100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland Inc. Real Men Magazine June Issue

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The Foundation of a Legacy The overall concept of “The 100” began in 1963 in New York City when a group of concerned African American men began to meet to explore ways of improving conditions in their community. These visionaries included businessmen and industry leaders such as David Dinkins, Robert Mangum, Dr. William Hayling, Nathaniel Goldston III, Livingston Wingate, Andrew Hatcher, and Jackie Robinson. On October 2, 1986, representatives from 100 Black Men Chapters converged in Washington, DC, for a final meeting to establish a national organization. During previous meetings, they determined the structure, governance and model that would provide the most effective physical and financial resources to support the communities and Chapters. At the final gathering, the organization’s name – 100 Black Men of America, Inc. – was unveiled and attendees elected four accomplished, professional men from within their ranks to

serve as its first and founding officers. Each of the four were selected based on their demonstrated commitment to give back in a holistic way that addressed the educational, social, emotional, and cultural needs of youth in their own communities. They put their hands to the plow and did the hard work necessary to establish a foundation for a network of Chapters in their infancy, which today is an international nonprofit organization that positively impacts more than 125,000 youth across the United States and abroad. Throughout our history, the leadership of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. has been impeccable. The men chosen as national leaders all have contributed to the growth and strength of the organization. Their unique contributions have helped The 100 to become one of the premiere mentoring organizations anywhere. Consider the impact each leader has made.

On May 27, 1987, in Atlanta, Georgia, this newly formed mentoring organization known as 100 Black Men of America, Inc., held its first national conference and introduced itself to the nation. Noted speakers included the late Alex P. Haley and the late Honorable Maynard H. Jackson.

100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland Inc. Leadership




Lee V. Fields Jr. Chairman

Rodney L. Brown

Marketing Roz Keenen, Chair Brandon Curry, Co Chair

Gregory Lockhart Vice Chairman Brett Horton Esq Secretary Terrance McWhorter Director of Finance Anthony Peebles Director of Development Robert Ivory Director of Programs Adrianne Sims Office Administartor

Grady Burrows Brandon Curry Edwin Hubbard Jr. Darian Johnson Tyson Mitchell, Esq Dr. Ernest Smoot James W. Wade III

Membership Rodney L. Brown, Chair Lucien Blackwell Economic Empowerment Grady Burrows Education, Chair Health & Wellness Marvin Ferguson, Chair Mentoring Darian Johnson, Chair Dr. Ernest Smoot, Co Chair James W. Wade III Communications & Public Relations, Chair

100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland Inc. 13815 Kinsman Road Cleveland, OH. 44120 (216) 354 - 0896 www.100blackmencle.org

ABOUT US Since 1997, the 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc. has followed its mission to provide African Americans services in urban Cleveland and surrounding neighborhoods. Our organization works to identify, examine and address issues affecting our community. Our programs focus primarily on youth – creating mentoring situations and activities that help break cycles of violence that black youth frequently experience in the home and their local communities. The absence of positive black male role models in the house negatively affects our children. Mentoring is the first important step in the 100’s outreach process. Building trust among young black men, with examples of positive relationships, is the 100’s focus as it delivers its programs. Although the 100’s programs are open to all Greater Cleveland African American youth, the organization recognizes the most desperate need in Cleveland’s urban areas. Nationally, and here in Cleveland, the plight of the young African American male is well known. Many programs and services have assisted young black men primarily living in poverty and violent surroundings. However, many young African – Americans still find themselves in cycles of crime, poverty, and unhealthy lifestyles. The 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc. includes many members who have advanced from these same conditions. This familiarity with the problem makes the 100, the best volunteer and professional staff organization in Cleveland, teach young minorities character, responsibility, financial and self– sufficiency skills to become positive contributors to society.

100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland Inc. is a volunteer organization The 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland Chapter provides various educational, informative, and uplifting programs for the whole family. Our programs teach the necessary leadership and development skills to assist our mentees and their.families realize and maximizing their full potential. We are a 501c3 non-profit organization. We are excited to share our interests with you and hope you find everything you need to stay informed about the “Work of the 100”. Please visit our website regularly for updates on the progress of our organization as we strive to serve our community and make a difference in the lives of the youth we serve. We are thrilled about what we have achieved together over the past twenty years! Mentoring is the essence of the Greater Cleveland 100. Through our signature programs of economic development, education, health & wellness, leadership development, mentoring, we aim to be Cleveland’s premier mentoring organization.


EDITORIAL DIRECTOR James W. Wade III MARKETING CHAIR Roz Kennon MARKETING CO - CHAIR Brandon Curry Rodney L. Brown Franklin Martin Retonio Rucker PHOTOGRAPHER Alvin Smith James W. Wade III Earl Williams CONTRIBUTERS Jennifer Coiley Dial Darian Johnson Gregory Lockhart

The Real Men Magazine is the official publication of The 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland Inc. Chapter. For any questions or f eedback about the publication contact u s at info@100blackmencle.org www.100blackmencle.org

To get the online issues of Real Men Magazine send email to info@100blackmencle.org



The voice of the 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland Inc.

Letter from Chairman The 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc. is on the move. Committed to the growth and development of America’s youth, during 2022, we are committed to increasing our reach to provide excellent opportunities for our mentees. Our motto is “Real Men, Giving Real Time.” We appreciate all the positive feedback about our premier Real Men Magazine. One of the first goals we wanted to accomplish in 2022 is to rebrand our overall new structure of accessibility to our programs, membership, and volunteer opportunities. In addition, we aim to have a more engaging social media presence, along with ease of access to fundraising through Donations, Partners, and Sponsorships. These plans are well on the way. We are an organization of committed and caring men dedicated to positively affecting our community’s quality of life. We have mentored hundreds of youths at several schools and are interested in adding a few more schools in the Greater Cleveland area. These past two years have been very challenging. During this difficult time, we continue to “Ignite” 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc. as we move forward with increasing our chapter’s capacity to deliver impactful programs to our community and youth. It was unprecedented for us due to COVID-19. Still, we successfully pivoted thanks to the generous support of our donors, our solid financial footing and infrastructure, and the sheer will of our members and staff. It was indeed a community effort, and thank you for all of your efforts! We steadfastly believe in and value services that personify our national motto, “What They See is What They’ll Be.” We are “Real Men, giving Real Time.” I hope that as you read and listen about the work of the 100, it will inspire you to join us as a member, volunteer, or donor. We welcome collaborations with other organizations to provide resources to our communities and positively impact future generations. The 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland Inc. takes our responsibility to young people and the economic empowerment and health & wellness of the entire African American community seriously. We achieve these goals through the following core “Four for the Future” programs, the foundation of our national organization, the 100 Black Men of America.

