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Saturday, June 30, 2012
Moving forward on criminal justice reform: Rev. Jawanza Colvin, Rabbi Joshua Caruso and The Very Rev. Tracey Lind -Cleveland Plain Dealer

Earlier this year, nearly 1,000 people from the 40 diverse religious and community groups that constitute Greater Cleveland Congregations gathered at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Beachwood to speak with one voice: Our state needs criminal justice reform. Senate Bill 337, which revises Ohio's archaic system of collateral sanctions for ex-offenders re-integrating into our communities, is a tremendous step in the right direction, and we celebrate Gov. John Kasich signing this bill into law.

Friday, April 27, 2012
Openness is key to Cleveland school reform: Rabbi Joshua Caruso, Rev. Jawanza Colvin and The Very Rev. Tracey Lind -Cleveland Plain Dealer

Greater Cleveland Congregations supports the legislation agreed upon by Mayor Frank Jackson and the Cleveland Teachers Union to reform the Cleveland School District, and urges the Ohio General Assembly to pass it in its current form.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Five county prosecutor candidates pledge reform -Cleveland Jewish News

Five Democratic candidates for Cuyahoga County prosecutor promised criminal justice reforms to a standing-room only crowd nearly 1,000 at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple at a February 20 forum organized by Greater Cleveland Congregations. No Republican entered the race, so the March 6 Democratic primary will determine the next prosecutor.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012
County Prosecutor Candidates Talk Diversion, Overcharging: Over 750 people attended Greater Cleveland Congregations Forum -Beachwood Patch

Fairmount Temple’s 750-seat congregation hall was filled to capacity at Monday’s Greater Cleveland Congregations’ forum for county prosecutor candidates.

Congregants from 40 churches and synagogues gathered to see the five candidates answer to how they would support the organization’s priorities if elected.

The GCC outlined four topics that they wanted candidates to address: preventing juveniles from waiving their right to an attorney, overcharging defendants with crimes, racial disparities in the justice system and adult and juvenile diversion programs.

Sunday, February 19, 2012
Greater Cleveland Congregations hosting candidate forum -Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Greater Cleveland Congregations, an interfaith group representing 40 religious and community organizations, is holding a forum Monday to hear from candidates in the race for Cuyahoga County prosecutor.
All five candidates, as well as 700 people from various congregations, are expected to attend the 7 p.m. event at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple, 23737 Fairmount Blvd., Beachwood.

Friday, December 23, 2011
Congregations celebrate restoration of school programs at CMSD -ABC News 5

CLEVELAND - Members of 40 religious congregations packed Olivet Baptist Church in Cleveland Thursday night to celebrate the restoration of programs vital for students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

The programs, which include pre-school, high school transportation, and spring sports, were going to be eliminated in January in order to help erase a $13 million budget deficit. But a tentative contract agreement reached last week between the school district and its teachers union will free up about $7 million to restore those programs for this school year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Over eight hundred people rally to fight education cuts -Call and Post

Students, teachers, clergy, parents and community leaders came together Thursday evening to celebrate the restoration of education cuts. This Education Assembly was convened by the Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC), a new coalition of religious congregations and community organizations from throughout Cuyahoga County working together to make the region a more just and prosperous place.

Friday, December 9, 2011
More than 800 celebrate tentative deal that could save Cleveland schools' programs targeted for cuts -Cleveland Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- More than 800 people celebrated education at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church Thursday night.

The Greater Cleveland Congregations, a new coalition of 40 religious congregations and groups, sent out a resounding thank-you to the Cleveland schools' chief Eric Gordon, Cleveland Teachers Union President David Quolke and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson in the wake of a tentative agreement that could head off some of the major proposed cuts for the school district.

Thursday, December 8, 2011
Community Celebrates Tentative Deal with CMSD -Fox 8 News

CLEVELAND—
It was a celebration Thursday night at the Olivet Institutional Baptist Church.

