Continuing an 80-year tradition of community education and celebration, the 2022 Celebration of Human Services was held on October 21 at the Intercontinental Hotel.
The morning session featured a discussion between Ohio Senator Matt Dolan and Franklin County Commissioner Erica Crawley: “Making Policy to Improve Infant, Maternal, and Adolescent Health.” Marcia Egbert, Program Director for thriving families and social justice at The George Gund Foundation, moderated the discussion.
- The problems in urban areas aren’t always self-imposed problems.
- On advocacy: When a board member comes to Columbus to advocate, it has a huge impact.
- On advocacy: Have people share lived experiences. If I want to be an advocate for those people with a shared experience I have to be willing to share mine.
- On hope: Our youth, they are leaders. Today. Not “future leaders.” Now.
Read more of their conversation in this piece on the morning program and maternal health [LINK, once posted]
Special guests and an inspiring keynote
Guests representing health and social service organizations were welcomed by the Mayor of Cleveland, Justin Bibb, and program emcee, Homa Bash of NEWS 5.
In remarks opening the afternoon program, Mayor Bibb looked forward with confidence: “with the leadership of this organization there is nothing stopping our potential as a city and as a region.”
With the leadership of this organization there is nothing stopping our potential as a city and as a region.
They were recognized by Rev. Dr. Tim Ahrens during his keynote address, “Celebrating the Genius of Solutions.”
“Your genius is solutions-based. You see problems every day and work to solve the problems in creative and dynamic ways. You are all geniuses in some way, shape, or form as you go about solving problems. So, what is your genius? What are you exceptionally good at doing? When you see a problem in your family, in your workplace, in your community, what creative solution do you bring to the table to change things? Be the change you want to see.
He concluded, “Thank you, geniuses of community solutions. Keep up the great work of solving problems in this and every community in which you live, worship and work.”
Honoring our Most Treasured Volunteers and Anisfield-Wolf Memorial Award winner
A significant part of the celebration was the presentation of community awards. Six Most Treasured Volunteers from organizations around the community were honored. MTVs included Diane Coury, The Literacy Cooperative; Brian Cullina, HFLA; Patricia Field, Greater Cleveland Volunteers; Barbara Jacobus, Community Service Alliance; Trayvon Porter, 1,000 Ties; and Angela Shute-Woodson, NAACP. Their resounding message: “Volunteer! Volunteer! Volunteer!”
Ghetto Therapy was recognized with the $25,000 Anisfield-Wolf Memorial Award for its work to help Cleveland’s Central neighborhood heal from trauma and create a new future for itself.
Ghetto Therapy was recognized with the $25,000 Anisfield-Wolf Memorial Award for its work to help Cleveland’s Central neighborhood heal from trauma and create a new future for itself. Rather than encouraging people to seek help outside their community, the innovative program brings helpers into the community to address all social determinants of health. They facilitate discussions on a wide range of issues — those that can reveal trauma, and those that can provide elements of healing. There were few dry eyes in the audience after hearing from Walter Patton, Ghetto Therapy founder and executive director, about growing up in Central and staying to help address the needs of its residents.