Christel Silas, Community liaison for A New Way Project, has been training for the Akron Marathon by running on the Towpath early in the morning or at dusk and says she doesn't always feel safe when on the trail alone. Silas and Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh are hosting a self-defense class for women, Monday, Sept. 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Gus Johnson Community Center, in the United Baptist Church, 1007 S. Hawkins Ave.
Silas and Walsh are supporters of awareness against domestic violence in the Akron area and have come together to host this informative, hands-on experience in which women can learn how to defend themselves against potential attackers. Silas said during an an outing with the running and walking group called Run Sistah Run “many of the other members expressed the same feeling” of being unsafe.
Many women face dangerous situations and should know how to defend themselves, and that is exactly what Walsh wants to promote in this self-defense class. Walsh has been teaching self-defense to senior citizens for a decade now and the classes have expanded to include a woman’s self-defense class.
The Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC) is currently undertaking a study to evaluate fair housing throughout the 12 Counties of Northeast Ohio. It is known as a Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice. Through a series of Fair Housing Forums, the group is reaching out to each of the 12 counties to collect residents' thoughts on this issue.
Here's the schedule:
9 a.m. - Summit County, Akron Urban League (President's Hall), 440 Vernon Odom Blvd., Akron
1:30 p.m. - Cuyahoga County, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (Corporate Offices, Board Room), 8120 Kinsman Road, Cleveland
6 p.m. - Cuyahoga County, Hall of La Sagrada Familia, 7719 Detroit Ave., Cleveland
The Ohio Civility Project seeks constructive community dialogue
Scholars from the universities of Akron, Cleveland State and Mount Union, along with the Akron Beacon Journal, representatives of Akron's faith community and the Civic Commons are encouraging constructive civic dialogue from citizens.
The Knight Foundation, which hosted a meeting this morning at the Akron Urban League to inform community leaders about the Ohio Civility Project, is fostering innovative approaches to increasing engagement skills in the community development field.
This morning's initial meeting laid out the ground work that the panel has put together thus far; improving civility, civility definition and standards, applying civility standards and publicizing moments of incivility.
A look at food donations from the ground level
Arlington Memorial Baptist Church recently gave away 18,000 pounds of food to residents in need, thanks to a donation given by the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.
Every week, the Foodbank donates food to this church, as well as to many other agency members across the county. Mary Coppenger, 72, and her husband Jack, 75, have been giving out food at Arlington Baptist for four years now.
The happily married couple of 50 years arrives at the church at 5 a.m. every Tuesday morning to set up, staying until 1:30 p.m. "When we first started there was only about 15 people coming. We'd sit here, read the paper and have coffee," Mary said of their beginnings.
Now they average 100 to 150 people each time.
The Akron/Canton Regional Foodbank is the source of food for more than 450 soup kitchens, homeless shelters and food pantries across eight counties in Northeast Ohio.
"Our partners are charities that serve about 180,000 different individuals every year across the region. It's an agency with tremendous scope," said Dan Flowers, president and CEO of the Foodbank.
The New Year has brought a brand new vision for the Foodbank. "This year we're on pace to distribute about 19.5 million pounds of food. We have big plans for 2012. There are so many people that are coming and asking for food for the first time. People talk about the current recession in past tense, but we don't. In 2008 the number of people seeking emergency food from the food bank really skyrocketed," Flowers said.
A new spokesperson for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank is cute and quiet, but her story speaks loudly. Kate, the focus of a new video, helps spread the serious message of hunger in a creative way, said Michelle Hinton, the Foodbank’s director of marketing and communications.
Set to a catchy acoustic guitar track, the video, “Hungry Kate: The Girl With the Belly Ache,” illustrates the domino effect within a family whose father has lost his job, leading to debt, home foreclosure and the eventual impact it has on “Kate,” who is one of 95,000 local children who struggles with hunger.
The video also shows how crucial even small donations are to helping combat this community-wide problem. Launched a month ago, the video has drawn more than 1,200 views, according to the Foodbank’s YouTube site. “We want the viewer to take a second to think about how the issue of hunger is closer than they probably realize, and how a simple sacrifice can make a big difference,” said Hinton.
In just one week, six people were murdered in Akron. Between this and the Copley and Craigslist shootings, some in the faith community are saying "enough is enough" and taking a stand against crime in our area by gathering together in prayer.
Twenty-six murders were committed in the city this past year alone. "That's 26 mothers without sons," said Serita Terrel, who lost her 24-year-old son last May, due to a gunshot to the head.
Police officers, pastors and city officials were among those who arrived to pray at Mount Calvary Baptist Church on Bell Street and address the recent violence in the city.
The local chapter of The Pajama Program took part in the holiday activities at the Akron Urban League over the weekend. Patty Gillespie, president of the Eastern Ohio chapter, was joined by volunteers in distributing the many warm PJs and books to area children.
These donations were the culmination of the good will of many individuals, businesses and a $500 grant from the Millennium Fund for Children of Akron Community Foundation, a permanent endowment established in 1999 to celebrate the millennium by the Akron Beacon Journal and the foundation.
The donations go to area children in need. “There is nothing like seeing the happiness on their faces!” Gillespie exclaimed.