Lee V. Fields Jr. Chairman, 100 BMOGC Inc.

We Have Moved Our Office (Pictured from Left to right) Brandon Curry, Brett Horton, Grady Burrows, Cory Farmer, Romone Boyd, James W. Wade III We are proud to announce that due to our remarkable growth in the Greater Cleveland area, we have moved to a new location as of May 12, 2022. We will continue to offer the same friendly service at our new address at 13815 Kinsman Ave. Cleveland, Ohio 44120, allowing us to continue serving our community. The new office is located in The Mt Pleasant Now building, Mt. Pleasant NOW Development Corporation, a non-profit community-based entity formed in 1988 to primarily address the housing needs in Ward 3 in the City of Cleveland. The agency is governed by a Board of Trustees, whose members consist of local stakeholder representation and two at-large

seats. As of May 12, 2022. We will continue to offer the same friendly service at our new address at 13815 Kinsman Ave. Cleveland, Ohio 44120, allowing us to continue serving our community. We wanted to thank the men who came out to help us with the relocation of our office. Marketing Co-Chair Brandon Curry provided his truck, and Education Chair Grady Burrows also volunteered his vehicle for this move. A few others were also helping us load and unload the many boxes, Romone Boyd, Secretary Brett Horton, Cory Farmer, and Public Relations Chair James W. Wade III.

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By Gregory Lockhart Vice Chairman of 100 BMOGC


very organization eventually looks to spread its wings and expand further. The leadership of the 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc.(BMOGC) has been working diligently to secure funding for 100BMOGC. Thanks to an introduction by member Lamont Dodson to Randy Diamond of Diamond’s Men’s Store, the door was opened for the 100 to discuss a sponsorship-focused partnership to benefit their mentoring programs, targeted at African American youth. Representatives from the 100 BMOGC, Lee Fields, Chairman, Greg Lockhart, Vice Chairman, and Bob Ivory, Director of Programs, and Public Relations Chair, James W. Wade III discussed with Randy the importance of their mission and how he and his brother Rick could become allies in the 100’s effort to help their mentees realize what they see, is what they can be. A partnership is an arrangement where parties, known as business partners, agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests. The partners in a partnership may be individuals, businesses, interest-based organizations, schools, governments, or combinations. The Diamond brothers pledged an ongoing financial commitment through the 2022 year and have already made their first installment.

100 Black Men of Greater Clev Has A New Partner

The 100 BMOGC, Inc. is proud to partner with a company like Diamond’s Men’s Store. This longtime community member shares common goals based on solid values, the enrichment of our youth, and opportunities for all. Our partners are at the forefront of every industry, solving challenges and assisting in

(Pictured from left to right) Lee V. Fields Jr., Randy Diamond, Bob Ivory and Gregory Lockhart. (Photo by James W. Wade III)

veland Inc.

(Pictured to the left) Rick and Randy Diamond These partnerships are mutually beneficial as they give the sponsor a way to give back to the community that has supported their business over the years, through a trusted collaborator, like the 100 BMOGC, Inc. finding new ways to help positively change the future of youth. We provided 100BMOGC, Inc. signage to display in their stores to help bring awareness to its customers of the 100’s programs and their membership and volunteer opportunities.

The 100 BMOGC is one of over 100 chapters spread across the United States and the United Kingdom. We are looking for great partnerships; if your company is looking to be proactive and be part of the solution, contact us at info@100blackmencle.org. Let’s do our part to make our communities the best they can be. We invite you to join us.


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hronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a condition in which the kidneys are damaged and cannot filter blood as well as they should. Because of this, excess fluid and waste from blood remain in the body and may cause other health problems, such as heart disease and stroke. African American men often wait too long before talking about their health concerns. Many Black men like myself were always on the go and never took time to see their doctor because I felt okay. Six years ago, one cold February night, when I was rushed to the emergency room, I found out I had CKD. While waiting in the ER, I couldn’t sit; I had to lay on the floor in pain. Once they took me in, the doctor gave me tramadol for the pain, and I felt better; the doctor said well, I have to admit you, and when I asked why, he said your kidneys are only working at 8 percent. The next day, a doctor called a Nephrologist, specializing in conditions that affect the

kidney. My doctor explained several reasons why people get such kidney problems. But it was always caused by something else that was already going wrong in the body. Diabetes, heart disease, various cardiovascular disorders, being very overweight, etc. They can all cause our kidneys to struggle and, eventually, fail. High blood pressure was the cause of my ongoing kidney illness. Another person’s kidney disorder may well have a different reason. But the result is the same. This cause-and-effect relationship shows how important it is to have healthy kidneys and be proactive in seeing a nephrologist who can treat and manage any kidney issues you have. He also shared I had Renal Failure. Kidney issues are on the rise worldwide, with millions of people each year undergoing treatments for kidney injury or Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). He explained CKD could also

