The Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood annually honors Central Neighborhood people and organizations who have significantly improved the lives of those who live and work in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood with its Champions of Central award. The Promise Neighborhood recently held a community meeting and celebration at the Friendly Inn Settlement House to honor more than 20 people and organizations as “2023 Champions of Central.”
Honorees were selected from nominations that came from those who are deeply engaged in the community, from residents to community partners. Richaun Bunton, managing director of Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood, said that the committee evaluated the nominations for the commitment to Central, but they especially looked for the “hidden gems” of the area. She said that they were interested in selecting those who might not be routinely acknowledged for their work, but nonetheless are an important part of the fabric of the community.
Signal Cleveland was there covering the ceremony. Read the Signal Cleveland article here.
Generally, the Champions represented two categories: Central residents and community partner staff. The committee looked for those who were leaders or a participant in a community activity or health, education and/or advocacy program; or served as a Cleveland Central Promise Ambassador, acting as changemakers in the community. Specifically, community partners were honored for their passion for the community, commitment and vision to the partner organization, and continually going beyond the “call of duty,” ensuring Central families have access to resources.
Dawn Glasco, a former Champions of Central honoree and manager of engagement & social innovation with the Promise Neighborhood, opened the ceremony by welcoming all attendees and then led a prayer. Sharon Glaspie, director of Building Health Communities, served as the emcee for the event. She called each honoree to the podium to receive a commemorative glass plaque and bouquet of flowers.
Sister Miriam Erb, CSA: A Guiding Light in Central
One example of a Champion of Central community partner with unflagging commitment to the Central residents is Sister Miriam Erb, CSA. She is the VP of mission and ministry at St. Vincent Charity Community Health Center, which is part of the Sisters of Charity Health System and located in the Central neighborhood. For the past nine years, as a servant-leader, she has dedicated herself to helping the underserved and marginalized in the Central community.
“Sister Miriam has been a guiding light for members of the community,” said Jan Murphy, CEO and president of the Sisters of Charity Health System, who strongly endorsed the selection of Sr. Miriam, known by all for her kindness and thoughtfulness. “Few others live the Gospel as Sr. Miriam does. She brings a depth of compassion and genuine care to the residents of the Central community, including organizing food and Christmas toy drives, that, on the most basic level, helps those in need.”
In addition to Sr. Miriam, other Champions of Central honored at the ceremony included Promise Managing Director Richaun Bunton and Promise Program Assistant Sherece Brown-Gray. Other Champions were:
About the Promise Neighborhood
Initiated in 2009, the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood brings together multiple partners from philanthropy, residents, community service providers and schools. As a collective community impact initiative, Promise works to improve outcomes for children families and the community by engaging residents, aligning organizing and employing a “whole-family” approach. At its center is a “cradle-to-career pipeline” with partner organizations committed to shared metrics and results-based accountability. As the backbone of this collaboration, Promise’s role is to help align strategic resources; coordinate communication with all residents, organizations and others who have a stake in the neighborhood; measure success through shared data; and engage residents to lead the overall change.
The Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood is an initiative within the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland. The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.
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