News: A Womanist Approach to Racial Harmony

Woman's City Club of Cincinnati devoted to improving police-community relations

Jun 23, 2004 at 2:06 pm
Active in the collaborative agreement are (L-R) Nancy Walters, Harriet L. Kaufman, Ruth Cronenberg and Madeline Moxley.

The goal of Cincinnati's collaborative agreement is a community founded upon "peace, safety, and mutual respect," according to Harriet Kaufman, chair of a Woman's City Club action group working to help implement it.

By placing their support behind the 2002 agreement between the city, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Fraternal Order of Police and the Black United Front, these women hope to change the face and spirit of Cincinnati.

The collaborative agreement outlines a means for Cincinnati to overcome racial tensions by improving relations between the police and the community, facilitating understanding and respect.

"The collaborative agreement is this city's last, best hope," Kaufman says.

She says the agreement is "unbelievably creative" in its approach. About 3,500 citizens took part in designing the agreement, meeting in small groups to express their concerns and hopes for Cincinnati.

Kaufman worked with Ruth Cronenberg, former president of the Woman's City Club, to start the Collaborative Agreement Action Group in November 2002.

"I was grateful people believed in the same issues I do and were willing to do something about it" Kaufman says.

With the creation of the group, the Woman's City Club was taking a step in a new direction.

"We started three separate action groups while I was president and this one was very important to me," says Cronenberg, now treasurer of the club.

"I'm just delighted with what has happened in the past two years"