Over 800 people from 40 different churches and community organizations celebrated the tentative contract agreement between the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the Cleveland Teachers Union.

"The fact that both sides recognized there had to be sacrifices speaks to their recognition of the challenges and rewards of education," said Reverend Jawanza Colvin, Pastor of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church.

Thursday, December 8, 2011
Hundreds gather to show support for Cleveland schools -NBC 3 News

CLEVELAND -- Hundreds of people gather tonight, in support of the Cleveland schools.

Parents and students were urging the teachers union, to vote in favor of a deal, that would restore some of the deep cuts made in the district.

More than 800 people from 40 religious congregations and community organizations gathered at Mr. Olivet Institutional Baptist Church. The meeting was to show Cleveland school leaders, the teachers union and Mayor Frank Jackson, they're glad an agreement has been reached, but ratification is most important.

Thursday, December 1, 2011
Multifaith coalition urges Cleveland schools to restore programs -Cleveland Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- In its first major public action, Greater Cleveland Congregations, a newly formed coalition of churches, synagogues and mosques, is calling on the Cleveland school district to restore programs recently cut to save money.

The district has trimmed $13.1 million from its annual budget to balance its books, as required by state law. The belt-tightening eliminates some preschool programs, busing for high school students, summer school, some sports and other extracurricular activities.

The GCC, comprised of 40 religious congregations and community groups, is holding a rally at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8 at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, urging the school district and the Cleveland Teachers Union to find ways to restore the programs.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011
New interfaith group seeks peace, justice: Messages of Faith -Cleveland Plain Dealer
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Greater Cleveland Congregated -The Civic Commons Radio Show

What do you get when Minsters, Rabbis, Imams and other assorted holy men and women bring thousands of their congregants to the Masonic temple to talk, laugh and sing? Hint: it's not the setup for a really bad joke. It is the Founding Assembly of the new organization called the Greater Cleveland Congregations. Host Dan Moulthrop and producer Luke Frazier get the heavenly inspired (ouch) story behind the group and their mission to positively impact the social and economic challenges dragging the region down.

Among the guests are a Baptist, a Unitarian and the President of the Islamic Center of Greater Cleveland (no, they didn't walk into a bar). The Greater Cleveland Congregations means business when it comes to being a divine force for good in Northeast Ohio.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Greater Cleveland Congregations -The Sound of Ideas (NPR/Ideastream)

A new faith-based organization says it will advocate for social justice policies in Northeast Ohio, putting more than just the power of prayer behind its efforts. Christian, Jewish and Muslim congregations are banding together. On the next Sound of Ideas, we'll ask what differentiates this effort from many others intended to help the neediest.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Congregations Convene for a Greater Cleveland -Cleveland Plain Dealer Editorial Page

Slammed by foreclosures, persistent unemployment and poverty, Northeast Ohio can use all the help it can get, spiritual and secular. So the creation of the Greater Cleveland Congregations, a coalition of 40 local religious congregations, could be heaven-sent. The organization, a patchwork of faiths from both city and suburban congregations, promises to put aside theological, geographical and racial differences to concentrate on activism that can improve lives in Greater Cleveland.

Thursday, June 9, 2011
Multi-faith coalition kicks off in Cleveland -Cleveland Jewish News

Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk asked the overflow crowd that packed the Masonic Auditorium on Mon., June 6, to look at their hands. What can those hands do to fix what is broken within their struggling city, asked the Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple senior spiritual leader.

Thursday, June 9, 2011
Churches Come Together, Create Greater Cleveland Congregations -Cleveland Call and Post

The Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC) held its inaugural Founding Assembly on Monday, June 6, at the Masonic Temple located at 3615 Euclid Avenue. Over two thousand people of all faiths came together to be a part of history.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011
A collaboration of congregations in Cleveland: Connie Schultz -Cleveland Plain Dealer

Churchgoing Christians are used to hearing their ministers quote from Matthew 25:35: For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in.

