It’s Time to Talk 2017: The World Cafe, Part 1

ywca-itt-world-cafe-1This year at It’s Time to Talk, we wanted to move from creating safe space and awareness to action. We decided to use a process called The World Cafe. Using seven design principles and a simple method, the World Cafe is a powerful social technology for engaging people in conversations that matter, offering an effective antidote to the fast-paced fragmentation and lack of connection in today’s world. Based on the understanding that conversation is the core process that drives personal, business, and organizational life, the World Cafe is more than a method, a process, or technique — it’s a way of thinking and being together sourced in a philosophy of conversational leadership.ywca-itt-circle-convos-1

For more information on this model visit:

The Process:

  • Welcome and Introduction: The facilitator begins with a warm welcome and an introduction to the World Cafe process.
  • Small Group Conversations: The process begins with the first of three twenty-minute rounds of conversation for the small groups. At the end of the twenty minutes, each member of the group moves to a different new table. A table host remains at the table for the next round, and welcomes the next group and briefly fills them in on what happened in the previous round.
  • Questions: Each round is prefaced with a question specially crafted for the specific context and desired purpose of the World Cafe.
    • Question 1: What needs with regard to race are not being met in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.
    • Question 2: What are the barriers to these needs being met?
    • Question 3: What are some concrete solutions that address these needs while acknowledging the barriers?
  • Share Results: After the small groups (and/or in between rounds, as needed), individuals are invited to share insights or other results from their conversations with the rest of the large group.
  • A PDF of the raw data of what we learned and collected can be found here

In the next few weeks, we will be taking a deeper dive into this material and providing a report and some resources to help you get involved in the work of eliminating racism.

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YWCA Forum on Race Returns with Foundations for Change




rlb_5065CLEVELAND, OH – YWCA Greater Cleveland is proud to announce that Jane Campbell and Rev. Joan Brown Campbell will have a public discussion as part of this year’s It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race. It’s Time to Talk is one of many events that is included as part of ”Stokes: Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future”, and YWCA Greater Cleveland is a community partner for the Stokes initiative. It’s Time to Talk is presented in 2017 through a partnership with Cuyahoga Community College and the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Humanities Center.

Jane Campbell, the first woman mayor of Cleveland, and her mother Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, an activist and local leader who helped organize volunteers for the election of Carl B. Stokes, have much to say about being a “first woman,” intersectionality, civil rights, and the legacy of Carl Stokes.

It’s Time to Talk will also feature an excerpt from Playwrights Local’s performance of Objectively/Reasonable, a play about the shooting of Tamir Rice in 2014. Two actors will perform portions of the play, and a member of Playwrights Local will discuss the creation of the piece.

rlb_5370After two successful years of hosting the It’s Time to Talk forum, YWCA Greater Cleveland has engaged more than a thousand individuals in conversations about race, discrimination, unconscious bias, and cultural competency.  YWCA has trained more than 65 Racial Justice Facilitators who are now able to lead this dialogue in organizations and the community.

In March 2016 the American Jewish Committee of Cleveland recognized YWCA Greater Cleveland for its work with It’s Time to Talk with the Isaiah Award for Human Relations.  This award acknowledged YWCA Greater Cleveland for empowering the community to begin conversations around race and racism in Cleveland.

ITT-Logo-MPLSIt’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race – Foundations for Change will be held on February 3, 2017 from 8:30am-1:30pm at the Cuyahoga Community College: Eastern Campus in the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Humanities Center.  Tickets are $60 for adults and $25 for students, non-profit, teachers, and seniors. To purchase tickets, get more information, or find out how to become a Racial Justice Facilitator, visit

