The Black Agenda Cincinnati and other Black leaders held a community meeting on Saturday, Nov. 17, at the House of Joy in College Hill. Speakers seated on stage were, from left, Daronce Daniels, Lincoln Heights Council member; Sedrick Denson, elected State Rep. of District 33; Bishop Bobby Hilton; City Councilman Wendell Young; Dwight Tillery, co-convenor of The Black Agenda Cincinnati; Keizayla Fambro, vice president of Ohio Young Black Democrats; Kelli Prather, community activist; Aaron Brown, president of Ohio Young Black Democrats; Patricia Milton, president of Avondale Community Council; Rev. Mark Bomar, president of the Baptist Ministers Conference; and Renee Mahaffey Harris, the president and CEO of The Center for Closing the Health Gap. Photo provided
By Andria Carter
Black leaders in Cincinnati, who led a meeting The Black Agenda Cincinnati that was attended by nearly 200 people Saturday at the House of J0y in College Hill, met to address what they say is “institutional racism that has been deeply rooted in the fabric of this country for decades.’’
“Unfortunately, Cincinnati is experiencing it at an all-time high, and it needs to stop,’’ the group said in a statement released from the meeting, which was closed to the media.
“Cincinnati has always held superficial discussions regarding the symptoms of racism, issued reports like ‘All-in Cincinnati’ or ‘State of Black of Cincinnati,’ but never wants to discuss the root causes of racism,’’ the statement read.
Saturday, Black leaders put out a call to rally the community to address this issue of racism head on in the city of Cincinnati.
The Black Agenda group plans to attend the Wednesday, Dec. 5, City Council meeting at 6 p.m. to advise the mayor and council of their recommendations.
Black Agenda’s “actionable items for the community to move on that will begin to erase institutional racism now” are:
- Fund an institutional racism study approved by city council in a 9-0 vote.
- End the city funding of United Way.
- Address the affordable housing crisis in Cincinnati.
- Reinstate televising on Citicable the public comment portion of city council meetings.
- Increase transparency of the city budget process.
“Institutional Racism has caused the city of Cincinnati to direct our tax dollars to the White community, leaving the other half of the city at the bottom of everything,’’ the statement reads. “The mayor and city council have known this for decades and have done little or nothing about it. The city council voted to fund a study of institutional racism, and the mayor in his last budget chose not to fund it.
The group says Mayor John Cranley’s behavior has amplified the city’s institutional racism. They add that the departure of United Way’s former CEO, Michael Johnson, who is Black, three months after his arrival, exemplified even more institutional racism in Cincinnati.
“There has been much talk about being an inclusive, equitable and fair city, but our outcomes in the Black community continue to keep us on the bottom. It’s time for action, and it is time to end institutional racism in this city now,’’ said Tillery, co-convenor of The Black Agenda Cincinnati, in closing.