lead to health complications like anemia, osteoporosis, a weakened immune system, or an irregular heartbeat. He explained the facts about CKD and told me that not many die from CKD; they die from heart problems. I later found this to be true. After a few months, my heart was working at 20 percent, and the Cardiologist said I could not get on the Transplant List because my heart was not strong enough for the surgery. After being released from the hospital, I went home; the first thing I did when I got home was start reading about the disease. In case you are wondering, there is no cure for chronic kidney disease; however, there are two forms of treatment options: dialysis or kidney transplantation. Two types of dialysis commonly used today are Hemodialysis and Peritoneal dialysis. Many people with kidney disease opt for a transplant to avoid repeated dialysis treatments. Dialysis is a treatment for kidney disease that filters and purifies your blood using a machine. Hemodialysis is the most common method to treat kidney failure and can be performed at a dialysis clinic or at home. I was shocked to find out anyone can be diagnosed with CKD at any age. However, African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians are at an increased risk of developing the disease. You may also be at increased risk if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, a family history of Chronic Kidney Disease, and are 60 years of age or older. If you have any of these risk factors,

talk to your doctor about getting tested for kidney disease. At first, I was mad and upset because I told the doctor I didn’t have any warning signs, and he replied, “Kidney disease often has no symptoms until the disease has advanced. “Learning I’d need dialysis down the road was, of course, rather shocking news. Overnight, I went from thinking of myself as perfectly fine to the feeling of myself as sick. What happens when you go into renal failure? Your hands or feet may swell. You will feel tired and weak because your body needs clean blood to function correctly. Untreated uremia may lead to seizures or coma and ultimately result in death. If your kidneys stop working altogether, you will need to undergo dialysis or a kidney transplant. Not only is each type of home dialysis treatment different, but every home dialysis patient is unique. For this reason, they gave me a specific diet tailored to my needs. They paired me up with a nutritionist that helped me with a diet.

The picture above is Home hemodialysis (HD) machine for kidney failure, also called endstage renal disease (ESRD), occurs at stage 5 chronic kidney disease (CKD).

(The picture above is a cartridge used for the NxStage System One Dialysis Machine) Each week I used to give blood so they could analyze my lab results to see what foods I needed to eat more of and what foods I had to limit. She would perform a complete nutrition assessment and develop a nutrition care plan for me. They would analyze your lab results, access to food and food preparation, consideration of your weight loss or excess weight, malnutrition, other conditions like diabetes, ethnic food customs, ability to buy food, living situation, and appetite. Protein is essential for all dialysis patients to keep their albumin levels up. Albumin is a protein that helps the body stay healthy, and it’s used as a measure of nutrition for dialysis patients. Peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients need extra protein because they lose small amounts of protein every time they drain the dialysis solution from their abdomen. Unless these losses are replaced by eating more high-protein foods, the patient remains in a state of negative protein balance — constantly losing more than is consumed. The body then breaks down proteins from muscles

and organs to provide essential proteins. For this reason, PD patients need more protein than home hemodialysis patients. Laying around for two years before being put on dialysis was no fun; being so sick every day, with no energy to do much. I had inquired if I would be healed; while it’s not possible to reverse kidney damage, you can take steps to slow it down. Taking prescribed medicine, being physically active, and eating well will help. You’ll also feel better and improve your overall well-being. Once my doctor said I was ready for dialysis, many tried to convince me not to do it. My doctor had already shared she thought I would be a great patient for home dialysis. While being a little hesitant because of the concern of something going wrong and no doctor or nurse there to help was scary. Home dialysis patients can dialyze from the comfort of their homes; it gives me better control of my treatment schedules, more time for activities and attending events, and family, things I enjoyed before starting dialysis. Your kidneys filter your blood’s waste and excess fluids and then excrete them in your urine. When your kidneys lose their filtering abilities, dangerous fluid levels, electrolytes, and wastes can build

up in your body. The toxin buildup in your body is the key to making you sick regularly. Preparing for dialysis meant having surgery to implant a fistula in my arm. This is a unique connection made by joining a vein onto an artery, usually in your arm. This creates a sizeable robust blood vessel that can be needled regularly for use during Hemodialysis. I choose to do Hemodialysis because it helps control blood pressure and essential balance minerals, such as potassium, sodium, and calcium, in your blood. Once I went through the training to use the machine at home, it was nothing but a joy doing a treatment. My prescription calls for me to dialyze four times a week for a few hours each time. I love doing it at home because I don’t have to go out to a center for my treatment when the snow comes. During that time, I learned to do tasks myself, such as setting up the dialysis machine and needling myself. Coming to terms with a condition such as CKD can mentally affect you and your family and friends. It can be not easy to talk to people about your situation, even if they’re close to you. Learning about CKD may help you and your family understand what to expect. Most black men live about seven years less than white men, eight years less than black women, and 13 years less than white women. Being on dialysis does some of the work of keeping my kidneys intact, but it does not cure your kidney disease. You will need to have dialysis treatments for your whole life unless you can get a kidney transplant. Before I got on dialysis, I had many rough days and issues. Now I have better days than sour due to doing my treatments regularly. The dialysis treatment itself is painless. However, some patients may have a drop in their blood pressure. If this

happens, you may feel sick to your stomach, vomit, and have a headache or cramps. With frequent treatments, those problems usually go away. If you remove too much fluid, I have found this will also give you cramps in your leg. One of my main concerns was on long I could do dialysis: “Average life expectancy on dialysis is 5-10 years; however, many patients have lived well on dialysis for 20 or even 30 years,” my doctor said. Overall too many African American men are getting seriously ill and dying early because of risky behaviors like not exercising, eating an unhealthy diet, smoking, drinking alcohol, using illegal drugs, having unsafe sex, and not wearing seat belts. But there is good news. You can improve your chances of living a longer, healthier life. Black men’s leading causes of death are heart disease, cancer, homicide, unintentional injury, stroke, diabetes, lung disease, AIDS, and liver disease. Heart disease and cancer deaths account for more than half of all deaths of black men. Today I can cope with my sickness, still many good and bad days, but each day I am blessed when I get to see another day.

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Shaping Futures Through Mentoring Transforming young mentees into confident, skillful young men ready to take responsibility for their future.

