Men of Change Gear Up for Fourth Year of Service; Ron Scott, Jr, Speaks About Group
At the recent April 22 OCSWA Earth Day Block Party, the HHE spoke with Ron Scott, Jr, about the Men of Change. Learn about their work, hear from one of their members, and support their mission.
The Men of Change are looking forward to a jam-packed summer full of outreach events, community engagement opportunities, and fun-times for all. Started in 2020 by a group of concerned citizens, Men of Change has strived to be catalysts for positive change–with individuals and with the City of Wheeling as a whole.
One of their most recognizable events are their bike rides–a chance to uplift, empower, and support while creating fellowship and promoting healthy lifestyles in the community. Participants take advantage of Wheeling’s Heritage Trail system along the Ohio River and get a chance to meet-up with friends and neighbors. At past events there have been bike giveaways for kids.
In September 2020, the group held a special back-to-school supplies giveaway, where over 400 students benefited from the event. Men of Change in August 2022 raised the bar with a family-friendly back-to-school block party. Organizations and community members came together at Tunnel Green for a day of food, music, dancing, and giveaways. After the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, this outdoor event offered Wheeling a chance to safely gather and support help prepare students for the coming school year.
The Men of Change have also sponsored blood drives, book fairs, reading groups, and Halloween-themed events. This summer they are looking to continue their tradition of hosting community bike rides while adding other health initiatives like hikes and yoga events.
Ron Scott, Jr–member of Men of Change–says one of the group's biggest goals is to be present in the community. One way Men of Change has accomplished this was in their recent organization of a community-listening session between City of Wheeling officials and East Wheeling community members about the fate of the Clay School–an elementary and junior high school that has sat vacant since the 1990s.
“We jumped on board to make sure we were a part of facilitating conversations about the Clay School,” Scott told the Hudson Household Editorial at the April 22 Ohio County Solid Waste Authority’s Earth Day Block Party. “If [the community affected] can’t be there, we will be.” Scott said of the all-volunteer group, Men of Change, that they have a stake in the community. “We’re here to make things better,” Scott said.
When asked what the most rewarding moment was for the group, Scott said it was being honored by Mayor Glenn Elliott at the State of the City address in July 2021. “They see you and see what you’re doing,” Scott said, adding that it felt great. Mayor Elliott said during his address that the Men of Chance, “make a difference by uniting the community instead of tolerating division.”
While the Men of Change founders are predominantly Black men, Scott was clear in saying the group’s mission is to be an advocate for all people. “We have an inherent interest in the Black community,” Scott told the Hudson Household Editorial, “but we are not pigeon-holed. We are a part of the community regardless of what color they are.”
To learn more about the Men of Change, the work they do, and to stay informed about their upcoming events follow their Facebook page. The Men of Change are an all volunteer group. Consider reaching out to them ([email protected]) and offering a donation to sustain their mission.
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