African-American Led NGOs Unite Under Common Goal

Yesterday, Cleveland’s black non-profit leadership gathered together at CornUcopia Place to rally behind a common cause –a legacy project.  For over 30 years there has been talk of establishing an African-American monument within the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, however this goal has yet to be realized.  These leaders have assembled to change that.

Daniel Bickerstaff of Ubiquitous Design, LTD. proposed a design that creates series of three spaces that express the experience of being black in America.  First the Past Pavilion provides space for remembrance of a history that is at times joyous and at others rife with physical sociological and emotional violence.  The Present Pavilion builds upon that history by operating as space to help us better understand our contemporary significance.  Finally the Future Pavilion is a celebration of what’s to come for the black community.

Around ideas of greater impact through collaboration, African-American led nonprofit’s board members, executive directors, and representatives banded together is support of Bickerstaff’s design.  With the Famicos Foundation as the Lead Agency & Developer, BBC and Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation each presented a $10,000 check that their boards had approved prior to the meeting. Over $50,000 additional pledges were made on the spot by several entities to meet the initial goal of $100,000.  The energy in the room reached a high point when Mayor Jackson called into the meeting to express how, although he could not be there, he supports this proposal.

The group will reconvene this summer to discuss significant progress and future collaborative potential.

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