Thursday, July 25, 2013

Nonprofit Thursdays: Phillis Wheatley, Ruby Dee, and more

Ruby Dee returns to Karamu tomorrow. Story below.
Phillis Wheatley annual meeting today; Phyllis to speak!
Once upon a time, the Phillis Wheatley Association was black Cleveland’s premier service organization, a centerpiece of community civic and social engagement. It has stood in midtown for nearly 80 years in a landmark building at 4450 Cedar Avenue.

The agency will hold its annual meeting today starting at 5:30PM featuring the aptly named Phyllis Cleveland, Ward 5 city councilwoman.

The visionary Jane Edna Hunter founded the agency in 1905 to meet challenges and struggles of prejudice that she and other African American women faced in housing and employment and housing. Today the agency’s services include daycare, musical training, programs for seniors, and environmental education/team building and experiential education programs. Phillis Wheatley owns and operates Camp Mueller, one of less than a handful of African-American owned and operated residential camps in the country.

Richard C. King, Jr. is the agency’s interim executive director.

Call Anissa Ali-Jackson at 391-4443, ext.12 and let her know you will be there.

Leadership training offered
Interested in improving your leadership skills and helping to create a better Cleveland? Consider signing up for the Neighborhood Leadership Development Program. Applications for the next cohort are being accepted until this Monday, July 29.

To apply, or for more information, visit the NLDP website at or contact Yvonka Hall either by phone [216.776.6170] or email [].

Ruby Dee’s towering presence returns to stay at Karamu
The legendary Ruby Dee, star of stage and screen, who first performed at Cleveland’s Karamu House in the late 1940s, has returned as an iconic presence on Karamu’s west wall.

Tomorrow, local artists and the community are invited to attend the unveiling and installation of the Ruby Dee Mural at the corner of East 89 Street and Quincy Avenue in Cleveland’s Fairfax community.

The ceremony starts at 4PM and festivities will conclude at 7PM.

Sankofa Fine Arts Plus commissioned nationally renowned muralist Kent Twitchell to work with select local artists and community members to honor Dee as part of “Artovation” mural project.

Twitchell is a faculty member at the Fresco School in Los Angeles. His monumental murals have become tourist attractions in Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

The Ruby Dee installation will be forty feet tall and thirty-six feet wide.

Founded in 1999, Sankofa Fine Art Plus was founded in 1999 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing, educating and advocating for African American and other underrepresented visual artists through community collaboration. For more info, call 216.200.6737 or e-mail

Interfaith Ramadan dinner this Sunday

Cleveland’s Council on American-Islamic Relations will host its annual interfaith Ramadan dinner this Sunday, July 28.
The event begins with registration at 6:30 p.m. at the Islamic Center of Greater Cleveland, 6055 W. 130th Street, Parma.
Deepa Kumar, a Rutgers University professor and author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire, will be the featured speaker.
The event is open to the public and free to interfaith guests. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 216.830.2247.
Ramadan is an annual month-long period of prayer, fasting and reflection observed by Muslims.

Benefit Golf Outing this Monday
The Cleveland Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program [MOTTEP] and The Leonard C. Rosenberg Foundation will host the 8th Annual "Gift of Life" Golf Outing at StoneWater Golf Club in Highland Heights this Monday.

Proceeds from the day's events will support the programs and services of Cleveland MOTTEP. 

To participate call 216.229.2690.or email

For more information about Cleveland MOTTEP and details regarding the upcoming golf event, please visit

Hold these dates:

August 25: Cleveland’s One World Festival, featuring, among many: Nana B. Kool (Afro Pop from West Africa), the Kasthan Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, the Shaw High School Marching Band, belly dancers, and stilt walkers.

August 28: local commemoration on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

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