Cleveland History Self Study: A 5 Week Syllabus of Recommended Essays

Cleveland Stories: An Informal Look at the City’s Past

A 5 Week essay-based syllabus suggested by Dr. Marian Morton, professor emerita at John Carroll University with expertise in Cleveland area history.

Overview: A discussion of some of Cleveland’s most interesting and important people, places, and events
Objective: To link the city’s past with its present policies, politics, and practices

Week 1. Introduction. Read Teaching Cleveland Stories (TCS)John J. Grabowski, “Cleveland: Economics, Images, and Expectations”

Week 2. TCS: Mike Roberts and Margaret Gulley, “The Man Who Saved Cleveland.” Elizabeth Sullivan, “Immigration”  John Vacha, “The Heart of Amasa Stone”; Joe Frolik, “Mark Hanna: The Clevelander Who Made a President”

Supplemental: Timeline of Cleveland/NE Ohio; The Western Reserve, 1796-1820, and Pre-Industrial (Erie and Ohio Canals), 1820-1865 and The Industrial Revolution/ John D. Rockefeller/ Mark Hanna, 1865-1900

Week 3. TCS: John J. Grabowski, “Cleveland 1912 – Civitas Triumphant”; Joe Frolik, “Regional Government versus Home Rule”  John Vacha, “When Cleveland Saw Red”  Margaret Bernstein, ‘’Inventor Garrett Morgan, Cleveland’s Fierce Bootstrapper”  Marian Morton, “How Cleveland Women Got the Vote and What They Did With It”

Supplemental: Progressive Era/Tom L. Johnson/ Newton D. Baker, 1900-1915 and Fred Kohler/City Managers/Political Bosses, 1920s and The Van Sweringens/ Depression … 1930s

Week 4. TCS: Thomas Suddes, “The Adult Education Tradition in Greater Cleveland”  Bill Lubinger, “Bill Veeck: The Man Who Conquered Cleveland and Changed Baseball Forever”  Jay Miller, “Cyrus Eaton: Khruschev’s Favorite Capitalist” Roldo Bartimole, “One Man Can Make a Difference”  Mike Roberts, “Cleveland in the 1960s” and “Cleveland in the 1970s”

Supplemental: World War 2- Post War, 1940s; Carl Stokes- Civil Rights, 1960s and Ralph Perk-Dennis Kucinich, 1970s

Week 5TCS: Mike Roberts, “Cleveland in the 1980s” and “Cleveland in the 1990s” Supplemental: “10 Greatest Clevelanders”; “12 Most Significant Events”; Cleveland Politician Interview Series (George Forbes, Jim Rokakis, Louis Stokes, George Voinovich, Michael R. White); Mike Roberts, “Cleveland in the 2000s

General questions: what is the main point of each article? Did you agree or disagree? What did you find most interesting? What would you add? Or subtract? 


The Equal Rights Amendment: Why We Needed It and How Lawyers Have Fought Gender Discrimination Without it by Jonathan L. Entin Nov 12, 2020 at 7pm

The Equal Rights Amendment: Why We Needed It and How Lawyers Have Fought Gender Discrimination Without it
Jonathan L. Entin, David L. Brennan Professor Emeritus of Law and Adjunct Professor of Political Science, Case Western Reserve University

Thursday, November 12, 7pm via Zoom
The videos here:

Gender-based distinctions used to pervade American law. The ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment gave women a constitutional right to vote, but did nothing to disturb other forms of gender discrimination. The Equal Rights Amendment would have guaranteed equal rights regardless of sex, but was never ratified. This program will examine the historical background of gender distinctions in the law and more recent efforts by lawyers such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg to reform the law with or without the ERA.

Zoom RSVP here:

Made possible with a generous donation from Lin Emmons.

Sponsored by Cleveland History Center, CWRU Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning, League of Women Voters-Greater Cleveland

How Cleveland nonprofits plan to survive COVID-19 by Briana Oldham

Summary of Video forum from May 21, 2020 by Briana Oldham
The pdf is here
Rachell Dissell, moderator, Emily Campbell, Assoc Director, Center of Community SolutionsMelissa Graves, CEO, Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy CenterCynthia J. Ries, Exec Director, Greater Cleveland Community SharesSondra Miller, President & CEO, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center

How Cleveland nonprofits plan to survive COVID-19
by Briana Oldham

COVID-19 has changed everything. Creating a new landscape for the future comes with adjusting to the times.

