Residents Participate in Ambassador Training

Residents Participate in Ambassador Training

Ambassador Training August 2016This summer, at least eight residents are taking another step to help lead and empower their neighbors in the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood.

They are participating in the 10-week orientation program to become official Promise Ambassadors. They are attending classes, hearing from guest speakers, taking field trips, and doing homework.

In addition to learning more about their neighborhood and Cleveland, they will gain leadership skills. The training is led by the Neighborhood Leadership Institute, a Promise partner.

Primary instructors are Jimeka Holloway and Peter Whitt. Promise Engagement Staff Joe Black and Dawn Glasco have been instrumental in helping identify resident leaders to participate. Dawn is a prime example of how the program works as she participated in the first round of Ambassador training several years ago and has become a full-time Promise staff member.

An awards ceremony is planned for all who complete the program.

If you are interested in becoming a resident leader or Promise Ambassador (or to learn more about program), contact Dawn at or 216.241.9300.

Back-to-School Rally Happens Aug. 8

Back-to-School Rally Happens Aug. 8

PromiseNeighborhood10Families are invited to the annual fun at the Cleveland Central Back-to-School Rally from noon to 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8, at Friendly Inn, 2386 Unwin Road.

The free event includes snacks, school supplies, entertainment and activities for Cleveland Central residents.

Plus, volunteer hair stylists will be back to give haircuts to the boys and braid hair for the children.

This event is held in collaboration with the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood, Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority, Paramount and Friendly Inn.

See you there!



Joe Black Receives Local, National Honors

Joe Black Receives Local, National Honors
Residents work together in the Promise Neighborhood
Joe Black leads one of the Promise Neighborhood community meetings.

The Promise Neighborhood is applauding one of its own. Engagement Manager Joe Black recently was honored for his work in Cleveland Central with the Vibrant Civic Champion Award by Cleveland Neighborhood Progress.

Joe also has been selected by the National Urban Fellows for its Academic & Leadership Development Fellowship Program. This is a rigorous, 14-month graduate-degree program comprising four semesters of academic courses and a nine-month mentorship.

Joe will be doing that mentorship with the Promise Neighborhood program. The Sisters of Charity Foundation is pleased to support Joe in the program and grow his leadership skills to benefit the Promise Neighborhood.

Joe will spend this summer and next at Bernard M. Baruch College School of Public Affairs in New York City. The program culminates in a master of public administration. Graduates of this program include diverse public-service leaders who have gone on to assume influential positions across government, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors.

Congratulations to Joe – the Promise Neighborhood is glad to see your hard work recognized and look forward to you completing your mentorship here!

Word from Lowell: All Black Men Aren’t MIA

All Black Men Aren’t Missing in Action When it Comes to Kids

Lowell Perry, Executive Director

Most of us hear all too often about how community organizations, churches and other civic groups are looking for African-American men to be more involved in their communities.

When I worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters, engaging more men of color to become volunteer mentors seemed as elusive as finding the mythical Loch Ness monster or Bigfoot. I have to laugh at that one, especially since the face of what it means to be a “big brother” was and still is an African-American gentleman and my Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity brother Mr. Dale Long.

If we relied just on the anecdotal information and statistics floating around the Cleveland area, we might reach the same conclusion about the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood as far as men of color taking an interest in our youth. Are black men really missing in action in the Promise Neighborhood?

One way to change that perception is to talk more about the exceptions such as Men in Early Childhood group. They meet at Starting Point (East 46th and Euclid) every month. This is a collection of concerned black men who come together because of a mutual belief in the importance of early-childhood education in setting the trajectory for kids of color, especially young boys. All of the talk about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education means nothing if a child cannot read.

We dads have a greater impact on the learning of our children than originally thought. The Healthy Fathering Collaborative of Greater Cleveland shared an article, “Father’s Reading Matters,” that says research across the globe has found a “direct connection between fathers reading to their children and cognitive and language development, reading, school success, emotional health, and mental health.”

I am calling on men of color in the Cleveland area, especially fathers, to come see the impact that Men in Early Childhood is making in the community just by reading to kids through the Read2Me program at early-learning centers. The men volunteer to read boy-friendly books. Each volunteer spends 15 minutes reading with the children.

