Think On This:
“Because a house divided against itself cannot stand and today America is divided against itself because they don’t want us to have even the ballot here in Mississippi.” Fannie Lou Hamer, ‘We’re On Our Way.’
In honor of Women’s History Month 2022, I honor all the amazing African American and Black women of the CWRU African American Alumni Association (AAAA). You have given untiring support and helped make our organization successful. Special recognition goes out to Communications Chair Linda Berry Wheatt (FSM’72, GRS’77) for compiling and editing every AAAA newsletter since we became an affinity group. Linda, we salute you in this 37th newsletter for your remarkable work ethic and always a job well-done.
In addition, I salute all mothers for the stellar job they are doing in raising our sons and daughters. “Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.” To me, Mamie Elizabeth Till-Mobley, the mother of Emmett Till, exemplifies this quote by Linda Wooten. Emmett was murdered on August 28, 1955, while on vacation with his grandfather in Mississippi. As I watched the Women of the Movement series about Till-Mobley, I was struck by the strength it took for her to face the gruesome death of her only child, the passion with which she sought justice for his murder, and the commitment that turned grief into a lifetime of advocacy. Having spent my childhood years in the segregated South in Brownsville, Tennessee from 1950-1961, I understood Jim Crow laws and the examples made of those who broke them.
As we move forward with our celebrations of the hundreds of women who have made an impact on our consciousness, let us remember Mamie Elizabeth Till-Mobley. As we continue to seek justice in America, be reminded of the power of the ballot and the injustice in many states that seeks to dismantle the vote of minorities. Here is one example, “This year, 19 states, most of them controlled by Republicans, enacted 34 laws that made voting harder, while many blue states expanded access, particularly to mail voting, according to the Brennan Center’s latest tally. The changes touched off bitter legislative battles and brought major corporations off the sidelines under pressure to declare public support for the right to vote.” Dec. 21, 2021, Jane C. Timm, NBC News
Vera Perkins-Hughes (WRC ’76) President, African American Alumni Association
Architect Alan Mitchell (WRC’76) gives back. *masks were taken off of solely for the photo
In March, 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, we did not realize the full impact it would have on our lives, but major changes in how and where we could interact with each other were just a step away. Shortly thereafter, we began to receive communications from the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Federal Government, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and for me, the state of South Carolina and the city of Greenville. In the Nicholtown neighborhood of Greenville, residents were getting concerned about their personal safety and security. The Nicholtown Neighborhood Association, Inc. responded by partnering with two other organizations, Sustaining Way and Project Host, to start a meals program for residents. At first, we served hot soup and sandwiches to 50-60 people per week. When we added masks and called our operation “Meals and Masks”, more residents were attracted. A grant we wrote and received allowed us to expand the distribution and variety of foods, adding full bagged lunches consisting of a sandwich or prepared entrée, a piece of fruit, a breakfast bar, a packet of crackers, and a bag of snacks. Soon, breads and fresh vegetable boxes were also distributed every week, and once a month a meat item was included. The grant only provided fresh vegetables through December 2020, so since the spring of 2021, we have continued that process with vegetables from our community Sustaining Way Garden and individual backyard gardens. We are able to provide 6,000 to 7,500 pounds of food per garden season and distribute to more than 270 individuals or families per week. We have found addressing food insecurity in our area to be a very rewarding ministry.
Alan Mitchell (WRC’76) President, Nicholtown Neighborhood Association
On Wellness Wednesday March 16, 2022, University Health and Counseling and the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) presented Nutrition Resources, a virtual workshop about the nutrition challenges faced by students and the available campus resources. University dietitians Brenda Walsh and Megan Brzuski imparted information relevant to adults and students alike in managing the stress and anxiety, emotional eating, and food insecurity exacerbated by the disruptions of the Covid-19 pandemic. Suggested coping strategies included the following: Rebuild structure to your day; avoid going longer than four or five hours without nutrition; schedule walks and other “non-food breaks”; have Zoom meals with friends and family to combat isolation. If eating emotionally, not eating or overeating, counseling services are also a recommended option.
