Last year was big for us — read below, or download the PDF, to find out what we did, and how we used our funds, to help the community.
A Letter from our President, Miguel Carvallo
To our fellow Stowites, at home and at heart:
As we all have collectively crawled from our Covid cocoons, the world we face is changing so drastically and quickly that we often forget to take pause and reflect on the beauty and progress that has taken place through it all.
It feels like yesterday that Stow Collaboration for Change (SC4C) was formed out of a place of pain and frustration, to help take up the mantle of social justice, inclusion, and equity in Stow and Munroe Falls. Each one of our members has a renewed passion for continuing to help others who are not being treated with kindness and fairness in Stow and the surrounding areas.
This past year has been a year of growth, connection, and outreach. SC4C has continued to be a supportive presence for youth who feel they cannot speak their truth, to help them feel seen and heard. Our members have attended countless school board meetings to show support for students, as well as encourage accountability and change from school leaders. SC4C will continue to advocate for students to be treated with respect and fairness, and feel safer in school.
The darkness and pain of police brutality came to Summit County last year when Jayland Walker was murdered by members of the Akron Police Department. In the wake of this senseless tragedy, Stow Collaboration for Change members marched in the streets in his name, and helped raise funds for his family. In partnership with the Akron NAACP and the Akron AIDS Collaborative, we raised over $12,600. It fills us with immense pride to be part of a community that shares our passion for justice and lets the powers that be know that our voice will be heard.
SC4C was born in honor of our Friend, George Garrison Jr., who attended Stow High School and passed by suicide. For 18 years, our members have carried a weight of sadness when reflecting on the aftermath of his passing. We have wanted to establish a physical memorial for our friend for years, and were constantly thrown obstacles in many of the channels we attempted to go through. This spring, in partnership with the Initiative to Memorialize George R. Garrison, Jr., our goal is finally going to be reached, as we dedicate the George R. Garrison Jr. Unity Memorial, at Wetmore Park, in Stow.
I look toward the future with excitement and anticipation, as we approach election season. Students still need support, and our community still needs to learn and grow into the safe and accepting place it wants to be. Our work is far from done, and our members will continue to strive to be a positive voice for change in our community. Thank you for helping us in doing that.
With love and solidarity,
Miguel J. Carvallo
WHAT WE DID
Roots for Ongoing Impact
We worked with the Initiative to Memorialize George Garrison, Jr. to seek approval for, and begin construction on, the George R. Garrison Jr. Unity Memorial, in Stow’s Wetmore Park, to be completed in the spring of 2023.
We also helped the Initiative hold a vigil in George’s honor, and create the George R. Garrison, Jr. Memorial Scholarship, which awarded two $1,000 scholarships to SMF Seniors, in 2022.
Monetary Aid for Victims of Police Violence
We raised $12,601.49, in partnership with the Akron NAACP, Akron AIDS Collaborative, The Freedom BLOC, Serve the People Akron, and the Akron Democratic Socialists of America, for the family of Jayland Walker, a Black man who was murdered by the Akron Police Department in June of 2022.
A More Progressive School District
We supported Dr. Pamela Wind’s successful campaign for the SMF Board of Education (BoE), through direct donations, social media campaigns, a published interview and candidate profile, and door-to-door canvassing.
We also helped pass the recent SMF Schools Levy by canvassing, completing literature drops, and leading social media and text campaigns.
Finally, we disseminated resources for the November 2022 Election, including a sample ballot, and information on issues and candidates.
A More Inclusive City
We served on the SMF Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Community Subcommittee, and assisted in planning the Juneteenth Reflections on Freedom event.
We also tabled at the SMF Back To School Health and Wellness Expo, distributing literature and collecting survey data.
Finally, we highlighted SMF area Black-owned businesses on social media, with their permission.
Supporting the LGBTQIA+ Community
Solidarity with Students
We stood in solidarity with the students behind the Concerned Students of SMFHS Instagram page, and those who shared their stories, by collaborating to organize a calling campaign to the BoE and administrators at the High School, and speaking at BoE Meetings to advocate for more mental health staff; adding mental health and LGBTQIA+ issues to the DEI Initiative; and creating a culture of accountability.
We also advocated for a Mental Health Committee to be created at the BoE level.
HOW WE USED OUR FUNDS
We generated $16,910 in 2022, through generous contributions from people across the country — you can see the sources of those funds above. Please note that most of our restricted donations came from the fundraiser for the family of Jayland Walker, as well as fundraiser we held for the memorial and scholarship in honor of George Garrison, Jr.
We spent $16,491 in 2022 — you can see how those funds were used in the chart above. The biggest category, charitable contributions, represents funds that we gave to the family of Jayland Walker, as well as gifts to other organizations, such as the Initiative to Memorialize George Garrison, Jr.