Restore Cleveland Hope
Our last event for the weekend was the annual Restore Cleveland Hope celebration that took place on the lawn of the Cozad-Bates House, the only pre-Civil War residential structure remaining in the University Circle neighborhood, built around 1853.
As its website indicates, Restore Cleveland Hope, Inc. "retells, promotes, and celebrates Cleveland's Underground Railroad history. We serve as a resource to children and adults to inform and inspire them through educational programs. We act as a unifying force in the community by providing a venue for open dialogue, reflection, and reconciliation among all freedom-loving peoples."
Part of the organization's mission is to restore the Cozad-Bates House which was declared a historic landmark by the City of Cleveland in 2006. Accordingly, one of the speakers for the day was our friend, Mr. Chris Ronayne, President of University Circle Inc., who spoke of the ongoing plans involving its renovation. We learned that things are coming together and that hopefully the House will be open for tours sometime in 2019.
Throughout the afternoon, there were songs, short presentations, and historical reenactments, such when as Ms. Ruth Pangrace and Ms. Robin Echols-Cooper took on the parts of noted abolitionists Ms. Harriet Beecher Stowe and Ms. Sojourner Truth respectively.
Along the way, we encountered Ms. Sheela Das who uses music and song as vehicles for learning. We were pleased to hear that she works several days a week with students who attend Thomas Jefferson Newcomers Academy as well as their families.
We also talked to Mr. John Sieck, a gentleman who consistently monitors and records City Club events. He immediately recognized us as those who are always asking the speakers questions about immigration.