About Us

Organizational History:

The idea to create a News Desk was born during a City of Cleveland Ward 7 community meeting in the summer of 2018. A multimedia platform, which includes a print, digital and audio edition to communicate with the community?” The positive response was the beginning of the Ward 7 Observer.

The Ward 7 Observer was distributed to several Cleveland neighborhoods each month for over two years. 5,000 print newspapers were distributed to: AsiaTown, Fairfax, Hough, Midtown, and St.Clair-Superior. In August 2020, TCO was launched in the midst of a pandemic and racial unrest and expanded to serve more communities in Cleveland, Ohio. With this expansion, The Cleveland Observer (TCO) expanded to serve the neighborhoods of Central, Downtown, East Cleveland, Lee-Harvard, Broadway Slavic Village, University Circle, and Glenville. The Cleveland Observer (TCO) is a community-based news desk bringing trusted, newsworthy free content across Cleveland, Ohio.


Organizational Vision Statement:

Our vision is to be an information and resource hub to Engage, Educate and Empower Cleveland’s urban communities. We report on relevant topics through timely news updates, effective content communications, collaboration with partners and efficient programming.

Our Guiding Values

  • Provide continuity of Cleveland’s community resources focusing on Health, Education, and Financial matters.
  • Engage and inform the community through collaborative programming, utilizing various media sources.
  • Ensure JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) efforts are compliant in Institutions, Corporations, and Government in the city of Cleveland with trusted reporting.

Who We Serve

The Cleveland Observer “Urban Voice” addresses the concerns of under-represented communities.

Our solutions-based journalism, fueled by community and freelance content providers, reports on the truths relevant to the lives of urban residents.

The strength of TCO’s services rests in its commitment to diversity in age, gender, sexual preference and identity, race, ethnicity and socio-economics. 

Organizational Mission Statement:

“To empower and motivate communities in Cleveland, Ohio with a holistic approach. Providing critical information and resources in order to positively impact civic engagement for change.”


11459 Mayfield Ave #302
Cleveland Ohio 44103
Voice: (216) 236-8081

The Cleveland Observer is a community-based news digital and monthly print publication.

Our Board if Directors

                                                                                                                      Margaret Adams RN Retired


Cheif Executive
Chief Executive Officer


Ronald Calhoun System Analyst Retired

 Daina Dortch  


Sheila Ferguson Ph.D., LPCC

Ron Harris Chief Financial Officer at UpAiQ, Inc.

Ray Hom Senior Account Executive at Tulip

Devon Jones  MSASS (2021); MNO

Community Research Associate for the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences

Sharon Lewis Instructor and Coordinator of Student Services at MDT College of Health Sciences

 Art McDaniels Technical senior account Representative Manager

Mark Silverberg  Consultant and volunteer for non-profit organizations

Consulting and Advisory:   

Denise Holcomb Founder of Removing The Stigma (RTS),

John Coptic  Euclid/Collinwood Observer Publisher, 

Meryl Johnson State Board of Education 

Patricia Johnson Freelance Writer/Editor

Program Manager
Devon Jones

Ray Hom

Content Providers:                                                                                            


Daina Dortch
Lexy Jensen

Melvin Mason
Frankie Winston

Contributing Writer Team

Bruce Checefsky

Sheila Ferguson

Gennifer Harding-Gosnell

Devon Jones

Sharon Lewis

Nicole Miller

Kellie Morris

Mark Silverberg

Editorial independence policy

We subscribe to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News:

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.

Our organization may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.

Our organization will make public all donors who give a total of $5,000 or more per year. We will accept anonymous donations for general support only if it is clear that sufficient safeguards have been put into place that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization and in compliance with INN’s Membership Standards.

Donor & Financial Transparency

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization.

Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals, organizations and foundations to help with our general operations, coverage of specific topics and special projects. We are operating as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that operates as a public trust, we do not pay certain taxes. We may receive funds from standard government programs offered to nonprofits or similar businesses.  Our Application will be submitted in mid-March for 501c3 status. We have received funding through Martha and Tonya Johnson Legacy Project as our fiscal agent.

Our news judgments are made independently—not based on or influenced by donors or any revenue source. We do not give supporters the right to assign, review or edit content.

We make public all revenue sources and donors who give $5,000 or more per year. As a news nonprofit, we avoid accepting charitable donations from government entities, political parties, elected officials or candidates seeking public office. We will not accept donations from sources who, deemed by our board of directors, present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.



The Cleveland Observer is a community-based news monthly publication.