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I greatly enjoyed the work you and your colleagues did in production of the film.
I believe your choice in location, the King Arts Complex, was ideal. The rich history of the facility and community lend themselves directly to helping establish a tone for the message which the film conveyed. The Kirwan and King Arts Complex staff were very helpful in gretting and directing myself and guest to our seats.
The film itself was terrific! I was very impressed with the overall presentation specifically:
  • The use of instrumental music to progress the tempo of the film and help emphasize particular passages.
  • The cleverness of utilizing some guest speakers on passages that had a direct correlation to either their current role in our community or personal interest (example Les Wexner’s portion).
  • The use of images  and photographs to convey moments in the speech which assisted in the audience in allowing the words to become 3 dimensional. One side note, I did notice a few images repeated.
  • The inclusion of such diverse speakers from our community was outstanding, I can’t even imagine the incredible effort by you and your team to work within the schedules of each of the speakers.
  • Equally important was having many of the speakers and their families present at the screening.
  • Allowing time at the conclusion for Sharon Davies to facilitate some thoughts and questions was very enjoyable as well.

Tim Harman Vice President Central Ohio Diversity Consortium

My husband and I attended the premier of the Kirwan Institute’s motion picture, “A Reading of the Letter from Birmingham Jail.” We both thoroughly enjoyed the video and want to commend your team for a job well done.  As former history major, I have read the letter a number of times, in addition to other speeches and writings by Dr. King.  I particularly enjoy the works closer to his death, as he became more “radical,” but still advocating for peace. (more…)

Elizabeth Cary Attorney at Law, Ice Miller, LLP

Please accept my belated congratulations on the debut of “Letter…”It was moving.  I agree that an added benefit was the chance to focus on the significance of Columbus movers and shakers. It was a call for renewed energy and activism as modeled by our King era heroes and she-roes.

Thank you for your vision, for sharing this engaging film with us and, for your hospitality.  Also, you are a moderator supreme. Well done!”

Vesta Daniel Wife of Cast Member T.K. Daniel

I found it deeply thought provoking on many levels.  I must admit that previous to your invitation, I had never heard of the Letter from Birmingham Jail and knew nothing about it.  The brilliance of the letter as a call for the rights of the oppressed to be free was overwhelming.  The words were as relevant to the Jews of Nazi Germany as to the African Americans in the 1960’s.

Congratulations on a fantastic movie about the Letter from Birmingham Jail. As it happens, yesterday Mike Cioffi and I had scheduled to teach the Letter in our course on Law in Literature and Philosophy. Judge Jones is a partner of Mike’s and when he told Mike about the event on Sunday we could not resist trying to get a copy of the film to show in class. The class loved the film. The movie is extraordinarily moving and I am sure we could have talked about it throughout the night. You put together a beautiful tribute and should enjoy many kudos.

Joseph Tomain The University of Cincinnati

Excellent video. Well designed and it gave me more of an appreciation for Dr. King. I did not know that he was such an extremely intelligent man.”

Najmuddeen Salaam Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

Just a little note to say how ‘incredibly powerful and rich’ this was/is, and to thank you and your partner(s) for the genius behind it!!  I drove home yesterday thinking about how much more appreciative I am of the extraordinary brain and brawn of Dr. King and what a sheer gift he was (and still is) to the world.  The documentary is yet another vehicle through which his story and message can reach a generation, yet unborn when he was physically with us.  I had read the letter, of course; but hearing it expressed – through so many familiar voices (collectively) – was a huge WOW moment.  Another THANK YOU from the head and from the heart (smile).  I wish you well with the marketing – it surely deserves national/international presence.”

Rose Wilson-Hill The Ohio State University, Office of Diversity and Inclusion

What a magnificent job!  The premier was everything we hoped it would be.  I could feel the love, effort and genuine pride that everyone put into making the film a reality.  Thank you for including us in such an auspicious event.”

Lenore Winfrey Diversity Coordinator Ohio School, Boards Association

Congratulations on The Film.  Very powerful…..worth of Dr. King and of Ohio State.  Very proud of you and your team.

