Cleveland, OH. - Voting members of the Carl Stokes Brigade elected Activist Delores Gray as President on March 12, 2022, during their regular membership meeting. Cleveland native Bert Jennings founded the Brigade in the 1970s. Bert's and his organization named the Brigade after Carl B. Stokes. In 1967, Stokes was the first black man to be elected Mayor of the City of Cleveland. The organization focuses on civil rights and social justice issues.
The former President Y-Von Griot served three terms. According to several members of the Brigade, Griot did not attend the meeting. "Before the vote, several members attempted to call her, and there was no response. The meeting proceeded for nominations of new officers. Unbeknownst to me, a member nominated me, and I accepted, we held a vote, and surprisingly I am elected to serve," says Delores Gray.
As a community activist, Gray has experience with social justice issues, policy formation, and implementation. According to her social media page, Gray is the CEO of Brickhouse BrickHouse Wellness Women's Empowerment Group, LLC. Her organization empowers and inspires all women, bringing positive self-esteem and seven elements of wellness: spiritual, intellectual, social, environmental, occupational & physical.
"I am pleased to have a new president of the Brigade. Gray is refreshing. We will continue to move forward", stated member Marva Patterson. Seeking clarification of moving forward, we consulted with President Gray. "There is lots of work to be done. We have to focus on quality membership. We have approximately 50 plus members, but only a few are in the working group. Collectively, the Brigade needs to resolve this issue. We must get people involved. We must work on retention. Respectfully, I will meet with Mr. Jennings to get his perspective," said Gray.
Delores Gray tells us that she has several items on her immediate to-do list. As President, she is seeking to use soft skills to engage the interest of others in wanting to become active members. Gray says, "Bringing wellness to our communities and family means handling social issues head-on.
We have to change the narratives of our communities by becoming change agents in all areas of life." The Brigade has dealt with illegal foreclosures, police brutality, race relations, and malicious prosecution of black women and girls during the last decade. "Remember you have a voice, and if you can't speak up, find someone that will speak out for you. Never allow your voice to become an echo," stated Gray.
"It's a blessing to be getting things back on track," per the founder, Bert Jennings.
The Carl Stokes Brigade meets on the second Saturday of every month at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library located at 1961 Stokes Blvd Cleveland, OH 44106.