Aug 30, 2022
Cleveland City Council is proud to be a leader in our city’s fight for racial equity. In March 2020, Council introduced legislation to declare racism a public health crisis - some two months before the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Their fight against racism intensified in Summer 2020 after the passing of Mr. Floyd. The declaration of racism as a public health crisis set the stage for the city to tackle disparities that have led to poorer health outcomes for African Americans in Cleveland.
However, this was just the lead-off event in a summer of action by Council to tackle racial disparities in the City.
Councilman Kevin Conwell recognized that young people were impacted at an even greater level by racism than adults. Councilman Conwell introduced legislation that would impact young people - proposing that a school in her native Glenville, Patrick Henry School named after a slaver be changed to Stephanie Tubbs Jones School.
Council President Griffin praised Councilman Conwell and County Councilwoman Yvonne Conwell for their persistence in pressing for the name change. Councilman Conwell faced strong opposition but he refused to let it deter him from sending a message to Cleveland youth that we must celebrate black excellence.
Stephanie Tubbs Jones is a beloved Clevelander and woman of accomplishment. She served as a common pleas judge, the first African-American and female prosecutor in Cuyahoga County’s history, and the first African-American woman elected to Congress in Ohio. Stephanie Tubbs Jones also was a proud product of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, having attended Miles Standish and Collinwood High School. She died in 2008.
On hand to celebrate the name change were her son, Mervyn Jones, granddaughter, Cleveland Schools CEO Eric Gordon, Cleveland Schools Board President Robert Heard, Council President Blaine A. Griffin, Councilman Kevin Conwell, Councilman Joe Jones, Congresswoman Shontel Brown, Mayor Justin Bibb, State Representative Terrence Upchurch, County Councilwomen Yvonne Conwell and Meredith Turner.