By Yvette Johnson-Hegge
YWCA Greater Cincinnati
YWCA Greater Cincinnati will host its 22nd annual Racial Justice Breakfast on October 11 at Music Hall. The Racial Justice Breakfast is an important part of our efforts to create the social changes necessary to end systemic racism.
Attendees this year will experience meaningful dialogue about health equity, and hear from keynote speaker, Dorothy Roberts, an internationally recognized scholar, public intellectual, and social justice advocate. She studies the interplay of gender, race, and class in legal issues and has been a leader in transforming public thinking and policy on reproductive health, child welfare, and bioethics. Professor of Africana Studies, Law & Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, Dorothy directs the Penn Program on Race, Science, and Society.
She has authored and co-edited ten books, including the award-winning Killing the Black Body; Shattered Bonds; and Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-Create Race in the Twenty-First Century. She has also written more than 100 articles and book chapters, including “Race” in the 1619 Project. She received the 2015 Solomon Carter Fuller Award from the American Psychiatric Association for “providing significant benefit for the quality of life for Black people.”
The 2022 Racial Justice Honorees are Ozie Davis, III and Claire Mengel. Before joining Congressman Steve Driehaus’ office as his Community Liaison, Davis spent five years in the field of Community Development as a Program Officer at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) where he worked on Housing, Safety, Education, Workforce Development, Commercial Development, Community Organizing, and other community-based initiatives. Davis is an active member of the Avondale Community Council, where he co-founded the Avondale Youth Council and Residents United for a Better Avondale (RUFABA). He serves as board member on Cincinnati’s Citizens Complaint Authority, and as a member of Parents for Public Schools of Greater Cincinnati. Davis also founded and is Board Chair of the Queen City Youth Development Program, a program for 13-18yr old inner city student athletes.
Claire Mengel is a high school graduate and activist. Passionate about female empowerment, queer issues, and voter registration, they have been involved with Girl Power Politics, the Hamilton County Commission on Women and Girls, and the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection’s Reconciling in Christ Team. She recently addressed the Congressional Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on “ongoing efforts to prohibit discussion in K-12 classrooms about American history, race, and LGBTQ+ issues.” She and other students organized a student walkout and a replacement event for Diversity Day at Turpin High School after the event had been abruptly cancelled by the Forest Hills School District School Board, many of whom had campaigned and protested on an anti-critical race theory platform. For several years, Turpin’s Diversity Day raised awareness of cultural and racial issues for junior and senior students. More than 300 Turpin High School students participated in the walkout to protest the cancelation of Diversity Day.
YWCA Greater Cincinnati is thrilled to be back in person for the first time since 2019. To learn about partnership opportunities and individual tickets, please visit: www.ywcacincinnati.org.