8:15-9:00: Registration  |  Gallery walk with conversation-starting imagery  |  Continental Breakfast
9:00-10:00: Powerful moderated discussion (Joan Campbell Brown + Jane Campbell) and onstage presentation from Playwrights Local’s Objectively/Reasonable (play about Tamir Rice)
10:15-11:30: Circle conversations about race & racism in small groups
11:30-12:30: World Cafe – Facilitated discussion about action steps and community needs
12:30-1:00: Lunch and networking
1:00-1:30: Regroup |  Commitment to community change  | Conclusion

tri-c• Cuyahoga Community College is an essential partner for It’s Time to Talk 2017.  The program this year will be held at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Humanities Center on the Eastern campus of Cuyahoga Community College.  This location is accessible and open, allowing for broad community participation.
• New affordable ticket price, to ensure the entire community can participate in this conversation.
• Gallery of conversation-starting imagery, including art from members of our community
• It’s Time to Talk 2017 has been expanded to a half-day experience.


Jane L. Campbell was the first woman mayor of Cleveland Ohio. As Mayor, Campbell worked to make Cleveland a stronger, smarter, and safer city, develop a stronger economy that helped Clevelanders build wealth, create a smarter workforce, and to make Cleveland a safer, healthier, more livable city.

Campbell began her career as an elected official in the Ohio House of Representatives. There she concentrated her legislative efforts on issues of particular interest to children, families, and senior citizens, as well as economic development. Campbell co-sponsored a movement to expose individuals who fail to pay child support. Additionally, Campbell was the primary sponsor for all the laws allowing the financing of Gateway

Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell is an ordained minister, activist, and leader. he was the first woman to be Associate Executive Director of the Greater Cleveland Council of Churches; the first woman to be Executive Director of the U.S. office of the World Council of Churches; the first ordained woman to be General Secretary of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; and the first woman Director of Religion at the historic Chautauqua Institution.  Archbishop Desmond Tutu, speaking about Joan Campbell, referred to her as “a woman of courage and compassion.”

She worked with Martin Luther King and brought him to her own congregation, the first white church in Cleveland to receive Dr. King. Dr. Campbell served as an honorary election monitor with President Kaunda of Zambia in the election of Nelson Mandela as the first African president of South Africa, and she negotiated with Fidel Castro and President Clinton the return of Elian Gonzales to his father. She holds numerous national and local offices, including: past member of the U.S. State Department advisory committee on Religious Freedom Abroad, Trustee for the Council for a Parliament of the World Religions, the Fund for Education in South Africa, the advisory committee for Americans for Humanitarian Trade with Cuba, life member of the NAACP, and many others.

Stokes: Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future is a yearlong, community-wide commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Carl Stokes’ election as mayor of Cleveland. Mayor Stokes and his brother, Congressman Louis Stokes, played key roles in the advancement of the city and the nation through the civil rights movement and beyond. In many ways, Cleveland’s current national and international recognition owes a debt of thanks for their accomplishments. For more information, visit

Objectively/Reasonable: A Community Response to the Shooting of Tamir Rice, 11/22/14 originally ran from August 18 through September 4, 2016, at the Creative Space at Waterloo Arts. Directed by Terrence Spivey, the play was praised by Cool Cleveland as “a work that should travel to theaters all over the country…a catharsis” and by Broadway World as “a must-see experience for anyone interested in the real world around them.” Objectively/Reasonable was written by an ensemble of playwrights—Mike Geither, Tom Hayes, Lisa Langford, Michael Oatman, and David Todd—and conceived/edited by Todd. Additional information on the play is available at

Playwrights Local is a theater company based in Cleveland. Billed as a playwrights’ center, the organization’s goal is to provide a home for dramatic writing in Northeast Ohio. They offer classes and workshops, produce original plays, provide professional development opportunities, and engage the community through site-specific projects.

Photo by Tom Kondilas of Objectively/Reasonable ensemble.

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Visionary, Carole F. Hoover, and 7 Trailblazing Women to be Honored by YWCA Greater Cleveland

L to R: Beth Mooney, Keybank; Carole F. Hoover; Margot Copeland, KeyBank; and Margaret Mitchell, President & CEO - YWCA Greater Cleveland.

L to R: Beth Mooney, KeyBank; Carole F. Hoover; Margot Copeland, KeyBank; and Margaret Mitchell, President & CEO – YWCA Greater Cleveland.