Mentoring begins with the trust and ability to see everyone’s potential. Not every person starts at the same stage, but they all could create a positive impact on society, which begins with the guidance of mentors. The summer program will open with the renowned Walk A Mile With A Child program. The program is in its second year, and we are extremely excited by our progress and successes to date. The mentees of the 100 represent the next step in our long legacy of mentoring in the Greater Cleveland area and further solidify our commitment to our local youth and the realization of their personal, professional, and academic goals. Our mentoring program facilitates one on one and in-school mentoring as well as reaching the Black community. Through one-on-one relationships and group activities, our members become friends, advocates, and role models for each child. Yet, the program’s impact spreads out into the families and the broader community. Mentors instill a sense of cultural pride, self-confidence, and competence in children. Whether in Mound Stem School or Wade Park School, the 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland Inc. has been willing to invest time to make the mentees understand our motto: “What They See Is What They Will Be.” The 100 focuses on building essential skills to become productive, contributing citizens. The 100 is committed to mentoring and supporting individuals to pursue goals throughout their lifetime. Sustained mentor relationships of at least a school year and often over multiple years can happen at all stages of a mentee’s life, including college and beyond. Our chapters’ unique, innovative mentoring initiatives are locally relevant and vary by affiliate. Our volunteer members include servant leaders and professionals from diverse sectors and backgrounds who truly believe in our motto. Our ongoing commitment to continuously improve and implement our programmatic initiatives is what drives us. Helping shape our mentees realize their potential by showing them how to be successful and significant, stressing the importance of obtaining and applying education, providing them the tools that empower them for self-sufficiency, and cultivating civic and business leadership.

Walk-A-Mile with A Child Schedule 2022 9:45am - 12:00pm Date June 25th

July 9th July 23th August 6th August 20th September 3rd September 17th Any questions, please feel free to call.

Location Forest Hill Park On Lee Blvd. near the Duck Pond and basketball court in East Cleveland, Ohio (near Brewster and the Forest Hill Historic District) Acacia Reservation Cedar Rd, Lyndhurst, OH 44124 Cleveland Lakefront Natural Preserve 8701 Lakeshore Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44108 North Chagrin Reservation 3037 Som Center Rd, Willoughby Hills, OH 44094 Cleveland Metroparks Zoo 3900 Wildlife Way Cleveland, OH 44109 Rocky River Reservation Valley Pkwy, North Olmsted, OH 44070 Edgewater Park (The Upper Edgewater West Shelter) Upper Edgewater Dr, Cleveland, Oh 44102

Darian Johnson, Chairman (216) 374-2393; Dr. Ernest Smoot, Co-Chairman (216) 308-1093 or Barbra Palmer (216) 338-5695 As stated, we formed many initiatives to ensure more of our youth attend college or some form of post-secondary education/ training. We believe by inviting our mentees to become a part of our 100 families, we more formally establish a village of support for our youth and thereby have a more significant opportunity to help them realize the benefits and rewards of higher education. Our programs deliver unique mentoring initiatives that help tap into the deserving youth annually and change their lives. Mentoring provides support and positively impacts the lives of tomorrow’s leaders today. As the lives of our mentees are transformed through our mentoring model, so are the lives of mentors who serve them.


Christopher Howse photo by Alvin Smith

A Man on a Mission to

Close the Digital Divide

By Jennifer Coiley Dial


owse is president of Howse Solutions, a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) specializing in Information Technology. The company uses technology to solve problems, create strategies, increase profitability, and reduce frustration. It was Christmas Day in 1969, nestled in the living room of his East Cleveland home, an excited seven-year-old Christopher Howse received a state-of-the-art train set from his parents. They were hard workers, and the expensive gift was easily Chris’ favorite. It was fairly futuristic, with lights, sounds and steam, and he played with it all day. “I was amazed at it, watching all of these things go by, and I started wondering, how is this technology working? Today, they would call it reverse engineering, but I took this brand-new train set apart, and I was stuck with not really knowing how to put it back together. The trouble I got into after that is a whole ’nother story,” he chuckles. “But what it did, though, was launch a true fascination and interest in technology. He feels his mother is responsible for the tinkering. “She was always repairing and enhancing electronics and fixtures around our house. I admired her skills and patience! Even at an early age, I knew technology was going to change the world we live in.” It would be the gift that changed the trajectory of his life. As Chris got older, his interest in technology never waned. When he outgrew his computer, and wanted to upgrade his fax modem from 14.4k to 56k, he discovered it would cost $400 in labor for a company to perform that service. (In the late 1990s, a fax modem was how

people were able to connect their personal computers, using their land telephone lines, to the newly more widely accessible Internet.) While pondering the upgrade situation, he wondered aloud, “Well, how hard can this be?” This was before Google and YouTube, so Chris opted to save the money, and figure out how to do the job himself. Once he had that problem solved, it really opened the technology doors for him, and he started upgrading and enhancing all of his equipment. From there, he worked on his family’s equipment, and moved on to working on the equipment of his coworkers. “When you’re good and affordable the word of mouth advertising machine travels fast!” That morphed into building and supporting computer labs and outfitting other types of technology rooms, protecting systems from cyber attacks and software recommendations. “Organizations trusted me to get it done, and it included serving as a project manager working with multiple vendors. Before I knew it, even though I had a 9-to-5 job, I had amassed a customer base of about 300. One day at work, I had one of those pivotal ‘a-ha’ moments when I realized I couldn’t do my day job plus serve my clients well. I talked it over with my wife, and she supported my decision to leave the job. Thus, Howse Solutions was born in 2009.”

