Tuesday, April 9, 2002

Faces of Over-the-Rhine

Sharon Brooks

        Sharon Brooks is a success story.

        She started as a student at Urban Appalachian Council’s Identity Center in 1999. She signed up with AmeriCorps, and in 2000 she joined the teaching staff at the Urban Appalachian Council’s GED program at the Identity Center in Over-the-Rhine even as she started her bachelor’s degree in education at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.

        The Identity Center looks the worse for wear inside and out. What money there is is spent on more important things than office furniture.

        In a downstairs meeting area, Ms. Brooks says she doesn’t feel changed by the events of last April. But she sees changes, some for the better, others for the worse.

        There are the women who go up and down Walnut Street every day, sweeping and picking up trash.

        And she sees an increase in police patrols on Main Street and on Vine, ‘‘where they want to revitalize.’’ On Walnut, she says, there’s an increase in drug activity and prostitution.

        Ms. Brooks, 29, of Northside, is going to be laid off on Friday, when funding runs out for the Identity Center’s education program.

        She sighs. Commitment to education is where change needs to happen, she says. People need to learn job readiness and life skills. Plus, they need transportation, she says.

        ‘‘(Leaders) say they want productive citizens, but they stop the funding.’’ She sighs again.

        Just as important, she says, decisions shouldn’t be made from the outside by people who are ready to ‘‘speak on behalf’’ of Over-the-Rhine residents.

        ‘‘People who live down here — they have to be asked what they want to see happen. Everyone needs to meet on central, neutral ground and work from there.’’

— Jackie Demaline

Faces of Over-the-Rhine
Restaurant owner Paul Sebring
Taft senior Darrel Shields
Social worker Angela Coleman
Sarah Center director Sister Jeanette Buehler
Jordanian grocer Taraq T.A. Adwani
Filmmaker Steve Gebhardt
Gallery owner Suzanna Terril
Beauty shop supplier Chong Kim
Teacher's aide Kemberley Alexander
Waitress Karla Davis
- Teacher Sharon Brooks
Dock worker Leo Sneed
Police officer Michael Ammann
Soup kitchen manager Denise McPherson
Artist Joseph M. Winterhalter
Janitor Latrell Walker
Fund-raiser Torren "T.J." Partridge
School social worker Joe Wilmers
Rehabber Greg Badger
Medical student John Eckman
Treatment counselor Calvin W. Wooten
Photographer Jimmy Heath

The Police
Violence up, arrests down
- Changes made since April 2001
Q&A with Police Chief Streicher
Q&A with former F.O.P. president Keith Fangman

Neighbor to Neighbor
Community meetings produce results
Going beyond polite silence
What your neighbors said
What do you think?
What's happening in 145 communities
A sampling of communities:
Mount Healthy
Pleasant Ridge
What institutions are doing

Related Links
Neighbor to Neighbor home page
Matters of Race: Bridging the divide in Greater Cincinnati
On the Same Page Cincinnati
Live Without Hate
Common Ground
Cincinnati 2001: Year of unrest
Unrest in the city: Archive of riot coverage
Unrest photo timeline
Jim Borgman on race

One Year Later
What were they thinking?
Too early to assess impact
Micheal Basnight's resolve
Violence part of life in OTR
CAN co-chair has no doubt
ACLU adds its Y-E-S to deal

Restaurant owner
Taft senior
Social worker
Sarah Center director
Jordanian grocer
Gallery owner
Beauty shop supplier
Teacher's aide
Dock worker
Police officer
Soup kitchen manager
School social worker
Medical student
Treatment counselor

Violence up, arrests down
Changes since April 2001
Q&A with Streicher
Q&A with Keith Fangman

Meetings produce results
Beyond polite silence
What your neighbors said
What do you think?
In your community
Mount Healthy
Pleasant Ridge
What institutions are doing

Neighbor to Neighbor
Matters of Race
On the Same Page
Live Without Hate
Common Ground
Year of unrest
Riot news archive
Unrest photos
Jim Borgman on race