New podcast focuses on ordinary Clevelanders doing extraordinary work

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“Neighbor Up Spotlight” is a new podcast hosted by Cleveland resident and activist Carol Malone that focuses on members of Neighbor Up, a network of approximately 2,000 Greater Cleveland residents making positive change in their neighborhoods. The effort was launched and is supported by Neighborhood Connections, the community-building program affiliated with the Cleveland Foundation.

Malone had the idea for “Neighbor Up Spotlight” after volunteering for three years on Neighborhood Connections' grant making committee, members of which review grant applications, interview applicants and make all funding decisions.

“I met so many sincere and passionate citizens who were creating programs and activities for their neighborhoods and neighbors,” Malone recalls. “Now I have the opportunity to create a podcast to showcase residents who are making positive contributions to their communities.” Each 15-minute episode is like a kitchen table conversation between Malone and two Neighbor Up members talking about their work.

The first episode, "What is Neighbor Up?" (embedded below), features members Dawn Arrington and Lila Mills talking with Malone about the Neighbor Up network and the work members are doing to bring the ongoing Cleveland renaissance to neighborhoods. Mills outlines initiatives such as the community-driven Neighbor Up Network Nights and Step Up to UH – a jobs program that helps connects residents to area employment opportunities. Arrington chats about the grant process and the small projects the funding supports.

Upcoming episode topics include:

• The power of storytelling: Neighbor Up member Oluremi Oliver and Michelle Rudolph talk with Malone about their work with the Cleveland Association of Black Storytellers and youth in Hough.

• The crisis of infant deaths in Cleveland: Neighbor Up member Christin Farmer talks with Carol about her group Birthing Beautiful Communities, a sister circle of women in Hough helping women deliver healthy babies.

“Neighbor Up Spotlight" is available on Soundcloud or via iTunes. This podcast is produced by Neighborhood Connections in partnership with Bad Racket Studios.

Support for this series, "Grassroots Success: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods," is provided by Neighborhood Connections.