Community engagement

a photo of Summit Lake
ROSALIE MURPHY / THE DEVIL STRIP

Before the pandemic, the city of Akron, like many Rust Belt cities, was taking a close look at ways to engage the community, and draw in new residents.

A new Knight Foundation study took a deep dive into 26 metro areas, including Akron, to learn what increases residents’ connection to the city and improves quality of life.

a photo of a referee at a basketball game
DAVEYNIN / FLICKR/CC

The Midnight Basketball league returns to Akron tonight in an effort to combat violence in the community.

The program for adults 18 and over was stopped in 2004, but city leadership has decided to bring it back this summer to give people who might otherwise be on the street at night something to do.

Pat Littlejohn is overseeing the program and helped develop it.

“We’re having a lot of violence within our community, so we wanted to bring something back to allow these guys to exercise some of their energy instead of being out in the streets.”

photo of bicycle
BILL RINEHART / WVXU

An Akron woman who’s founded youth programs is taking another step to help her community.

Sheri Yearian has been named an Emerging Cities Champion fellow by the Knight Foundation and 8 80 Cities.

She’ll receive funding to promote cycling by adding more bike racks in the Kenmore area and a bike repair stand.

a photo of Cuyahoga Valley National Park sign
WKSU

A new study shows that Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) brought in more than two million visitors who spent more than $36 million locally last year. The CVNP’s community engagement supervisor, Pam Barnes, said national parks bring in $10 of local spending for every one dollar spent on the parks. She said she hopes to see more people take an interest in visiting national parks like Cuyahoga Valley.

“We like to feature this park. It’s a way to introduce the idea of national parks and as a gateway to national parks across the country.”

Your Voice Ohio: What Does it Mean to Be an Economically Successful Community?

Aug 16, 2018
DOUG OPLINGER / TWITTER

“Throw out the rules of capitalism. They don’t work anymore.”

That was the first idea tossed into a room full of journalists gathered at Denison University recently as the Your Voice Ohio collaborative and Solutions Journalism Network opened a conference on the state’s ailing economy, the topic Ohioans identified as most important.

Canton's People and Police Gather

Aug 2, 2016
Canton Community & Police Forum
Tim Rudell / WKSU

Some 200 people gathered at the Canton Civic Center last night (Thursday night) to discuss community relations with the city’s police. 

Canton is embracing “community policing.”  At the Forum for Community & Police Relations, veteran officers described elements of the strategy -- from training, to deescalating violence.

Patrolman Lemar Sharpe, said the core of community policing is building genuine relationships in neighborhoods, that those can start at the simplest levels and can work in the most direct ways.