Many cities across the US face significant challenges places like Baltimore, Detroit, Pittsburgh andCleveland are among them. And much has been written about how these former economic powerhouses have struggled over the last few decades.
But this week in the first installment of our City Champions series, we want to highlight the remarkable people and groups working on inspiring projects that show the resilience of those wanting to improve the lives of people in one of those cities: Cleveland, Ohio.
Cleveland has many challenges – inequality, structural racism, infant mortality, shamefully untreated lead poisoning – but it also has a network of people creating innovative projects that are addressing these challenges with significant success.
Collaborating with the local newspaper – The Plain Dealer – and the local PBS and NPR stations, run by ideastream, we canvassed residents for their suggestions for who to recognize and received hundreds of replies.
We then created an advisory panel of mostly local public figures who helped select the final 25 champions, whose stories we will be telling this week.
As part of this project we have also worked with the art collective For Freedoms to create a public art expression for this project. Working with For Freedoms and local artists, we commissioned artwork for six billboards that help tell the stories of the city and the challenges the champions are addressing.
John Mulholland, editor in chief, Guardian US