Midtown Wednesdays: A National Legacy of African American Innovation & Entrepreneurship

African American community leaders came together at Myers University to make new connections, share an appreciation of Cleveland's rich history of African American cultural institutions and long standing leadership contributions to the history of American innovation and entrepreneurship.

Next steps involve exploring new practices of economic development to strengthen regional cultural assets and resources, engage in purposeful dialogue and identify transformative initiatives from the African American community in Northeast Ohio.

Here are attendee insights:

..We need to work on capacity building in the community. How do we get long term financing? These are the questions that need to be addressed. Everyone needs to participate. Bring out the history for everyone. We must tell both sides of every story and the third side too.

...There are deep differences between cultures that we tend to gloss over. Our (American) understanding of community was brought from the African culture. These are deep culture differences that we all need to understand. It is very important to network the Cleveland institutions and history of the African American culture.

For the summary go here.

Our next steps are to:
- Engage a community of commitment lead by the African American community (if you would like to participate email betseymerkel@aol.com)
- Begin a mapping effort of historical African American sites and social innovation
- Next forum: April 12, Myers University, Chester campus, 5:00 to 6:45 PM


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