Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Surveying the Civic Space

Events on tap today, later this week: the drug epidemic; school expansion; the black family

Whatever happens in the nation’s inner cities sooner or later comes home to roost in suburbia. Not even a metropolitan trump wall could alter this social phenomenon. So if not for reasons of compassion or just plain old human decency, pure self-interest should impel those with greater choices to be vitally concerned with the nation’s extreme inequities.

These inequities, it may be noted, transcend racial boundaries. Ultimately, neither Westlake nor Solon can be indifferent to Mt. Pleasant or Stockyards/Clark-Fulton.

Opiates vs. Crack
Perhaps the best current reminder of this salient social fact is the expanding opiate crisis. A community symposium is on tap tonight with an array of panelists on the front lines of this struggle, including: Judge Lauren Moore, Drug Court Judge, Cleveland Municipal Court; Judge Joan Synenberg, Recovery Court Judge, Common Pleas Court; and County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley.

Also participating are other court personnel, counselors and a research associate from Case Western Reserve University.

The ninety minute program, “Bridging the Gap: Opiates vs. Crack”, starts at 6:30 PM tonight at Imani Temple Ministries, 2463 N. Taylor Rd., Cleveland Heights 44118. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Drug Court coordinator Dr. Daryl Jackson at 216.420.8871 or

Warrensville Schools
Attendees at tomorrow night’s community engagement forum at Warrensville Heights HS, 4270 Northfield Rd. [44128] will hear School District Superintendent Donald Jolly share the District’s building plan. Dr. Jolly says the District has been advised that it will be awarded $8.2 million from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission this summer towards the cost of a planned pre-K-5 building that will likely cost at least twice that much.

In the two years since Jolly was named superintendent, system-wide enrollment has reversed its prior downward spiral. Enrollment has increased almost 18%, from 1411 to 1661 students.

At the forum, Jolly will also talk about the District’s 2020 Strategic Plan, which is aimed at keeping it out of academic distress and restoring it to a path towards excellence.

Residents will be able to question both Jolly and Mayor Brad Sellers, who has taken a direct and active interest in the district’s restoration since his election in 2010.

Appreciating the Black Family
East Cleveland native Fanon Hill is bringing his acclaimed documentary film, Lom Nava Love, home this weekend to the East Cleveland Public Library.

Screen shot from the move Lom Nava Love
The film is based on the 1973 case of Inez Moore, an East Cleveland resident who was cited by the city, which alleged that having her grandson living with her violated a local zoning ordinance that excluded him from the statutory definition of a “family unit.” The case went all the way to the US Supreme Court before being decided ultimately in 1977 in Moore’s favor.
That story is the inspiration for Hill’s film, which will be shown this Saturday, May 6, at 1:30 PM, at the East Cleveland Library, 14101 Euclid Ave.
The film pays tribute to Moore’s courage and fortitude while focusing on the work of Baltimore public housing community organizer Shirley Foulks.
Moore was represented in the case by a battery of attorneys from the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, including lead counsel Rick Stege, Rick Gurbst, and the late C. Lyonel Jones, longtime Legal Aid executive director.
Following the screening, W. Paul Coates, Black Classic Press founder (father of author Ta-Nehisi Coates); Fanon Hill, Shirley Foulks, and artists from East Cleveland will lead a discussion about the film.
A selection of songs from the film's soundtrack will be performed by Navasha Daya, among a number of musical performances.
As part of the program, former research director of the National Urban League, Robert B. Hill, will be recognized for his seminal 1972 work, The Strengths of Black Families. Hill’s book was written to counter the prevailing media image, fueled by The Moynihan Report, of black families as weak and dysfunctional. Hill’s work focused on the assets and resilience of black families. 
The screening is free and open to the public. Go to, or call 216-541-4128 for more information.


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