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” –Frederick Douglass, 1857 At the time, his client base was 90% residential and 10% small business. As he worked with more small businesses and Fortune 500 companies, he discovered that they

wanted fast, reliable service, and state-of-theart equipment. “They want their equipment painlessly and trouble-free,” he says. “Fortune 500 companies demanded that. Small business owners needed that same level of service, but knowing that they could not afford a full time IT department, I became a ‘fractional’ IT department for small business owners, at a reasonable, affordable price. It keeps them in technology without breaking the bank. So, we’ve grown based upon customer needs.” As he began to provide those services for businesses, his client base started to transition and eventually flip-flopped to where he is now, with the vast majority of his clients being small business owners in both the public and private sectors, and spanning the construction, government, healthcare, commercial, education and retail industries. The MBE-, DBE-, EDGE-, and SBE-certified firm offers technology consulting, is a supplier of hardware and software, low voltage, train the trainer services, staffing, coaching and more. Chris enjoys learning about tech innovations; is an advocate for overcoming the digital divide and bridging the accessibility gap; and promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of his projects. Chris and his team at Howse Solutions just completed a Remote Work Project for an organization of 150 people. The project’s scope included a deep dive into workflows, accountability measures and flexible work schedules. Training was a huge part of this project. The use of newer technology in the purchase of computer equipment and cloud-based software applications added a benefit of cost savings and a reduction of duplicated processes. This and other similar projects highlight how Howse Solutions incorporates strategy, problem solving, and innovation to help organizations with their technology challenges. A longtime mentor for Greater Cleveland youth, Chris is passionate about extending his knowledge to the community. “I believe that everyone should have access to, understand, and enjoy technology,” he says. As

a result, Chris has cultivated business collaborations, strategic alliances, and joint ventures. “One of the ways we can empower today’s youth is to show them how to apply their skills in gaming to other areas of technology including drones, artificial intelligence, and robotics. That is one way we can invest in them.” Chris has a passion for youth mentorship, workforce development, and skills training. He recalls

was famous for saying that the only way to do great work is to love what you do. Passion and the willingness to learn more and hone your craft breeds an environment of “continuous improvement.” Next on the company’s radar is assisting the region and the state to integrate broadband technologies to underserved communities. Chris believes that everyone should have access to the information highway. The Covid-19 pandemic proved that lack of Internet access affects healthcare, education, housing and so many other categories. Chris has made it his company’s mission to help correct this with individuals, families and businesses. “I’m doing this important work not just for my family and legacy, but for all the young boys and girls across the country opening their technology gadgets and wondering if there’s room on the information highway for them. That’s my WHY! That’s why I do this!”

reading a particular book early in his career while he was a manufacturer sales representative for Northern Ohio and Michigan. The book was entitled, Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow by Marsha Sinetar, and emphasizes having passion in your work. “I left a lucrative sales career and devoted my energy into the field of information technology,” he says. “It has always been my true passion.” Steve Jobs

Chris has often been featured as a speaker, moderator and panelist discussing a variety of topics including entrepreneurship, small business, technology and strategic alliances. Chris was recently asked to help represent minority small businesses by serving on the board for The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and the Council of Small Enterprises (COSE). The busy father of four also serves as a member of several professional, civic, and social organizations including The 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland. He believes that the success and failures that he’s experienced in his company is due to his unwavering faith in God and the love and support from his family and network of friends and colleagues. “It hasn’t always been easy managing a business, but it has always been worth it! Technology is meant to help our lives become better, not to hinder us. In order for this region to grow, we must have a diverse and talented workforce in our ecosystem,” he says. Christopher Howse is up for the challenge and is certainly a “man on a mission.”

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Know Your Rights: Police Interactions for Black and Brown People This is a special Know Your Rights Guide for Black and Brown people. Why is it necessary? Because they often have a very different experience with the police than white people do. Black and Brown people get stopped more because of their skin color even though racial profiling is illegal. Black and Brown people are also more likely to be detained, handcuffed, searched, and have police point guns at them. These encounters aren’t just stressful; as history and recent events have shown, they can be deadly. Here is information to let you know what your constitutional rights are during police interactions. But it’s important to remember that even though you have legal rights, you must use good judgment in deciding when to exercise them. If a law enforcement officer starts acting in an aggressive way toward you, it might not be wise or safe to assert your rights in that moment. If you believe your rights were violated, you can file a complaint against the law enforcement officer once you are no longer in a potentially harmful situation. The Dos and Don’ts of Police Pedestrian Stops If you are stopped for questioning, DO... •Do know that the police may stop and question you for any reason at all. You don’t have to look suspicious or be a potential

witness to a crime. •Unless police have a reasonable suspicion, based on specific and clearly describable facts along with reasonable inferences, for suspecting that you committed, are committing, or are about to commit a crime, you are generally free to leave. •During a stop, the police can ask about your name, address, and age. In California, you cannot be arrested for refusing to provide your I.D. •DO ask am I free to leave?’ If they say yes, calmly leave. •DO exercise your right to remain silent. Say “I want to remain silent.” You legally cannot be arrested or detained for refusing to answer questions. However, it could look suspicious to the police if you answer questions and then suddenly stop, which could lead to an illegal arrest. Make it your practice to always remain silent.

If you are stopped for questioning, DON’T... •DON’T try to run away. Many Black and Brown people have been shot in the back while running away from the police. •DON’T physically resist a “pat-down” or search because this could lead to an officer illegally using force against you. Say “I do not consent to a search.” •DON’T disrespect a police officer. Although you have a constitutional right to do so, it could lead to your arrest or physical harm. •DON’T lie. Say “I want to remain silent.” •DON’T forget that police are legally allowed to lie, intimidate, and bluff. •DON’T discuss your citizenship or immigration status with anyone other than your lawyer. If you are searched, DO… •If the police begin searching you or your personal belongings, they must at least have a reasonable suspicion that you have been involved in a crime, and/or are armed. •DO make sure the officer knows you do not agree to be searched (they might search you anyway, but calmly and safely make your opposition known). Say “I do not consent to a search.” •When a police officer searches you, they may pat down your outer clothing only. Police cannot squeeze or reach into your pockets unless they believe they have felt a weapon or contraband (like a baggie of unlawful drugs) after patting you down. If the police develop probable cause for believing that you have committed a crime, they can broaden their search. •If you are being given a ticket, DO give your name and birth date, and sign the ticket. If you don’t, you may be arrested. If you are searched, DON’T…