There also are a number of local organizations to which you can give your time, talent, and/or treasure to such as Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood, Men of Central, Council for Economic Opportunities of Greater Cleveland, and Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative.

Men, those of you who don’t live in the Cleveland area, make sure to investigate how to get involved closer to where you live. The only option I am not providing is to do nothing.


Students & Community Plant Trees at East Tech

Students & Community Plant Trees at East Tech

IMG_0645Adults, high school students, and younger youth gathered in April to plant trees at East Tech High School. Organized by Do More 4 Good, the volunteers’ work will blossom for years to come. Check out some of the photos in this slide show:


Partners Sought for Summer Engagement Fair

The Promise Summer Engagement Fair is coming May 28.

Neighborhood Engagement Coordinator Dawn Glasco is seeking partners who would like to share information about their youth programs and activities in the summer at the fair for the 12,000 residents in Cleveland Central.PromiseNeighborhood6

Families seek interesting ways to engage their youth in experiences that cultivate their social, academic, and awareness skills while having fun.

If you’re involved in an organization or program that offers a summer experience, please contact Dawn to reserve your spot at the Promise Summer Engagement Fair. It runs 12 to 4 p.m. at the Outhwaite Community Center, 2452 E. 46th St.

You can email Dawn or call her at 216.346.5648.


Speak Out on Possible Cuts for No. 8 Cedar Bus

BusResidents are invited to share their opinions on planned cuts to the No. 8 Cedar bus schedule.

Greater Cleveland RTA added a public hearing in Cleveland Central from 5-7 p.m. Monday (April 4). It will be at the CMHA Senior High Rise, 2320 E. 30th St.

As has been shared here, RTA plans to stop evening and weekend service on the No. 8 Cedar line. Promise Ambassador LaQueta Worley told local media last month how the cuts will hurt local residents. In addition to other route service changes, the plan also calls an increase in regular fares and paratransit service.

Residents are encouraged to explain how those bus cuts will affect them. If you can’t attend the meeting but want to share your story, contact Kaela Geschke of Campus District Inc. at 216.287.4535.

The No. 8 bus takes passengers to and from the Cedar-University Rapid Station, University Hospital and Cleveland Clinic, as well as churches along the route, including Antioch, St. James AME, and Mt. Gillion.

Promise Manager Is Finalist for Vibrant City Award

JoeBlackCommunityMeetingCleveland Neighborhood Progress is recognizing what Cleveland Central residents already know – Joe Black is a civic champion.

The Promise Neighborhood engagement manager was named a finalist for the Civic Champion Award given by Cleveland Neighborhood Progress. As CNP detailed, “Nominated by multiple individuals, Joe is described as a positive force, a role model, a motivator, an advocate, a mentor, a leader, and most importantly, an asset to the Central neighborhood.”

The winner will be announced at the May 2 Vibrant City Awards Lunch, which celebrates neighborhood revitalization efforts in Cleveland. For more information on the event, click here.

Congrats Joe!

Little Free Libraries Add Activity Fun

You can have fun with the new activity sheets in the Little Free Libraries.

Through a partnership with Octavofest, supported by Art Books Cleveland, the Promise Neighborhood is adding monthly activity sheets in the Little Free Libraries (near Lonnie Burton Splash Park at Outhwaite and Alfred Benesch Elementary.)

Each month, you can pick up an activity sheet for a new project. The first one is how to make an accordion-fold pocket book. Want to do it now? You can find the activity sheet here.

If you like the first project, watch for another soon at the Little Free Library or or pick up the next project (and some of the materials) at the Cleveland Public Library Sterling or Woodland branches. And watch for special events coming throughout this year, including:

Art Exhibit:

Sept. 9 – Cleveland Public Library Woodland Branch, 5806 Woodland Ave.

Oct. 14 – Cleveland Public Library Sterling Branch, 2200 E. 30th St.

Bring your projects to display to friends and family.



Oct. 15 – Cleveland Public Library Sterling Branch, 2200 E. 30th St.

See artists at work. Try out small projects. Ask questions about modifying the projects you’ve made.

Also watch for Weekend Workshops at the Sterling Library, an Art Demonstration at Marion Sterling School Carnival and much more!