CLEVELAND, OH – YWCA Greater Cleveland has announced the 2017 recipients of the YWCA Women of Achievement Awards. This prestigious award is presented to a select group of Northeast Ohio women who have achieved extraordinary accomplishments through career success, community service, leadership, mentoring, and dedication to YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Honoree is Carole F. Hoover, President & CEO of Hoover Milstein and Cleveland community leader. She is a civil rights champion and has spearheaded many Cleveland community development efforts.

Margot Copeland, Executive Vice President of KeyBank and Chair of Keybank Foundation, nominated Ms. Hoover for the honor. “Carole’s impact on the Cleveland community is unparalleled. In addition to being the first African American to run a major city’s chamber of commerce, she has leveraged her relationships to improve the careers and lives of countless people,” says Ms. Copeland. “Though Carole has numerous notable achievements and has helped to put Cleveland on the map, I am particularly inspired by her many anonymous contributions of time, talent, and treasure to support those in our community facing challenges and adversity.”

The 2017 Women of Achievement Award recipients are:

  • Teresa Metcalf Beasley – Partner, Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP
  • Emily Drake – Partner, Fairport Asset Management
  • Evalyn Gates, Ph.D. – Executive Director and CEO, Cleveland Museum of Natural History
  • Anita Gray – Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League
  • Kerin Lyn Kaminski – Co-Managing Member, Giffen & Kaminski
  • Patricia Motta – Executive Director, Assistant General Counsel & Chief Intellectual Property Officer, American Greetings Corporation
  • Ann Zoller – Executive Director, LAND Studio

“These seven influential leaders—plus our Lifetime Achievement winner Carole Hoover—have expressed bold visions for our community and their workplaces,” says Margaret Mitchell, YWCA Greater Cleveland President and CEO.  “These women have excelled in their careers, and they are dedicated to changing lives in our region—and beyond.”

The 41st YWCA Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon will be held on Monday, May 8, 2017 at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. These eight outstanding women will be honored at the luncheon, as well as 30-70 Women of Professional Excellence—and winners of the Dr. Jennie S. Hwang Award and Cleveland Women’s City Club Foundation YWCA Scholarship Fund. Visit for more information on the Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon.

Posted in Women's Leadership, YWCA Greater Cleveland | Leave a comment

6 Stories About Dropping Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples’ Day

by Rebecca Calkin, Manager of Marketing & Communications

columbus-9c9217a71b23601ebe421f897d454b86The movement to drop Columbus Day and instead celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day has gained momentum over the past few years. Phoenix and Denver made the official switch and are celebrating their first Indigenous Peoples’ Day today.

Why make the change? When Columbus arrived in America, Native Americans were already here–just as many indigenous peoples were present in other areas of the world. Columbus didn’t “discover” America; he “claimed” it. As society recognizes that our history is comprised of many false “claims” to what belonged to others, it is important for this day to change.

In recent years, the slang word “Columbusing” has come to represent when people (usually white people) “discover” something that has existed for a long time, but simply existed outside of their culture. (Read more about Columbusing here).

Here are six news stories about the movement for Indigenous Peoples’ Day

NPR – Indigenous Peoples’ Day Gains Momentum As A Replacement For Columbus Day

Time – Columbus Day, Indigenous Peoples Day and the Problem With ‘Discovery’

USA Today – Support grows for Indigenous Peoples Day amid Columbus Day criticism

Fox News – More cities, states ditch Columbus Day name for Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Think Progress – Why these cities are dropping ‘Columbus Day’ for ‘Indigenous People’s Day’

Upworthy – What is Indigenous Peoples’ Day and why should it replace Columbus Day?

Let us know what you think. Join the conversation on Twitter with @ywcacleveland or on Facebook with YWCA Greater Cleveland. #indigenouspeoplesday

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Racial Profiling Must End

Margaret Mitchell, YWCA Greater Cleveland President and CEO

Margaret Mitchell, YWCA Greater Cleveland President and CEO

by Margaret Mitchell, President and CEO of YWCA Greater Cleveland

If All Lives Matter, then why are we so willing to remain silent when unarmed black Americans are shot by police?

