Posts in Outreach + Advocacy
Marquicia Jones: The Alpha Mom of the West End

“I’ve never actually wanted to leave my community. Well… Let me take that back. I don’t know if I wanted to leave, but I would have left if there was no change. I knew as I got older and started to raise my family that what was going on in my community was not good for my children. I was trying to protect them from what I grew up with: the hustle and bustle. The crime. The drugs. The violence part of it.”

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A Conversation with Rhonda Sheakley

“I noticed there was a gap in the volunteer movement. As more women stay in the workforce, there are fewer ‘professional volunteers,’” she says. So she simply hit the pavement and did what she could, kids in tow. Over the years she’s been involved with Lighthouse Youth & Family Services, the Boys and Girls Club, the Cincinnati Ballet, the Cincinnati Art Museum, Playhouse in the Park, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the now defunct National Council of Jewish Women, just to name a few.

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Julie LeMaster on Advocating for Local Immigrant and Refugee Families

It was a hectic ride in at 9 a.m.: fluorescent buses, playground yells, untied shoelaces, and a handful of teachers guiding school kids towards Roberts Paideia Academy in East Price Hill. The school day was beginning. For many of these kids, this school is a second home, a place to feel safe and to know they are supported. But for some, it’s even more than that.

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Over-the-Rhine: A Gentrified Home

I’m a journalism student at the University of Cincinnati, and throughout my four years of writing, I never felt as though the stories I tackled truly challenged me. So for my capstone, I wanted to choose a topic that would do just that: challenge me, make me look at something in a different way, and shine light on an important issue. After reading Women of Cincy’s housing insecurity series, I decided to look at gentrification in Over-the-Rhine.

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Em Joy, an Educator: From Planned Parenthood to Women Helping Women, ‘Ask for Lexi,’ and More

We sat down recently with Em Joy, the self-proclaimed “super-sexy nerd,” to hear their story. A Cincinnati native, graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) program, and fierce advocate for social justice, Em found a way to bring their passion and talents together to make our city a safer and more equitable place.

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Rosemary Oglesby-Henry: 'Teen parents can learn to be leaders.'

We sat down with Rosemary Oglesby-Henry on a chilly day in January. After some confusion on our meeting location, I rushed across town from Withrow High School to Mount St. Joseph, but I was quickly brought to calm with her presence. She has a peaceful demeanor about her and can make you laugh in a moment with a simple story about her Bible and her son, Qua'Ron.

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Sara Al-Zubi on Refugees, Faith, and ‘Unfiltered Me’

When Sara Al-Zubi saw what was happening to women and children in Syria and around the world, like so many of us, she was astonished and appalled. She couldn’t sit idly by, so – at just 20 years old – Sara crashed full-on into the world of refugee activism. From Truman Scholar to youth ambassador to founder of multiple nonprofits, her accomplishments are impressive, but Sara’s just getting started.

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Aprina Johnson: Transformation, Highways, and Musical Activism

I met Aprina Johnson outside of a warehouse. “You ready?” she asked. I said yes, although I wasn’t sure. I put my Subaru into drive and followed her sedan through a quick series of back alleys. We parked in a secluded area near an abandoned truck yard, and out of Aprina’s car tumbled four children plus herself. We scuttled across a road and past patches of overgrown weeds and large cement blocks, eventually making it to a highway overpass.

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‘We were the young people’: Rasleen Krupp on Youth, Activism, and Change

At just 18, Rasleen Krupp is already a political activist with an impressive list of accomplishments. She has spoken in front of thousands at Cincinnati’s Women’s March. She organized the walkout at her high school, joining thousands of other schools as they raised their collective voices to memorialize those killed in Parkland and protest for stricter gun control legislation. And she formed The Young Activists Coalition to offer a place for young people to get involved. That coalition organized the March for Our Lives and continues to hold events to educate and give a voice to teens.  

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‘I am Tyra Patterson.’

When we sat down with Tyra, she projected nothing but rays of positivity and beams of happiness. Outside, torrential rain and wind pounded the city, but it didn’t seem to faze her. I didn’t consider it at the time, but it occurs to me now that it’s synonymous with how she spent her sentence: gloomy circumstances, but an optimistic spirit.

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Know Your Neighbor: Samira Jaweed

We drove out to the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati (I.C.G.C.) to meet with Samira Jaweed, operations manager for Rahma Community Services. We had never visited the I.C.G.C. before. Our excitement grew as the beautiful gold domes appeared in the distance. Despite being just on time for our appointment, after we parked, we paused to admire the beautiful architecture and the gold domes against the blue sky. We would later tour the I.C.G.C. with Samira and encounter many kind people and beautiful spaces, including the mosque. First, we sat with Samira in her office and talked about her journey, her experiences as an immigrant, the I.C.G.C., Pakistan, and the local Muslim community. Her kind smile, warm personality, and fascinating conversation made us happy to have her as a neighbor.

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