June 10, 2021
Forest Hill Church is proud to be an active member of Cuyahoga County’s coalition of more than thirty faith communities and civic partner organizations working together on social justice issues. Greater Cleveland Congregations is a component of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), America’s largest network of multi-faith coalitions with 70+ years of activism and experience. GCC challenges Greater Clevelanders to imagine what can be accomplished together by mobilizing members to ensure that collective voices are heard. Through person-to-person organizing, GCC is building the power necessary to create a better, more just Northeast Ohio.
Since it began in 2011, GCC has:
- Trained hundreds of volunteers and mobilized thousands of voters to pass two critical school levies for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. And, in the fall of 2020, GCC trained 285 leaders to alert voters whose ballot applications had been rejected. 13,000 voter contact calls were made, 650 emails sent and 1500 door hangers delivered. The result? 7,000 applications were corrected!
- Organized the creation of Cuyahoga County’s first-ever Civil Rights Unit to reduce by 20% over-charging for non-violent offenses (2012-2016) and created a third Drug Court whose criteria does not exclude people of color.
- Campaigned for a long-needed mental health and addiction crisis-diversion center to provide an alternative to incarceration. The new center opened in May 2021!
GCC is focusing on the present and the future by continuing these efforts:
- Color of Health Initiative – listens and responds to African-American concerns about the Covid vaccine through small community discussion groups, and operates pop-up vaccination sites at member congregations with a goal of vaccinating 7,000 African Americans by the end of 2021.
- Battle for Democracy – combats voter suppression, depression and regression by implementing strategies to increase voter turnout in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County over the next ten years. In 2021, for example, this effort will focus on canvassing five key neighborhoods in the City of Cleveland on the topic of Cleveland’s mayoral election. Volunteers are much needed to be trained to work in pairs and canvass specific neighborhoods. Scott Lafferty of Forest Hill Church is on the Leadership Team of Battle for Democracy.
- Criminal Justice Reform – crusades for significant change in the Cuyahoga criminal justice system in partnership with the office of the County Prosecutor.
Many Forest Hill Church volunteer opportunities exist for engagement in GCC activities. You can make a real difference in your community. To volunteer or gather more information on a specific GCC topic, contact Scott Lafferty at email@example.com or Diana Woodbridge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More info at:
Greater Cleveland Congregations
GCC on Facebook
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