| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter RSS Feed

Diversity : In The News

49 Diversity Articles | Page: | Show All

A busy week for new biz loans and programs

While most Clevelanders were finally finishing off the Thanksgiving leftovers, these organizations were busy announcing loans and programs aimed at helping area small businesses, entrepreneurs and employees with good ideas.
 
-A unique collaborative of organizations and institutions has launched a small business lending program to help African American and minority businesses create and maintain jobs for residents and build community wealth. With a focus on bringing capital to underserved groups, the National Urban League’s Urban Empowerment Fund, Morgan Stanley, the National Development Council, the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, and Cuyahoga County have come together to offer the Capital Access Fund of Greater Cleveland (CAF).
 
CAF is a three-year program that provides minority business owners with access to capital offering 50 loans totaling $8 million as well as pre- and post-loan counseling to ensure the success of those small business borrowers. With a goal of creating or maintaining a minimum of 300 jobs within those three years, CAF already has completed 8 loans totaling $1.4 million helping to create or maintain 70 local jobs.
 
Read more here.
 
-Bad Girl Ventures Cleveland celebrated their fall 2016 graduation and five-year anniversary on November 30th by awarding two $15,000 loans, in partnership with the Economic Community Development Institute (ECDI), to the following women entrepreneurs: Liza Rifkin of Liza Michelle Jewelry and Angelina Rodriguez Pata of Blackbird Fly Boutique. Both are located in Ohio City.

-The MetroHealth System hosted its second Think Tank Competition on November 30. Modeled after the ABC show Shark Tank, employees submitted their ideas for a chance to win money to fund projects for the betterment of MetroHealth. Two winners were awarded a cool $150,000 each.
 
Their projects include one aimed at the development of a strategic approach to reduce the risks of opioid dependence and addiction for patients and the community through integrated pathways, analytics, informatics, and education. The other will create a formal team/department to administer and coordinate all of event medicine needs.

Read more here.

 

Serving tea, Islam and understanding in Cleveland

Angelo Merendino of Aljazeera tells the fascinating tale of Ayman Alkayali, the man behind Algebra Tea House in Little Italy. From the feature:

In the early days of Algebra's existence, Ayman faced great opposition. "Many neighbourhood residents didn't want me to be here." There were offers to buy him out, a steady stream of inspectors scrutinised every detail of the shop's renovation, and people shouted racial slurs as they drove by. "I had my struggles and had to go through that for a tough three years in the beginning. Thankfully, there were residents who stood up for me; without them it would have been a much more difficult fight."

Read the whole story here.

Brandon Chrostowski named CNN Hero

Local hero Brandon Chrostowski got some national recognition this week. Per CNN:

"Foodies savor the French cuisine at Edwins, an upscale restaurant that's earned a reputation as one of Cleveland's finest eateries. But this high-end establishment provides far more than a good meal. It's staffed almost entirely by people who were once incarcerated.

By day, ex-offenders learn the fundamentals of the culinary arts industry. By night, they put their skills to work."

Get the whole story here.

Friday launch party: CAN Journal to feature international Creative Fusion cohort

The Spring 2016 issue of CAN Journal marks the beginning of a partnership between Collective Arts Network and the Cleveland Foundation to broaden awareness of the Foundation's Creative Fusion international artist residency program. The new issue will be released at the Bonfoey Gallery, 1710 Euclid Avenue, in tandem with the opening of Ron Barron's Gleanings with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 4. This event is free and open to the public.

Each year since 2008, the Foundation has brought artists from around the world to Cleveland for three-month residencies hosted by local nonprofit organizations. The new issue of CAN introduces audiences to the Spring 2016 cohort, which is hosted by Zygote Press, the Cleveland Print Room, Verb Ballets, Inlet Dance Theater, The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning, and The Sculpture Center. Artists of the Spring cohort hail from Albania, Pakistan, South Africa, and Taiwan.

In addition to Creative Fusion, the new issue of CAN includes feature stories on two African American artists whose work deals with race matters, Darius Steward and Clotilde Jimenez, and on what the Cleveland Institute of Art's new unified campus means to the organization's past and future, a review of Unfixed at Transformer Station, comprehensive event listings, and previews of upcoming shows at three-dozen galleries


Lakeview Terrace to host free "Road to Hope" program this Saturday

This Saturday, Feb. 27, from 2 – 5 p.m., the City of Cleveland, former Ward 3 Councilman Joe Cimperman and Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority will present "Road to Hope" at Lakeview Terrace Community Center, 1290 West 25th St.

"Road to Hope" will feature a full program of theatre, dance, music, spoken word and multimedia performance created by Northeast Ohio artists. The program is one of a series of free performing arts events that celebrate hope, honor Cleveland’s Underground Railroad history and addresses modern day struggles for freedom and justice. Activities will take place in six Cleveland-area neighborhoods from January through June 2016, produced in conjunction with Cleveland Public Theatre’s third annual Station Hope celebration on April 30 at St. John’s Episcopal Church.
 
