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Showing posts from September, 2020

Social Inequities Explained by Survivor: Fiji

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There's this thing that happens when white people hear terms like   systemic racism  or   social inequity .  They bristle.  They reject the premise of the question.  They double down explaining how hard they've worked for everything they've ever gotten in their lives:   I earned this house, this car, this vacation, this life .    No one handed me anything.  I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into everything I've ever done and will always be this way until my dying day.  I had to work hard -- no one can tell me I don't deserve every single thing I have . No one is telling you that you don't.  So chill.  I, too, am a white person who has worked very hard my entire life, who has gone through very difficult situations and, when the dust settled, was still standing.  I completely agree that there is a pride and an honor and a sense of accomplishment with every achievement I make.  I'm not automatically rich or worry-free because I'm a white person in America

What Are We Learning

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   "We are so confused and ill-prepared for life when we're young.   Schools fail us so much.   It's insane to me that I knew more about igneous rocks  than I did about sexual consent  or about depression or anxiety or  how the world actually works."  ~ Jameela Jamil This morning as I went about the business of waking up, brushing my teeth, flat ironing my hair, and dabbing on a smidgeon of makeup, I was listening to  this week's episode of  Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend  and was fairly stunned by the beautiful truths shared by his guest, Jameela Jamil.  I mostly know her as the high-maintenance Tahani from the delightful show  The Good Place , but was otherwise unfamiliar with her.  It turns out, she has quite a lot of thoughts about life and its meaning that made me stop and think -- and in the event of what I shared up-top, painstakingly rewind back through the episode to get her exact words. Why  is  it that schools teach us these by-subject facts but shy s

Hundreds march for a safer Heights (Heights Observer article)

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On Sunday, June 14, another peaceful and powerful rally brought hundreds of Heights residents together in unity with the Black Lives Matter movement.  Organized by Safer Heights, a grassroots activist group, the event began with speakers at Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park who then led leagues of chanting and sign-carrying participants through Coventry Village, down Mayfield Road to Superior Road. The march paused outside of Christ Our Redeemer AME Church, where participants took a knee for a moment of silence. Then several speakers shared stories about their experiences as black members of the Cleveland Heights community, and called for systemic changes in policing.  The march then continued down Superior Road, looping back to Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park, where organizers addressed the large and enthusiastic crowd, thanking community partners and volunteers who helped make the day a success.  Everyone was invited to stay for a picnic, with food provided by participants and local eateries.   Via

Workshop will cover social-media basics for businesses (Heights Observer article)

Social media plays a huge role in how consumers seek out goods and services, but knowing how to navigate those waters can sometimes be daunting for small-business owners. FutureHeights, in partnership with US Bank, is offering a free workshop that will teach the basics of how to “Socialize Local,” with two opportunities to attend: Friday, Nov. 8, 3–4:30 p.m., at  Christopher’s Pub  (1318 Warrensville Center Road), or Friday, Nov. 15, 3–4:30 p.m., at  CLE Urban Winery  (2180 Lee Road). By utilizing Facebook business pages, Instagram, and Twitter, small businesses can get the word out about everything they have to offer. Small business owners in Cleveland Heights and University Heights are invited to attend “Socialize Local” to unlock the mysteries of hashtags, learn how to write effective posts, decide which platforms make the most sense for them to utilize, and learn how to use these social-media platforms in tandem with one another, enabling them to reach the widest possible audience.

