Saturday, October 12, 2013

Weekend Roundup: Black Preachers & Politics, Area Ballot Levies

Longtime Cleveland pastor returns to area pulpit tomorrow

Dr. Marvin A. McMickle, who served as Senior Pastor of Antioch Baptist Church from 1987 until 2011, will preach at the 10AM Church of the Covenant worship service tomorrow. 

Following the service, McMickle will lead an adult forum on the intersection of religion and politics. The discussion is expected to look at the way conservative Christians use the political process to advance a social agenda.

McMickle, a prolific author, will no doubt reference his forthcoming book on the black preacher and politics. He left Antioch and Cleveland in 2011 to become President of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, NY, where he is also Professor of Church Leadership and Director of the Program of Black Church Studies.

The Church of the Covenant is located at 11205 Euclid Avenue in University Circle.

Looking for info on all those levies on the ballot this year?

You can hear representatives of the Cuyahoga County Health & Human Services Department, the county Port Authority, and Metroparks on today’s “It’s About Justice”. The public affairs program hosted by retired Cleveland educator Meryl Johnson airs on WRUW-FM/91.1 Saturday afternoons from 2:30-3:30PM*. You can also hear it online at

A Cleveland Public Library levy is also on this year’s ballot. A campaign spokesman for that issue will also be on today’s program. If you miss it, I believe the programs can be accessed online for about a week after the show.

* new time slot.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Community Spotlight on Youth: Jayla Burton of South Euclid


Multi-Talented Youth Makes Friends, Grades, Music, and History
Becomes First African-American Homecoming Queen at NDCL

Jayla Burton must have a gold medal for time management stashed away somewhere.

Jayla I. Burton
The South Euclid resident made history recently when her fellow students at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin (NDCL) High School in Chardon selected her as this year’s Homecoming Queen. She is the first African American in school history to win the title.

"I was so surprised that I'd won,” beamed Jayla. “I am humbled, thankful and excited. I feel honored to represent my school in this way."

Frequently referred to as, “one of the nicest young ladies in the school,” Jayla is a good friend to many. An excellent student, Jayla is a member of the National Honor Society, Science Olympiad, and writes for the school newspaper and yearbook. She is also a member of NDCL’s marching band where she serves as Captain of the Color Guard. Band Director Adam Pysell frequently calls upon Jayla to play her flute with the concert band.

This past summer Jayla won a paid internship with Improve Training and Consulting Group, a Cleveland-based consulting firm where she learned about group dynamics, lean business practices and Emotional Intelligence (EI). This opportunity came through Leaders of Tomorrow, a youth leadership program sponsored by the National Black MBA Association, Cleveland Chapter.

[Note to parents, educators, aunts & uncles: there is an orientation meeting for LOT program applicants next weekend. Info here.]

In the spring of 2012, Jayla traveled to Nicaragua on an immersion and missions trip with other NDCL students. She served in the mission field again this summer when she helped to build a porch for a disabled woman in West Virginia.

When not in school, Jayla works part-time as a sales associate at Sears.  She continues to volunteer her time as the Vice President of the Youth Section of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and helping older adults at A.M. McGregor Nursing Home.  Jayla enjoys photography, crocheting and participating in modern, ballet and liturgical dance.

NDCL Homecoming Queen Jayla I. Burton and King Mark Mullinger
Parents Ed and Denise Burton take partial credit for raising a daughter whose selfless passion for others runs deep. "This was a very pleasant surprise for Jayla and our family," says Denise. “This honor may say a lot about Jayla, but it says even more about the school and her friends and peers. We are truly blessed that she and our other daughter have the opportunity to attend NDCL."

"I was really surprised, but very happy for Jayla,” offered Ed.  “This is a highlight of her high school and senior year experience."

Jayla is enjoying her senior year at NDCL, and plans to major in physical therapy at an Ohio college next fall.

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Have a suggestion for a community youth deserving of our spotlight? Tell us who and why here.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Political Junkie Bites: Ohio 8th District Black Caucus; Rev. Leah Lewis; and more

East Cleveland Board of Education candidates set to debate this Saturday

The Ohio 8th House District Black Caucus is sponsoring a debate among candidates for the East Cleveland school board this Saturday, October 12 from 2:30-4:30PM at the East Cleveland Public Library, 14101 Euclid Ave.

Tiffany Fisher, Abdul Shaheed Jabbaar, Eve Lynn Westbrooks and Juan Wyley II are seeking one of the two seats up for election. Westbrooks is an incumbent.

Call 216.659.4619 for more information.

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Leah Lewis appointed to Highland Hills Council

Rev. Leah C. K. Lewis
The Rev. Leah K. Lewis, former assistant to the pastor for community engagement at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, was appointed August 1 to fill the seat vacated by former Councilwoman Patricia DeBerry.

Lewis is on the November ballot to complete DeBerry’s unexpired term. Geovona E. Greene is also seeking to wrest the seat from Lewis.

In an odd twist, DeBerry is now running unopposed for a four-year term on council.
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All declared 2014 County Exec candidates in Cleveland Heights tonight

The Heights Democratic Club is having an informational session at 7PM tonight regarding the school and county issues on next month’s ballot. Many of the city council and school board candidates are expected to attend.

The meeting will be held at the Cleveland heights Community Center at the intersection of Mayfield Road and Monticello Boulevard.

Confirmed attendees include all three of the Democrats who have declared their intent to run for County Executive next year: State Senator Shirley Smith, State Rep. Armond Budish, and former county sheriff Bob Reid.

In addition to whatever interpersonal dynamics that trio may trigger, there will be presentations on three ballot issues: the CH-UH school bond issue, and the County Health and Human Services and Cleveland Port Levies.

Twenty-eight days and counting until the polls close.

Nonprofit Thursday: mentoring program seeking to enroll talented high schoolers

Mentoring Program now enrolling high school students
The National Black MBA Association Cleveland chapter is accepting applications for its academic enrichment and leadership program that kicks off later this month.

The Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) program is designed to serve high school students who demonstrate leadership potential.  The students are provided the opportunity to develop their leadership, academic and personal skills through a curriculum that focuses on mentoring, cultural exposure, experiential learning and college preparation.

Parents interested in enrolling their children should attend the orientation session on Saturday, October 19 from 10-10:30am at 4600 Euclid Ave, Suite 322. Interested students will be expected to stay until 2:00 pm.

The six LOT sessions are held once a month on the third Saturday from 10:00am-2:00pm at Improve Consulting and Training Group Training Center, 4600 Euclid Ave, Suite 322.

For more information, contact Jeanette Haynes-Gordon at, or visit the Leaders of Tomorrow website.

• • •

Area hosts state Fair Trade Expo this weekend

The Ohio Fair Trade Expo 2013 will take place this Saturday, October 12, from 9:00am to 4:00pm at John Carroll University (Dolan Center for Science and Technology) in University Heights, Ohio. defines "fair trade" as an exchange system that values people-to-people connections, justice, and sustainability. This event brings people together from across the state to learn about and become more involved in supporting fair trade as a model for socially and environmentally conscious consumerism.

The day includes: Keynote speakers; workshops on a variety of issues including sessions for beginners to experts; a Fair Trade Marketplace with 25+ vendors from across Ohio and the region; food products from around the world; a program for Girl Scouts that includes hands-on activities; opportunities to learn about fair trade and the countries where fair trade products are developed.

Admission to the Trade Marketplace and family activities is free. Admission to workshops and keynote speakers is $5 for high school and college students, $7 for Girl Scouts, and $10 for adults.

For more information: email or visit

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