By Bri Oldham, Cleveland Foundation Equity Communications and Engagement Fellow
The last year has taught us so much. One of the biggest lessons learned is to do what makes you happy, because memories and moments can be fleeting. Roscoe Morgan of Stand Tall Academies had this in mind long before the pandemic started and will hold the sentiment with him for years to come. A two-time Common Ground host, Morgan provided imaginative insight on his experience hosting the last two years.
Morgan is the epitome of connection through conversation, as he initially found out about what Common Ground is at a neighborhood leadership development program meeting. It was there that a MidTown representative sparked his interest in turning his excitement for assisting those in the community into action.
“I’ve always been enthusiastic about helping promote community engagement,” Morgan said gingerly.
He understood almost immediately how important the facilitator role is and mentioned how surprised he was by the number of individuals who lent their time to his event. He often described this as one of the major highlights for him and a big reason folks from his 2019 conversation came back to volunteer in 2020. Even with a year full of uncertainty, the lasting bonds they formulated are why they made time and came together to help.
Though the commitment to host comes with responsibilities, Morgan said he would certainly do it all over again.
“I would definitely host again. It’s beneficial to the community, brings us together, and helps us make the community a better place to live.”
Other highlights for Morgan include the feedback he received from participants after the conversations concluded as well as the impact he was able to make on younger children. Morgan stated that he received lots of positive feedback, and that people expressed that they wanted to stay engaged.
For Morgan, working with kids was the icing on the community-inspired conversation cake.
“We were able to introduce kids as young as four years old to archery and safely give them the opportunity to participate in archery activities,” said Morgan.
Morgan’s excitement and passion come beaming through when he talks about his time as a Common Ground host. It’s hosts like him, with experience and expertise in community, that make people want to get involved and stay in touch.
Interested in learning more about Common Ground or want to become a host? Visit the Common Ground website here and get signed up today!