In a forum held Thursday night, a panel of representatives from several nonprofits in the city of Cleveland came together to discuss the impact of COVID-19 and how to adapt to the new normal.

The hour-long discussion, presented by the Shaker Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters Greater Cleveland opened with remarks from former Plain Dealer reporter, Rachel Dissell.

How can nonprofits continue to deliver services to Cleveland residents during a global pandemic?

Panelists Emily Campbell, Associate Director from the Center for Community Solutions, Melissa Graves, CEO of the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center, Sondra Miller, President & CEO of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, and Cynthia J. Ries, Executive Director of the Greater Cleveland Community Shares took to Zoom to answer this and so much more.

Graves, who has spent her career working with vulnerable families, noted that decisions on how to provide services during this time were made immediately. Due to all the uncertainty right now, which abusers don’t like, the center felt it best to keep critical services open.

“We knew it was going to be a very volatile and dangerous situation [having abusers at home around the clock] so we pivoted very quickly,” Graves said.

What Graves and the staff found when trying to provide remote services was that it forced the center to go in a direction that they had already been moving toward but had yet to complete. The staff has been able to attend virtual trainings and webinars to provide advocacy services to work with clients remotely.

“There is a curiosity around what’s been happening with domestic violence and child abuse,” Graves said.

With that idea in mind, the mission is now more important than ever, and their efforts have been well received. Since people still need housing, the center has also worked diligently to expedite permanent housing in order to provide some level of social distancing.

Pivoting was a resounding theme during the forum, as several agencies had to move to immediately decide how to proceed and without a lot of information at the time.

The Center for Community Solutions conducted a survey about problems agencies were facing and how they were dealing with them. Campbell wanted to look at data to get a sense of if the reports they received were across the board or just in some area pockets.

There were 734 groups across the state of Ohio over the span of two weeks in late April who participated in the survey. Though all 88 counties were represented, the core of the responses came from Cuyahoga County where community solutions has the deepest reach.

The biggest question was what the level of disruption was on the various agencies due to COVID-19 and/or the Stay at Home Order.

“We thought it was important to ask about those two things together because what we’re seeing is that it’s not just about the virus, it’s the response to the virus as well,” Campbell said.

What they found was the vast majority of service providers reported their services had been disrupted. Though 38% indicated that there was some disruption, but it was manageable, 20% listed significant disruption and they expect the return to services to be difficult.

“We are most concerned with the 20% because these are the groups that have faced some real challenges over the course of the last two months,” Campbell said.

A big takeaway was that over 75% reported shifting to providing services over the phone or via video chat as a way to adjust. The responses came from agencies ranging from a staff size of five people to those with over 500 employees.

There are pivots that pertaining to certain agencies had to make that most others might not have had to consider. This holds true for the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center due to the inability to have in person visits and provide emergency room support.

Miller described coming up with goals at the beginning of the year to transition to providing services via telehealth but didn’t think they would be implemented so quickly. Telehealth is the ability to provide health services and support electronically using various means of technology.

“Staffing clients who started out being a little bit resistant to it, came to really enjoy it and feel like that it was an even better experience,” Miller said.

Some chose not to participate, as this method of receiving advocacy is not for everyone. The center also had to navigate the hospital emergency rooms since there were a lot of mixed reactions to new protocols in place.

Miller believes there is an opportunity for telehealth services to continue, especially in parts of the state where they do not have 24-hour sexual assault nursing units.

“I see telehealth being woven into what the future could look like there,” Miller said.

Financial challenges agencies are facing have also become a huge topic of discussion when it comes to nonprofits. Ries began to hear from agencies the Greater Cleveland Community Shares partners with and serves almost immediately at the peak of the pandemic.

Ries mentioned getting a lot of calls and a lot of questions. This is in large part due to most of the members being performing arts groups. Ries notes there being a lot of anxiety about canceled events and what that means for funders.