A recent survey by Real College During the Pandemic, 2021, found 29% of four-year-college students had reported food insecurity in the past 30 days, with food insecurity being defined as limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food. OMA Department Assistant Jasmine Pace corroborates this statistic, noting that graduate and international students seem to be especially affected, and that the food pantry at OMA often runs out of food.
Resources in place to combat the problem of food insecurity among CWRU students, including the Physical Resources Center at Carlton Commons, are listed on this link CWRU Food Insecurity Resources. All can use your support. Please consider making monetary donations through the Division of Student Affairs, CWRU Departmental Directory, and/or dropping off food donations to a listed site.
Vera Perkin-Hughes (WRC*76) and Tobili Hatcher (CWR ‘20) volunteering at The Greater Cleveland Food Bank *masks were taken off of solely for the photo
Live in Cleveland and want to come volunteer?
Mark your calendars and join Quad A, Monday May 2, 2022, from 5-8pm at The Greater Cleveland Food Bank for an evening of fellowship and service. The Greater Cleveland Food Bank is recruiting volunteers to assist with a variety of projects! For all of our shifts, please come prepared to assist with any duty and we thank you in advance for your flexibility! Volunteer tasks may include:
- Sorting through and Repackaging Incoming Nonperishable, Perishable, and Non-food Donations
- Shelf-stable Emergency Food Box Packing
- Commodity Supplemental Food Program Box Packing
- Backpacks for Kids Kit Assembly
- Kids' Café/Summer Feeding Lunch Packing
Before your volunteer shift, be sure to view our Virtual Volunteer Orientation to learn more about The Greater Cleveland Food Bank and what to expect when you arrive. Please remember to wear closed-toed/closed-heeled shoes, and pay strict attention to the new Greater Cleveland Food Bank volunteer guidelines outlined in the shift description. Register here to secure your spot!
Don’t live in Cleveland but want to participate? Join the Challenge!
The African American Alumni Association Affinity Group is kicking off the challenge to encourage our members to serve their community to help combat food insecurity! Here are some ways:
- Volunteering your time at your local FoodBank, churches, drives, shelters, etc.
- Dropping off food donations to your local FoodBank, churches, drives, shelters, etc.
We are excited to see what other members of our association do! Please submit any pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with the subject: FoodBank Challenge and a brief description of what you did because we want to highlight YOU!
SAVE THE DATE!
OPENING NIGHT- April 22 at 7:30pm
Cleveland Public Theater (6415 Detroit Ave. )
Free parking lots on W. 61 and Detroit on W. 65 and Detroit
Learn about Ms. Southgate’s Play
24 spots left fir $10 OPENING NIGHT ticket price & reception - register here
April 23 at 10am
Learn more to register TODAY!
That’s How We Roll
June 9 from 5-7p
Pinstripes (111 Park Ave Ste.105)
Secure your lane spot TODAY!
More details to come!
Black College Football Hall of Fame Tailgate and Football Game
September 4 at 4pm
Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium (1835 Harrison Ave)
Learn about 2022 Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic
More details will be revealed soon!
SAVE THE DATE!
Friday: Welcome Reception
Saturday:Meeting/Elections & Dinner/Dance
Sunday: Inspiration Breakfast
More details soon!
Perhaps a precursor to the African American Alumni Association newsletter, “In the Black Perspective” was a page written by members of the Afro American Society and included in issues of the Observer fifty years ago this year. Beginning February 15, 1972, and continuing into 1973, news, editorials, poetry, announcements, and other items of interest to black students were presented. Thank you, Helen Conger and University Archives, for sharing this Google Drive folder containing the past issues of the Observer and other student publications. Have a memory you’d like to share? Please send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We would like to feature your business in our next newsletter. To appear in an upcoming issue of this newsletter, please send to email@example.com description of your business and a link to the website, along with your name and graduation information (i.e. graduation year, school/program).
What would you like to see highlighted in future newsletters? Have news to share? Know someone who wants to receive AAAA communications? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Want to see who else is involved with the AAAA? AAAA members as of March 2022.