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Restore Cleveland Hope Sponsors Walk for Hope

Posted May 01, 2013 in Press Releases

Eighty-four-year-old community activist Joan Southgate is lacing up her walking shoes again 11 years after her inspiring trek across Ohio to raise awareness of the state's important role in the Underground Railroad. This time drummers of the Rainey Institute, Distinguished Gentlemen of the Spoken Word, The Hue People, schoolchildren, friends and supporters will join her on her journey.

The Walk for Hope will be held May 18th in University Circle. The 3-mile walk is a fund-raiser to support Restore Cleveland Hope, a grass-roots organization Southgate founded.

RCH, a non-profit group dedicated to celebrating Cleveland’s anti-slavery past, has been actively involved in efforts to preserve the Cozad-Bates House, which is the only pre-Civil War-era structure still standing in the University Circle area. RCH provides educational presentations in schools throughout the region and sponsors community events to highlight the area's important role in the Underground Railroad, which is considered by many the nation's first integrated civil rights movement.

In 2009, more than 300 students, teachers, community activists, historians, neighborhood residents and RCH supporters turned out to walk with Southgate on the final leg of her month-long trek from St. Catharines, Canada, to Cleveland. On that walk, Joan, then 78, was "completing the circle" of the inspirational and educational journey she began back in
2002, when she walked 300 miles across Ohio to celebrate and raise awareness of Ohioans' critical role in the Underground Railroad and the anti-slavery movement. The following year she completed a walk to St. Catharines, which had been a sanctuary for famed abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

The Walk for Hope aims to:
- Raise awareness of Cleveland’s courageous anti-slavery past.
- Raise funds to help furnish Restore Cleveland Hope’s Underground Railroad Educational Center and office in the historic Cozad-Bates House.
- Raise neighborhood spirit and encourage community fellowship across racial, cultural, geographic and economic lines.

The walk will step off at 9 a.m. May 18th from the African-American Cultural Garden on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, at St. Clair Avenue. Participants will wind their way through University Circle to the historic Cozad-Bates House, 11508 Mayfield Road near Euclid Avenue. Walkers will be encouraged along the route by the exhilarating rhythms of the Drum Core of Cleveland's own Rainey Institute. Those who complete the walk will be treated to musical and oratory presentations by local performers.

Registration is available online or at 8 a.m. the day of the walk. Cost is $25 for adults, $10 for teens ages 13 to 17 and $5 for children 7-12.

For more information or to register, visit www.restoreclevelandhope.org. Or call (216) 231-0301.

Original Article: http://

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