Though many organizations received loans, the help provided only temporary relief and what the future looks like would still need to be addressed.

“I think what we’re going to see in the next couple months and next year is that fundraising is definitely going to be different,” Ries said.

Ries thinks Cleveland is a generous community and will rally together. She mentions that several foundations have already stepped up and that it has been impressive to watch.

The arts groups have gotten creative when coming up with ways to serve young people and keep them connected and engaged.

“Our arts groups, our members have really stepped up, and have been doing great community based, family based, meaningful work,” Ries said.

The concept of community shares is the idea of being able to help each other. People still have the desire to do this even during such an unprecedented time and it is clear the support is a mighty force.


How will some of Cleveland’s most critical non profits survive Covid-19?
A video forum on May 21, 2020
with Rachel Dissell, former Plain Dealer Reporter and panelists:
•Emily Campbell, Assoc Director, Center of Community Solutions
•Melissa Graves, CEO, Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center
•Sondra Miller, President & CEO, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center
•Cynthia J. Ries, Exec Director, Greater Cleveland Community Shares

2020 Women’s Empowerment Series (Starting Feb 27, 2020)

the series flyer is here
Another series flyer is here

Beyond Suffrage: Women’s Reform Networks
and the Road for Women’s Rights
Einav Rabinovitch-Fox
Visiting Assistant Professor, History, CWRU

Talk will be at CWRU Siegal Facility on Richmond Rd
25700 Science Park Dr Beachwood, OH 44122

Thursday February 27 7-8:30 p.m.

This talk will explore how the local activism of women in various reform causes in Cleveland and elsewhere led to their involvement in the suffrage movement, thus situating the right to vote in a broader activist agenda to advance women’s rights and equality before and after the ratification of the 19th Amendment. This series is held in partnership with The Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program Case Western Reserve University and the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland.

Free and open to the public.
RSVP here


A Collector’s Tale: Memorabilia Of The American Women’s Suffrage Movement

Angela Clark-Taylor
Director, Flora Stone Mather Center for Women, CWRU

Talk will be at Lakewood Public Library, Main
15425 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107

Thursday March 26  6:30 – 8 p.m.

This interactive lecture will utilize artifacts and ephemera from the American Women’s Suffrage Movement and the Anti-Suffrage Movement to provide a brief history of women’s suffrage and the memorabilia suffragists created to develop a mainstream market appeal for their movement to the American people. This series is held in partnership with The Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program Case Western Reserve University and the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland.

Free and open to the public.
RSVP here


Symposium Link



From The 19th Amendment to the Occupy
Movement: 100 Years Of Women’s Social Movement Activism

Heather Hurwitz
Lecturer, Sociology, CWRU

Talk will be at One University Circle
10730 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106

Wednesday May 20 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

This talk will explore the range of social movement activism that women have engaged in since the passage of the 19th amendment. Topics include the pursuit of racial and gender equality, women in environmental movements, feminists in the Occupy movement, and more. Since suffrage, women have continued to fight for equality even within progressive movements. This series is held in partnership with The Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program Case Western Reserve University and the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland.

Free and open to the public.
RSVP here


Cosponsored by


Before RBG, a Cleveland judge made history; it’s time to recognize Unstoppable Florence Allen: Andrea Simakis Plain Dealer June 30, 2019

Florence Ellinwood Allen is sworn in as a Common Pleas Court Judge for Cuyahoga County in 1921. Prior to her historic election to the trial court bench, Allen, a mean piano player, wrote music criticism for The Plain Dealer. (Kent State University at Ashtabula)

Before RBG, a Cleveland judge made history; it’s time to recognize Unstoppable Florence Allen: Andrea Simakis

Plain Dealer June 30, 2019
The link is here

Longtime political strategist Arnold Pinkney dies at 83 WKYC Jan 13, 2014

Longtime political strategist Arnold Pinkney dies at 83

Longtime political strategist Arnold Pinkney dies at 83

CLEVELAND — He managed Jesse Jackson’s 1984 presidential campaign, was the political consultant who helped put Louis Stokes in Congress and was a well-known political figure whose name was often mentioned in the same breath as brothers Louis and Carl Stokes and Mayor Frank Jackson.