I didn’t watch Megyn Kelly and I don’t know what Anderson Cooper said —I rarely watch the news—but I sat in my office on the morning of September 20 and watched the murder of a man with his hands held high in the air. Swarmed by police, hands in the air this man— Terence Crutcher—was killed.

I sat in my office and cried. I cried for his family and mine. I cried for law enforcement. I cried for our community and our country. We are paralyzed as we watch and wait for someone else to do something.

Just 9 months into 2016 and U.S. police have killed at least 194 black people according to a project by The Guardian that tracks police killings in America. That’s nearly 21 shootings a month; 5 shootings a week!

I believe police officers are responsible for upholding the law. But I also believe their role is about respecting and protecting the lives of all members of society, including black men and women. The jobs of police officers are difficult and I fully recognize that their jobs are dangerous daily. However, the shooting of people of color—mostly men and (far too often) young men—across the United States has highlighted a widespread reality of racially discriminatory treatment by law enforcement officers and an alarming use of lethal force.

Vanity Fair recently reported a significant amount of data about police and racial bias. A study by University of California, Davis stuck out to me. It found that the probability of being black, unarmed, and shot by police is, on average, about 3.49 times the probability of being white, unarmed, and shot by police.

I don’t know about you, but the use of lethal force by law enforcement officers raises serious human rights concerns. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and the United States has a legal obligation to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights.

Human rights and human life rests on the badge of every officer. They are commissioned to protect life. Police officers are to use lethal force as a last resort in order to protect themselves or others from death or serious injury.

It’s time. We can take a stand, we can take a step, we can stop watching and we can do something.

The End Racial Profiling Act of 2015 (S. 1056/H.R. 1933) has been re-introduced in Congress and would nationally define and outlaw the practice of racial profiling by law enforcement. Stand Against Racism today and contact your Senators and your Representatives and tell them to: “End racial profiling, it destroys American values of fairness and justice. Please co-sponsor the End Racial Profiling Act of 2015 (S. 1056/H.R. 1933).”

Margaret Mitchell is President and CEO of YWCA Greater Cleveland. YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. For more information, visit .

Posted in Advocacy, Inclusion, Inclusion and Public Policy, Racial Equity | Leave a comment

Cleveland/Cuyahoga County to House 100 Homeless Youth in 100 Days

County stakeholders commit that no youth will age out of foster care into homelessness

CLEVELAND, OHIO – September 9, 2016 – This week, Cleveland/Cuyahoga’s A Place 4 Me initiative set an ambitious goal to house 100 homeless youth ages 18-24 by December 18, 2016, which is 100 days from today. Further, the initiative aims to strengthen support systems so that by November 14, 2016, no child will age out of the foster care system into homelessness ever again. This goal was established as part of Cleveland/Cuyahoga County’s 100-Day Challenge to prevent and end youth homelessness.

“In Cuyahoga County, there are nearly 150 young people who age out of the foster care system each year. We know these young people are most at risk for facing homelessness or having an unstable housing situation; in fact, 40% are likely to experience some housing instability by the time they reach 24 years old,” said Kate Lodge, project director of A Place 4 Me. “Young people experiencing homelessness face nearly insurmountable obstacles to find and keep employment and build and maintain family relationships, which is why we are pouring our efforts into preventing and ending youth homelessness.”

