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Who is GCC?

Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC) was founded in 2011 as a non-partisan collective of faith communities and partner organizations in Cuyahoga County working together to build power for social justice. To this day, it stands alone in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County for its effectiveness.

Our mission is to be a powerful force for change, creating justice and opportunity in Greater Cleveland by uniting our faith communities and civic partners across lines of race, class and religion. We remain steadfastly focused on those issues that keep our members awake at night.

Who is GCC

GCC is a member of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), the nation’s largest network of multi- faith coalitions, and we draw on its seven decades of experience.

GCC challenges Greater Clevelanders to imagine what we can accomplish together, connects stakeholders to multiply our power and mobilizes our members to make our voices heard.

Drawing on the proven power of person-to-person organizing, GCC is building the power necessary to create a better Northeast Ohio.


A Productive Past

At the outset of our founding in 2011, we mobilized our GCC leaders to successfully take on tough issues.

School Funding

In 2012, 2014 and 2016 we trained hundreds of volunteers and mobilized thousands of voters to pass two critical levies and a school construction issue for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

Civil Rights Unit: a First!

Our organizing work resulted in the creation of Cuyahoga County’s first-ever Civil Rights Unit, a reduction in overcharging for non- violent offenses by 20% between 2012 and 2016 and the creation of a third Drug Court in Cuyahoga County whose criteria do not exclude people of color.

Gun Safety Consortium

Through our national Do Not Stand Idly By Campaign, we created the first Gun Safety Consortium, which allows mayors and police chiefs to use their purchasing power to test and promote gun safety products. These products have the potential to reduce suicides, accidents, and gun thefts.

A Purposeful Present

We’ve done important things during an unprecedented pandemic.

Decriminalization of mental illness

We continued our relentless campaign for a long- needed mental health and addiction crisis diversion center to keep people out of jail. Recently, Cuyahoga County announced its opening in April 2021.

COVID Testing

We partnered with Cleveland East Side congregations, MetroHealth, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and United Healthcare to organize onsite COVID testing of approximately 5,000 individuals between July and December 2020.

Voter Engagement

In the space of three weeks in the fall of 2020, we trained 285 leaders to alert voters whose ballot applications had been rejected. We made 13,000 voter contact calls, sent 650 emails and delivered 1,500 door hangers. The result: 7,000 applications were corrected!

A Focused Future

Much work remains to be done. Let’s get to work!

COVID Vaccine

Our Color of Health Initiative is using the power of our member organizations to listen and respond to African-American people’s concerns about the COVID vaccine by organizing small community discussion groups, as well as pop-up vaccination sites at our member congregations.

Battle for Democracy

Our Battle For Democracy initiative is combating voter suppression, depression and regression. Our long-term strategy to make our region accountable by increasing voter turnout in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. We will train hundreds of volunteers to do deep organizing, build long-term relationships with neighbors, and create captains to boost voter turnout this year and over the next ten years to come!

Community Engagement from Start to Finish

Our Lee-Harvard Healthy Villages Initiative is focused on organizing people on the ground in order to improve quality of life and enrich the vitality of this neighborhood while protecting its heritage, history and residents.

Additionally, our Community Purchasing Alliance congregations are using their collective spending power to negotiate better prices for waste hauling, electricity and natural gas.

“I think 10 years inspires me and GCC’s leaders to take a step back, even with all the work that we’re doing, to celebrate the fact that an organization that started with just simple person- to-person connections has built itself into an organization that is respected in our community,”

Rabbi Joshua Caruso
Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple.

“This is what we do each day in power organizing: We create new relationships, new ideas, new networks, new power, and new imagination. We create opportunities out of chaos,”

Keisha Krumm
GCC Lead Organizer

Member Organizations

Affinity Missionary Baptist Church
Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple
Antioch Baptist Church
B’nai Jeshurun Congregation
Beth Israel -- The West Temple
Beth-El the Heights Synagogue
Catholics for GCC
Church of the RedeemerUMC
Cleveland Friends Meeting
Disciples Christian Church
Divinity Lutheran Church
Dover Congregational UCC
Elizabeth Baptist Church
Fairmount Presbyterian Church
First Baptist Church
Forest Hill Church Presbyterian
Greater New Canaan Ministries

Kol HaLev
Lakewood Congregational Church
Lee Road Baptist Church
Neighbor Up Network
Olivet Institutional Baptist Church
Shiloh Baptist Church
South Euclid UCC
Southwest Unitarian Universalist Church
St. James AME Church
St. John AME Church
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
St. Peter AME Zion
Suburban Temple Kol Ami
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cleveland
West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church

GCC Strategy Team

Keisha Krumm, Executive Director/Lead Organizer
Rabbi Joshua Caruso, Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple
Rev. Henry F. Curtis IV, St. John AME Church
Rev. Joanna D’Agostino, Lakewood Congregational Church
Rev. Dr. John C. Lentz Jr, Forest Hill Church Presbyterian, Co-Chair
Rev. Ronald E. Maxwell, Affinity Missionary Baptist Church, Co-Chair
Ms. Louise McKinney, St. John AME Church
Rev. Dr. James P. Quincy III, Lee Road Baptist Church
Rabbi Stephen Weiss, B’nai Jeshurun Congregation
Ms. Amy Zipp, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Get Involved

Looking for an organization that makes a REAL difference? GCC is that organization. Become a member—contact us:

216-785-9844

info@greaterclevelandcongregations.org

DONATE AT

www.greaterclevelandcongregations.org/donate