By Amy Liu and Rip Rapson, guest columnists, cleveland.com
Civic leaders throughout Cleveland are engaging in serious introspection about the future of the city and region. In our respective roles as national leaders of a think tank and a philanthropy focused on city and regional prosperity, we have helped leaders across the country navigate transformative moments. One thing is clear from our recent visit to Cleveland: Few other American cities possess this community’s ardent motivation, deep capacity, and wide-ranging resourcefulness.
It is time for leaders to apply those assets to an issue that will define the region’s fortunes for generations to come: making racial equity a central tenet — and outcome — of Cleveland’s economic growth.
This was the clarion call at a recent daylong conversation we organized under the auspices of the Shared Prosperity Partnership — a collaboration among our two organizations (the Brookings Institution and The Kresge Foundation), the Urban Institute, and Living Cities. A broad range of the city’s civic and nonprofit leaders expressed with clarity the need to reset the table. It was a call to action that echoed other community voices — whether Chris Thompson arguing that the region must rebuild trust or Jan Roller recommending more seats at the civic table for women and people of color.