Sunday, September 4, 2011
Protest Friday, 9-9-11, 3:30 PM, Jane Edna Hunter Center For Cuyahoga Family And Children Services For Stealing Black, Poor Babies For Whites
Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Judge Alison Nelson Floyd
From the Metro Desk of the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com)
The Imperial Women, Govabuse.org, The Northeast Ohio Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, Stop Targeting Ohio's Poor, The Family Connection Center, The Oppressed People's Nation, Black on Black Crime and other grassroots and community organizations will rally on Friday, Sept. 9 at 3:30 pm at the Jane Edna Hunter Center for Cuyahoga County Family and Children Services, 3955 Euclid Ave. in Cleveland. At issue is what community activists say are actions by the social services agency in stealing Black and poor new born children to hand to affluent Whites when qualified family and extended family members have petitioned for the children, and in alleged efforts to tear Black and poor families apart to accommodate affluent White ones seeking to make their own families at the expense of the Black and poor communities.
Contacts for the rally are Pastor Ray Parker at 216-509-4377, Imperial Women Leader Kathy Wray Coleman at 216-932-3114, Angelique Cunningham at 216-645-8408 and Nancy Rolfe at 216-671-3999.
Highlighted at the rally will be the mistreatment of an innocent Black family by the taking of the granddaughters of Angelique Cunningham, whose 19 and 16 year old daughters have allegedly been victimized by the agency where their children were handed to a well-to-do White couple under the guise of temporary arrangements and foster care. The couple are accused of making the two two-year-old children that they secured as new born babies call them mom and dad and then seeking legal custody, though Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Judge Alison Nelson Floyd denied the custody petition and the couple have hired a lawyer to appeal that decision. A hearing is set for Nov for Nelson Floyd to decide who will get the children.
Cunningham said that the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family services has harassed her family repeatedly to try to justify stealing the kids though she, the now foster kids grandfather, Cunningham's mother, the paternal great grandmother of the stolen two- year- old girls, a great uncle and a host of cousins, many qualified under state law to have temporary custody of the children, were overlooked because the agency said that the White couple could pay for a college education for the children.
"Children and Family Services have a modern day plantation by stealing Black children and we want our children back," said Cunningham. "I believe that the social worker and her supervisor are biased and have harassed us at every turn because we are Black and not middle class or rich."
The grassroots and religious communities are upset too.
"They have been merchandising Black and poor children and we must fight against it" said the Rev. Ray Parker, Assistant Pastor of Faith Pentecostal Church in Cleveland and one of the organizers of the protest. And Nancy Rolfe, who leads Govabuse LLC and held a national protest two weeks on governmental mistreatment by children and family services agencies across the country agrees that abuse by the agency exists, but she says that agency officials are harassing families across racial and ethic lines.
"They are using children for profit," said Rolfe, who will lead the protest along with Parker and Imperial Women Leader Kathy Wray Coleman, who says that research reveals that Black and poor babies are being stolen from their families to hand to affluent Whites in violation of state and federal law.
"We have nothing against qualified White foster parents but to steal these Black children from their families to virtually sell them for free to accommodate young White affluent couples is racist and unconscionable," said Coleman. "And some White and other minority families in addition to Black families have been done in my the system too and we are fighting for them also."
Coleman said that the rally is not against Nelson Floyd, who has a reputation of keeping Black and other families together in compliance with the law, but against the Cuyahoga County Department of Family and Children Services.
Cunningham said that an attorney for the Cleveland NAACP contacted her this week to see if the Civil Rights organization can be of assistance and she referred her to Coleman who invited a representative from the group to the rally to speak up on behalf of disenfranchised Black children.
Larry Bresler, who leads Organize Ohio and The Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, said that poor children are being done in and that he will speak at the protest. He also invites community members to a meeting to discuss the matter further on Sept. 7 at 5:30 pm at 3500 Loraine Ave in Cleveland, telephone number 216-651-2606. (Hit 4458 on the building keypad to get buzzed in for the meeting)
Valerie Robinson, a member of Stop Targeting Ohio's Poor and The Imperial Women, said that overlooking qualified members of the Cunningham family for temporary custody of the children at issue is illegal and immoral.
"They are targeting poor children and their families and we will rally around them doing it," said Robinson, 74, a long time community activist.
Following the protest activists will have a dinner party beginning at 5:30 pm at "I Have A Dream Restaurant" at 16420 Euclid Ave. in East Cleveland. The restaurant is owned and operated by community activist Art McKoy. To pre-order dinners call 216-249-8732.
Journalist and Community Activist Kathy Wray Coleman can be reached at 216-932-3114 and firstname.lastname@example.org