•DON’T empty your pockets or reach towards your waistband as the officer approaches. Many Black and Brown people have been shot by police officers who falsely claimed they were reaching for a gun in their waistband. The Do’s and Don’ts of Police Car Stops If you are pulled over in a traffic stop and have a hands-free phone station in your vehicle, consider turning on your camera to record the interaction. Make sure to do this before the officer gets out of the police car so they don’t see you and mistakenly think you are reaching for a weapon. If you are stopped in your car, DO... •If you are stopped while in a car, the police must have a reasonable suspicion for believing that you have committed a traffic violation or criminal offense. •DO keep your hands on the wheel and let the officer know what you are doing for your safety. (“I’m going to reach for my registration now.”) Many Black people have been shot and killed when police claimed they made sudden hand movements. •DO show your license, registration, and proof of insurance when asked. •DO sign your ticket if you are given one. Otherwise, you may be arrested. •DO take the DUI test if you are arrested, unless you are willing to risk your license being suspended. Before you are arrested, you may refuse to take the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) breathalyzer test, unless you are under the age of 21. •DO keep your car interior clear of unnecessary objects. It may give the police reason to search the car. If they see anything illegal, this may create probable cause for them to search you or your car. They cannot search the trunk unless they have your consent, a search warrant, or probable cause to believe the trunk contains evidence of a crime.

•DO say “I do not consent to a search.” NOTE: An AB 60 license, issued with proof of identity and California residency, should be accepted by state and local law enforcement in California, the same as other state-issued IDs. If you are stopped in your car, DON’T... •DON’T physically resist a search. Say “I do not consent to a search.” •DON’T refuse to sign a ticket. You can be arrested for it. •DON’T search for your license or registration until you are asked to provide it. Let the officer know what you are doing for your safety. (“I’m going to reach for my registration now.”) Many Black people have been shot and killed when police claimed they made sudden hand movements. •DON’T disrespect the officer. Although you have a constitutional right to do so, it could lead to your arrest. •DON’T attempt to bribe the police. The Do’s and Don’ts of Arrests If you are arrested or taken to a police station, DO... •DO ask if you can park your car in a safe place or have a licensed driver take it away if you are arrested. This will avoid expensive towing or impoundment fees. •If the police arrest you, they must have probable cause for believing that you have committed a crime. •DO tell the police your name and basic identifying information. But nothing else. •DO say “I want to remain silent” and clearly state “I want to talk to a lawyer.” They should stop questioning you after that. If they do not stop questioning, calmly and clearly repeat that you want to remain silent and that you want to speak to a lawyer.

•DO make sure you get your three phone calls within three hours of getting arrested or immediately after being booked. You can call a lawyer, bail bondsman, relative, or any other person. If you have children under 18, you get two additional calls to arrange childcare. Memorize phone numbers ahead of time. DO assume the police are recording your calls (except the call with your lawyer). If you are arrested or taken to a police station, DON’T... •DON’T try to run, resist, fight back, or reach suddenly for any items in your pockets or clothing as this could lead to law enforcement causing you physical harm. •DON’T give them any information except for your name and basic identifying information. •DON’T give explanations, excuses, or stories. Say “I want to remain silent” and “I want to talk to a lawyer.” •DON’T consent to any searches or give up your right to a lawyer. •DON’T talk about your case on the phone. The police might be recording your phone calls (except those to your lawyer). •DON’T make any decisions in your case without talking to a lawyer first. •DON’T discuss your citizenship or immigration status with anyone other than your lawyer.

Karrie D. Howard

Chief Public Safety Officer, City of Cleveland Assume overall management responsibility for the Department of Public Safety, to include the Divisions of Police; EMS; Animal Care and Control and their related services and activities · Manage the development and implementation of overall Departmental goals, objectives, and priorities · Recommend, develop and administer Departmental policies and procedures · Plan, organize and direct the activities of the Public Safety Department, while providing oversight for general law enforcement, criminal investigation, fire suppression and prevention, rescue services and emergency medical services, disaster responses, and nuisance abatement · Oversee the hiring, supervision, training, evaluation and discipline of all Department employees · Ensure all local, State and Federal laws and ordinances are properly enforced · Develop long term plans to improve Departmental operations · Develop and monitor annual department budgets for operations and equipment, and assists in developing long-range capital budgets for various public safety programs · Monitor Departmental budgets throughout the fiscal year and oversee the purchase of equipment, vehicles, and supplies · Establish appropriate staffing levels to support service deliverables · Monitor and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures while allocating resources accordingly · Attend City Council meetings and hearings, presenting statistics and reports as required; Represent the Public Safety Department to other departments, elected officials, and outside agencies · Conducted hearings relating to union grievances and discipline for members of each division · Respond to and resolves difficult and sensitive citizen inquiries and complaints · Serve as the City’s representatives to committees and community organizations concerned with improvements in law enforcement and divisional services · Conduct disciplinary hearings to ensure and promote.

Lamont Dodson Interim Chief, CMSD

Jermaine Smith Cleveland Police

A police officer is a warranted law employee of a police force. In most countries, “police officer” is a generic term not specifying a particular rank. In some, the rank “officer” is legally reserved for military personnel. The 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland is very proud to have the men in blue in the organization. The Cleveland Division of Police’s mission is to serve as guardians of the Cleveland community. Guided by the Constitution, they shall enforce the law, maintain order, and protect all people’s lives, property, and rights. They shall carry out our duties with a reverence for human life and in partnership with community members through professionalism, respect, integrity, dedication, and excellence in policing. The Cleveland Police serve and protect Cleveland, Ohio and one such man is Jermaine Smith, a new member of the 100; he allowed us to interview him about his life in the world of Law Enforcement. What made you want to become an officer? As a young boy, I got bored quickly with… average students but just went with the flow of things. Once I graduated from high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. One day someone I met and respected asked if I would consider becoming a fireman or police officer. I thought, “I don’t want to do that…I want to play football!” Years later, I was asked to become a police officer again to take the test. I had family members who were already on the force, and after talking to them, I decided to do it…and the rest is history. My story is why I must show young people that law enforcement

is a real career option. I’d not thought of it until someone presented it as something I may consider. Who was the most influential person in your life? I have several people who have influenced my life… excellent and bad! At this point in my life, I’d say that my wife is the most influential. Since we were teenagers, we’ve known each other, so we’ve seen each other change in so many ways. She’s influential because I know that I can always count on her to challenge me, push me outside of my comfort zone, and make me think bigger. She is NOT a YES woman, lol. She helps keep me focused on the bigger picture, and I often depend on her to get into the weeds of our life, family, and businesses. Her influence has made me a better father, husband, brother, son, friend, community leader, and business owner. How long have you been on the force? I’ve been on the force for over 20 years!