"Road to Hope" will give audience members a “sneak peek” of Station Hope, including short excerpts from larger performances, discussion and collaborative activities that address some of the most important issues of our time. Performances will be followed by a community meal.

This event is free and open to the public. Complete details are available here.
 

It's Time to Talk Essay on Race: Adaora Nzelibe Schmiedl

Adaora Nzelibe Schmiedl, Director of Development and Marketing for Towards Employment, responds to the question, “Why is an open and honest discussion about race important to you and your community?” in the following essay, which was one of two winners in a contest sponsored by Fresh Water and the YWCA Greater Cleveland as part of that organization's second annual It’s Time to Talk Forum on Race event.

Adaora Nzelibe SchmiedI belong to a community of light skinned girls who carry the baggage of centuries of mixed race parentage, forced and consensual.
 
I was born to a Nigerian father and a Polish, Scottish, Pennsylvania Dutch mother with a phizo-affective disorder in these United States. My parents were not enraged when the minister would not read marriage banns. In the Church of England “banns are an announcement in church of your intention to marry … read out every week in churches across the land for millions of couples, over many centuries.” He asked them and their guests to come in the back door for the service. Their wedding picture was posed by the back door.
 
Speaking about back doors, I hovered just outside of conversational norms with two cultures, a mother who saw visions, always aware that at least one parent, no matter where we lived, was “foreign.” But talking about the color of my skin was a bigger conversation stopper.
 
I asked teachers at the Nannie Helen Burroughs Elementary School in Washington DC why there were so many descriptions for Caucasian skin - olive, almond, milky white - I actually made a list. With hours spent listening to peers dissect tonality of brown skin (I was “light skinned but not light enough to pass”), I was puzzled. In the books we read, people of African descent were just black. None of my teachers had an answer – even though I pointed out that each teacher was several shades lighter than me, with different underlying rich tints. Their skin could hardly be described in one word.
 
Learning to balance when I was “just black” as opposed to “light skinned black,” I took down pictures in my dorm room and apartment to avoid awkward “what exactly are you?” questions. Better to be “just black.” Finding dates, making friends and fitting in was easier. I could also more easily represent the whole race in classroom conversations and work place conundrums.
 
Now I have pictures in my office. I refuse to represent every black experience but own my experience, often echoed back to me by other women. My children have very light skin and blue eyes. When I enter a public playground, I do a loud third person Mama Call: “Mama will be right here if you need her.” At soccer practice last October in Cleveland Heights, a man told me, after I finished comforting my wailing 10 year old, “that I might want to look for his mother.”  I’m not the only one who has a Mama Call.
 
I talk to my children about identity. They are proud of their heritage, which includes their African descent. They are already pushed aside in conversations because they are “too light to be black.”
 
As I become a light skinned elder, I say it’s time for the continuum of conversations to acknowledge actual skin color and heritage that feed the American experience. If we make our children choose to be one thing, we all lose.
 

It's Time to Talk Essay on Race: Tim Zaun

Tim Zaun, Associate Teacher Counselor for the Positive Education Program (PEP) at the PEP Prentiss Center for Autism, responds to the question, “Why is an open and honest discussion about race important to you and your community?” in the following essay, which was one of two winners in a contest sponsored by Fresh Water and the YWCA Greater Cleveland as part of that organization's second annual It’s Time to Talk Forum on Race event.

Tim ZaunIn his Aug. 28, 1963, “ I Have a Dream” speech, delivered at the March on Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundation of our nation until the bright days of justice emerge.”
 
King’s prescient words resonate today, in Northeast Ohio and around the country, as racial tensions persist.
 
Open and honest dialogue about race promotes transparency among individuals, business, schools, religious institutions, law enforcement, and government, all of which comprise a community. Forthright conversations expose misperceptions, prejudice, as well as commonality. Trust, new ideas, and an understanding of people’s needs are among the benefits of clear communication.
 
Stephen Covey, famed author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, said, in Habit 4, "Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood." To advance the fight against racism, people of every nationality need to engage in empathic listening. For it’s only when we understand another’s plight can we begin to help them and expect their grace in return.
 
I’m proud to live in a region committed to addressing the complex dynamics of racial relations. The pledge represents respect for every citizen; and empowers me to be a part of the change. Discovering viable solutions to racial discord affords me the opportunity to live in a thriving community.
 
Benjamin Franklin said, “Words may show a man’s wit, but actions his meaning.” The YWCA’s “It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race exemplify Northeast Ohio’s ability to advance, not only dialogue, but action plans to address racism, prejudice and discrimination. Those engaged in the process lead the way in helping Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of  “brighter days of justice,” become a long overdue reality.
 
 

Thrillist: West Side Market is a 'definitive American destination'

"There are great food markets all over America these days, but few are as ingrained in the community (it’s 100+ years old) or as representative of it (some of the same vendors have been there 60 years or more). Cleveland native Phoebe Connell explains in this quote we had to excerpt the bejesus out of because she gave us two pages of loving notes:

'The West Side Market, THE JEWEL OF CLEVELAND. This isn't a farmers market -- it’s a place where everyone's grandmother used to come to get cabbage and a roast for Sunday dinner. Think of it as being in Williamsburg before Williamsburg was fancy: still in the city, but in an actual neighborhood with working class homes.'"

