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July 02, 2010

Briefly Stated: 10-01 "Service Learning in Community Development: Partnering with East Cleveland" by David G. Harris & Mark G. Chupp

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Briefly Stated no. 10-01, "Service Learning in Community Development: Partnering with East Cleveland" by David G. Harris & Mark G. Chupp has been released. Electronic copies are available here, and hard copies will be shared with partners in the community.

Summary:
Residents of East Cleveland are fighting to improve the quality of pubic education and access to vocational opportunities. “White flight,” economic disinvestment, and ineffective political leadership have led to the disadvantages faced by East Cleveland (Kathi & Cooper, 2005). Nearly 1,200 vacant structures blight their 3.1 square mile landscape. Case Western Reserve University recognizes the potential roles that they can serve in aiding neighboring East Cleveland into becoming a desirable place to call home.

Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences students joined residents and firefighters to survey every vacant property in the City. Students utilized their experiences with conducting the survey, and through additional fieldwork, recommended strategies for the impact of vacant housing on topics like workforce development, education, safe streets and neighborhoods, and the senior population.

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This research, aided in part by the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University serves as the basis for a partnership for the revitalization of East Cleveland with contributions from students, faculty, and the university who are collaborating with residents, community organizations, and the City of East Cleveland.

Many new opportunities for the area are developing with the election of Mayor Gary Norton and the expansion of the MSASS East Cleveland Partnership to a university-wide initiative that includes a new debut collaborative action research project of the CWRU Social Justice Alliance.