Video: Advisory Council Meeting – March 25, 2021

Video: Advisory Council Meeting – March 25, 2021

March’s Promise Advisory Council meeting included inspiring mission moments, helpful information on COVID-19 vaccinations and neighborhood internet access, plus thought-provoking breakout sessions.

Click here to view or download the recording of this virtual meeting.

Below is the opening prayer:

Prayer for Revival in our City

Lord, our Redeemer, bring revival to our city. I first pray for spiritual revival, bringing repentance, restoration and renewed focus on You.

May that revival begin in my own heart and spirit right now. I also pray for economic revival-that You would raise up innovative businesses that are hiring local people and contributing to our economy.

May You raise up excellent work ethic among our population, so our city prospers. May this be a city of light.                   Amen.

Congratulations to the 2019 Champions of Central!

2019 Winners: Champions of Central
The second-annual Champions of Central program in the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood celebrated those individuals helping to create a vibrant community within the Central neighborhood. Organizations and residents were invited to uplift several nominees, and a selection committee of peers selected these individuals and presented them with awards in mid-November:

Champions: Community Leaders
Orane McDonald – Volunteer at William Patrick Day Center, employee at Central post office
Greta Stakely-Humphrey – Promise Ambassador, community leader and president of East Tech Alumni Association
Chris Thorpes – Promise Ambassador, food pantry volunteer, support to families affected by gun violence

Champions: Community Partners
Veronica Ford – CMHA Community Center Manager at Outhwaite Community Center
Lakeesha Tolliver Funches – SPARK/Family Connections partner

Preschool superheroes Parade the Circle

Preschool superheroes Parade the Circle

For the second year, Cleveland Museum of Art Parade the Circle outreach artists worked with YWCA Greater Cleveland Early Learning Center preschool children, staff and families for their appearance in the annual parade. Together, they produced this year’s theme as, YWCA Preschool Superheroes Save Kindergarten. Children chose their own superhero and parents and staff were villains out to destroy kindergarten. Outreach artist Chuck Supinski and Julia Ware helped the children create unique superhero characters.

“I would like to congratulate and applaud the staff and children of the YWCA Early Education Program. This is the second year my team and I have worked with your children and their teachers. We had a wonderful time creating superheroes. From the beginning, when the children created their own idea and superhero character to the dazzling end when they bejeweled their shield, a great time was had by all,” Supinski said. “I can’t say enough about your staff whose love and care for the children is reflected in the children’s interest and creativity. We look forward to next year’s Parade Project.”

Love Girl, preschool superhero gets ready for Parade the Circle
Love Girl, preschool superhero gets ready for Parade the Circle

Cleveland Museum of Art Parade the Circle artists worked YWCA staff and students to design each student’s superhero character, such as Tomato Man for the preschool boy who loves ketchup. He would squirt ketchup on his enemies to save to kindergarten. Love Girl loves giving everyone hugs and wanted to share love to save the day. Other superhero names include Moon Man, Ninja Boy, Acorn Girl, Super Butterfly Girl, and of course Flash Man.

“This year’s Parade the Circle experience was awesome! This was the YWCA of Cleveland’s second year being involved in the festivities and it just keeps getting better. The artists, Chuck, Julia, and Lu  were great and worked diligently (and tirelessly) helping us make our own costumes, the children  and staff loved it,” said Carol Lyles, YWCA Early Learning Center. “The artist’s and Tatiana’s enthusiasm and creativity made the process of preparing for the parade experience mega fun. I especially enjoyed working closely with the artists at the tent where the action was. Tatiana was the superhero who made all of it possible. It is amazing to see how an idea comes to fruition and blossoms into a grand project. We are all looking forward to next year, wondering, what will they come up with next?”

During the ten art sessions from May 10 – June 9 the students and teachers gleamed with joy making their capes, masks, belts, and shields. Teachers and parents visited the Parade the Circle tent site at Cleveland Museum of Art to make their villain costumes. The last two sessions included choreography from Ms. Story Robinson from Parade the Circle staff. On parade day, June 10, the YWCA Greater Cleveland group had 32 participants including parents, children, teachers, and Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood staff members, Tatiana Wells and Richaun Bunton. The superheroes swarmed the villains in the parade to take away their powers and saved the day.

