Friday, October 28, 2011

Nonprofit Thursday deadline

Has your nonprofit agency:

• hired new staff?
• scheduled its annual meeting?
• won a new grant or award?
• re-located?
• elected new officers or trustees?

Send Nonprofit Thursday info to:

Deadline for consideration is Fridays at 3pm.

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.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ohio University students teach Halloween lesson for all seasons

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 harmless fun.

Like affirmative 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.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Voter Education Seminar TODAY

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.

* We will be discussing Real Deal policy regarding community events on Nonprofit Thursday. If your event is coming soon, send a concise announcement to

Real Deal mini-pieces: Richmond Heights, Nina Turner, Nonprofit Thursdays

   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. 

Councilwoman-at-large Miesha Wilson Headen has raised reasoned objections to the tax increase. She points out that the city has failed to reconcile its bank accounts for almost three years, producing an audit finding of $40,395 gone missing in 2007 and 2008. 

In arguing that Issue 91 is ill conceived, hasty, and premature, Headen also cites the city’s failure to file Annual Financial Statements since 2008, in defiance of state law.

Surely these concerns are worth at least a mention in a column that hawks the views of the city’s long-established leadership.

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.

33. For those who take note of such things, the website is reporting that State Senator Nina Turner has filed paperwork creating an exploratory committee to run for Congress. The Real Deal has been unable to confirm this report. Federal election law generally does not require the filing of such a report prior to a candidate’s declaration of candidacy.

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 morning.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Nina Turner keynotes NOAH banquet [video]

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.

As always, your thoughtful responses are invited.