Cleveland, OH

The Black Women Commission Requests Members of the City Council and Mayor Justin Bibb not to use the Organization Name.

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The Black Women Commission of Cuyahoga County T ShirtCourtesy of The Black Women Commission of Cuyahoga County

Cleveland, OH. - Several Members of The Black Women Commission of Cuyahoga County, the Women Commission for Education and Training, and the Commission for Black Women attended the Cleveland City Council meeting on April 25, 2022. The women came to the meeting to request that members of the Council nor Mayor Bibb use the organizations' names as if they belonged to the City of Cleveland.

Recently, Councilwomen Stephanie Howse (Ward 7), Deborah Gray (Ward 4), and Mayor Justin Bibb had a press conference stating that they were starting the Commission on Black Women. According to the local news story posted in the Cleveland Scene Magazine, Sam Allard, the reporter, noted that the commission Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb alluded, in response to an audience question, to the formation of a dedicated commission on Black women and girls. This commission, Bibb said, would seek to explore and remedy the plight of Black women in Cleveland.

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Mayor Justin BibbCourtesy of The Brown Report Newspaper (Photo)

Members of the Black Women Commission reminded Mayor Bibb and Council members of the original formation of the Black Women Commission of Cuyahoga County, the Commission for Black Women, and the Women Commission for Education and Training. All three organizations have a registration with the State of Ohio; two of the three have trademark registrations.

Kimberly F. Brown, the President of the Black Women Commission of Cuyahoga County, informed the council that the organization established itself in 2018 following the death of a 9-year-of girl who was shot and killed in Cleveland Ward One. The group is an advocacy organization. BWCCC orchestrated the re-investigation death of 14-year-old Jalen Wise. They helped a grandmother in Garfield Heights get access to school after being denied. The groups are instrumental in aiding the disenfranchised and serve as a resource to assist women and children. Brown reminds Mayor Bibb that when he became Mayor, the Black Women Commission and the Women Commission for Education and Training submitted an 11-point plan to his administration to aid the Black Community. As the council sat quietly, taking notes, Brown stated, "please respect our organizations and work throughout this community. We will work with anyone. Please do not use our name without permission. Our organizations have registered trademarks."

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Black Women Commission Member Marva PattersonCourtesy of the Brown Report Newspaper

Commission member Marva Patterson stated, "It's very poignant and clear that we will not Council to use our name without proper authorization. There are laws in place to prevent this from happening. You can build your name. We are very much in our rights to submit our request to City Council not to use our name."

"We have established ourselves. We are well-established. We ask the Mayor and the two councilwomen to pick another name - pick something else, "stated Patterson. "Brown added, "We applaud the City of Cleveland for wanting to help Black Women. This idea is great, but they cannot use our names to do this on the backs of our organization without permission."

The Mission of The Black Women Commission of Cuyahoga County is to provide a support system for the Black women; Politics, Housing, Financial Literacy, Race Relations, Environmental Conditions, Education, Career Development, Mentoring, Competitive Living Wage, Our Behavior, and other necessary support services. We believe that when we support women's issues, our communities will benefit greatly from women as we become a force of positive and productive change. We will partner with and support other women's organizations about the business of all women.

"Many organizations have faced lawsuits for copyright infringement and trademark violations. We hope that the City of Cleveland will respect our wishes as an organization. Again, we are ecstatic they want to improve conditions of the black woman, but the first step should be respecting boundaries for it is the right thing to do," said Commission member Michelle Williams.

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"Brown On Cleveland" features podcast host, licensed social worker, and social justice activist Kimberly F. Brown. Former talk show host with WOVU.95fm. Brown is the Chief Administrator of The Brown Report Newspaper. Brown experience is with investigative reporting.

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