The villains and preschool superheroes walk in Parade the Circle
The villains and preschool superheroes walk in Parade the Circle

“It is safe to say, the YWCA of Cleveland preschoolers are some of Cleveland’s finest superheroes! Thanks to these superheroes, all children are able to enter kindergarten safely,” said Tatiana Wells, Early learning navigator, Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood. “I enjoyed working with the teachers, students, and parade staff again this year. This was the best one yet. Looking forward to what we shall create next year.”

For 28 years, the Cleveland Museum of Art has been bringing this free signature summer event to Cleveland. During the event, University Circle comes alive with color, music, and art for all ages. International and national guest artists join Greater Cleveland artists, families, schools, and community groups in a spectacular display of bright costumes, giant puppets, stilt dancers, handmade masks, and colorful floats. Circle Village, which includes activities, entertainment, and food, is presented by University Circle Inc.

Scholarships for Baldwin Wallace Health Careers Exploration Week

Scholarships for Baldwin Wallace Health Careers Exploration Week

Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood is offering a number of fully-paid scholarships to Baldwin Wallace University’s Health Careers Exploration Week happening June 11-16, 2017 at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio. Health Careers Exploration Week is designed for students entering grades 9-12 who are interested in learning more about career options in health care, on the both the administrative and clinical sides of the industry. In addition, students stay on the Baldwin Wallace campus and experience college life.

Ta'mya Bryson listens to Hayley Gallo's pulse during Baldwin Wallace's Health Care Exploration Week. (photo courtesy of
Ta’mya Bryson listens to Hayley Gallo’s pulse during Baldwin Wallace’s Health Care Exploration Week. (photo courtesy of

The scholarships offered by Promise Neighborhood are eligible to students from the Central neighborhood and includes the full cost of the week-long experience which includes housing and meals, as well as transportation to and from the Baldwin Wallace campus if needed. Scholarship funding from Promise Neighborhood is made available through a grant from the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland.

Northeast Ohio is a hub for healthcare careers and the demand for educated healthcare professionals continues to grow. Team NEO’s regional jobs growth forecast shows nearly half the new jobs created in the next decade will be in health care-related industries. Health Careers Exploration Week is an invaluable opportunity for students to spend a week in a higher education setting with other high school students and to interact with university faculty and healthcare professionals.

During the week, each session or activity exposes students to a different aspect of health care and related career opportunities. Students will learn what their educational path could look like should they choose to purse the field. The packed schedule includes quality time in the University’s biology and cadaver labs where students are interpreting blood panels and, yes, examining the layout of organs in real human cadavers used by Baldwin Wallace pre-med and biology students. Using medical mannequins and other equipment, students also will participate in exercises led by nursing and physician assistant program faculty including suturing, infection control, blood pressure monitoring, wound care and Code Blue response.

Activities during Health Careers Exploration Week include:

HeartSaver CPR/AED Training
Heartsaver® CPR AED teaches adult CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) use, as well as how to relieve choking on an adult. Instructors observe the students, provide feedback and guide the students’ learning of skills.

Examination of Human Cadavers and Removed Organs
Students will individually examine the layout of organs and other structures in three dissected human cadavers, as well as study individual specimens removed from many other human cadavers. Removed specimens include brains, hearts, lungs, G.I. tracts, urinary tracts, and reproductive tracts. Exam gloves and dissection forceps are supplied.

Learning Lab Panels and Diagnosing a Medical Condition
Students will learn basic pathophysiology and the interpretation of routine laboratory blood panels. A clinical case study will be presented, along with any requested results of lab tests, and the students will work in groups to diagnose the condition of the patient and suggest potential treatments.

Suture Technique Class with Lab
Students will individually learn and practice simple interrupted, vertical mattress, and horizontal mattress sutures on artificial wounds. Exam gloves, suture material, suture needles, tissue forceps, and hemostats are supplied.

New Technology Allowing the Silent to Speak
Students will use technology to create solutions that help children and adults who are unable to talk communicate. A hands on lab will allow students to interact with technology and create new innovative solutions to correct the sometimes “hidden” disorder of communication. An opportunity to sample the newest technological advances will be given to students. Students will also learn about the many health care professions that need to collaborate for success of this technology.

