Next year marks the 50th anniversary of Carl Stokes becoming the first black mayor of a major U.S. city. Throughout 2017, Cuyahoga Community College will commemorate his election with a series of events focusing on the historical significance and on how it can be applied to current social challenges.
The events will include theatrical performances, museum exhibits and academic conferences. Lauren Onkey heads the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Humanities Center at Tri-C, one of the commemoration’s sponsors. She says the events, which will include tributes to Carl’s brother, Congressman Louis Stokes, are aimed at sparking new leadership.
“Carl and Louis Stokes are on buildings and roads all across our community. But (this is) to make that much more real, especially in our students lives, but across the community, and get people to reflect on their roles as leaders.”
The full calendar of events will be released in January. More than 60 community organizations are helping put the commemoration together.