The fight for civil
Rights is not over

Civil rights history in Cleveland goes far beyond the historic preservation efforts of the trail. We invite you to browse the additional resources below to learn more about the people, places, events, and outcomes associated with the movement as it was, and as it continues today.

Black Lives Matter Cleveland

Black Lives Matter Cleveland was established in December of 2015 one year after the murder of Tamir Rice. Inspired by the 21st Century “Black Lives Matter/Hands Up Don’t Shoot” Movement which was sparked by the systemic culture of violence in America which disproportionately claims the lives of Black and Brown people alongside a fatally biased cradle to the grave prison industrial complex. [Black Lives Matter Cleveland Link]

NAACP-Cleveland Branch

The Cleveland Branch was established in 1912 with the goal of improving the political, educational, social, and economic status of minority groups; to eliminate racial prejudice; to keep the public aware of the adverse effects of racial discrimination; and to take lawful action to secure its elimination, consistent with the efforts of the national organization and in conformity with the Articles of Incorporation of the Association, its Constitution and ByLaws and as directed by the National Board of Directors. Over the years, the Cleveland Branch of the NAACP has helped those in the community who are without any other means of assistance through a variety of programs and services. [Cleveland NAACP Link]

Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition

The Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition is a social justice organization created to address the impact of racism on African American disparities including policy inequities, historical trauma, food insecurity, research, behavioral health and addiction, health promotion by working to empower, educate and advocate for health equity in under-served communities. [Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition Link]

Ohioans to Stop Executions

Ohioans to Stop Executions was established in 1988 with one goal in mind: to end the failed policy of capital punishment in Ohio. State sanctioned violence in the form of the death penalty is a civil rights issues that persists in the 21st Century. It is specifically a Cleveland civil rights issue because, Cuyahoga County is tied for number 2 in the United States for exonerations from death row. Of Ohio’s 11 exonerees, 8 of them are men of color and 6 of them are from Cleveland. We must end this policy so that no one else faces capital punishment. We can only do this with your help. Join us. [Ohioans to Stop Executions Link]


This website has used images from the following organizations:

Cleveland Historical
Cleveland Memory Project
Cleveland Public Library Photograph Collection
Cleveland State University Special Collections
Western Reserve Historical Society
Materials donated by private citizens

Although the Cleveland Civil Rights Trail conducted its own oral histories that can be found on our Oral History page, for additional interviews about Cleveland history, visit Cleveland Voices.

Another valuable resource cited throughout this site is the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.

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