May 18, 2013 SAVE THE DATE: Restore Cleveland Hope, Inc. presents the
2nd Annual Restore Cleveland Hope Walkathon. Proceeds from the walkathon will be used to furnish Restore Cleveland Hope's Underground Railroad Educational Center and office in the Cozad-Bates House.
RCH Secretary Fran Stewart spent the day on Friday,
Sept. 24, at the new Hawken School building in University Circle. She
gave three presentations about Ohio's role in the Underground Railroad
and Northeast Ohio's important contribution to abolition to about 75
middle school students of English teacher Brooke Collier.
Ms. Collier began each session by sharing with
students that, when she was their age, she had thought Ohio had always
been a pretty boring place. She asked for a show of hands how many
students had the same view. Nearly every hand went up. Then she
predicted that they might hear information that would change their
Students learned that historians estimate that about
40 percent of all slaves who escaped along the Underground Railroad came
through Ohio. That sparked a discussion about why. (Hint: To Ohio's
south lay were states that allowed slavery; to its north was the safe
haven of Canada.)
Here are a few highlights of Ohio's -- and
Cleveland's -- anti-slavery history:
Cleveland's first permanent settler, Lorenzo
Carter, helped heal and hide a fugitive slave named Ben in 1806.
The Rev. John Rankin, assisted by his wife Jean and
his large family, helped 2,000 slaves to freedom. John Parker, a former
slave, ran his own iron foundry by day and rowed across the Ohio River
to rescue slaves by night.
In 1858, 21 Lorain County men went to jail so that
John Price, a teenage runaway, might go free.
John Malvin was among a group of black Clevelanders
who stood up for two runaway slaves lured back to Ohio for arrest and
helped convince the judge not to return them to bondage.
Nearly all the men who went with John Brown to
Harper's Ferry were from Ohio. After Brown was captured and charged with
treason, the people of northern Ohio hid and protected his son from
By the end of the session, we again asked the students
whether Ohio was a boring place. This time, only a few hands went up.
In late March, fire destroyed the 123-year-old home of the Euclid Avenue Congregational Church. It was a devastating blow to this diverse faith community, and also to Restore Cleveland Hope, whose office was located in that building. The destruction of the church building represented a loss of Cleveland history as well. The roots of this church run deep, intertwining with more than 180 years of Cleveland history, and include ties to the Underground Railroad.
Restore Cleveland Hope, in gratitude to Euclid
Avenue Congregational Church, presented "Reclaiming History;
Restoring Hope," a program honoring that church's proud abolitionist
history, on May 23, 2010. The story of Euclid Avenue Congregational
Church's antislavery past was told in both story and song, and
several of the descendants of EACC's abolitionists were honored. A
freewill offering was collected for the benefit of both the church
and Restore Cleveland Hope.
Restore Cleveland Hope now is without office
space. The email and phone addresses for RCH remain the same:
firstname.lastname@example.org and 216-231-0301. We have a new
mailing address: P.O. Box 181282, Cleveland Heights OH 44118.
Left: Joan and Theodore Bates
Right: Joan and Lyle Cozad
Click image to enlarge.
In Their Path 2009!
May 30, 2009. What a parade. What a celebration. It was way beyond wonderful. So the walking has ended but the joy continues; when am I going to stop grinning? I am so grateful for all of the hard work, creativity and love given by so many. It was truly a gathering of the Beloved Community. The Beloved Community marching down inner city East 105th Street. All of us Freedom Seekers headed straight to our beloved ‘safe house.’
Saturday when I walked into the Bratenahl Village Park and saw so many friends, so many bright-red-In Their Path 2009! T shirts, it was literally breath taking. Time disappeared; I have no idea how long it took us to get from Bratenahl to Cozad-Bates. I just remember floating along with neighbors, friends, board members, my children and grandchildren. My big strong beautiful niece, Gianna and her wife (…that was shrieking exciting because I thought Gianna and Lauren had to work and so I did not know they had driven in from Syracuse.)
My good , great friend, Stephen Kahnert in from Chicago. Andrew Allen came from Cincinnati. Andrew joined me the first week of the 2002 walk and walked all the way to Cleveland. A huge group (20 or more) Gilmour Academy students. The Holy Rosary Montessori Girl Scout troop. Mustafa Griffin and student from C.A.S.T.L.E. charter school. And I should not have named anyone because, I of course, cannot name everyone, and I really, really want to.
My ‘papparazzi’ friends Adrienne Brockway or Kim Yanoshik running, kneeling, jumping to get just the right angle. My son Robert, holding the video camera professionally steady, asking reporter style questions to capture the moment. Lovely Margaret Bernstein.
The beloved Restore Cleveland Hope board members. Bookwomen book club members. Euclid Avenue Congregational pastor Terri and my church-family members. Ndeda Letson, there since dawn. And on and on and on. You should have been there to soak it all in. This is the Beloved Community.
Through Wade Oval Sista Jewel’s young African dance group swirled our way down the street and onto the Cozad-Bate’s lawn. And there below the bright, blue sun-shiny-sky, we had cool clear, water and refreshing triangles of sweet watermelon.
Then the wonderful program participants: Ismail Douglas, Sally Tatnall, Chris Ronayne, Deborah Van Kleef, Kevin Conwell, Shari Cloud, Mittie Jordan, Chris Begay, with the folks on the lawn singing and clapping and praying and cheering along. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
The end of the In Their Path 2009! walk. What a gathering. What a wonderful day.
Their Path 2009! T-shirts, the bright red ones you see
in the accompanying photograph, are available in small, medium, large
and extra large. Just send a check made out to Restore Cleveland
Hope for $10 each to Restore Cleveland Hope, 9606 Euclid Avenue,
Cleveland, OH 44106, include your mailing address and size requested,
and we will mail it/them to you. Or you can call Kathy at 216-383-1684
and arrange to pick up the t-shirt(s) at Euclid Avenue Congregational
Church where the Restore Cleveland Hope office is located; then the
t-shirts will cost you a mere $5 apiece!