Dr. Jennifer Ross has been appointed as the Director of Diversity & Strategic Initiatives for the Akron Urban League
Dr. Ross brings more than 20 years of experience in higher education, race theory and policy studies to the newly created position.
Story by Scott Myers
Last week I met with Michael Starks and a good friend of his, late morning at Angel Falls. We met to talk about the Board for Michael’s organization SLAAP (Start Living and Acting Positive), which I describe as a non-residential re-entry program.
Since it was a very nice day we sat outside.
While we were talking I heard someone playing the saxophone just up the street. I was so focused on our conversation about what SLAAP does and how its Board could function that I couldn’t pay much attention to the music.
Our conversation ended when Michael’s friend needed to leave for another engagement. As Michael and I sat enjoying the sunshine, the saxophone player also took a break and wandered over to our table. No surprise, he and Michael are long-time friends. Michael introduced me to Carson. When the topic of our earlier conversation came up Carson said he knows and loves what Michael does, and that he would love to play at a fundraiser for SLAAP.
Later when I left, I passed Carson playing on the bench in front of the apartments. As we talked he told me about all of the community improvement initiatives he has worked on all across town and how many new ideas he has to make Akron – particularly Summit Lake – a better place. I asked if I could take his picture. He said, “Sure,” and started to play his horn. I said no, let’s just keep talking.
Carson Barnes. Musician. Community builder.
On Wednesday, December 19th, OPEN M will once again open its doors for their “Christmas for the Love of Children” program. Each year OPEN M partners with the Akron Public Schools counselors to identify the most in-need families within the district. This year over 580 children in nearly 200 different families were identified through APS, as well as OPEN M’s internal programing. Continue reading
This Sunday, families in two area neighborhoods will awaken to the rumbling of 14 semi-trucks as they roll in loaded down with brand-spanking-new bikes.