Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"Cincinnati to Ferguson: An Ever-Present Lesson"

By Christina Brown, Cincinnati Human Relations Commission
Community Outreach Engagement Coordinator

     24 hours following the announcement that Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for the shooting death of Michael Brown, cities across the nation peacefully took the streets to react. Cincinnati was no exception, but the memories of 2001's civil unrest literally lingered in the crowds of hundreds who gathered around the federal courthouse to express their anguish and anger. In what could be argued as a demonstration of solidarity with the community, Cincinnati Police Department Chief, Jeffrey Blackwell avoided the platform of speakers. Instead he stood with the crowd, neutrally observing the appreciation and critique the Cincinnati Police Department has undergone since those unnerving days.

     Cincinnati has proudly lent itself as a model for transformational community police relations yet, I can't help but to wonder, what still needs to be done? The policies and programs which arose from despair and anguish have slowly improved the confidence of some communities of color. Subtle affirmations such as the presence of neighborhood officers at community council meetings have aided in relationship building. This accompanied by the construction of the Citizens Complaint Authority, which promises of oversight when police misconduct is alleged are worth undoubtedly replication. However, we as a city must remain hypersensitive and hypercritical about the gaps in mistrust that have historically lingered.

   While touting the victories, we must disclose the shortcomings that continue to make this journey incredibly difficult. This looks like having continued uncomfortable conversations and training about unconscious bias and policing, ongoing Know Your  Rights campaigns, amongst various other actions. As we send our thoughts and hopes to Ferguson, perhaps the most courageous act Cincinnatians can take is commiting to deconstructing why Cincinnati was Ferguson in 2001 to begin with. 

Photo Credit: Nick Swartsell of City Beat  

Saturday, November 22, 2014

InFocus learns how 5K events are impacting our community with Girls on the Run

The staff from Girls on the Run® stopped by the studio to chat with InFocus TV host Khrys Styles to share with us about how our community members are impacted by this after school program.

Girls on the Run® is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a world where girls in the 3rd through the 8th grade knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.

GOTR inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based 24-lesson curriculum that integrates running for a 5K running event.  The girls become independent thinkers, enhance their problem solving skills and make healthy decisions.

All of this is accomplished through an active collaboration with girls and their parents, schools, volunteers, staff, and the community.

Watch the full interview on CitiCable or on City of Cincinnati Internet LiveStream, coming February 1-15, 2015!

Learn more about Girls on the Run 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Summation of Oratorical Contest

The Cincinnati Human Relations Commission (CHRC) hosted its Inaugural Youth Oratorical Contest on November 15, 2014 from 10:00 am-12:00 pm in City Hall Council Chambers, which included a reception. 

The Youth Oratorical Contest gave youth, ages 12-18, an opportunity to develop a competition of words through self-expression.  There were seven participants who created original speeches about “How My Generation Relates to the World” and presented them by memory in front of approximately fifty audience members.  The students prepared for seven weeks to lead up to the moment of the contest.  Their nerves were somewhat heightened, however, they gave thoughtful and articulate presentations that moved the audience. 

The youth had different topics based on their ages.  The three topics for the teens were how my generation relates to celebrities in the world, social acceptance on social media and standardized global social norms.  The schools represented in this contest were Hamilton County Math and Science Academy, Sycamore High School, Wyoming High School, and Woodward Career Technical High School

For more information about CHRC and youth opportunities, please visit our website at or call us at (513) 352-3237.  The Cincinnati Human Relations Commission (CHRC) is a non-profit agency that focuses on anti-discrimination and improving human relations in the City of Cincinnati.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, November 14, 2014

YWCA has selected CHRC's Community Engagement Coordinator, Christina Brown to the 2014 Class of YWCA Rising Stars!

Congratulations to CHRC's Community Engagement Coordinator, Christina Brown being selected to the 2014 Class of YWCA Rising Stars. The YWCA Academy of Career Women of Achievement created the Rising Star program in 2002 as a way to mentor and support younger women (age 25 - 40) in pursuit of excellence in their careers.

YWCA Rising Stars are identified as younger professional women with proven leadership qualities who would benefit from interaction with Academy members and other Rising Stars. 

Congratulations Christina!

Its here! CHRC's "Inaugural Oratorical Contest" tomorrow, Saturday, November 15, 2014

Tomorrow, Saturday, November 15, 10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON, The Cincinnati Human Relations Commission (CHRC) "Inaugural Oratorical Contest" in City Hall Council Chambers. This local competition will feature Greater Cincinnati youth, ages 12-18. Theme - "How My Generation Relates to the World." Prizes will be awarded to winners. Ms. Jaime Bryant, Youth Services Coordinator.

CHRC staff participating in Transformational Mediation Course

Recently, CHRC staff experienced the opportunity to participate in an introduction to Transformational Mediation course, hosted by Xavier University's Community Building Institute and Dayton Mediation Center. This training gathered 15 individuals representing different interests and agencies to introduce communities to this innovative model. After 16 hours of training, staff is gearing up to observe the work in action. We will keep you posted as we journey through the process of becoming transformative mediators ourselves.

Congratulations to CHRC's Senior Program Manager, Althea Barnett, who will receive the 2015 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "Keep the Dream Alive" Award. The award will be presented on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 19, 2015, 3:00 PM at the Church of the Resurrection, 1619 California Avenue in Bond Hill.
This is the fifteenth year of The Church of the Resurrection sponsoring the awards celebration and reception. Awards are given to recognize local persons who are keeping Dr. King’s dream alive by working for peace, justice and equality for all.

Again, congratulations Althea!

Friday, November 07, 2014

Community Outreach Advocates make presentation at the University of Cincinnati Criminal Justice Class

CHRC's Community Outreach Advocates (COA) are on the move. On November 6, 2014, COA's (Pastor Peterson Mingo, Ali Rashid Abdullah, and Victor Velez) gave a presentation in world renown Dr. Robin Engel's class at the University of Cincinnati (UC).  About 200 students majoring in Criminal Justice attended the class. The COA's spoke about their experiences doing outreach team and the importance of culturally sensitivity in their fields of work.