Key Strengths

  • Mayor Bibb’s vision for Cleveland is to become a national model for city management, police reform, and neighborhood revitalization.
  • Many coalition partners are currently involved in or leading ongoing community-wide initiatives to invest in historically marginalized and socioeconomically excluded populations. There have been hard-won, though incremental, progress in addressing racial inequality across the city.
  • June 3, 2020: Cleveland City Council passed legislation declaring racism a public health crisis in the city.

Key Challenges

Ranked the one of the poorest big cities in the country, one of the most segregated cities in the US, and the number 1 distressed city in the US:

  • 36% of population lives below the poverty line
  • Median Black Income: $28,000, Median White Income: $60,000
  • 42.9% of Black residents below the poverty line
  • Black homeownership rate: 37.2% (#145 lowest among all metros)
  • White homeownership rate: 72.8%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native homeownership rate: 47.1%
  • Average Life Expectancy for White Residents: 78.1 and for Black Residents: 72.4


  • United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland (UBF) is a non-profit grant-making institution founded in 1981 whose purpose is to aid non-profit organizations meet the diverse needs of Black, poor and minority communities. The organization provides annual micro-grants to over 40 non-profit organizations that assist target communities in the areas of education, workforce development and social justice.
  • Third Space Action Lab (TSAL), who will function as the Lead Organizer for The Freedom Dreams Coalition.
  • The Coalition will include, Enterprise Ohio, LISC Cleveland, NAACP Cleveland, Participatory Budgeting – CLE, and the Young Latino Network. This group, lead by Third Space Action Lab, will guide the exploration and strategic alignment of the convened partner organizations, as well as explore additional partnerships and collaborations to strengthen the racial equity planning process.
  • Office of Mayor Justin M. Bibb.
  • The George Gund Foundation.


View of Cleveland OH skyline