January, 2016
Our LeadDIVERSITY program encourages better communication. Here participants work out a knot without verbal communication.
President's Message
Happy New Year!

Each January we attempt to make resolutions and find ways to better ourselves. At The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, we rededicate ourselves to the mission of helping to create communities where all people are connected, respected, and valued .

2016 will prove to be a year filled with many obstacles to understanding and inclusion. Ongoing violence, distrust of authorities, stereotyping, and debates about who should be allowed to enter the United States undermine our communities and divide us. We can and we should take these challenges seriously and stand up against bias, bigotry, and racism. Doing so with renewed vigor in 2016 will be one of my resolutions, and I hope it will be one of yours.

Peggy Zone Fisher,
President & CEO 
The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio

Staff Contact

President & CEO

Lorraine Pennick
Executive Assistant to President & CEO

Kim Koch
Chief Operating Officer and Finance Director

Director of Development

Ruth Polomsky
Manager of Marketing and Development

Director of Programs

Director, Lead Diversity

Cierra Edwards
Program and Marketing Coordinator

Program Specialist, Professional Development

Program Specialist, School &Youth

Curriculum & Outreach Specialist

Grant Funding Available
The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio is dedicated to bringing our programs to as many students as we can. Your school may qualify for a partial grant which could help defray costs for bringing in a program to your school.

Please contact Kathryn Brown for information about school grants.

#RethinkLabels Video Takes Center Stage

The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio has been receiving attention lately over our newest video. Featuring participants from our high school retreat, Goldfarb Weber Creative Media created a heart wrenching and powerful video detailing the pain of being labeled. What stands out more is how each of these teens reclaim themselves and refuse to be limited by the narrow vision of those around them.

Please watch and pass along the video link. This is a message everyone needs to hear!


Teacher Resources 
Many times educators need added assistance in creating an inclusive classroom. That is why The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio has started a new initiative to make activities, lesson plans, handouts, and other classroom materials available through our website. We strive to be a resource for Northeast Ohio and beyond, and providing access free of charge is one way we can ensure our message of equality, justice, and inclusion reaches as many people as possible.

Look for continual updates and a growing list of resources under the School and Youth section of our website. 

We are pleased to introduce our curriculum that works in tandem with the #rethinklabels video. Free free to share it with your contacts!

Click here for a direct link to the School and Youth page where we will be listing resources.

Debating Language: Migrant or Refugee?

The crisis in Syria has prompted millions of people to leave their homeland. Those that stay are often displaced and destitute, living in a war zone with little stability. While the vast majority of people leaving the Middle East today are headed for Europe, there certainly are ramification in the United States-particularly in the way we talk about this situation. 

Consider the language you use when discussing this topic, as each word choice betrays a perspective. How you talk with your co-workers, friends, and family about current events is important and can help (or hinder) greater understanding between people. 

Northeast Ohio has a long history of immigration, and while the groups of people who are coming differ from previous generations, their struggles and hopes are the same.

Take a few minutes to read through the debate between calling someone a refugee or a migrant by reading The New York Times article linked here .

School and Youth Programs
Middle and High School Conference, March 4th, 2016
Our annual conference for regional middle and high school students will take place at John Carol University on March 4th this year. Schools can bring up to 8 students and 2 teachers in their group. The conference this year will involve both Diversity Center staff and local teen groups leading discussions about personal identity, connecting with others, and becoming upstanders in their school. This year we will also be honoring local student leaders that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to their school and community in the field of diversity and inclusion. Each participating school is encouraged to nominate one student leader for consideration. 

We hope you join us! Contact Cierra Edwards to RSVP today!

"American Denial" Large School Program
Every year schools ask if we have special programs for Black History Month. While we believe that every month should be Black History Month, we wanted to design a program that would encourage thoughtful discussion about the legacy of race in America. This year we are offering a documentary accompanied by classroom resources. The film, "American Denial"  examines race relations in the United States and enables large amounts of students to participate in a meaningful discussion about unconscious bias and discrimination. This program can be integrated into Social Studies, Humanities, and even English Language Arts classes. Teachers will receive both pre and post-documentary worksheets, a discussion guide, and ideas for how to continue the lesson beyond the viewing. A representative from The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio will introduce the film and help students think about race as a vital identity marker worthy of open and honest discussion. Following the film there will be a 10 minute debrief regarding first impressions and gut reactions to the film before students return to their classrooms.

Contact Shonta Kennedy to set up a viewing date!

Diversity Through the Arts
Integrating diversity lessons into the creative arts can help teachers achieve both curricular and social-emotional goals in the classroom. 

Diversity Through the Arts sessions take our basic   introduction to diversity and emphasizes visual arts, music, play acting, or English Language Arts elements to help students connect the lessons to their own personal experience. 

Professional Development
Teaching Class: Professional Development for Educators Concerned about Socioeconomic Status
Educators interested in examining the myriad ways socioeconomic status plays out in the classroom and how it can impact relationship building are encouraged to join us for a professional development program held at Coventry Middle School on February 4th, from 3-6 pm. This event is open to any educator in the region. Come on your own, with your teaching team, or with other colleagues to investigate, reflect, and plan for the future. Participants will receive a signed certificate acknowledging three contact hours of professional development with The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio.

February 4th, 2016 from 3-6pm

Coventry Middle School 
3257 Cormany Road, Akron 44319  

$35 per person
This is a first come, first serve opportunity!  Click here to register today!

Customized Facilitation Comes to the Workplace 
The Diversity Center recognizes that the unique structure
and needs of organizations can differ. For this reason,
we consult with your organization to assess and address
your specific needs.

Workshops offered include but are not limited to:

* Understanding Unconscious Bias
* Intercultural Communication
* Cultural Competence and Diversity
* Diversity Leadership
* A Business Case for Diversity & Inclusion
* Building a More Inclusive Organization
* Micro Messages
* Compassion Fatigue & Intercultural Empathy
* LGBTQ Cultural Competence
* Educator Programs

* Diversity Dimensions Spotlight Series

o Race & Ethnicity
o Generational Differences
o Gender Differences
o Socio-Economic Status
o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender

If you are interested in exploring how to bring The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio into your workplace, please contact Amanda Cooper or Christen DuVernay .
Save the Dates!



March 4, 2016 - Middle & High School Conference 

John Carroll University


Students and educators from around the region will participate in a series of sessions based around the theme of "Building Bridges, Making CommUNITY". This is a great opportunity for student leaders and student groups to learn together and become change agents!


Stay tuned for further information. Contact Shonta Kennedy at skennedy@diversitycenterneo.org to reserve your spot.




April 30, 2016 - Walk, Rock & Run 

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum


Join us for our 14th Annual Walk, Rock & Run.  3mi Walk and 5k Run.  PLEASE NOTE IT IS NOT THE FIRST SATURDAY OF MAY THIS YEAR! 


Contact Ruth Polomsky to schedule a presentation and learn more about Walk, Rock, and Run and to find out why this FREE community event is so important to The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio. 

Any other inquiries about volunteering and participation can also go to Ruth Polomsky at rpolomsky@diversitycenterneo.org 


The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio
3659 Green Road, Suite 220
Cleveland, Ohio 44122


Creating communities where all people are connected, respected, and valued.