2016 Inez Tillman Killingsworth Leadership Award to Barbara Anderson

ESOP was honored to present the 2016 Inez Tillman Killingsworth Leadership Award to Barbara Anderson, former ESOP Board President, Executive Director of Another Chance of Ohio, and tireless advocate for the residents of Cleveland. Thank you to Ocwen CEO Ron Faris for presenting the award. Ms. Anderson's good friend Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, sent these touching remarks about her.


If you are looking at this stage with your (natural eyes) your eye sight; then

perhaps you think that I am standing alone in acceptance of this very precious

award. But, if you look with your inner vision (your heart) you will see that that

this stage is crowded; evenly over crowded with people who dedicated with me

their time, talents and energy to the success of ESOP.

So therefore I ask you to look at this stage with your heart; and not just your eyes. I

come as one but, I stand here today as many. I accept this award in honor and

recognition of all the organizers that marched, jammed elevators, raced up the

steps and protested in the earlier days of ESOP. I accept for those who were

soaked in the rain or weathered the wind and snow that blew in our faces, I accept

for those of us that rode on the old raggedy buses. I accept for the activists, the

advocates the struggling homeowners and their families, I accept for those that

were needlessly punished and lost their homes in the crisis; I accept for the

voiceless that quietly cheered us on and also for the prayer partners that prayed for

our safety and success. I accept for all of us that continue to fight the good fight

in recognition of what we accomplished and for our future accomplishments; -- -the

struggle does continue. If you look at me from your heart’s eyes you will see all of

those people on this very crowded stage with me. I am here today to represent us-- -

I accept this award as a representation of all the hard work we have collectively

done to serve, uplift and advocate for so many more. And….although I can’t

mention everyone in particular -- -there are some names that have creeped past my

heart and unto my tongue. Yeah, the stage is crowed with the presence of: 

ESOP’s long-term former Executive Director Mark Seifert

Former Board Members, colleges and friends like Catherine Haynesworth, Gloria

Bivens, my Pastor, Dr. Andrew Clark Sr. of Trinity Outreach Ministries and Holy

Trinity Church and Cultural Arts Center, Fannie Turner Williams, Anita Gardner,

Garfield Heights Councilman Michael Dudley, Audrey Fellows and Pastor Larry

Harris of Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church they are all on this very

stage—they are right next to me.

Richard Cordray is on stage-- -a huge supporter that gave ESOP a major boost

Jan Thrope, activist and author of InnerVisions—you are on this stage

And for those of us that just could not stop like…James (Jimmy) Rudyk, Samantha

Williams-Pierce Erica Bey, Geoff Englebrecht and James Jones

I see you up here….

Cleveland Mayor, Frank G. Jackson and

Cleveland Heights Mayor Cheryl Stephens

I also see, Department of Community Development Director, Michael Cosgrove

they are all on the stage with

Councilman Tony Brancatelli and Councilman Zack Reed

Stephanie Howse-- -State Representative

Myrle Johnson-- -State School Board Candidate

But, we also held spaces for those that negotiated in good faith and served


Ron Faris—and Ocwen Financial is on stage

Marc Stefanski—and Third Federal Savings and Loan

J P Morgan Chase is on stage

Sally Martin Housing Manager from South Euclid you are on stage

And to each and every one of you that are here and even to those that could not

make it that are far too numerous to mention—you are on this stage

And if there are any empty spaces that perhaps you think you see-- -that is where

Love is—Love is on this Stage

Inez’s family is on stage -- -Thank you Greta Royster, Nicole, Devon, and Michael


I stand side by side with you

and above it all

Inez Tillman Killingsworth still remains front and center on stage. As I promised

her voice will continue to be heard.

This award is important to me because it is the Inez Tillman Killingsworth

Community Leadership Award and I know what that means—I knew Inez and I

knew what she stood for and I believed that we would accomplish what we set out

to do. I certainly thank Inez for believing in me, inspiring me preparing and

equipping me for continued leadership….and I proudly while humbly accept.

And as I stated, it is unlikely that anyone that receives an award has achieved any

measure of success ALL on their own merits…and that is true of me-- -- I was not

alone in my achievement and I thank God for His presence everywhere that we


I also thank the present staff and Board of ESOP that supports the mission, values

and goals of ESOP. You have history, and stand on a firm foundation. May you

always remember THAT-- -and never ever make apologies for it. And let’s make

sure that the community sparks-- -THE SPARKS that lit -- -ESOP’s flame remains

forever ESOP’S LIGHT!

I am an “Esopian” for Life!!!!

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