Monday, May 08, 2017

Out and about in the civic space

We’ve noticed and applaud the heightened sense pervading the civic space since November. Larger numbers of folk are finding ways to become engaged in their community’s public affairs. In support of this trend here are a few events occurring in Greater Cleveland this week.

Tonight, starting at 5:30 PM, Black Hack Cleveland offers what promises to be a unique look at the alcohol industry. We found the following description online about tonight’s program, billed as a Discussion with Disruptors of the Alcohol & Beverage Industry”:

Millennials have an aversion to the conventional and a craving for the upscale alternative. … With that come new tech trends that have been disruptive, while also providing an opportunity for startups, entrepreneurs, and disruptors. 
The event takes place in midtown at JumpStart, 6701 Carnegie Ave. There is complimentary admission if you RSVP. Otherwise, it’s ten bucks.

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Speaking of hackers, this is National Digital Inclusion Week, a national initiative that seeks to promote online access and technology skill building to reduce digital disparities in communities.

Hack Cleveland is presenting free a round table discussion this Thursday, May 11 from 9:00-10:30AM that will highlight digital inequities and local and nationwide efforts to close those gaps.

Panelists include Bill Callahan, Connect Your Community; Wanda Davis, Ashbury Senior Community Computer Center (ASC3); Leon Wilson, The Cleveland Foundation; and Shaka Clark, Maura Garven, Hack Cleveland will serve as moderator.

The discussion will take place PNC Fairfax Connection 8220 Carnegie Ave, Cleveland 44103. Admission is free. Continental breakfast will be available beginning 8:30AM. Register here.
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Dr. Rhonda Y. Williams
When it comes to civic engagement, few Cleveland citizens, especially academics, can match the two-decades record of Case Western Reserve University history professor Rhonda Y. Williams. “Dr. Rhonda”, as she is known, is leaving Case to join the faculty of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. A farewell reception is being held this Thursday from 5-7PM at CWRU’s Dively Center.

Professor Williams has served as co-chair of the Cleveland Community Police Commission since its establishment pursuant to the consent decree the city entered into with the US Department of Justice following USDOJ’s findings about the abuse of deadly force by the Cleveland Police.

She leaves behind the CWRU Institute of Social Justice she founded in 2010 and has led since then.

To RSVP for the reception, email or call 216.368.7568 by 5PM tomorrow.
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Nothing says civic engagement like politics these days, and young Democrats are among the most energized. The Cuyahoga County Young Dems are under new leadership these days, and celebrating their official launch this Thursday from 5:30-7:30PM at Market Garden Brewery, 1947 West 25 St., across from the West Side Market. Their focus is on young adults 15-35 but there are sure to be adults of all ages there. Admission is free and no RSVP required.

It is good to see this group revive. They, along with the Cuyahoga Democratic Women’s Caucus, are among the most inclusive civic groups in Greater Cleveland.
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United Pastors in Mission will be busy this week. We’re not certain if they will be discussing President Trump’s cynical modification of the so-called Johnson Amendment that codifies the constitutionally mandated separation of church and state — as usual Trump promised a bill but delivered an executive order — but Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson will appear at the group’s regular 10AM Tuesday meeting tomorrow. The Q deal and his election campaign will likely find their way into the discussion.

Then on Friday, May 12 at 3PM, US Senator Sherrod Brown will meet with the group. Both meetings are open to the public and will take place at Mt. Zion Oakwood, One Mt. Zion Circle in Oakwood Village 44146.

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Other items of note:
• A free public panel discussion is on tap tomorrow at the Cleveland Heights-University Heights main branch, 2345 Lee Road. Terry Schwarz, director of Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, will talk about why eastside development lags so far behind the west side. The program runs from 7-8:30PM.

Ilinda Reese and Yvonne Pointer will lead a discussion on combatting victimization this Saturday, May 13 from 11AM-1PM at the East Cleveland Public Library, 14101 Euclid Ave. Call 216.541.4028 for more information.

Khalid Samad
Randell McShepard

• Last but certainly not least, Union Miles Development Corp. will hold its annual awards dinner this Saturday, May 13 at 6PM at the Cleveland Marriott East, 26300 Harvard Rd. in Warrensville Hts. Randell McShepard will be honored for Distinguished Achievement while Khalid Samad will be recognized as Civic Leader of the Year.

For tickets or other information, call 216.341.0757 or visit