Read the full story here.

Travel + Leisure readers rank Cleveland one of America's best food cities

"The rust belt city offers some old-fashioned, even old-world, charms. Readers ranked it at No. 5 for its rich food halls, like West Side Market—with spices, baked goods and delis—which dates back to 1912, when it catered primarily to the city’s immigrants."

Read the full story here.
 

must-read politico story critiques greater university circle initiative

"Today, though, University Circle’s boosters describe a community where felons are getting jobs, hospitals are hiring from the neighborhoods, dilapidated houses are being refurbished and banks are making loans to collectives of the previously unemployed," writes Keith Epstein in this illuminating Politico story. "A 'health technology corridor has given birth to 170 startups, many located in new office space on brownfields cleansed of contamination. 'Uptown' is hot: A new retail and residential real estate development bustles with students, their parents, doctors, and people from the nearby neighborhoods who dine, shop and attend concerts before walking back to their homes."

"The Cleveland program, now entering its 10th year, expands on preexisting models—from recent initiatives in West Philadelphia to a priest’s campaign to empower Basque workers after the Spanish Civil War. It has been in place long enough that it has seen its share of successes and experienced invaluable setbacks that have forced a rethinking of approaches when economic realities didn’t align with the vision. Buffalo, Atlanta, Amarillo and at least a dozen other cities are closely monitoring the program."

Read the full story here.

city club ceo asks: can cleveland overcome its race problem?

"As chief executive of the City Club of Cleveland—a 102-year-old institution created to foster dialogue about local, national and international issues—I often find myself in the midst of conversations about the city. So when I—a white guy—am in a meeting about policing or witnessing the inability of some white people here to understand why Tamir’s death catalyzed such vocal and visible protests, I remember what a divided city this really is."

Read the full story here.

gay games donated record-high $150k to lgbt funds, report says

Gay Games 9 made history with donations of $120,000 for the Gay Games LGBT Legacy Fund at the Cleveland Foundation and $27,000 for the Gay Community Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation.

Final numbers were released this week at the “2014 Gay Games Lessons and Legacies” panel discussion hosted by The City Club. The donations represent the net profit from the Games, making the event the most profitable in the event's history.
 
“The ability to give back to the community is a testament to the Gay Games 9 board’s leadership, which placed importance on operating in a fiscally responsible manner, as well as the tremendous corporate and individual donor support,” said Gay Games 9 Executive Director Tom Nobbe in a statement.
 
Ronn Richard, President and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation, said when the Cleveland Foundation opted to become the first presenting sponsor in Gay Games history, it also made the commitment to launch the Gay Games LGBT Legacy Fund in partnership with GG9. “We’re thrilled the fund is able to launch with such a significant donation from the Games themselves. It’s a great continuation of our century-long commitment to social justice in our community and we’re excited to have the fund grow and make a difference in Greater Cleveland.”

Read the full report here.

good magazine on 'the incredible story of chateau hough'

"Chateau Hough, one of the first American vineyards set on reclaimed urban land, was started in 2010 with a $15,000 grant from the city and about $8,000 of Frazier’s own cash. Frazier’s main objectives were to beautify the lot across from his house (hopefully raising its value) and help out parolees, who often have trouble finding work. But he also wanted to see if Cleveland’s most notorious neighborhood could maybe make a pretty damn good wine."

Read the full story here.

uptown district one of five finalists for urban excellence award

"The vibrant redevelopment of a corridor linking art, educational and healthcare institutions with surrounding neighborhoods, creating lively outdoor gathering spaces, retail shops and restaurants, student and market-rate housing, and public transit connections," stated the Bruner Foundation its website.

Read the full list of winners here.

near west theatre announces grand opening events, including free open house

Near West Theatre is planning a flurry of events to celebrate the grand opening of its new home in the Gordon Square Arts District.

"Everyone’s invited for a free sneak-peek inside during Near West Theatre’s Community Open House on Saturday, February 28 from 1-5 pm," the organization stated in a press release issued this week. "The celebration will feature tours, fun photo booths, refreshments, arts activities, grand opening merchandise and giveaways. A special opening ceremony ritual is planned for 3pm with Mayor Frank Jackson, Councilman Matt Zone, Gordon Square arts, business and community colleagues and NWT’s family of supporters."

The new marquee entrance sign is set to be installed before February 28th, and rehearsals for Shrek the Musical will also take place in the new space.

Opening celebration events will continue in March. Near West Theatre is organizing a "Blowout Dance Party" on Saturday, March 14th featuring popular soul band Westley Bright and the Hi-Lites. Near West Theatre's annual benefit and gala will take place on Saturday, March 21st. Finally, the organization's intergenerational production of Shrek the Music will run from April 24th-May 17th.

For more info, check Near West Theatre's website.
49 Diversity Articles | Page: | Show All
Signup for Email Alerts