Commission on Black Women and Girls

Commission on Black Women and Girls

Wednesday, May 29, 2024
9:30 a.m. — 11:30 a.m. EDT

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601 Lakeside Ave E Cleveland, OH 44114 (Directions)

Cleveland City Hall, Room 514 (or join remotely on WebEx)

In February 2024, Mayor Justin Bibb swore in the first members of the Commission on Black Women and Girls – a commission established by City Council nearly two years earlier.

The commission aims to explore how the city can improve the quality of life for Black women and girls. A 2020 City Lan Livable Index study placed Cleveland among the worst cities for Black women.

Documenters: This is our first time covering this meeting, so we don’t quite know what to expect. Lead with your curiosity and feel free to note if something doesn’t make sense in your coverage.

NOTE: You can attend the meeting only in person or by joining remotely at the meeting time via Microsoft Teams. It may be helpful for your coverage to record audio from the meeting with your phone or a recording device, but it is not a requirement of the assignment. You may need to share your name and that you’re a Cleveland Documenter to be admitted on Teams.

Attending in person?

We add two extra hours ($36) to assignments for attending in person. Bring a photo ID if you do.

Watching remotely?

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Join the meeting now Meeting ID: 215 891 870 564 Passcode: 72C3M7

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Agenda: We’ll share any agenda when it’s available, but keep an eye out for it to be posted on this webpage:

Commission members as of February:

  • Chair: Kathryn M. Hall, vice president of Diversity and Inclusion, JACK Entertainment
  • Vice Chair: Dr. Linda Bradley, Women’s Health Institute, Cleveland Clinic
  • Eugenia Cash-Kirkland, Social Support Services director, City of Cleveland
  • Rev. Dr. Lisa Maxine Goods, senior pastor, Shiloh Baptist Church
  • Taneisha Fair, associate, Racial Equity, The Center for Community Solutions
  • Stephanie Howse-Jones, Cleveland City Council Ward 7
  • Shameka Jones Taylor, chief operating officer, Saint Martin de Porres High School
  • Anastasia Sakairoun, student, Cleveland State University College of Law
  • Dameyonna Willis, founder and executive director, Queen IAM
  • Lita-Marie Wills, commissioner of Health Equity and Social Justice, City of Cleveland

Learn more about the commission from Signal Cleveland reporter Candice Wilder:

Check the source website for additional information


Edited and summarized by the Cleveland - OH Documenters Team

Note-taking by Shayla Ivezzy

Commissioners begin to shape panel's work

Note-taking by Lauren Hakim

Panel working to build web page, refine application process for new commissioners

Live reporting by Prerna Agarwal

Commission discusses new member recruitment

goood morning cleveland! Today I'll be live-tweeting the Commission on Black Women and Girls, a newer City of Cleveland commission that was sworn in this past February for @signalcleveland @cledocumenters.

08:35 AM May 29, 2024 CDT

prerna @_prernaagarwal 2/20
You can read more about the commission's conception here:…
prerna @_prernaagarwal 3/20
And at 9:36 AM, this meeting is getting started. The secretary does roll call and then we get into approving April's meeting minutes.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 4/20
Kathryn M. Hall, VP of Diversity and Inclusion at JACK Entertainment, and chair of the committee shares a loose agenda of what commission members will discuss today: gauging interest for a new vice chair, talking more about the commission's mission, and city website updates.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 5/20
The commissioners are still getting onboarded, getting their official emails, and getting information uploaded on the city website. The website is currently sparse with limited information, but they hope it will be up for the public ASAP.…
prerna @_prernaagarwal 6/20
Shameka Jones Taylor, chief operating officer at Saint Martin de Porres High School, and Dameyonna Willis, founder and executive director of Queen IAM are working on recruiting for the commission seats that are currently unfilled.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 7/20
Dameyonna shared some of the skills/categories they were looking for from potential commission members: previous volunteer experience, at least two years of higher education experience, consistency, representing labor, being a union member...
prerna @_prernaagarwal 8/20
good standing with place of employment, Black women in college, with a sliding scale GPA. All of these questions/categories can be viewed on their online application. They are also hoping to add a section where applicants can list any support they might need.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 9/20
They will have three commissioners screen each application and are still thinking through how to respond to potentially unfinished applications. The chair asks the commissioners to read through the application criteria now.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 10/20
Applicants are required to be residents of the City of Cleveland. They are looking for a CMSD student to be represented on this commission. For the last few minutes, they've been discussing student participation.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 11/20
The chair wants to reach the "everyday women" with this commission, not just the ones that fill the commission-specific criteria. Another commission member asks about opening up the student representative to not just include CMSD students, but from other schools too.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 12/20
Right now the priority is to get the commission staffed so they can start making decisions. A back-and-forth around applicants needing "recommendations" commission members ask about the access to getting recommendations.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 13/20
They are now talking about what they are looking for from representatives of Black women in labor.
The chair now brings up Signal Cleveland, checking in with Lauren who is in-person and names that she is excited to have so many documents here today :) #CLEDocumenters
prerna @_prernaagarwal 14/20
The chair lists some of the responsibilities of the commission/ potential subcommittees: research, public hearings, education, economic development, healthcare, justice, and civil rights. She encourages commissioners to begin thinking about where they want to take the lead.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 15/20
Inclusivity, collaboration, communication, and transparency are key tenets of this commission. The chair names that no one person can make these decisions alone--we truly benefit from the diversity of thought and that is how we serve the community.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 16/20
In new business, the commission congratulates Anastasia Sakairoun on her recent graduation from Cleveland State University College of Law. The commission also welcomes new house counsel Sierra Lipscomb!
prerna @_prernaagarwal 17/20
The commission decides to have folks volunteer (or be "voluntold") for the subcommittee topics named above. This list is just a preliminary note and will be sent around for folks to finalize which topics they want to pursue.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 18/20
A commissioner suggests adding in the category "quality of life." This is particularly important as a 2020 City Lan Livable Index study placed Cleveland among the worst cities for Black women.
prerna @_prernaagarwal 19/20
And with no more new business, this meeting officially adjourns at 10:48 AM. This concludes the May meeting of the Commission on Black Women and girls. For more meeting coverage, check out .
prerna @_prernaagarwal 20/20
Have questions? Think we got something wrong? Send any inquiries on the meeting or these tweets to @cledocumenters. Or email us at 😊 see y'all next time!

Agency Information

Commission on Black Women and Girls

See Documenters reporting

From the City of Cleveland website:

“Cleveland recently ranked the worst city in America for Black women, who are the backbone of our communities. Mayor Bibb is proud to launch the Cleveland Commission on Black Women and Girls to create opportunities and improve quality of life for Black women and girls. The newly formed Commission will advocate, initiate and champion programs and legislation to improve outcomes for Black women and girls, and their families and communities.”

Learn more about the commission:


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