Business side of Health Care
Several sessions will be included to cover some of the leadership issues in Health Care. There are three key issues associated with healthcare today: Access, quality and cost. Students will be introduced to the Affordable Care Act and its attempt to address these three areas. Students will also be introduced to the multiple stakeholders involved in the payment of services such as insurance companies, employers, physicians, hospitals, etc. A session that discusses some of legal and ethical implications in the health care industry will also be included.

Students practice on cadaver's at Health Careers Exploration Week.
Students practice on cadaver’s at Health Careers Exploration Week.

Nursing Lab Session
Students will work with mannequin simulators and listen to blood pressure, heart and lung sounds. Also learn about EKG interpretations and experience a mock code simulation.

Public Health Service Learning Experience
The students will learn about emerging roles of public health from hands-on experiences by visiting and working with a community-based public health agency.

Music Therapy – Everyone Has a Song
The career of music therapy and how it relates to other health care careers will be presented in a lecture/experiential format. One must be an accomplished musician to be an effective music therapist, but all can participate in this session and learn about the integral nature of music experiences to our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

Beyond that traditional medical focus, students will sample activities in BW’s speech communications disorders and music therapy programs, and gain a view of the business side of the mammoth health care industry, with help from School of Business faculty and Southwest General. They also will earn CPR certification through training lead by School of Health, Physical Education and Sport Sciences faculty.

Students will also be touring a local hospital and meeting some physicians and staff. We will have evening activities as well that have yet to be planned. This group typically goes to a Cleveland Indians game and visits Swings-N-Things Fun Park.

View and download an application to attend Health Careers Exploration Week here.

To learn more about receiving a scholarship through Promise Neighborhood or to receive support in completing the application, contact Dawn Glasco, engagement coordination, Promise Neighborhood, at or (216) 346-5648.

“Hidden Figures” unveils world of opportunity for women of color in STEM

“Hidden Figures” unveils world of opportunity for women of color in STEM

Hidden Figures” is the story of three African-American women at NASA – Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson – who serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. The achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race and thrilled the world.

“Hidden Figures” tells an important story of civil rights and feminism in the United States. The movie, and real-life events, takes place in the early 1960s — a time when racial segregation was the law of the land, and gender discrimination was still the norm. Especially in Virginia, where the story takes place, local Jim Crow laws enforced segregation and discrimination against African-Americans, who were legally obligated to use separate facilities. Though NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia did hire women and African-Americans, offices, restrooms and other areas were kept segregated. “Hidden Figures” portrays the hardships that black women at NASA faced in the years before the Civil Rights Act.

A group of young women from Central, Cleveland and Summit County attend "Hidden Figures"
A group of young women from Central, Cleveland and Summit County attend “Hidden Figures”

A group of eleven girls from Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority and nine young ladies from Cleveland and Summit County went to see the film on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017. The group included girls from second grade through high school.

Sponsored by White House Champion of Change Sonya Pryor-Jones and State Rep. Stephanie Howse (D) District 11, the trip gave the young women an opportunity to speak with both sponsors, NASA Aerospace Engineer Lizalyn Smith, and Case Western Reserve University Macromolecular Science Ph.D. student Taniesha Deans.

“As an educator using STEM as a vehicle to support under-served communities, I thought it was a wonderful opportunity for girls to see this film and be inspired and be reminded that wherever they come from and whatever barrier they face, they can be successful and make a difference for themselves and their community,” said Sonya Pryor-Jones, who is also the CEO of Synchronicity Consulting, a Cleveland based professional services firm.

Statistics show African-American women are still largely underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. According to statistics the number of women in STEM jobs generally hovers between 10 and 30 percent, with the number of African-American women being even less.

“I believe it is important for everyone to see images of themselves doing great things for our society.  Far too many times, girls and women of color are fed negative imagery of who they are and what they can be.  Hidden Figures is an inspiring story that shows the brilliance and beauty of black women in STEM excelling under very challenging circumstances,” said Rep. Stephanie Howse. “This is what our girls need to see, understand and know every day. No matter what your present circumstance may be, you can achieve greatness.  I’m glad Sonya Pryor-Jones and I were able to help girls from Central see such an important and empowering film.”


