BY Martha Cecilia Ovadia, Senior Program Associate, Equity Programs and Communications

“We are committed to prototyping hopefully transformative innovative solutions to disrupting what we see as a vicious cycle of decline and degradation that primarily impacts communities of color,” says PLACES alumni Mordecai Cargill to WKYC’s Alexa Lee during their recent interview about advocating for equitable space and action for the people of Northeast Ohio.

Cargill, co-founder of ThirdSpace Action Lab with fellow PLACES alum Evelyn Burnett, recently spoke to WKYC about their mission to bring creative place-based solutions to complex socioeconomic problems. Both Mordecai and Evelyn see themselves as institutional and community organizers, turning multidisciplinary research into evidence-based strategies; and activating “third places” to co-creating more liberated spaces for people of color.

Cargill says their motivation do this work is grounded in the “opportunity to leverage the nascent momentum of a Northeast Ohio-based upswell of interest and engagement around topics of racial equity and inclusion — or I should say, the questions we were hearing from people across our civic ecosystem about the significance of structural racism as it impacts the work of community development, economic development, public education, municipal services.”

Watch the entire interview with WKYC here.


BONUS: To learn more Cargill and Burnett’s work and journey as PLACES alumni, read their profile in the PLACES X: Stories of Impact project here.