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!



Kids March in Parade the Circle

Kids March in Parade the Circle

Parade the Circle this month was a success.

It was a school of fish and tug boats marching from Cleveland Central. Preschool children, parents, teachers, and administrators represented the “It’s School Time” theme in really cool costumes they made.  YWCA Early Learning hosted the entry and preparation work.

Great see the fun work of the children and adults. Also great to see the partnership with Cleveland Museum of Art, YWCA, Starting Point, Cleveland Public Library and Family Connections.

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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:


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!

Share Your Opinion With …

ThoughtBubbleCommunity Relations Board by March 31

Give your input on the use of force by Cleveland policy. Take this survey from Community Relations Board. Please complete by 4 p.m. March 31:


Cleveland Police in Block Club Conversations

The Promise Neighborhood staff seeks to build a safer community by hosting a Block Club conversation between members of the Cleveland Police Department and Cleveland Central residents. CPD’s Community Relations Division will host the discussion from 12 to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, at Outhwaite Community Center 2452 E. 46th St. All are welcome to attend.


RTA on Plans to End No. 8 Route on Weekends

Clevelanders for Public Transit has been speaking out against fare hikes and route cuts since RTA announced its budget problems last year. Greater Cleveland RTA is hosting public hearings to hear input from residents through April 6. You can see the schedule here:

Book Bank Makes Deposit at Benesch

FreeBookGiveawayAlfredBenesch031016It’s reading time for Alfred E. Benesch students. Each child received a free book this week from Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank.

The new Cleveland nonprofit donated over 400 books. It was founded and is led by Judy Immerman-Payne. Thanks to Judy and the generous supporters of Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank.

The Promise Neighborhood giveaway at Alfred E. Benesch is an extension of the Little Free Libraries program in Cleveland Central.

Program Expands Resident Leader Roles

PromiseNeighborhood10As Promise Neighborhood residents lead the change they want to see in Cleveland Central, the Promise Neighborhood has updated the Ambassador program and started a new program for Resident Leaders.

Resident Leaders are community advocates and supporters of Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood who engage in various ways to strengthen the neighborhood. (No training is required to be a Resident Leader, but these leaders are welcome to participate in available training.)

Promise Ambassador Specialists also are advocates and supporters of the Cleveland Central neighborhood. They also have participated in Promise-provided training and committed to working directly with the Promise Neighborhood organization at Sisters of Charity Foundation and its partners to improve the quality of life for residents in the Central community.

In the updated program, Promise Ambassadors are involved in a specific area or areas of interest connected to the Promise mission (early learning, K-8, high school, college and career or resident leadership) and be provided ongoing professional development in that category.

Resident Leaders and Ambassador Specialists are expected to contribute to their area of focus by:

  • Promoting community resources and services
  • Volunteering a minimum number of hours to related activities
  • Developing and maintaining positive relationships with key stakeholders
  • Distributing, connecting, and contributing to related Promise Neighborhood work
  • Assuming a leadership role with an organization, board or committee involved in their area of focus

Want to become a Resident Leader or Ambassador? Contact Promise Neighborhood Engagement Manager Joe Black at or 216.346.5639.