December 31st, 2013

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December 23rd, 2013

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December 20th, 2013

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December 20th, 2013

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Congratulations to CHRC’s Executive Director, Dr. Ericka King-Betts on being installed into the National Coalition of 100 Black Women – Cincinnati Chapter. The NC100BW Cincinnati Chapter is committed to being a united voice for Black Women. Members serve as role models to help elevate the quality of life for young Black women and other Black women in transition. Members are dedicated to ensuring that women fully participate in the opportunities, benefits, and rewards of society. Congratulations again!

December 18th, 2013

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The Cincinnati Human Relations
proudly supports this play & community forum. The play raises important questions for
the Cincinnati area: How do we react when we feel threatened by demographic
changes in the neighborhoods we call home?  Does a neighborhood have to
turn Black or White; is it possible to have a stable integrated community? 
After you see the play, come join a community forum at the United Way Building
on Feb. 6 from 6:00 to
8:00 p.m. to discussion the
issues.  There is a 15% discount on Playhouse tickets and the forum on
Feb. 6 is free.  See the attached flyer for details.

December 11th, 2013

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On 12/10/13, the world lost a true visionary & historian who had a heart of gold. Mr. William L. Mallory, Sr.  worked tirelessly to help improve the greater human condition.  At the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission (CHRC), we thank him for his service, leadership and friendship.  We also thank him for working tirelessly with others to create the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission which replaced the Mayor’s Friendly Relations Committee.  
 
At the 2013 CHRC Annual Luncheon, the agency awarded him with the 2013 Bishop Herbert Thompson Award. Below is a small glimpse into the life of a wonderful man.
 
Mr. William L. Mallory, Sr. was a native of Cincinnati’s West End.  Mr. William L. Mallory was born in 1931. As the son of a casual laborer and a domestic, his desire to be successful and his interest in politics propelled him to the Ohio House of Representatives and to years of service to the community.
 
His interest in politics began at an early age. At the age of 12, he was reading newspapers incessantly. This interest was stimulated by political discussions with Dr. R. P. McClain, the second black city councilman in Cincinnati history. His first elected positions were as secretary of student government in high school and as president of the Ninth Street Hi Y Club of the YMCA. 
 
In 1951, he graduated from East Vocational High School and entered Central State University. He worked his way through college by painting dormitories and working in the cafeteria, and graduated with honors with a major in elementary education. While in college he met his wife, Fannie. They married in 1955 and have six children.
 
Following his graduation from Central State, he worked as a unit leader for the juvenile court, as a case worker for the Hamilton County Welfare Department and as a highway inspector. He also taught elementary school for eight years in the Cincinnati Public Schools. Underlying all his activities, however, was his continued interest in politics and the community, and in 1965, he was elected president of the West End Community Council.
 
In 1966, he was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives. Eight years later, he was elected Majority Floor Leader, the first African-American to hold that position. He retired in 1994 holding the record of being the longest serving majority leader in Ohio’s history and the longest serving Ohio representative from Hamilton County.
 
During his service in the General Assembly, he sponsored or co-sponsored over 600 pieces of legislation. Highlights include legislation creating the first state-wide drug prevention program, the Urban Minority Alcohol Drug Outreach Program. His legislation also helped to finance the Riverfront Stadium and Fountain Square South in Cincinnati and created the home furlough program for non-violent prisoners upon their release from prison.
 
In 1986, he filed a lawsuit charging discrimination in the election of judges on a countywide basis. As a result, 14 judicial districts were established, making it easier for African-American candidates to win seats in the Hamilton County Municipal Court.   

 
In Cincinnati, he played a major role in the creation of a publicly owned transit system (Metro) by serving as co-chairman of the Citizen’s Transportation Committee. Later during a 36 day bus strike, he and his wife organized a carpool to transport workers and students in the West End to their jobs and schools throughout the city. He also worked to create the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission which replaced the Mayor’s Friendly Relations Committee. He was influential in locating the Queen City Vocational School in the West End and for creating the first community housing development corporation which built Uptown Towers. On the national level, he was appointed to the National Highway Safety Advisory Committee by President Carter and to the Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee by President Clinton.   
 
