: Cleveland
State University Student Center, Multipurpose Room 313-315 When: Tuesday, October
25th, 2011 6:00 p.m. - 7:00
p.m. All ages welcome!
Hope to see you there! This is a
non-partisan event. Audience members are welcome to bring resources to place on
tables outside of the event. Audience members are welcome to talk to each other
after the event, but during the event, clapping, snickering, shouting or
interrupting the presenters is strictly prohibited. This event is for
information purposes only. http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=129271323842098
* We will be discussing Real Deal policy regarding community events on Nonprofit Thursday. If your event is coming soon, send a concise announcement to rtaATCuyahogaNews.net.
1. Today’s Plain Dealer carries a
piece by editorial writer Joe Frolik [“Surviving the suburban squeeze”, page A5] in support of old-line Richmond Heights city
leaders proposing a tax increase. Frolik gives not even a nod to the strong opposition of half the members of
the city council’s finance and audit committees to the tax increase at this time.
We don’t intend to debate the
merits of the tax increase here [Issue 91 on the ballots of Richmond Heights
voters], but to call attention once again to the paper’s establishment biases.
No one appears to disagree on the city’s difficult financial circumstances but
the people calling for the increased revenue have not shown themselves to be
good stewards of the city’s finances.
Surely these concerns are worth at least a mention in a column that hawks the views of the city’s long-established
22. Frolik is also on the bandwagon
for fostering regionalism in Cuyahoga County and therefore gives an even more
direct endorsement of Richmond Heights Issue 90, which would amend the city’s
charter to facilitate the sharing of critical services like police and fire
with neighboring communities. This is indeed sensible, so I guess that makes it
o.k. to omit any reference to the way the city’s school system is about to
implode, thanks to a long succession of school board members run amok with
political concerns to the detriment of the children whose education should be
their principal focus.
44.We will launch Nonprofit
Thursday here this week, inspired in part by the interest generated by our
posts last week on the Huntington giveaway, but also by a recent conversation with
our good friend Dick Peery. So for those of you executive director and trustee
types who are not yet regular visitors, make a note to stop by here Thursday
State Senator Nina
Turner has had a meteoric rise to prominence as a fierce and outspoken public
official. Elected to Cleveland City Council in 2005, she vaulted
to the Ohio Senate less than three years later in 2008 when Democratic state senators
selected her to succeed Lance Mason, who had resigned the 25th District
seat for a judicial appointment.
Fewer than seven
months later, Turner was the most prominent black public official to champion
Issue 6, the controversial ballot issue that led to the reform of Cuyahoga
County government. Widely attacked by the black political establishment
for this alleged heresy, she is guaranteed to make the entrenched old guard
apoplectic if she follows through with her expected challenge to
incumbent Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge for the right to represent the newly
configured 11th Congressional District.
We have yet to sit down and discuss this potential race with Turner, but we did hear her deliver the keynote at the Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope's 10th Annual Banquet last night.
It's a fair assumption that most Real Deal readers, though surely ranking among the county's most informed residents, have not heard a Turner speech. So, as a public service, here and here is Turner's talk from last night. Each segment is about ten minutes long.