Gordon Gee President Emeritus, The Ohio State University

I was just contacted by Susan R. Smith, Chief of Quality and Planning at the Department of Children and Families.  She has been in touch with Orlando about the AI and he suggested she contact me.  She is very excited about the report and has long been a fan of our opportunity mapping work.  She said the opportunity report was “foundational” to her thinking about how the agency should be doing its planning.  She pointed out that they put a great emphasis on foster placements with extended family, so to the extent this population disproportionately needs affordable housing, the location of such housing is an issue for the agency.

Erin Boggs, Esq. Connecticut Fair Housing Center

An important ally joined the fight to help show how overburdened communities of color are in the Birmingham area. David Norris of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University has gathered data to show that the rail line will illegally pollute almost exclusively low-income African Americans and public housing residents. The maps below, created by the Kirwan Institute shows how overburdened communities of color—and most specifically public housing projects—already are in central Birmingham.

Citizens for Better Schools & Sustainable Communities Newsletter

It has been said that, “Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting”. We thank you for lending us Glennon Sweeney and Hayden Shelby to help us with Canvass Day. We are grateful for their assistance with developing the survey, the training, their participation on 5/17/2013, and finally the compilation and reporting of data obtained. We also want you to know that we are thankful that you chose to be a community partner with us at St. Stephen’s Community House. Those we serve in the Greater Linden area will be blessed by your assistance.”

Hon. Michelle M. Mills, President & CEO St. Stephens Community House

Great to see the local as well as national impact that you and the Institute are having!

Joseph A. Alutto , Interim President, The Ohio State University

You were so and instrumental in our work on the southside last year and the action institute at which you spoke, that I would like to introduce you to Debbie Crawford. Debbie is leading a group making health recommendations for the Southern Gateway project. I wanted to help her make a connection to you and your colleagues related to this effort.”

Cheryl, L. Graffagnino MS RD LD Healthy Children Healthy Weights

I wanted to let you know that I had an opportunity to meet Erin Boggs of the CT Fair Housing Center at a meeting I attended for a Sustainable Communities Initiative project we are involved with. From what she indicated, they are very pleased with the opportunity mapping Kirwan did for CT. I also got the chance to see the opportunity mapping presented at a workshop about healthy equity issues in the state. It was well received and the audience seemed really interested in the work. It made me proud to have been a part of Kirwan!”

Abigail St. Peter Former Kirwan Graduate Research Assistant

Words cannot express how grateful I am that each of you took time to talk with my classes about opportunity structures!  It’s such an important topic, especially for my students who aim to be a part of positive change for communities that they serve.  Moreover, I always find myself refreshed and refocused when I have the chance to discuss opportunity, power, privilege, etc. with people who “get it” and also work to do something about it.  Thank you so much for the work that you do and your willingness to share it with myself and my students.  While I won’t be teaching the class anymore (I graduate in August!), I look forward to connecting you with the new TA to continue this tradition!”

Renae D. Mayes, M.Ed., NCC The Ohio State University, Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Thank you for all the work you did preparing mapping and training of our leaders to connect transit to jobs!  We had a great victory of the transit bill in the house and are now on to the senate. Your work had a big impact.

Shoshanna Spector Indianapolis Congregation Action Network

I attended the [United Way of Central Ohio: Champion of Children] today where Sharon also led the structured conversation with Canada and did a splendid job! He even remarked on how well- prepared Sharon was given the way she guided the discussion. He has a very big personality with lots to contribute in an open forum. Sharon did a great job in keeping the conversation moving along and hitting the targets she wanted him to cover-this was no small feat!


Wendy Smooth The Ohio State University, Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies

From all of us at IndyCAN, I want to thank you so much for all your research and making the trip out to Indianapolis to share this with our leaders. The Opportunity stories were a powerful, and introduction of the concept of implicit bias and structural racism. It will create opportunities for many follow up conversations that will permeate the organization.

The maps on racial and economic equity is and mass transit are very helpful. You can bet this will be part of our packets for legislators and you created a strong sense of urgency within our leadership.

We hope this is the beginning of working together in many ways in the coming months.