He has won many awards for his support of education, seniors, public   transportation, mental health and American Civil Liberties issues. A few of his awards include the City Manager’s award, the National Conference of State Legislatures Award, the Triumph Award from the Emanuel Community Center and the MLK Dream Keeper award.  Additional honors include: WCIN’s 50 most influential African Americans in the last 50 years, Depart. of Aging honors for his work establishing the Commission on Aging and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Great Living Cincinnatian. His alma mater, Central State University, awarded him an honorary doctorate of laws in 1972, the first one given to an alumnus. The university has also inducted him into its hall of fame and has named a street in his honor.  
 
He has been co-chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party, president of the Black Elected Democrats of Ohio and was also appointed by Ohio Governor Bob Taft to the Ohio Elections Commission, for a 5 year term beginning March 2003. Continuing his strong interest in education, Mallory taught as an adjunct professor of Political Science and African American Studies at the University of Cincinnati from 1969 to 1994.  
 
Mr. William L. Mallory Sr. has been engaged in numerous causes. He founded the Mallory Center for Community Development as well as the African American Historical Ball, an annual event honoring great African Americans.
 
Courtesy of the Guide to 20th Century African American Resources (The Historical Society Library)

December 11th, 2013

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Cincinnati Human Relations Commission (CHRC)

 Human Rights Day Celebration

 
On Tuesday, December 10th, 2013, the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission (CHRC)  will celebrate “Human Rights Day”. Theme: “United in advancing socio-economic freedom for all”. This year’s theme will focus on inclusion and the right to participation in public life. The spotlight is on the rights of all people — women, youth, minorities, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, the poor and marginalized — to make their voices heard in public life and be included in political decision-making.

 
The celebration will begin at 8:00am sharp on the steps outside of Cincinnati City Hall at 801 Plum Street. We will meet briefly for a few words by Mayor John Cranley, Rabbi Abie Ingber, Rev. Joanna Leiserson, along with song selections from the Muse Cincinnati Women’s Choir. From there we will move to Room 312 in City Hall for a Continental Breakfast.

Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December to commemorate the day in 1948 that the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The UN General Assembly proclaimed 10 December as Human Rights Day in 1950, to bring to the attention ‘of the peoples of the world’ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.

It provides an opportunity every year to celebrate human rights, highlight a specific issue, and advocate for the full enjoyment of all human rights by everyone everywhere.

Cultural events are also organized to celebrate the importance of human rights through music, dance, drama or fine art.

December 9th, 2013

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“I
learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.
The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that
fear”…..Nelson Mandela

December 9th, 2013

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The Cincinnati Enquirer
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Front Page, by Cliff Peale
If the resignation of the University of Cincinnati’s top African-American academic official has done one thing, it has forced discussion of race out into the open.
 
Since Ron Jackson resigned under pressure Nov. 12 as dean of the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences, students have held two forums with UC’s top executives and one protest at the center of campus as prospective students walked by on admissions tours.
 
“Students aren’t really talking to faculty enough, and the administration doesn’t talk enough,” said Olutobi Akomolede, a second-year student from Mason. “These are all solvable things.”
 
Senior Byron Hutchins, a Walnut Hills High School graduate, said he hasn’t felt unwelcome at UC because of his race. But he still believes it’s a divided campus.
 
“I just feel like we’re very segmented, and not just by race,” he said. “We’re segmented by academics, we’re segmented by socio-economic class. If we could just see what’s happening all across campus, it would be better.”
 
Student complaints appear to be divided into two groups.
 
One asserts that Jackson’s departure signals a “hostile atmosphere” for black students, professors and administrators at UC. To that group, Jackson’s departure is a signal that African-American students and professors won’t get the same chances to prove themselves when things go bad. They say UC forced Jackson out after forcing out Police Chief Michael Cureton, also an African-American, each there less than two years with rocky tenures from the start.
 
Jackson arrived at UC to confront a $7 million budget deficit in Arts & Sciences, a difficult job for any administrator.
 
