In Cuyahoga County, the infant mortality rate is one of the highest in the United States. For Black babies, the numbers are even more dire. According to the Ohio Department of Health’s Bureau of Vital Statistics, the infant mortality rate for black babies is roughly three times as high as the rate for white infants. Beyond, Black women face a three to four times greater risk of dying during childbirth than white women. Birthing Beautiful Communities (BBC) is an organization aiming to reverse those statistics in Northeast Ohio. Founded and operated mainly by Black women, BBC’s mission is to address and improve systemic structures that lead to Cleveland infants dying at higher rates, especially Black babies. Using culture, education, advocacy, support and engagement (CEASE), BBC holistically supports its clients to deliver full-term, healthy babies and achieve equitable birth outcomes. BBC’s village of birth workers and perinatal support specialists (community-based doulas) provide free neighborhood-based services, including childbirth and parenting education with workshops and classes on breastfeeding, stress relief, bonding with baby, co-parenting and healthy eating. BBC’s team also offers perinatal support training to provide support for labor, delivery and postpartum health including depression, and family, life and personal goal planning. Central to BBC’s mission is offering all pregnant and parenting individuals, regardless of their socio-economic standing, quality doula care and resources to ensure infant vitality. BBC is committed to addressing implicit bias and racism within the healthcare system by providing evidence-based education in birth and reproductive justice, advocacy & training, and direct doula services to all. Since the organization’s founding in 2014, BBC has already proved its impact. Of those who completed the program’s interventions, 92% had full term pregnancies with an overall 99.8% infant survival rate. BBC has also trained 26 perinatal support specialists, serving over 500 women in total. […]
As the Callahan Foundation’s grant cycle opens for concept paper submissions, keep these four basics in mind when crafting your application. Twice yearly, the Callahan Foundation accepts concept paper submissions for spring and fall grant cycles. Northeast Ohio nonprofit organizations with a focus on higher education, the arts and social services are encouraged to apply. Funding is offered to eligible nonprofits that demonstrate superior leadership and create value for those in need. As you craft your concept paper, remember to review the full requirements, and consider these four tips for a successful application: Clearly state the focus. Your concept paper is the initial gatekeeper and key to the grant application process. Write with clarity: make sure the message and intent is highly focused and the language is straightforward. Elaborate on the community you serve. Who does your organization serve, and how? Describe the population and how they benefit from your nonprofit’s services in detail. Conveying a thorough understanding of how your organization impacts communities enhances your application. Define the link. How does your organization or program fit the criteria required? Discuss how and why your nonprofit aligns with the ethos of the Callahan Foundation. Don’t forget the details. Make sure that you carefully read the application requirements. Adhere to the correct file formatting and content requirements laid out in the grant application guidelines. Remember to include contact information and a business mailing address! After each cycle’s concept paper submission deadline, a select number of concept papers will be invited via email to submit full proposals. Submissions for initial concept papers can be uploaded here.
Research confirms that along with other factors, poverty has a detrimental effect on children’s learning and achievement. In Cleveland, this is particularly true, and the issue take on greater consequence and urgency. According to the 2016 Census, 53.5% of Cleveland’s children live in poverty. Nearly half of the city’s students are at risk for dropping out — and those who drop out are eight times more likely to become incarcerated and three times more likely to be unemployed. According to City Year Cleveland, when a student drops out of school it has a lasting effect on communities, and the organization is working to fight the odds. City Year Cleveland is an education-focused organization that partners with public schools in high-poverty communities to help keep students in school and on track to graduate. City Year is the only national organization that places full-time, trained young adults in schools to provide individual attention to struggling students, bridging the gap in high-poverty communities between the support that students need, and what their schools are often resourced to provide. In Cleveland, this means providing high-need schools with additional human capital at a low cost to address the education crisis. Through a neighborhood-based approach, City Year partners with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) to serve in nine CMSD schools. Highly-trained, diverse AmeriCorps members volunteer full-time and work 1:1 to provide individual interventions for off-track students, and after-school programs and events for the whole school. Student outcomes are measured at the beginning, middle, and end of year. The organization’s impact includes increasing English and math proficiency by two to three times the normal rate compared with similar schools that did not have City Year, as measured by state assessments. City Year Cleveland was also cited by CMSD partners as having had an impact on nearly doubling […]
Callahan Foundation grant recipient FIRST Robotics challenges students to be robot inventors in the Buckeye Regional Competition this month. Over 1,500 high school students from throughout Ohio and neighboring states will compete this month in the FIRST Robotics Buckeye Regional Competition. The young inventors compete in teams with 125-pound robots of their own design, combining the excitement of sport with science and technology. Each year, the objective of the game is different and revealed at kickoff. This year, the competition will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon with a space-themed robotics challenge named “Destination: Deep Space.” The competition will take place March 28-March 30 at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center, located at 2000 Prospect Ave. The teams spent six weeks designing, building and programming the robots as part of FIRST’s annual, competitive-based education program. Students coupled creativity with skills like math, science, engineering, business and project management, art, video and industrial sciences in the competition. FIRST inspires innovation in students and fosters well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. The impact of participation in the competition for students extends beyond the event, from the growth of science, technology and engineering skills, through to careers in STEM. The Buckeye Regional is considered among the best regional competitions nationally for the quality of experience provided to the high school students participating. The Callahan Foundation is proud to be a sponsor of the competition, awarding the FIRST Robotics Buckeye Regional $10,000 to support the cost of the presentation of the annual event. The event is open to the public and will be held at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center. To learn more about the event, visit FIRST Buckeye Regional Competition.
Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) gives a voice to homeless individuals and helps break the cycle of homelessness. “I sat on Public Square at two in the morning not knowing what I was going to do nor where I was going to go. I was not being able to call 211, because the phone app I was using did not support calling that number. I looked around, thinking about how tired I was, I walked from West Boulevard. I was thankful that it was still summer, but it was August and I had nowhere to go. Never in a million years did I ever think I would be in this situation, but here I sat – homeless. I spent two days at the large women shelter before going to a smaller one, which had specific beds for veterans. It was while there, when I was asked if I was willing to do volunteer work as I waited for the VA to render a decision on a compensation claim. I pondered the idea and agreed to meet with NEOCH. The rest is history. My first day, after spending what seemed like five hours reading the Volunteer Handbook, I had the opportunity to witness NEOCH. They are doing what I have come to realize they do best. Helping people survive the harsh winter and doing it with love!!! I was all in at that point…” These are words written by Hazel Williams, a Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) staff member, in 2018. Today, Williams is leading the expansion of one of the organization’s programs to help provide housing to homeless people in Northeast Ohio. Williams is a perfect example of the work NEOCH does: empowering homeless and at-risk men, women, and children to help break the cycle of homelessness, led by […]
Youth from economically distressed communities can face multiple barriers to success in school, many of which are non-academic. While studies have shown the presence of just two barriers can result in youth dropping out of school, Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) finds teens in their school-based programs regularly face five to six barriers. Some of the most common include poor attendance, low academic performance, past suspension, probation and/or expulsion, lack of motivation or maturity, and having inadequate or no work experience. Without ample resources to help them stay in school and graduate, these youth are vulnerable to becoming basic-skills deficient, disengaged, and failing to achieve his or her potential. Y.O.U. aims to change these trajectories through school-based programs and workforce development initiatives that help youth graduate high school and prepare for post-graduation success. The organization’s programs focus on ensuring individuals are ready to pursue a path to economic self-sufficiency through mentoring, employability skills training, industry-based credential training, career exploration, jobs, and internships. The programs are evidence-based and seamlessly integrate case management, employment and internship components, along with an emphasis on data collection and analysis. “Y.O.U. has been at the forefront of the nonprofit movement to use data to drive decisions, to continuously improve, and to judge success based on outcomes, not just outputs,” says Marc Nathanson, senior development executive at Y.O.U. “We are now serving youth more effectively by using data to improve programming, evidenced by the fact that we achieved an average 87% high school graduation rate and 82% post-secondary success rate over the last three years.” Their workforce development initiatives include a consortium of workforce providers, co-facilitated by Cuyahoga County, that address the workforce preparation needs of Opportunity Youth (young, disconnected adults 18-24 who are not in school or working), and school-based programs like Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates, where […]
Over the past few years, the number of children in foster care has grown by almost 30%. Abuse and neglect, largely attributed to drug addiction within a family, is usually the cause. While foster care is intended as a solution, many children tend to stay in care far too long and move too much, exacerbating the trauma that led to the child being removed from their family in the first place. Additionally, many youth without legal parents or a support network age-out of foster care each year. The result? Far too many children facing grim realities and few supportive relationships after suffering through unstable and sometimes unsafe tenures in foster care. Kinnect aims to change all of that through improved, best practice models that help build permanency. “Building permanency for children is about increasing their sense of belonging and connection to community,” explains Mike Kenney, co-founder and executive director of Kinnect. The organization was formed to support child welfare and protection programs in Ohio’s counties — all 88 of which are run differently—to adopt practices that have been proven to lead to better outcomes for children involved in foster care. Kinnect does this through a three-pronged strategy. They train and coach child welfare professionals, partner with public and private agencies to include best practice programs, and advocate for children and families in crisis, regardless of the challenge that brought them there. “Our work focuses on building the social capital, resilience, and a support network for children and families to ensure their safety and well being,” says Kenney. “We work with social workers, with families, and with children to build relationships to overcome the traumatic effects of abuse and neglect.” Kenney says Kinnect is the only organization of its kind in Ohio. “We participate in a national network of child […]
