Browse Interviews

  • Subject is exactly "Activism"
27 total

Martha Eakin Interview, 21 June 2006

Martha Eakin of the Shaker Lakes Nature Center discusses her mother, Jean Eakin. Jean was a major figure in the battle against highway development through the Shaker Lakes in the 1960s. The grassroots campaign, often referred to as "the freeway fight," was started by Jean Eakin and quickly grew to involve numerous citizens, politicians, and community groups. The role played by Cuyahoga County Commissioner Albert Porter, a major proponent of highway development, is also discussed at length. After…

Kay Fuller Interview, 27 September 2006

Kay Fuller, a founding member of the Shaker Lakes Nature Center, discusses the "Shaker Freeway Fight," in which a coalition of local activists successfully stopped the construction of a new highway through Shaker Lakes during the 1960s. This experience laid the groundwork for the creation of the Nature Center. Fuller discusses many changes over the years at the Nature Center, including alteration of the landscape, educational programming, and an abandoned plan to build an $8.5 million…

Laura Gooch Interview, 11 July 2006

Laura Gooch of the Shaker Lakes Nature Center discusses the Center's educational, environmental and public outreach programming; strategic planning; and staffing issues. Also discussed in some detail is the battle against highway construction in the Shaker Heights-Cleveland Heights area, as well as cooperation between the Center and the surrounding municipalities of Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, and Shaker Heights. Additionally, this interview contains details on the history of the Shaker Lakes…

Burt W. Griffin Interview, 30 October 2006

Judge Burt Griffin discusses in great detail the battle to stop highway construction through the Shaker Heights-Cleveland Heights area, which was seen as a threat to those communities and to the ecological and environmental balance of the Shaker Lakes nature preserve. Griffin discusses the battle, which was driven by grassroots activists (and largely by women), in the context of Shaker Heights' unique history. Details on activist strategies; relevant financial, legal and environmental…

Kathleen L. Barber Interview 20 June 2006

Kathleen Barber of the Shaker Lakes Nature Center describes her involvement with the Center beginning with the battle to protect Shaker Lakes from highway development in the 1960s. Barber describes this activist campaign in great detail, discussing the proposed route of the highway, the role of County Commissioner Albert Porter, the strategies employed to stop the highway, and the parts played by numerous individuals and activists - particularly women, whose role, according to Barber, was very…

Phil Hart Interview, 29 June 2006

Activist Phil Hart of Cleveland Heights, Ohio discusses his involvement in the fight against proposed highway construction during the 1960s. The construction, which would have crossed through Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights, was considered a threat to those communities, as well as to the environmental balance of the local ecosystem - particularly at the Shaker Lakes nature reserve. Hart places this local struggle within the context of a "national rebellion.. against urban freeways" and…

Martha Eakin Interview, 05 June 2006

Martha Eakin of the Shaker Lakes Nature Center describes her involvement over the years with Shaker Lakes and the Center. Martha's mother, Jean Eakin, was a major figure in the battle against highway development through the Shaker Lakes in the 1960s, and Martha has continued to be involved since. Biographical information about Jean and Martha is included in this interview, as is the rationale and timeline of events leading to the organization of political action against highway development, and…

Melissa Miller Interview, 21 April 2010

Melissa Miller of the Bellaire Puritas Development Corporation discusses the commitment to solving problems of storm water overflow from the Big Creek Tributary, beginning with a storm water management project on Milligan Avenue in the Bellaire Puritas neighborhood. This interview gives background information on the Neighborhood, the Big Creek, and the Re-Imagining Cleveland project.

Steve Cagan Interview, 14 July 2006

Steve Cagan, a native New Yorker, details a life of art and activism in Cleveland since the 1970s. Cagan's description of Cleveland as a center of social and political activism sheds light on the political and social culture of Cleveland in the wake of economic transformation. The correlation between art and politics is discussed at length.

