Big Economic Inclusion Summit Tentatively Planned for September

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Rally for a Seat at the Table, (12/13/2018). - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • Rally for a Seat at the Table, (12/13/2018).
An economic inclusion summit that aims to tackle the region's woes and identify priorities for our economic future via in-depth engagement and "Appreciative Inquiry" has been tentatively scheduled for September.

Friday, organizers with Destination Cleveland sent out follow-up material to the 84 stakeholders who participated in a two-day summit-planning session in December and said that attendance for the September summit was estimated to be 1,000. Community engagement and marketing efforts will be getting underway soon. These efforts will include giving the upcoming summit a name.



As for the summit's content:

"While the exact objectives of the summit are still under development, the anticipated focus areas include growth, equitable opportunity and leadership, all addressed through a process that builds a culture of trust."



The 'Guiding Values' of the summit were established in December. They are as follows: Accountability, Transparency, Courage, Love and Equity.

December's planning session occasioned some controversy. Activists rallied outside 1801 Superior Avenue, home of cleveland.com and host of the session, to advocate for better representation among the summit's designers.

"Nothing is scarier for poor and disenfranchised people than when rich people and politicians come together in a room to talk about the needs of poor people, without including poor people," said Kareem Henton, of Black Lives Matter Cleveland.

These concerns were brought up explicitly during the design session, according to attendees Scene spoke with, which more than once created a tense atmosphere. But the concerns led to the creation of the "stakeholder mix" working group, one of five working groups that will plan the summit.

According to Destination Cleveland's outline, the stakeholder mix team will be "focused on an inclusive process that builds broad buy-in and adoption of the outcomes of the 2019 Summit, emphasizing that people cannot feel that economic success is planned for them but rather with them."

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