Episode 10: Doc Harrill & Ben Herring

Is it really possible for youth to participate in bringing real change to their neighborhoods cities? In this episode, we sit down with Doc Harrill from Refresh Collective and Ben Herring from Making Our Own Space (MOOS) about how they’re empowering and developing youth to lead the way in their own neighborhoods through hip-hop and architectural design. Doc and Ben help us to see the perceptive insights kids have about their neighborhoods and the creative solutions they imagine and enact when they are given the proper access. 

Mentions in Episode:
Every Good Endeavor
Fresh Gear
Fresh Camp


Connect with Doc or Ben.

La Villa Hispana Bench from Making our own Space

Episode 9: Vatreisha Nyemba

What does it look like for the church to be engaged in community development in underserved neighborhoods? In this episode, we sit down with Vatrisha Nyemba and learn about the philosophy and practice of Christan community development. Vatreisha  helps to resource practitioners, mobilize the body of Christ, and affirm the agency of residents to bring holistic change. Vatreisha works for the Cuyahoga Land Bank in downtown Cleveland, attends Bakke Graduate University, and lives on the Eastside of Cleveland with her husband and two daughters. 

Mentions in Episode:
Oneness Embraced 
Where the Cross Meets the Street
City of God, City of Satan


Connect with Vatreisha.

Episode 8: Robin Brown

Lead poisoning was made famous by the Flint water crisis, but few of us are actually knowledgable about the dangers of lead and how its affecting other cities. In this episode, we sit down with Robin Brown and learn about the silent epidemic of lead poisoning in our cities. Robin works in Cleveland as an advocate for those in danger of experiencing lead poisoning and an educator for those who have been poisoned. Her daughter was poisoned in 1999 and in 2005 Robin and her daughter founded CCOAL (Concerned Citizens Organized Against Lead). Robin lives in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood on the Eastside of Cleveland.

Mentions in Episode:
Just Mercy
Channel 5 Video


Connect with Robin.

Episode 7: Patrick Kearns & Mohammad Noormal

Refugees are humans. They have very human fears, hopes, and emotions. As simple as that sentiment may seem, our conversations about this group of people can often have a dehumanizing quality. Our cities are increasingly inhabited by refugees longing for a life of security and possibility, but what does it look like to affirm their diginity and to welcome them? 

In this episode, we sit down with Patrick Kearns and Mohammad Noormal and learn about their work with the Refugee Response. This organization helps refugees to resettle through education, mentoring, and agricultural job creation.


Connect with Patrick & Mohammad

Episode 6: Jeff Stredney

Capitalism and a competitive local business environment makes America what it is, but too often we reduce the possibilities of business to a profit/loss sheet. What if the businesses we created included more than just a monetary bottom line to measure success? 

In this episode, we sit down with Jeff Stredney and listen to why he started a social enterprise and what that journey has looked like along the way. Jeff lives in Cleveland where he has started multiple businesses with HopeWorks, which is Building Hope in the City’s arm for social enterprise.

Mentions in this Episode: 
Common Threads 


Connect with Jeff 

Episode 5: Richard Gibson

Partnering and collaborating with other organizations in the city is an attractive concept but a difficult and sometimes painful reality. How can we minimize competition and create more opportunities for healthy, inclusive, and purposeful collaboration? 

In this episode, we sit down with Richard
Gibson to talk about his experience pastoring
a community towards collaboration, holistic community transformation, and racial reconciliation. Richard is a pastor at Elizabeth Baptist Church and a practicing lawyer in the
city of Cleveland. 


Episode 4: Ben Colas

Public city schools often feel like an institution for many to avoid, but what would happen if people were willing to enter intentionally into that environment? How could we contribute to fostering new stories for the next generation in our cities?

In today’s episode, we sit down with Ben Colas and we chat about his reflections regarding the gifts and challenges of being an educator in the inner city. Ben is a Kindergarden teacher in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the founder of KinderKits, which is a non-profit that partners with parents in preparing their children for kindergarten. 



Connect with Ben Colas

Episode 3: Amber Cullen & Bryson Davis

What happens when we create the opportunity for conversations about race and relationship with those who are different than us? Well, for starters, we learn to listen and to empathize with people of different backgrounds and different experiences. Is there any posture more sorely needed in our country?  

In this episode, I sit down with Amber Cullen and Bryson Davis, two ministry leaders in Akron, OH, who lead us through some of their experiences and reflections on race, relationship and reconciliation. I was extremely grateful for their insight and I think you will be too!

Mentions in this episode:
We Gon’ Be Alright
James Cone
Cornel West
Beverly Daniel Tatum
The New Jim Crow
VIBE Collective


Connect with Amber Cullen
Connect With Bryson Davis

Episode 2: Dustin White

Why is important for individuals, families and faith communities to consider what it means to be rooted in their neighborhoods? And what exactly does that look like when we so often live, work, and play all in different places?

In this episode, we sit down with Dustin White, Pastor and Non-profit Director, to talk about what it means to recover a local focus to our lives and how he and his faith community have attempted to do that in their particular neighborhood in Canton, OH.

Mentions in this episode:
WalkieTalkie Coffee
Evicted by Matthew Desmond
White Man’s Burden by William Easterly

black and white profile photo.jpg

Connect with Dustin.

Episode 1: Introducing Storied Cities!

Hey everyone! Thanks so much for listening to our inaugural episode of Storied Cities. Instead of cool sound effects and clips from future interviews, I share a little bit about why I started this podcast and what it's all about. Sneak peak–it's about paying attention to the good news all around us! 

Thanks so much for joining us in the conversation!

Mentions in this episode: 
Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations
Barbara Brown Taylor


Connect with Anthony