O'Neal, Paythress, and James Interview, 16 July 2006

Three members of Recon, a subdivision of the politically active urban performance group The Shogun Assassins, discuss their involvement at the Ingenuity Festival. The members discuss their backgrounds and philosophy in depth, explaining how Cleveland's economic and social structure influences their progressive social agenda and performance. Discussions of race, class, and economic oppression detail the performers opinion of Cleveland as fertile ground for the broader struggle in America against…

Carole Close Interview, 18 June 2011

Carole Close describes the political scene of Coventry in the 1960s and 1970s. She was a political activist in the area and describes the neighborhood not only as a accepting place for hippies, but as an area that experienced a significant amount of political activism.

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Donna Lee Pratt Interview, 23 April 2008

Donna Pratt, raised in Shaker Heights, and property manager on Hessler Rd. since 1964, relates the importance of the cultural institutions in University Circle to the students in the Shaker Heights schools in the 1950's, in particular the Music School Settlement. Pratt describes how the creation of University Circle has improved the area, and allowed for cooperation between the institutions, although there has been some tension between them at times. Pratt views periods of tension as…

John Anthony Boyd Interview, 2008

John Anthony Boyd, a Cleveland-born social worker and political activist, discusses changes in the Central neighborhood since the late 1950s. Boyd was honored by the 5th Disctrict Police Department (Cleveland, Ohio) with the award for Dedication to Citizens. Interview is cut short at about 9 minutes.

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Francis W. Chiappa Interview, 2 July 2013

Francis Chiappa describes his role in the Cleveland Heights Nuclear Freeze Campaign in the 1980s. He worked hard along with other members of Cleveland Heights to make Cleveland Heights a Nuclear Free zone. He describes his background that placed him on the path of activism. He also describes the challenges and triumphs in the process of designating Cleveland Heights nuclear free.

Susan C. Kaeser Interview, 22 May 2013

Susan Kaeser lived in Wisconsin through graduate school. She earned a master of urban planning degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, during which time she met Cleveland City Planning Director Norman Krumholz. Krumholz brought her to Cleveland to serve as a city planner. When she arrived in Cleveland in 1976 she lived first in the Ludlow neighborhood near Shaker Square before moving to Cleveland Heights in 1979. In the interview she discusses how she became a community activist, the…

Joanne Lewis interview, 26 June 2013

Joanne Lewis, a native Clevelander, describes what it was like growing up in Cleveland and later Cleveland Heights. She describes what her father did for a living, which provided her and her family a decent lifestyle. She recalls what she used to do for fun like going downtown, using the streetcars, and drinking milkshakes. She talks about the WPA and the various projects it worked on, including Cain Park. She describes her many travels around the world. She also discusses her involvement in the…

Buck Harris interview, 20 April 2006

In this 2006 interview, 58 year old Cleveland native Buck Harris, a prominent member of Cleveland's gay community for decades, talks about his life in Cleveland as a gay man and his residency near West 52nd Street and Bridge Avenue in an area of the west side of Cleveland known as Ohio City Heights. Mr. Harris discusses his experience of "coming out" in the late 1970s; some of the prominent gay bars in Cleveland in the 1970s, including, Twiggy's; and his development and activities as an activist…

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Sally Tatnall interview, 05 June 2019

Sally Tatnall (b.1937), a radical feminist and community activist, speaks about her childhood in Buffalo, New York, and what it was like coming of age in the 1940s and 1950s. She describes her marriage to her husband, her civil rights activism and feminist activism with him, and her eventual divorce and introduction to lesbianism. Sally describes life in the lesbian-feminist collective in her Cleveland Heights home, Hag House or Berkshire House, and describes the work of radical feminist…

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Tom Stebel Interview, 01 August 2023

Tom Stebel (b. 1962) was born in Garfield Heights and grew up in Seven Hills before attending Miami University. He discusses coming out as a gay man in the 1980s and becoming involved in LGBTQ+ activism in college. Stebel recounts moving to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in the 1980s during the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis before returning to Ohio in the 1990s. He describes the impact of HIV/AIDS on LGBTQ+ communities in Cleveland in the 1980s and 1990s. He also describes working as a volunteer…