Arnold R. Pinkney, 83, died Monday after being in hospice care for leukemia. Born in Youngstown, he was the youngest of five children.

Hospice of the Western Reserve released a statement on behalf of the Pinkney family late Monday afternoon:

Prominent businessman and political consultant Arnold R. Pinkney passed away at 1:30 p.m. today at David Simpson Hospice House. The family wishes to thank friends and family for their encouragement and expressions of love during this difficult time. Funeral arrangements will be handled by E.F. Boyd & Son. Arrangements are still pending. More information will be forthcoming. The family requests that their privacy be respected at this time.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown released a statement: “Arnold Pinkney leaves behind a legacy of public service and dedication to others that should serve as a testament to the way he lived his life. Pinkney’s role in leading Jesse Jackson’s 1984 Presidential bid and managing Lou Stokes’ Congressional campaign and Carl Stokes’ mayoral campaign changed Northeast Ohio and this country. He helped to reshape our political landscape and united people from all walks of life. Jesse Jackson once called him ‘one of our untapped national treasures,’ and I could not agree more. Through his service on the school board, Pinkney was also instrumental in his work rebuilding Cleveland’s schools. And he provided wise counsel to me and so many other leaders across our state. Connie and I offer our prayers and thoughts to his family and rest assured knowing that his legacy lives on.”

In a one-line statement, the NAACP also wrote: “The Cleveland NAACP joins the community in expressing our sincerest condolences to the Pinkney Family for the loss of our dear friend Arnold R. Pinkney; we are deeply saddened by his passing.”

Cleveland City Council consultant Mary Anne Sharkey posted on her Facebook page that the council’s Finance Committee meeting Monday afternoon honored Pinkney with a moment of silence. She called Pinkney “my friend and mentor.”

U.S. Rep Marcia Fudge also posted on her Facebook page: “With the passing of Arnold Pinkney, the Cleveland community has lost a remarkable public servant who cared deeply about the future of our children and the well-being of all people. Mr. Pinkney has been a friend and an astute political mentor to many, including me. My thoughts and prayers go out to Betty and all other members of his family.”

The 1966 campaign of Judge Charles W. White for Common Pleas Court of Cuyahoga County was Pinkney’s first campaign. Pinkney served as Campaign Manager for Lloyd O. Brown, judge of the Cleveland Municipal Court.

He served as Campaign Manager for Louis Stokes’ election campaign in 1968 when Louis Stokes became the first Black Congressman from the state of Ohio.

He also managed Stokes’ re-election campaign in 1970.

Pinkney managed Carl Stokes’ 1969 Mayoral re-election campaign. Stokes was the first African-American mayor of a major American City.

Pinkney was the National Deputy Campaign Manager for Senator Hubert H. Humphrey’s Democratic nomination for U.S. President.

Pinkney served as Deputy Campaign Manager for the re-election of Governor John Gilligan State of Ohio in 1974 and was Deputy Campaign Manager for Richard F. Celeste for Governor the State of Ohio in 1982.

He served as National Campaign Manager for Reverend Jesse Jackson’s 1984 presidential campaign which was the forerunner for the election of Barack Obama for President in 2008. Pinkney was Campaign Manager for Mayor Michael R. White’s re-election for Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio in 1997.

“We lost an icon. We lost a great man. We lost a civil rights leader,” said Cleveland City Councilman Zach Reed. “I remember when Jesse Jackson came to Cleveland and the legacy was ‘Run Jesse Run.’ It was Arnold Pinkney that did that.”

At Monday’s City Council meeting, Cleveland paid its respects with a moment of silence, and words about the man and his legacy.

“We are recognizing a lion of the civil rights movement, who didn’t just change our part of the country, but changed the country,” said Councilman Joe Cimperman.

“We all owe him a great debt for what he did. The doors that he opened. The paths that he blazed,” said Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland.

He was also Campaign Manager for then-City Council President Frank G. Jackon’s successful run for Mayor of Cleveland in 2005.

“It’s a tremendous loss to our city. I’m sure from here out, in the history of our city, we will always ask the question: What would Arnold have done?” said The Rev. Hilton Smith, current president of Cleveland’s branch of the NAACP.