In the Fund for Our Economic Future’s The Two Tomorrows report (released in 2018), Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz is quoted as saying, “The only sustainable prosperity is shared prosperity.”
Northeast Ohio still has a long way to go on that front, though the region is working diligently to decrease the gap. The same report shared findings that showed racial earnings disparities were increasing in Cleveland, where white workers earned 1.75 more than their African-American counterparts in 2016. Additionally, the black unemployment rate was nine percentage points higher than the white unemployment rate that same year.
Three elements have been deemed necessary to address these and other issues of inequity in Cleveland: awareness, accountability, and action. Our new dedicated series, “CLE Means We: Advancing Equity & Inclusion in Cleveland,” is designed to heighten awareness and highlight those taking action around creating more equitable outcomes for all Clevelanders.
This 10-month reporting initiative will take a deeper look at innovative programs and emerging leaders driving equity and inclusion in Cleveland across focus areas like transportation, healthcare, technology, and more. We’ll cover untold stories and fill in the missing gaps by raising visibility of small-scale transformation and spotlighting the changemakers. Stories will also include ideas for calls to action and ways to support the featured groups and initiatives.
For the series, FreshWater has partnered with four organizations whose missions are to activate change in Cleveland’s equity and inclusion landscape. Our partner organizations are Jumpstart, Inc., Greater Cleveland Partnership/The Commission on Economic Inclusion, YWCA of Greater Cleveland, and the Fund for Our Economic Future.
The series kicked off in late March with a story on the Culture.CLE movement and continues this week with a story on the new Black Environmental Leaders group taking shape locally. Be sure to follow the series, and join us in our drive to make Cleveland a more equitable and inclusive place.