and resources to do the work needed in the community. 100 Black Men is one way that I can do that with a band of brothers. Share anything else you want about your job, family, or your time being a 100. I’ve enjoyed my time with 100 Black Men. The men are stand-up guys who put their families and community first. I’ve seen it firsthand, and I respect it. My wife and I are about to be empty nesters in a few months, so it’ll be nice to have the work of 100 to keep me busy. I’ll retire from the force in a few years, so having my fraternity, 100 Black Men, and my family will be a blessing in the next phase of my life.

What career accomplishment makes you most proud? I don’t look at my career in milestone accomplishments because I often interact with our community on some of their worse days. Overall, I will say that people know that I’m a good character and integrity man. We all make mistakes, but I am known as a police officer in the community who talks to the residents and try to address their concerns without judgment. Tell me something about yourself that isn’t on your resume. I will share that growing up, and I wanted to become a veterinarian! What made you have an interest in the 100 Black Men? My wife invited me to a 100 Black Men gala many years ago, and at that time, I’d never heard of it. She encouraged me to find out more about the organization. Since that time, I’ve met several members of 100 and became friends with them. I wanted to use my talent

Premier Barber Studio is the oldest Blackowned business in Westpark. We opened that shop 22 years ago. Premier Barber Studio Ohio City has been open for three years. It was opened at the beginning of the pandemic and had been going strong. He and his lovely wife Roshonda just celebrated 11 years of marriage but have known each other for 29 years!

Salute to 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland Law Officer’s Thomas McMillan

Cuyahoga Community College Thomas McMillan serves as the Accreditation Manager and Division Patrol Lieutenant for Cuyahoga Community College Campus Police and Security Services. As Lieutenant, he is responsible for maintaining departmental policies, facilitating the CALEA Accreditation process, and supervising the Western Patrol Division.

Leadership Development Program in 2015.

Lieutenant McMillan also worked as a Patrolman for the Village of North Randall from 2004 to 2009. In 2009, Lieutenant McMillan was hired as a patrol officer for Cuyahoga Community College Campus & Security Services has been promoted through the various ranks of Corporal, Sergeant, and then Lieutenant. He served as the Training Officer from 2016 to 2018, organizing and preparing several in-service trainings and joint active shooter training with various surrounding agencies. Lt. Thomas is also a graduate of the College’s prestigious Mandel

How long have you wanted to be in Law Enforcement? I would say that I became interested in law enforcement coming out of high school. During my senior year, I completed an internship with the East Cleveland Courts under the Honorable Judge Una Kennon. While there, I worked with the bailiff, attended hearings in court, and interacted with the officers. I believe my time with East Cleveland served as a catalyst and compelled me to pursue a degree in criminology, ultimately leading to a career in law enforcement. I graduated from the police academy in May of 2003 and was sworn in as an official police officer with the Village of North Randall. I served 5 ½ years with the Village of North Randall before moving on to Cuyahoga Community College as an officer. Tell us about your job: I have one of the best jobs around. I work for a great institution, but I have a position that provides me a platform to connect with students and walk them through their academic journey. I use my agency and power to help other students establish their own lives and create their destinies. This brings immense pleasure to watch students’ careers incubate right before my own eyes. On

was the Chairman at the time, and I appreciate the relationship we have developed over the years. Over the years, McMillian’s hobbies have evolved. He enjoys cycling, swimming, billiards, canoeing, and exercising. He loves books, and reading is one of my favorite past times. I’m active with my church and have a massive passion for facilitating conversations on race and reconciliation. Before Covid-19, he was engaged with ballroom dancing but, at the moment, not feeling comfortable engaging the ballroom community. Once the pandemic clears, he plans to return to the ballroom and get his feet back on the dance floor. I’m the proud father of 4 children: Sean, Kennedy, Chace, and Mya. They inspire me to work hard and be the best man I can be. I’m also a proud member of 100 Black Men. The men that are a part of this organization are doing great things for the city of Cleveland. The passion and energy that exudes from the 100 is contagious and keeps me sharp. McMillan attends New Community Bible Fellowship, where Kevin James is the pastor. . another note, I write the policy for the police department, which at the moment is critical for every thriving institution; with how law enforcement trends, every department needs a good policy writer. An individual who can gather or access great content, logically present the content and publish and train the officers to ensure that the content is understood. The policy is an intriguing phenomenon because it’s constantly evolving, keeping me on my toes. It’s not always an easy fix because the policy is influenced by so many variables such as federal and state laws, organizational rules, community, and culture. Who was responsible for you becoming a 100 Black Men? what year? Dr. Gary Carrington reached out to me in 2019. I’ve been a member ever since. He

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Are You Participating?


he 100 Black Men of America, Inc. is recognized as the nation’s top African American-led mentoring organization. Few things are more valuable to organization leaders than a highly-engaged member base. Engaged members invest more time, money, and attention into the organization. Poor member engagement, by contrast, undermines member retention, association revenue, and appeal with sponsors. Member engagement is essential for the growth of any organization or nonprofit. Engaged members keep renewing, and they can increase membership via word of mouth; the better your program, the more excited your members stay, and that excitement can be contagious. However, assigning a concrete definition to member engagement can be challenging. Indicators of engagement vary between organizations. Member engagement is essential to organizations; you won’t just attract and retain more members by consistently keeping members engaged. You’ll have the strength in numbers to push through legislative wins, more volunteers for your programs, and an increase in event attendance and other revenue streams. In simple terms, member engagement is the ongoing interaction between a member and an organization in exchange for meaningful value. This means keeping in touch with your membership, often posting on social media, creating meaningful content, and inviting their

participation, among other approaches. Our member engagement strategy should be in action all year. Often, the classic approach is to connect with members a couple of times during the year, usually when you want them to buy tickets, then send a renewal notice for due’s when the year’s up. But that approach positions your organization as a bill collector rather than showing members how valuable their membership is year-round. The question for the 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland Inc. is, why did you join? Being a member but not active does not help the organization achieve goals. That sentiment applies to first-year engagement when you have the same 7 to 8 people consistently showing up and doing the work. The getting-toknow-you phase is a critical one that will help determine whether members choose to stay with your organization. Get active members.

