Common Ground 2019 Inspires Community-Led Projects

Our third annual Common Ground day of community conversation brought together over 3,500 Greater Clevelanders this summer at more than 100 Common Ground events across Cuyahoga, Lake, and Geauga counties. This one-day initiative connects individuals, builds community, and results each year in small community-led projects inspired by and springing from conversations that happen that day. We are grateful to all who attended Common Ground events this year, brought together by Common Ground event hosts who gave their time to build and convene these gatherings. Thank you all for joining in and making your voices heard.

Following Common Ground 2019, community members created neighborhood-based projects that came directly from ideas discussed at a Common Ground conversation or were inspired by Common Ground’s mission to strengthen Northeast Ohio. With the support of Neighbor Up and ioby, these project leaders started approximately 40 projects.

Neighbor Up stewarded a small grants program and granted out over $10,000 to 22 projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland. Across Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga Counties, ioby provided support to 15 projects through a match fund. The ioby Common Ground match fund matched every dollar each of these projects raised up to $2,000. $20,000 in match funds were distributed to support these projects.

Neighbor UP Projects include:

Cellos for East Cleveland Children: This project will help implement the first phase of a plan to launch a string orchestra for students in East Cleveland. The process will begin with the development of an out-of-school cello program for students at Chambers Elementary School.

Urban Railroad: Glenville and University Circle Community Tours: At the Common Ground conversation that took place at One University Circle, a table of participants visualized a series of walking tours for residents of University Circle. They received a grant to develop tours as an opportunity for residents to learn about the surrounding Glenville neighborhood and its assets.

Community Meal and History of Slavic Village: This project launches a Lolly the Trolley tour of Slavic Village and a meal for individuals interested in learning about Slavic Village. This event replicates University Settlement’s 2019 Common Ground event where participants shared a meal and discussed Slavic Village’s past, present and future.

ioby Projects Include:

My Violin Weighs A Ton (MVWAT) is an interactive experience that will allow students to create hip-hop music that includes components of classical music. This initiative was crafted to engage, educate, and provide Cleveland students with a creative outlet to deal with painful experiences and cope with mental illness. The students participating in this project are a part of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. This four-month performance project a partnership with Lexington-Bell Community Center, an urban youth educational center located in Hough.

Taking a Stance is a one-day conversation organized by the Friends of the Cleveland Police Commission. The conversation will explore the behavior and current practices of the law enforcement officers in communities of color. Specific themes for the conversation include gun violence, biased policing and racism.

We Must Make the Difference: Serving Children with Incarcerated Parents seeks to build a computer lab for children with incarcerated parents. The lab will serve as a resource for children who want to communicate with their incarcerated parents through e-mail and video chat.

We are so excited to see the amazing projects that were started after Common Ground. Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks about #CG2020—how you can get involved, the date and the theme!