Cleveland participates in Promise Neighborhoods National Network Conference

Cleveland participates in Promise Neighborhoods National Network Conference

The annual Promise Neighborhoods National Network Conference held Nov. 14-16 in Arlington, Virginia brought together several hundred Promise Neighborhood professionals from around the country.

This year’s conference theme of “Keeping the Promise – Looking to the Future centered on best practice sharing for how to develop sustainable funding for the mission of Promise Neighborhoods. This included sessions on building a business case for investment based on the actual needs and value of Promise Neighborhoods, creating a broader portfolio of funding sources, and around educating potential funders of how they can make more effective investments in Promise Neighborhoods through multi-year grants.

Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood executive director, Lowell Perry Jr., represented Cleveland at the national event.

“This was an outstanding opportunity to network with colleagues, to learn about programming strategies that work, and to discuss the importance of planning for the sustainability of this important work we are engaged in,” Perry said of the conference.

Lowell’s top five things to know from the conference:

  1. Focus on population level results. To make lasting and real change, Promise Neighborhood and our partner organizations need to continue working together on driving the collective needle of change, not just individual organization statistics. This is where transformation takes place.
  2. Sustainability happens through shared accountability. While Promise Neighborhood is responsible for driving the vision and common agenda for transformation, it is absolutely imperative to have in place a strong accountability plan for all partners through shared measurement, mutually reinforcing activities, and continuous communication.
  3. Don’t lose sight of the endgame. The issues and challenges of our community didn’t happen overnight and they won’t be solved overnight. The ultimate success of Promise Neighborhood is a long-term process that consists of many short-term actions.
  4. Everyone is a leader. Leadership is not confined to one or two people. Social change has always come from the leadership of many. Success relies on many people participating in leadership. How are you building leaders?
  5. We are all better together. Simply put, we all need to do our work with, not to or for the community. Above all else, collective impact relies on all of us working with each other, and holding each other accountable for results.

Woodland Wonderland Stay and Play Room expands hours and programming

Woodland Wonderland Stay and Play Room expands hours and programming

The Woodland Wonderland Stay and Play Room has expanded its hours to offer families more time to stay and play later in the day. The Play Room is now open on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

The Play Room brings together children and their parents for fun and learning. It is free and open Tuesdays (4 to 6 p.m.) and Wednesdays (10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and now 3:30 to 5 p.m.) at the Cleveland Public Library Woodland branch on Woodland near East 55th Street. PromiseNeighborhood8

In addition to regular stay and play hours, the Play Room is now offering educational programming for families. Programs include babysitting basics, fundamentals of first aid, health and safety and more. Get details on upcoming Play Room events on our event calendar here:

The Woodland Wonderland Sat and Play Room is a partnership among Cleveland Public Library, Family Connections, and the Promise Neighborhood. It was created with the understanding that parents are their children’s first teacher. As such, the Play Room promotes parent-child engagement, stimulates language and motor skills, and exposes parent and child to a preschool-like setting.

Word from Lowell: Continuing Central’s History of Civic Leadership

Word from Lowell: Continuing Central’s History of Civic Leadership

Lowell Perry Jr., Executive Director

The Central neighborhood has a rich history of local leaders rising from humble beginnings to become successful in Cleveland and nationally. The late Carl Stokes became the first African-American mayor of a major US city. His brother Louis Stokes was an influential US Congressman. The brothers are products of Outhwaite Estates and their stories are an inspiration to many Americans. Current Cleveland mayor, Frank Jackson also grew up in Central.

All three men represent examples of true civic leadership. Mayor Jackson is still carrying on that tradition today. Each understood that the work had to be done from within the political system to bring about positive outcomes for those who have been historically locked out of the pursuit of the American dream. We are still waging that battle today which is why we all need to clearly understand what civic duty is all about.

Civic duty is defined as “the responsibilities of a citizen.” A person’s civic duty can take them as far as Congress, as it did with Louis Stokes, or it can be as simple as voting or attending a community townhall to express concerns and ideas for change.  The late Congressman Stokes was a master at understanding the system and knowing how to work within it to advocate for equality for all of this country’s citizens.