However, most Christians never get to hear Jesus' message delivered by a rabbi -- and one who quotes Islamic text, too: One should like for his neighbor what he loves for himself.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Interfaith service hopes to improve city -WEWS ABC 5 News

CLEVELAND - An estimated two thousand people packed an interfaith service Monday night in Cleveland with the goal of making the city a "more just and prosperous place."

Greater Cleveland Congregations united people from 40 different churches, synagogues, mosques, and neighbored centers at the Masonic Auditorium. The event was part political convention, part religious revival. It launched a six-month plan to address five concerns: education, jobs, healthcare, criminal justice reform and sustainable food.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Can these bones live? -Civic Commons

That was the question The Very Reverend Tracey Lind asked about 2,000 people Monday night. It wasn't really an original question but it was apropos. She was quoting the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel and the story he told that some know as the Valley of the Dry Bones. Considering what was happening at the Masonic Temple and who was among the 2,000 people, it was a perfect question, one that many Greater Clevelanders have actually been asking themselves for some time.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Multi-faith coalition share vision of Greater Cleveland: jobs, education, safety, respect and no hunger -Cleveland Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A newly organized multi-faith coalition of 40 different religious congregations and community groups unveiled a coming-out Monday -- in the words of Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk -- to "rise against the tide of a despairing Cleveland."

The seeds of the new coalition, called Greater Cleveland Congregations, were sown in September at an organizational meeting attended by 350 people at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Beachwood where Nosanchuk is senior rabbi.
By Monday, it appeared the seeds flowered into a mass movement as more than 2,000 people filled a giant theater in the Masonic Auditorium near downtown.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Greater Cleveland Congregations Pledges to Use Interfaith Muscle for Social Justice -Ideastream WVIZ/NPR

Just as tough economic times are prompting local governments to work more collaboratively, some of Greater Cleveland's most influential churches are banding together to find solutions to common problems. ideastream's David C. Barnett reports that about 40 mosques, temples and churches are planning to use their influence to push for social justice issues.

Saturday, May 28, 2011
New Interfaith Group Will Work for Social Justice -Cleveland Plain Dealer

By The Rev. Jawanza Karriem Lightfoot Colvin
and Rabbi Robert A. Nosanchuk

At the historic March on Washington of 1963, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shared his social vision with our nation. In his "I Have a Dream" speech, he painted a picture in words of a community shaped by principles of justice, democracy and human dignity.

The social vision articulated by King was rooted in a clear understanding of how social transformation occurs -- through the common cause of collective social action.

As fellow clergy leaders of congregations in the city and suburbs of Cleveland, we share King's vision and philosophy of change. Along with a host of ministers, rabbis, imams and people of faith in the Greater Cleveland area, we and our communities are concerned about the socioeconomic conditions and growing despair in our region, and we are committed to partnering with one another to turning things around.

Friday, December 3, 2010
Organizing for sustainable change -Cleveland Jewish News

Religious leaders, congregants creating community network
By RABBI JOSHUA CARUSO
I spent my early childhood growing up in a racially diverse neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y. My memories are vivid. I played stoopball by the brownstone buildings, stickball in the streets, and enjoyed block parties with my friends. My block was my family and included people of many races, religions and income levels.

Thursday, September 16, 2010
Interfaith group organizing to combat Greater Cleveland's social ills -Cleveland.com

BEACHWOOD, Ohio — About 350 people of Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths gathered at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple on Tuesday in a call to battle the social ills of Cleveland and its suburbs.

Rabbi Richard Block of Temple-Tifereth Israel in Cleveland and Beachwood said that during his 10 years here he has never seen such a large organizing effort by an interfaith group.

GCC PUTS JUSTICE SYSTEM ON TRIAL -
Ohio's Gov. John Kasich to seek Medicaid expansion -
GCC PUTS JUSTICE SYSTEM ON TRIAL -
Ohio's Gov. John Kasich to seek Medicaid Expansion -
Ohio's Gov. John Kasich to seek Medicaid expansion -

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