Callahan Foundation grant recipient Legal Aid Society of Cleveland removes barriers to education for vulnerable and low-income families. When looking at the root causes of poverty, lack of education is both a cause and an effect. A direct correlation exists showing the longer a child spends in school, the less likely they are to be poor and it’s the reason why legal advocacy ensuring children have access to good education is so important. “Federal law actually requires that all children get a free, public education,” says Melanie Shakarian, Esq., director of development and communications at the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. The civil, nonprofit law firm provides advocacy for vulnerable and low-income families, and their children who may not be receiving the appropriate public education required under federal law. The organization, established in 1905 and with 134 branches across the US, operates one of its largest branches in Cleveland. Awarded $20,000 in Callahan Foundation’s 2017 Spring Funding Cycle, the Legal Aid Society’s “Access to Education” program has helped remove barriers to education for children within and outside of schools through traditional education law and an innovative education-legal partnership with Near West Intergenerational School and Cleveland Metropolitan School District. In the past year, Legal Aid education attorneys helped low-income students obtain and receive special education services, correct individualized education programs (IEPs), and represented parents at disciplinary proceedings. “These are people who handle representing young children in school who are being denied services at their school,” says Shakarian. “It could be a child who has a disability who’s not provided an accommodation, maybe because they have a physical disability or mental health concern and they need an accommodation at their school. We could be representing a child who has been bullied and needs to be removed from their particular classroom or school […]
The 42nd Cleveland International Film Festival opens at Tower City Cinemas April 4, 2018 with the aim to â€œEmbrace Curiosity.â€ The art of filmmaking has often been considered a vehicle for embracing curiosity, creativity and culture. This year, thatâ€™s exactly the theme of the Cleveland International Film Festival’s 2018 program, running April 4-15. Through a dizzying array of films — 216 feature films and 253 shorts — representing a lengthy list of countries (72 this year), the organization hopes the theme will encourage filmgoers â€œto challenge and perhaps change the ways we perceive and interact with the world around us,â€ writes CIFF Board of Directors President Nancy Callahan. With over 500+ film screenings to be shown at Tower City Cinemas and several other neighborhood locations, CIFF upholds its mission of promoting artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community. In addition to the screenings, there will be FilmForums, Chat Rooms, interactive media exhibitions, free screenings for college students, filmmaker Q&Aâ€™s (an estimated 300 guest filmmakers will be in attendance) and more. April 4thâ€™s Opening Night event will kick off in Connor Palace at Playhouse Square, where it opened last almost 30 years ago. Tickets for daily screenings and passes are available online.Â The Callahan Foundation is honored to support the 42nd Annual Cleveland International Film Festival with a grant of $15,000 towards the Roxanne T. Mueller Audience Choice Award for Best Film. Named in honor of the late Plain Dealer film critic from 1983 to 1988, the award is CIFFâ€™s most prestigious and internationally acclaimed honor recognizing impactful filmmakers.
2018 F. Joseph Callahan Distinguished Lecture to feature Jill Lepore, historian, professor and writer, speaking on the topic of American history. Can a divided nation have a shared past? And how does this history relate to issues in contemporary American culture? Speaking on the topic of â€œAmerican History from Beginning to End,â€ author, professor and essayist Jill Lepore will delve into these questions, along with the challenges and considerations involved in writing about United States history. Lepore is Professor of American History at Harvard University, a staff writer for The New Yorker, author of several prize-winning books, and recipient of many honors, awards and honorary degrees. Her academic areas of emphasis include â€œexploring the absences and asymmetries of evidence in the historical record, with a particular emphasis on the histories and technologies of evidence and of privacy,â€ according to her Harvard University biography. Lepore regularly contributes articles on American history, law, literature, and politics to The New Yorker, along with cultural critiques. Several of her books were derived from essays originally published in the periodical. Lepore’s recent book, â€œThe Secret History of Wonder Woman,â€ was an international bestseller and winner of the 2015 American History Book Prize. Her next book, â€œThese Truths: A History of the United States,â€ will be published in September 2018. Lepore lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and their three sons. The lecture will be held on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 6:00 PM as part of the Think Forum series, and will be followed by a discussion and audience questions. Presented at Case Western Reserveâ€™s Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center at the Temple Tifereth â€“ Israel, 1855 Ansel Road, Cleveland, you can reserve free tickets for the lecture online, or call the Maltz Performing Arts Center box office at 216.368.6062. The Callahan […]