LaRese Purnell Featured On The Real TV Show

“My mother always taught us to love those in our community and give back” Thursday, May 12, 2022, Cleveland Author and Entrepreneur LaRese Purnell were featured on The Real Talk Show celebrating him helping 250 Black-Owned Businesses Earn $600,000. Purnell has been giving back for years now. Many years ago, you might remember LaRese wrote a column in the Black newspaper in Cleveland called the Call & Post. LaRese received MBA in Finance from the University of Toledo. He is currently pursuing his Master’s in Accountancy in Corporate Taxation from John Carroll University, with an expected completion date

of August 2022. He is now a part of Leadership Cleveland’s class of 2022. LaRese is committed to the community and its residents, so he serves on the following Board of Directors as the Business Volunteers Unlimited (BVU), The Cleveland Clinic South Pointe Hospital, Vice-Chair of Cleveland Public Library Foundation, the Treasurer of the NAACP Cleveland Branch, USS Cleveland Legacy Foundation, and the Vice-Chairperson for Step Forward Today formerly (CEOGC).

The Real Black Friday and Bedrock Father’s Day Juneteenth Celebration

Join our member Larese Purnell for another one of his exciting events. You don’t want to miss this amazing Juneteenth Brunch where entrepreneurs and fathers are coming together collectively to impact and celebrate Father’s within our community. LaRese Purnell (The Real Black Friday), Bunchi (Cameron Griffin) (Rumor’s), Terrell Garr (Rell) (Rumor’s), Paul Sadler Jr. (Lotus), Corey Freeman (Grille 55), Eric Rogers (Black Box Fix), Deante Lavendar (Remedy Church), Chris Walker (Fungame Sports), Duane Griffin (Griffin Sober Homes), Kyle Earley (City of God), Antonio Stewart (Premier Barber Lounge), Ted Ginn Jr. (Ginn Elite), Joe Clark(The Org CLE) and so many others all working together to celebrate Father’s on Juneteenth in Downtown Cleveland. It will be a site to see, you dont want to miss out. We hope to see you there! Admission is limited but Absolutely Free! Brunch will start at 1p-3:30p Scavanger Hunt 3:30-5:00p

(Location) Tower City Center 230 West Huron Road Cleveland, Ohio 44113

Cleveland Chapter Strategic Planning is in Full Effect 2022


very three to five years, most larger organizations periodically plan for the future. Strategic planning documents are often shelved and forgotten until the next cycle begins. On the other hand, many smaller and newer organizations may not devote the time and energy to strategic planning propelled by urgency. The Cleveland Chapter of the 100 Black Men is very excited to accomplish a new strategic plan for the organization. Strategic planning is a process in which an organization’s leaders define their vision for the future and identify its goals and objectives. The method includes establishing the sequence in which those goals should be realized so that the organization can reach its stated vision. The Cleveland Chapter of the 100 Black Men has been doing just that. Vice-Chairman Gregory Lockhart has been spearheading this endeavor to advance the organization. After having a few Zoom Meetings, the committee met in person at the home of Bob

Ivory to hammer out the framework for this five-year plan. This preparation phase has set the foundation for the chapter going forward. You need to know where you are to determine where you need to go and how you will get there. Our leaders know that strategy is essential. But it also forces the committee to face some indisputable hard facts because it forces them to confront a future they can only guess at. Worse, choosing a strategy entails making decisions that explicitly cut off possibilities and options. The framework for this plan will be done well, and a strategic plan turns the enterprise strategy into specific initiatives and actions that provide a clear roadmap to execute the strategy and meet business goals. By using simple tools and templates, functional leaders can map and communicate their priorities on a page or two and make it easier for everyone to understand why and how to execute the plan. So stay tuned for the results of the committee’s hard work.

Leadership in Unprecedented Times


ncertainty can be daunting and stressful, leaving people paralyzed by fear of the unknown. During the chaos, everyone looks for leaders to display confidence while implementing plans with conviction and certainty. As daily unpredictability became our normal, leaders navigated unchartered waters while motivating teams to persevere. During these times, leadership demanded transparent communication that empowered people to work in new ways. Transparency is critical for maintaining confidence in an organization and its leadership. Motivating people to action is paramount, and that will not happen if leaders are hiding or being dishonest. Once people are galvanized and headed in the right direction, daily communication by leaders is necessary. Encouraging open and two-way dialogue at all levels of the organization is just as important. Leaders globally had mapped out paths in 2019 for what 2020 and beyond. The confluence of crises —pandemic, civil unrest, unemployment, and shifting to a virtual work paradigm —could not have been predicted by even the best visionary leader. Recent history proved that community leaders were critically important; because of the trust citizens have in them. Since trust requires consistency and time, it cannot happen during a crisis. Power structures from corporations and healthcare to education and government struggled with the employee and the public trust. structures from corporations and healthcare to education and government

struggled with the employee and the public trust. As they rolled out responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear that collaborations were necessary. Community organizations delivered both leadership and that trust factor, along with an innate ability to collaborate with diverse organizations. What became clear should be standard and foundational going forward. Partnering with trusted community organizations is the answer for leading in unprecedented times, now and in the future.


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