Neighborhood Leadership series helps community member realize a dream (Heights Observer article)

  Donna Johnson has lived on the same street in Cleveland Heights since 1995. Her children attend Heights schools, her professional life is rich with connection to the nonprofit world, and she has an active sense of volunteerism. “Community is important to me,” Johnson said. “Without it, neighborhoods decline.” In recent years, though, Johnson felt a disconnect with her neighbors. “It seemed like every spring there were new faces on my street. I knew my neighbors on either side, but felt a strong need to connect and engage with more of my neighbors,” Johnson said. One day she read a  Heights Observer  article about how FutureHeights was conducting a Neighborhood Leadership Workshop Series, and she decided to apply. The workshop series is for any Cleveland Heights resident who, like Johnson, wants to take a more active role in the community. The free program consists of six, three-hour sessions that cover a range of topics, such as leadership, project planning, an understanding of the v

Mini-grant helps community leaders create aging-well guide (Heights Observer article)

Forest Hill neighbors Sue Kenney and Judy Charlick saw a need for a resource about at-home services for the aging members of their community. Through discussions with others involved in a local social activity committee, they decided to do some research and compile a list of nonprofit and public organizations that could benefit the older population. The result: Cleveland Heights Aging Well At Home Resource Guide.  “This document lists background info about services available by category.  For example, grocery delivery, home repair assistance, social activities, and transportation,” Kenney said. Both the city of Cleveland Heights and the Forest Hill Homeowners Association offer online access to the guide, which can be found at  https://chparks.com/DocumentCenter/View/527/CH-Aging-Well-At-Home-Resource-Guide-May-2019 . Kenney and Charlick soon discovered that some of the older members of the community don’t have access to (or knowledge about) the technology required to find the guide onl

FutureHeights awards fall mini-grants (Heights Observer article)

  FutureHeights awarded $3,585 in grants to support five projects in Cleveland Heights in the fall round of its 2019 Neighborhood Mini-Grants Program: Bradford Road Neighbors  received $1,000 for the Bradford Road Pollinator Path (BPP) project, an expansion of a current project to rehabilitate a WPA-era pathway constructed as a safe walkway for children en route to Canterbury Elementary School. The goal is to bring sustainable plant life to the pathway to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the path as well as support indigenous growth, replacing invasive plants. Phase 1 of the project will focus on the area between South Taylor and Queenston roads. In their application, organizers stated, “The BPP is a creative local solution to educate and activate first our street and then another street to increase biodiversity in our community,” and expressed a desire to “bring together neighbors through the pleasure of gardening.” Beth El - the Heights Synagogue  was granted $809 to enhance its play

Noble corridor plan presented to city councils (Heights Observer article)

On Sept. 16 and 17, FutureHeights and Bill James, of the consulting firm Camiros LTD, presented a proposal to bolster the Noble Road corridor to the city councils of Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland, respectively.  Plans include improving the roadway, adding specified bike lanes, beautifying the neighborhood, and revitalizing the business districts. (Watch James’ presentation to Cleveland Heights City Council on the city's YouTube channel at  www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSsOLRqXpFU&feature=youtu.be .) Noble Road is the most significant street in the northeast section of Cleveland Heights, giving its name to an area known as “Noble neighborhood.” “Noble Road is the ‘front door’ to a charming neighborhood,” said FutureHeights Executive Director Deanna Bremer Fisher. “A revitalized Noble Road should attract new residents and businesses to the area.” FutureHeights, in cooperation with the cities of Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland, Noble Neighbors, Northeast Ohio Alliance for H

Cedar Lee Connection development project is underway (Heights Observer article)

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The development project planned for the surface parking lot behind the Cedar Lee Theatre and the adjacent vacant lot to the south—at Lee Road and Meadowbrook Boulevard—is moving ahead. The project is spearheaded by Cedar Lee Connection, LLC (CLC), comprising local partners Sequoia Realty Corp. and Snavely Group. Since the city of Cleveland Heights’ acceptance of CLC’s proposal last summer, plans have begun to take a more concrete shape. The project aims to enhance the community by adding a new complex of approximately 150 market-rate studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments, as well as retail, restaurant and work spaces. CLC envisions creating a  woonerf , the Dutch term for “living street,” an inviting, connective shared space for pedestrians, strollers, bicycles and cars in the area behind the Cedar Lee Theatre and adjacent Lee Road businesses. The  woonerf  would allow for public art and create space for community events. Richard Ferris, head of Sequoia Realty, said, “We woul

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