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Sally Tatnall Interview, 19 July 2023

Sally Tatnall (b. 1937) grew up in Buffalo, New York, and moved to East Cleveland in the 1960s. She discusses developing her political consciousness through her involvement in civil rights activism in Cleveland. She discusses moving to Cleveland Heights, becoming an active feminist, and coming out as a radical lesbian feminist in the 1970s. Tatnall discusses becoming active in Cleveland Heights' East Side lesbian feminist communities and her role as as a founding member of the lesbian collective…

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John Nosek and Leon Stevens Interview, 15 August 2023

John Nosek (b. 1949) and Leon Stevens (b. 1948) are native Clevelanders who grew up on the east side. They discuss the Cleveland gay community in the 1970s and '80s, including managing the Gay Educational and Awareness Resource (GEAR) Foundation's High Gear newspaper in its early years and their gay activism in the mid- to late 1970s. Nosek and Stevens detail the early history of GEAR, its Gay Hotline, and its long struggle to establish what eventually became the LGBT Community Center of Greater…

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Debra Hirshberg Interview, 11 July 2023

Debra Hirshberg (b. 1954) grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, and moved to Cleveland in 1972 to attend Case Western Reserve University. She discusses coming out as a lesbian in the 1970s and becoming an active member of the East Side lesbian feminist community in Cleveland Heights in the mid-1970s. Hirshberg describes her involvement in Cleveland Heights' vibrant lesbian feminist communities in the 1970s and 1980s, including her role as a founding member of lesbian feminist collectives Hag House…

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Brynna Fish Interview, 17 August 2023

Brynna Fish (b. 1957) grew up in Youngstown and studied social work at Yeshiva University before moving to Cleveland Heights in 1979. In this interview, she discusses her involvement at the intersection of Cleveland's Jewish and lesbian communities, as well as her work with coordinating the annual Womyn's Variety Show and music festivals with Oven Productions and her founding of Chevrei Tikvah, a gay and lesbian synagogue, in 1983. She reflects on various gay and lesbian bars in Cleveland, and…

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Bryan C. Jones, 26 July 2023

Bryan C. Jones (b. 1960) is a native Clevelander and grew up in the Hough area before attending the University of Cincinnati. Jones discusses transferring to Florida A&M University and Florida State University in the 1980s and coming out as a gay man after becoming active in Atlanta's gay communities in the early 1980s. He discusses the onset of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, receiving an HIV/AIDS diagnosis in the 1980s, and moving back to Cleveland in the 1990s. Jones discusses the intersections…

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Jacob Nash Interview, 04 August 2023

Jacob Nash (b. 1964) grew up in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, before moving to Ohio in 1999. He discusses coming out as a transgender man in the 1990s and becoming involved in transgender and LGBTQ+ community activism after seeking a marriage license in the 2000s. Nash discusses moving to Akron and becoming active in LGBTQ+ communities and spaces in Cleveland and Akron while working between both cities. He discusses his involvement in TransFamily, TransAlive, and the LGBT Community Center of Greater…

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Devinity Interview, 25 July 2023

Devinity (b. 1979) grew up in Sandersville, Georgia, before moving to Cleveland in 1992. Devinity discusses coming out as a transgender woman in the 1990s, her career as a female illusionist/entertainer, and discrimination within the LGBTQ+ community. Devinity discusses working as former employee of the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, including her involvement in the Center's Trans Wellness Program, Transgender Day of Remembrance, Transgender Day of Visibility, and Pride events. She…

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Monika Veliz Interview, 08 August 2023

Monika Veliz (b. 1977) was born in Italy and grew up in Euclid, Ohio, before attending Virginia Marti College of Design. Veliz discusses coming out as a transgender woman in the 1990s after attending meetings at the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland. She discusses becoming active in Cleveland's Black underground LGBTQ+ Ballroom scene after joining the House of Chayde in the late 1990s. She discusses her career as a drag entertainer in Cleveland and describes the various gay bars and…

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