Mustard Seed Training

Materials for praying with children.

Listen to the Many Voices of Hough

In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Hough riots, I am reposting a series of articles I wrote about being a white person in the 97% African-American Hough neighborhood of Cleveland. With the Republican National Convention also in town, I am praying for a peaceful event. I hope in some small way, I can lend my voice to the ongoing and critical conversation on race in this country.

imageSource: Facebook, Circle the City with Love 2016
Source: Facebook, Circle the City with Love 2016

Before I tell you my story, I want to acknowledge some of the voices that have welcomed, challenged and inspired me as a neighbor. As an ordinary (though minority) resident of Hough, I did nothing extraordinary for my neighbors. To the contrary, I intentionally tried to resist the “white savior” attitude that assumes white people integrate into black neighborhoods to “fix” them. I just bought a house, and food, and went to church, and work, and sent my kids to school…all because I genuinely thought it was a cool place to live.

Just being there exposed me to people who are making Hough the great place that it is right now. And I want to start by briefly introducing you to some of them. If you want to invest in the neighborhood, then invest in the people who are already doing good work here. Give them money, press, resources, and access to your networks.

These leaders welcome support, and can help direct you to places you can make a genuine impact! And if you want a real feel for the pulse of the neighborhood, then pay attention to them.

All the Hough Leaders on my list are not only cool individuals. They also work with established and effective organizations that serve our community. Please check out their projects, sign up for their newsletters, send them lots of money, contact them to volunteer or get a tour, and talk about them with everyone you know.

Lila Mills, Communications Director for Neighborhood Connections

Mansfield Frazier, Founder of Chateau Hough

John Anoliefo, Executive Director of FAMICOS

Charity Hall, Outreach Director of NEON Health

LaJean Ray, Director of the Fatima Family Center

Mittie Imani Jordan, Chair of The National Institute for Restorative Justice

How are you taking action?

This list is by no means exhaustive, so just consider this my recommended starting point for conversation. Please comment with black-led, Cleveland-based organizations you know deserve all the support and attention they can get.

Please note that URLs and positions may change, so my apologies if any of these links don’t work in the future. Try to track them down via social media or internet search.

3 responses to “Listen to the Many Voices of Hough”

  1. […] city African-American Hough neighborhood of Cleveland). You can read the previous articles here, here, here, here, and a response by a […]

  2. […] to combat this stigma is to get to know people and the great things they’re doing, which I highlighted in my first post. When folks respond like this, I try to consistently play up the great people here and what […]

  3. […] My biggest lesson living as a white person in Hough was just to listen to and support the voices of black leaders who were already doing the work. […]

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About US

Mustard Seed Training is a team of faith-based artisans creating materials for praying with children. Our ministry is to share the love of God and neighbor.

Our group was founded in 2018 by CGS catechist and woodworker Meagen Farrell. Meagen is an author, trainer, and PhD student in the fields of adult basic education and educational technology (that’s the “Training” part!).

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