A larger group says the lack of awareness about racial differences is the bigger problem. What’s most common, they say, is differences that no one understands and no one wants to confront.
 
New Provost Beverly Davenport and Vice President of Student Affairs Debra Merchant have taken the lead on the sensitive subject.
 
Other than issuing a sympathetic statement on the day of the student protest, high-profile President Santa Ono has not been heard publicly on the issue. Ono did not respond to a request for comment for this story. Some students including Akomolede say they’ve personally talked to Ono about race on campus.
 
The bottom line remains this: African-Americans are only 8.2 percent of undergraduates on UC’s main campus and are 4.2 percent of full-time professors. Less than half of the African-American students on main campus graduate within six years, compared to about 63 percent of students overall.
 
Merchant said UC will not ignore feelings by students that they are facing an unfriendly atmosphere at UC. “Some may feel that way. I can’t discount that,” she said.
 
She said one student who came to her was the only black student in her first-year learning community – groups of students in the same academic program – and was constantly asked about stereotypes.
“It was tiresome. She felt uncomfortable,” Merchant said. “That defined her freshman experience.”
 
“We don’t want to over-engineer the population, but it’s important to have a critical mass,” she added.
 

‘My role is to make sure that … people are treated fairly’

The university’s efforts to increase the number of black students and professors on campus have been halting. UC says the pool for African-American professors is extremely competitive.
 
The stakes are high. If people of color avoid the main campus north of Downtown, it would hurt UC’s effort to burnish its national profile and earn a place among the nation’s elite public universities. That could impact everything from UC’s national ranking to its ability to increase tuition revenue, critical in this day and age.
 
Justin Christopher, a UC senior from Winton Hills, said black faculty members need attention. He said the biggest problem with Jackson’s resignation was that UC didn’t support a dean who was earning $240,000 a year.
 
“I’ve stayed here, but I think something needs to be done,” said Kenneth Ghee, an Africana Studies professor who has been at UC since 1985. “My role is to make sure that, while I’m in this environment, people are treated fairly.”
 
Jackson faced withering criticism from some professors over his management skills, and a cartoon with crude racial stereotypes was circulated around his college earlier this year. The cartoon sparked much of the conversation, and Jackson said after he resigned that he remained bitter about his treatment by his alma mater.
 
“I think what bothered a lot of people was the response (to the cartoon),” Akomolede said. “A lot of people feel they didn’t do enough.”

UC had hired a consultant to work with Jackson for months before he finally resigned. Behind the scenes, UC officials insist that they did everything they could to support Jackson before his problems with faculty finally overwhelmed him.

The low numbers of black professors or administrators makes a difference, students say.

“Sure, I’d like to see more black professors,” Hutchins said. “But just because they’re black doesn’t mean … that they’re instantly an amazing professor.”

UC makes progress on some goals; others remain elusive

Since Jackson’s resignation, UC is scrambling to invest more money in getting minority students on campus and gather data on progress in its diversity plan adopted in 2011.
 
This week, the university announced at least $440,000 in new scholarships for students of color and women. UC also has hired people in enrollment management and the College of Medicine to recruit under-represented populations.
 
Interim Chief Diversity Officer Bleuzette Marshall said UC is spending more than $1 million on different diversity initiatives around campus, in addition to the scholarships. Marshall says she still is compiling results of the diversity plan.
 
She said UC has met goals for its pipeline of applicants of color – about 12 percent – and plans to conduct a “climate survey” next spring. On other goals, though, such as the graduation rate, it is nowhere close to the goal.
 
Students say there are only isolated instances of overt racism. The issue is that some black students don’t feel like they belong.
Akomolede, who is involved with student government and with the UC chapter of the NAACP, emphasized that he is speaking for himself, not for either of those groups. He said people are talking, which should help improve the atmosphere on campus.
 
“There’s definitely going to be some issues regarding race everywhere,” he said. “That’s just the world we live in. I think everybody needs to see some real change, and everybody’s ready to make that happen.” ⬛

December 4th, 2013

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