Cleveland Restoration Society unveils first Civil Rights Trail marker at Cory Church


On Friday December 10, the Cleveland Restoration Company hosted its annual community lunch at Cory United Methodist Church—An important historical and cultural landmark in the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland.

Earlier this year, the CBC received a grant of $ 500,000 from the National Park Service African-American Civil Rights Historical Preservation Fund for the exterior restoration of the church, which continues to be the center of a community of faith, for the social transformation and rebirth of the Glenville neighborhood.

Participants were encouraged to arrive early at the event to attend the inauguration ceremony for the first marker on the Cleveland African-American Civil Rights Trail. The historic landmark was unveiled in front of Cory’s Church by Connection to Ohio History Executive Director Burt Logan, with assistance from Marguerite Lann, CRS ‘ director of curatorial services and publications. Cory was chosen for one of 10 markers for his role in the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s.

Dedication ceremony
Cory Pastor Gregory Kendrick gave the opening dedication address when he described Glenville Church as “a place of righteousness, a place of hope and a place of love.” Kendrick then addressed his greetings to the audience of East Ohio United Methodist Church bishop Tracy smith malone.

Natoya Walker Minor, President of Cleveland’s African American Civil Rights Trail, spoke about Cleveland’s role in the civil rights movement and the first marker of the Civil Rights Trail.

“The importance of this is to educate our young people so that the average man and woman – my neighbor and yours – as they walk down this street can remember and never forget,” she told the group.

During the ceremony, Priest Pickett, coordinator of the Howard A. Mims African American Cultural Center at Cleveland State University, performed excerpts from speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King. cleveland poet Kel Shabazz recited excerpts from the famous “The ballot or the ballSpeech he gave to Cory on April 3, 1964.

Cleveland Ward 9 City Councilor Kevin Conwell reminded the audience of the important role Cory has played in Glenville.

“On behalf of the 27,500 residents of the Glenville community, we are very happy that this marker is here, and it means a lot to us,” Conwell said during the unveiling.

Minor closes the dedication. “At the end of the day, it’s for all of us,” she told the audience. “Social justice, opening doors, the legacy of the civil rights movement has impacted all of our lives – not just black lives, all of our lives have benefited from social justice. ”

Keynote speaker Brent Legg gives a presentation at the Cleveland Restoration Society Community Luncheon.Cleveland Restoration Society Community Luncheon
Following the dedication ceremony, the Cleveland Restoration Society luncheon attendees walked through the church sanctuary and upstairs to the ballroom. CRS Board Chairman Scott Holbrook welcomed attendees and CRS President Kathleen Crowther delivered the opening remarks, thanking Cory UMC for making the annual luncheon possible in their magnificent location. ballroom.

“We are delighted to have this substantial grant from the National Park Service to address concerns outside of Cory.” she told the audience. Crowther thanked the groups involved in the project and took stock of the organization’s ongoing restoration projects, including the Dall-Mays Homes in Central Cleveland.

CRS Honorary Life Director Jan Devereaux appointed Tom einhouse, Place of play houseVice President of Facilities and Capital, to be another Honorary Life Director for his work in the restoration of five historic theaters in Playhouse Square.

The restoration project, which began in 1980, was led by Einhouse and is the largest theater restoration project in the world.

The keynote speaker for the annual luncheon was Brent Leggs– the first vice-president and general manager of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund and author of “Preserving African-American Historic Places, which was recognized by the Smithsonian Institution.

Front face of the recently unveiled Ohio historical marker in front of Cory United Methodist Church.Leggs developed the Northeast African American Historic Places Outreach Program to create a regional movement of preservation leaders saving important landmarks in African American history. He also led efforts to create the Birmingham Civil Rights Monument in Alabama.

Leggs’ program focused on the history of cultural inequity in preservation. “We continue to see a lack of diversity and representation in the National Register of Historic Places inventory,” he said. “Only 2% of the nearly 100,000 entries recorded directly reflect the experience of black people.”

In his final thoughts, Leggs emphasized the idea that for historic preservation to be relevant to all communities, we must begin to see black history as American history. “We must have reverence and respect for the full contribution of black Americans to our nation,” Leggs told the audience. “Done well, historical preservations can promote truth, fairness, and validation for all Americans. The past and the present merge to meet us here.


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