Friday, April 20, 2012

Black Culture is Alive and Well in Cleveland, Part II

Black Culture is Alive and Well in Cleveland, Part II

Among the abundant evidence of black Cleveland’s rich civic life we promised more detail about is today’s wine-tasting hosted by The President’s Council Foundation. The event, which is being held today from 6-8 PM at the Tavo Martini Loft & Restaurant, 850 Rockwell Ave, is intended to be the Foundation’s first annual salute to African-American Entrepreneurs. Tonight’s event will celebrate the life of the late John Bustamante and will include the inaugural John Bustamante Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Proceeds from the event will help support the Foundation’s Emerging Entrepreneurs Program, which has supported the growth and development of more than over 120 Northeast Ohio African American entrepreneurs over the last 12 years. Individual tickets are $50.

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 Also taking place tonight is the second performance of “The Compromise”, a work of historical fiction that had its world premiere last night at Oberlin College’s Hall Auditorium.
The play is set at Tuskegee Institute in 1895 and reimagines the relationship between the two titans of black America at the dawn of twentieth century: Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois.

The cast combines Oberlin students, local residents, and professional artists, including former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones as Washington. This play helps commemorate Oberlin’s 175 years of admitting African American students, as well as the importance of continuing the discussion about the commitment to African American education in the new millennium.

The performances tonight and tomorrow begin at 8PM. Tickets range from $4-$11. The play is directed by Oberlin alumnus Justin Emeka, [‘95] who is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Theater there.

Jones, incidentally, is a busy actor this weekend.  Between his Oberlin stage performances he is moderating a panel discussion at the Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival. He also appears in two of the films screened there today.

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Case’s Social Justice Institute is host to POWER UP! -- the inauguralSocial Justice Institute Student Leadership Conference, tomorrow at the University’s Thwing Center, 11111 Euclid Ave. 

The driving force behind the conference is SJI’s passionate belief that inter-generational exchange between youth, students and practitioners is crucial for promoting social action.

Co-sponsors are Case’s Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, and the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio.

Jonathan Lykes, founder of the statewide action group Ohio Youth Voices, will be the keynote speaker.

Conference presenters will lead discussions on the how-to's of building movements [Joseph Worthy of the Children’s Defense Fund], grassroots organizing [Trevelle Harp, Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope] and legal strategies [Shakyra Diaz, Cleveland ACLU of Cleveland].

The conference is free.
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The 2012 African American Philanthropy Summit will take place tomorrow at Tri-C’s Corporate College East, 4400 Richmond Rd, Warrensville Hts.

The half-day event, hosted by African American Philanthropy Committee of the Cleveland Foundation, is designed to provide valuable information and resources regarding giving circles made up of individuals, member organizations, churches, and businesses.

The opening session will be presented by leading professionals in black philanthropy.

Honorary chairpersons for the program are Inajo Chappell, Esq., partner, Ulmer & Berne LLP; Margot Copeland, executive vice president, KeyBank, and Steven Minter, former CEO at the Cleveland Foundation and currently executive in residence, Cleveland State University.

Register for the 8am-1pm program here.

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Finally, the Cleveland Chapter of Top Ladies of Distinction will honor Debra Adams Simmons, Plain Dealer editor, and Randell McShepard, RPM International, Inc. vice president of community affairs for outstanding community service and we are pleased to salute them. 
Wayne Dawson of Fox 8 News will serve as m.c. for the 11am luncheon at Landerhaven.

Tickets for the luncheon are $40; proceeds support our programs.  Contact Cheryl Williams for further information at 216.295-0107 or
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And don't forget to check out the Greater Cleveland Urban Film Fest or the Tri-C Jazz Fest.

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