Cleveland’s 100-Day Challenge Team, consisting of representatives from 12 organizations that respond to and prevent youth homelessness, determined the local 100-Day Challenge goal. This team will implement work, such as identifying “system navigators” to proactively guide youth to resources for housing, and prioritizing new and existing short- and long-term rental assistance to provide access to immediate permanent housing for youth living in shelters or on the streets. Representatives on Cleveland’s 100-Day  Challenge Team include the following:

• A Place 4 Me
• ADAMHS Board
• Bellefaire JCB
• Cleveland Metropolitan School District
• Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS)
• Cuyahoga County Jobs and Family Services
• Cuyahoga County Office of Homeless Services
• EDEN, Inc.
• FrontLine Service
• LGBT Community Center
• Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland
• Two youth leaders from the community who have experienced homelessness
• YWCA Greater Cleveland

Following a competitive nationwide search, A Way Home America chose three cities – Cleveland, Austin, and Los Angeles — to participate in 100-Day challenges and receive coaching support from the Rapid Results Institute, a national nonprofit organization with experience and results in time-limited initiatives.

Through the challenges, A Way Home America seeks to support and accelerate the local work of the selected communities and to inform national dialogue, learning and policy to prevent and end youth homelessness. Sign up to receive news from A Way Home America at

Media contact:
Lori McClung
1-877-372-0166, ext. 1
About A Place 4 Me (Cleveland/Cuyahoga County)
A Place 4 Me is a cross-sector initiative that harnesses the strengths and resources of its partners to prevent and end homelessness among young adults age 15 to 24 in Cleveland/Cuyahoga County. A Place 4 Me is a collaboration led by a steering committee consisting of the YWCA Greater Cleveland; Cuyahoga County Department of Health and Human Services, including the Division of Children and Family Services and the Office of Homeless Services; FrontLine Service; the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative; and the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland.
About A Way Home America
A Way Home America (AWHA) is a national initiative to build the movement to prevent and end homelessness among young people. AWHA is made up of advocates, researchers, young people, local and state public sector organizations, homeless youth providers and philanthropists uniting behind the federal goal of ending youth homelessness by the end of 2020.
About The Rapid Results Institute
The Rapid Results (RRI) Institute is a nonprofit organization that creates transformative and sustained impact on tough societal challenges. RRI enables front-line teams to deliver seemingly impossible results, often in 100 days or less, and helps leaders leverage these initial results into sustained, long-term impact.

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We have the cause. You have the effect. Can we count on you to be a viable part of our Circle?

by Twyla Turner, Manager of Operations (Special Events & Learning Programs) at YWCA Greater Cleveland

Reposted from LinkedIn Pulse.

Why Helping Others Makes Us Happy

We are looking for 15-25 reliable, talented, and welcoming volunteers to assist with a powerful breakfast event we call The Circle on September 14, 2016.

Here is why I think you will want to volunteer and be a part of The Circle.

By volunteering with The Circle, you can support YWCA Greater Cleveland‘s Nurturing Independence and Aspirations (NIA) program, a trauma-informed system of care focused on helping young adults on the path to self-sufficiency. NIA supports young adults with housing, education, employment, health, permanence, and social engagement.

YWCA’s Independence Place is a 23-unit permanent supportive housing project for formerly homeless youth ages 18-24, many of whom came from the foster care system. All tenants have been homeless and now have access to the NIA program’s supportive services.

We are fortunate to have a compelling keynote speaker: Ilah Adkins, a Cleveland lawyer, activist, YWCA Woman of Professional Excellence, and former foster care youth. In addition to Ms.Adkins, women who have been empowered by NIA and Independence Place will also be sharing their stories.

If that’s not enough to get you interested in volunteering, here are 5 more reasons why you should consider volunteering:

  1. Understanding: the desire to learn new things and acquire knowledge.
  2. Esteem enhancement: feeling better about yourself and finding greater stability in life.
  3. Personal development: acquiring new skills, testing your capabilities, and stretching yourself.
  4. Sense of community: making the world, or your piece of it, better.
  5. Humanitarian values: serving and helping others, often with a strong religious component.

Please say yes and join The Circle as a volunteer. If you are interested in joining The Circle as a volunteer, send me an email at no later than September 1, 2016.  This will be an unforgettable breakfast; can we count on you to be in The Circle as a Volunteer?

Posted in Advocacy, Circle of Women, Volunteers | Leave a comment