Shoshanna Spector Indianapolis Congregation Action Network

Former Morehouse College President Praises Kirwan’s Production of “A Reading of the Letter from Birmingham Jail”

We haven’t done this in Atlanta, Chicago, New York or Los Angeles or the Nation’s Capitol… This is a remarkable witness to this city (Columbus), this metro community… And I want to commend Jamaal and others involved for their genius production (of the film).

Rev. Dr. Robert M. Franklin Morehouse President Emeritus, Stanford University Visiting Scholar

Impressive Opportunity Mapping Model

Some fellow classmates and I are doing a research project on behalf of a local housing non-profit, Urban Homeworks. As part of our research we spoke with Ed Goetz who pointed us toward the great work that you and your colleagues are doing at the Kirwan Institute. Your “opportunity index” combines many, if not all, of the important variables that we wish to incorporate in our model.

Tony Damiano

Rich and Wonderful Resource

I cannot begin to tell you what a rich and wonderful resource you guys have been to me. Thank you.

Arthur James, MD Obstetrician and Gynecologist, The Ohio State University, Wexner Medical Center

Kirwan Contributes Enormously 

As 2012 draws to a close and I reflect back over the highlights, the Kirwan Institute’s both generous monetary and program contribution come to mind. A thank you was sent to Thomas Rudd for his outstanding presentation on implicit racism, which by the way, was the most highly rated of all during the AACLD’s symposium and training, Empowering Parents for African American Student Achievement, in August.

Nancy R. Tidwell Founder & President, National Association for the Education of African American Children with Learning Disabilities (AACLD)

Merced Report Brings Context and Richness to Maps

I love the report! The pictures and graphics really bring it all together. As expected, I knew it would give more contexts and richness to the maps.

See Lee Hub Coordinator, Building Better Communities (UnitedWay Merced,CA)

Salute to Kirwan

Kirwan Institute and the Office of Disability Service are to be saluted for their work and commitment to addressing issues of diversity via Mr. Lynn Manning’s edutainment methodology and community outreach. Again, the conference was exceptional! I feel truly blessed to work at OSU, as a member of ODI, and a collaborative partner of the Office of Disability Services, and the Kirwan Institute.

Michelle Cobbs-Martin Program Coordinator, Minority Continuing Education Opportunities Program (MCEOP)


Jason, Christy and Matt. Stunning! In fact I think the whole room was stunned. The Kirwan team’s products will be influencing community development decisions, plans and investments for years to come. Please keep working in Central Ohio.

Kim Stands Assistant Housing Administrator at City of Columbus

Invaluable Help!

The help that you and Jillian provided in developing the “Shining the Light” Kirwan report for the St. Cloud area has been invaluable! Community members have galvanized around one of the report’s most pressing issues – the rising poverty in our elementary schools. One of the responses has been the development of a “Promise Neighborhood” for restorative investment in St. Cloud’s poorest neighborhood. Goals are to work with residents to become leaders in obtaining immediate resources as well as selecting a systematic change issue for long term results.

Ruth Wiechman Community Organizer at ISAIAH

Kirwan’s Study is Extraordinarily Relevant

Enclosed is a brand-new and extraordinarily relevant study [The Geography of Opportunity: Mapping to Promote Equitable Community Development and Fair Housing in King County WA] that naturally needs updating with the detailed US Census 2010 data that are about to be published, and I am sending it to you with the hope that the Bureau of the Census, local governments, and private users of detailed data might be inspired to produce similar reports of socio-economic conditions of metropolitan areas and local communities.

Alan Rabinowitz Urban Planner

Jason Reece as Top Presenter

The results came in from our evaluation and you were the top presenter. Our community is very interested in the technique you presented.

Othelia W. Pryor, PhD Founder & Executive Director, Michigan Minority Health Coalition

PACT Acknowledges Kirwan’s Work

The ability to train community stakeholders and to host Community Conversations would not be possible without the generous contributions of many friends of PACT. The United Way of Central Ohio and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Ethnicity and Race were especially helpful in developing this initiative. PACT subcommittees lead this effort and are made up of stakeholders who volunteer their time in service to the Near East Side. Thank you.

PACT Community Conversations 2011