The first African-American to represent Ohio, Louis Stokes chaired several congressional committees (including the Permanent Select Intelligence Committee) and was the first person of color to win a seat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. He used his own success to try to increase opportunities for millions of African Americans, saying, “I’m going to keep on denouncing the inequities of this system, but I’m going to work within it. To go outside the system would be to deny myself—to deny my own existence. I’ve beaten the system. I’ve proved it can be done—so have a lot of others.”

If you want a say in the decisions that directly impact your neighborhood, Election Day, Nov. 8, is one way to make your voice heard. Voting is a top responsibility of all citizens.  As an African-American male, I feel a special obligation to exercise this responsibility as a way to honor those who came before us who were denied that right.

While the Presidential election has most of our attention this year, it is important to vote in state and local elections – every year.  There is a saying that “all politics is local”. It’s true that local elections have the biggest impact on our daily lives.

Our Promise motto is that residents lead the change in the Central neighborhood. You can be active in your community by voting, volunteering or just learning about your city councilperson and the people who represent your voice in the state legislature. Ensuring that all of our children get a quality education, including understanding the workings of the political system, might be one of the most important ways to lead that change as a resident leader.

If you plan to vote on Nov. 8 here are some helpful resources for Election Day:

  • Find your polling place: Polling location and district information
  • Voting hours for Nov. 8: Cuyahoga County Board of Elections
  • Early voting started Oct. 12, you can vote at the Cuyahoga County Board of Electionslocated at 2925 Euclid Ave. Early voting hours can be found here: Early voting hours
  • Learn more about the elections taking place in Ohio on Nov. 8: Voter Guide
  • What you need to bring to the polls:
    • Voters must bring identification to the polls in order to verify identity. Identification may include:
      • A current and valid photo identification card (e.g., driver’s license or state ID)
      • A military identification
      • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the voter’s name and current address.
      • Note:You cannot use as proof of identification a notice that the board of elections mailed to you. Voters who do not provide one of these documents will still be able to vote by provisional ballot.

Right now, a diverse group of civic and community leaders are planning a special Stokes 50th Year Commemoration Project highlighting the 50 year anniversary of Carl Stokes’ election as mayor; of the groundbreaking role of his brother Louis Stokes, in the legal and political life of our nation; and of Cleveland’s contributions to civil rights attainments in America. The theme is “Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future of Cleveland.”Many events, tributes, and programs are planned for throughout 2017. I have the honor of serving on the planning committee for this year-long commemoration project.

I invite you to join me in this celebration of “Central born” leadership.  In many ways, it all begins on November 8.

Ambassador Advocates for RTA Service

Ambassador La Queta Worley is a community advocate who demonstrates the power Promise Neighborhood residents can have.

Watch her share her thoughts about the proposed fare hike and cuts in service by Greater Cleveland RTA in this WEWS ChanNEWSWolreyonRateCuts032016nel 5 story.

Among the changes proposed by RTA:

  • Increase regular fares by 25 or 50 cents (from $2.25 to $2.50 or $2.75)
  • Increase fares for Paratransit service from $2.25 to $3.50
  • Charge a ADA senior/disabled fare 50% of regular adult fare (currently free)

Service changes will likely take effect in August.

Some of the public hearing dates and locations include:

  • Monday, March 21: Noon-2 p.m. & 6-8 p.m., RTA Main Office, 1240 W. Sixth St., Cleveland 44113. Served by E-Line, B-Line and C-Line trolleys.
  • Monday, March 28: 5:30-7:30 p.m., Murtis H. Taylor Multi-Service Center, 13422 Kinsman Rd., Cleveland 44120. Served by routes 14 and 48-48A.
  • Saturday, April 2: 3-5 p.m., St. James AME Church, 8401 Cedar Ave., Cleveland 44103. Served by route 8.
  • Wednesday, April 6: 5:30-7:30 p.m., Cleveland Fairfax Recreation Center, 2335 E. 82 St., Cleveland 44104. Served by routes 2 (until 7:30 p.m.), 8, and 11.

For the complete list of public hearings, click here.