ABOUT Freedom BLOC

The Black Led Organizing Collaborative (BLOC) was created to build Black political power and to equip the Black community with capacity building tools through civic education, civic engagement, campaign management and leadership development that will ignite and foster greater electoral turnout in Cleveland, Columbus, as well as our historical urban centers in Northeast (Youngstown and Akron). BLOC is the vehicle for collective political expression, educating the Black electorate and the broader Black community on issues impacting their lives and mobilizing them to turnout to vote on issues and candidates that support and enforce equitable policies for Black Ohioans. 

 

Ray has been working to provide job training, jobs and education in the Black Community since walking out of prison in 2001. Hiring and training over 2,000 people in direct sales through canvassing in Ohio, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Detroit and Pittsburgh. He used those skills to build the largest voter registration team in the country from 2012-2018 registering over 500K Black people over that span.

 

America is at a tipping point – in a country that continues to lead the world in locking up its own people, mass incarceration has emerged in recent years as a defining civil rights issue. A movement has blossomed in which formerly incarcerated people lead alongside diverse and influential allies, powerfully capturing what’s at stake: that runaway use of incarceration dehumanizes poor people and Black people, damages already marginalized communities, does not advance public safety, and siphons public resources with no social benefit.

 

In a time of deep political and ideological divides, the fight for justice is more urgent than ever. At the same time, the need to reform our criminal justice system remains a point of agreement among a public made increasingly aware of injustices, leaders of red and blue states alike, and the local government actors who are in charge of delivering nearly all of our nation’s justice system. We are working to sustain and grow the momentum to undo the failed apparatus of mass incarceration. In its wake we can instill practices and build institutions that help build safe communities, are responsive to people, and affirm human dignity.

 

We know that through education, direct engagement and encouragement, Black people will be increasingly engaged civically and will participate in the building of the political infrastructure necessary to make progressive change in Ohio. Through partnership with the Ohio Transformation Fund, we will work with you to transform our justice system. Our goal is to build new leadership and support existing Black leadership and infrastructure in the state of Ohio.

Team

Ray Greene

Executive Director ray@thefreedombloc.org
Rev. Raymond Greene, Jr., executive director of BLOC, Greene has 11 years of experience working in Min. Raymond E. Greene Jr. was born and raised in Akron, Ohio to Gwendolyn Haslem and Raymond E. Greene Sr. Grounded with an incredible set of family values, Raymond began his journey on the road to success. Hiring and training over 2,000 people in direct sales through canvassing in Ohio, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Detroit and Pittsburgh, he used his skillset to build the largest voter registration team in the country. Greene’s collective efforts resulted in registering over 300K Black people to vote from 2012 to 2018. For several years, Greene served the Ohio Organizing Collaborative and Black Fork Strategies in many different positions including volunteer, Team Lead, Office Manager, Deputy Director, Political Director, and Organizing Director. These service and leadership roles were instrumental training grounds which cultivated Greene’s savvy as a strategic thinker and leader for BLOC.

Kimberly Brazwell

Organizing Director kim@thefreedombloc.org
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Kimberly Brazwell is a trauma-informed social justice consultant. With over 15 years in community building and advocacy, Kimberly’s expertise lies in resiliency efforts, the reduction of non-academic and non-occupational barriers to success, dialogue facilitation, strategic planning, collaborative team and relationship building, training and professional development and event planning.

Genesis Shine

Digital Organizing Director genesis@thefreedombloc.org
Genesis Shine is a creative entrepreneur, writer, community leader, Owner of IKnoCulture Media and co-founder of Near East Safe Passageways. As a lifelong resident of Columbus, she is dedicated to using her talents in communication, anthropology and digital marketing to improve the equity and culture of the nation. Over the past 5 years, Genesis has been creating programs, writing grants, training community leaders, and answering as many calls to action as she possibly can. She's a permanent Public Health Ambassador, Safe Routes Near East lead, a PACT Leadership graduate, a licensed Community Health Worker, and a future social-cultural anthropologist.

CONTACT

The Freedom BLOC
915 E Market Street

Akron, OH 44307

Email:  freedom@thefreedombloc.org

Facebook: @thefreedombloc

Instagram: @thefreedombloc

Twitter: @freedombloc

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