Please join us on Sunday, April 24th, from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm (bench ceremony begins at 3:00pm) at the Cozad-Bates House located on 11508 Mayfield Road, Cleveland, OH 44106, as The Toni Morrison Society’s Bench by the Road project dedicates its 19th bench in the University Circle community of Cleveland, Ohio. This bench will be placed in memory of Cleveland’s African-American and White abolitionist communities and also in honor of the many heroes who journeyed north to freedom along the Underground Railroad. Horace Ford and Samuel Cozad, two successful businessmen and property owners who lived in Doan’s Corners, now known as University Circle, provided aid to many of these individuals and families, as did the African-American abolitionist and ship captain John Malvin, who frequently traversed this route along Euclid Avenue. Malvin also hid runaways on his ship while sailing Lake Erie’s waters to either Canada or Buffalo.
Dr. Marilyn Sanders Mobley, Vice Chair of the Toni Morrison Society Board of Directors and Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at Case Western Reserve University is the lead organizer for the Bench by the Road Ceremony. Dr. Mobley and Dr. Craig Stutman, Co-chair of the Bench by the Road Project, will speak during program. Other featured speakers at the gala event will include The Cleveland Public Theatre, Robin Lynn Pease & Kulture Kids, The Hue People, Djapo Cultural Arts Institute, Ruth Pangrace, Kalim Hill, Kevin Cronin, remarks by Joan Southgate, Hon. Joe Cimperman, and Chris Ronayne.