News & Announcements

Levin Hosts “Equity, Inclusion, and Policing: A Program for Northeast Ohio Mayors/City Managers”

On May 26, the Levin College held “Equity, Inclusion, and Policing: A Program for Northeast Ohio Mayors/City Managers.” The program was hosted by Earl Leiken, Mayor of Shaker Heights, 2008-2018, and Michael P. Summers, Mayor of Lakewood, 2011-2019, who serve as Senior Fellows at Levin. Nearly fifty mayors, city managers, and chiefs of police from Northeast Ohio communities attended this peer-to-peer meeting, where discussion topics included “Police Anti-Bias Training and Community Relations,” “Achieving Diversity in Your Police Force,” and “The Role of the Mayor.” 

“Former Mayor Earl Leiken and I began listening carefully to our region’s mayors last summer,” noted Summers. “Several organized mayoral discussions occurred representing a broad spectrum of our cities. These discussions revealed a keen urgency about equity in housing and public safety. The national spotlight underscored our local mayors’ concerns. Levin College is the ideal institution to address both. Both subjects are politically, culturally, and emotionally sensitive. Levin College aims to help lead on just such issues,” he added.

Keynote speakers and panelists for the program included:

  • Dr. Joanna P. Ganning, Associate Dean for Faculty Research, Development, and Administration, Associate Professor, and Master of Urban Planning and Development Program Director
  • Dr. Robert Gleeson, Professor and Albert A. Levin Chair of Urban Studies and Public Service
  • Dr. Ronnie A. Dunn, Associate Professor at Levin and CSU’s Interim Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer
  • Dr. Mittie Davis Jones, Associate Professor Emerita at Levin and Interim Director of CSU’s Diversity Institute
  • Chief Annette Mecklenburg, Cleveland Heights Police Department
  • Dr. Patrick Oliver, Professor of Criminal Justice at Cedarville University, and former Cleveland Police Chief 
  • Certified police trainers and diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioners: Lt. Mike Hutson, of Shaker Heights Police Department (retired); Normella Walker, Executive Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Brigham Women’s Hospital; and Dr. Kyle Znamenak of Building Mutual Respect and Community Trust LLC
  • Scott Corsi, Doctoral Student and Graduate Research Assistant at Levin

Dr. Dunn, who helped coordinate the program, stated: “This was a critically important and timely dialogue with the chief executive leadership of a significant portion of the municipalities and police agencies throughout Northeast Ohio, as we wrestle with the challenges of racial equity and justice confronting cities big and small, and law enforcement across the state and country. I commend the City of Cleveland Heights and their police department under the leadership of Chief Mecklenburg for the manner in which they’ve responded to their community members and undertaken the difficult task of critically examining and reforming some of their policing policies and practices to achieve greater equity and justice and enhance community-police relations, and in turn, public safety for all. I think Chief Mecklenburg’s candid discussion of this process provides a powerful and potentially impactful example that ideally will help alleviate some of the reservations that some of these city leaders and police chiefs might have about addressing these challenges in their jurisdictions.”