The Think Tank in 2017


As you might have noticed, for us on the Justice team, the month of January has been about working off the Holiday dinners and picking up the pace with our blog posts.

So, for those of you actively checking in, thanks, and keep coming back, we’re getting better at this!

Now that we are in the zone, I wanted to share with you all a “Think Tank in 2017” highlight sheet that made the rounds at our last Leadership meeting.

And before we begin, all of us here at Justice would like to recognize every one of our brothers and sisters in the Think Tank who have activated and organized with us throughout 2017.

The Licking County Reentry Coalition

As well as continuing our Peer Advocate and Prison Outreach programs, in March, NTTP hosted the first Licking County Reentry Summit. A multitude of groups that work in Licking County’s social service, non-profit, and faith-based sectors joined with the Tank to form the Licking County Reentry Coalition. The Coalition continues to meet and coordinate their efforts towards improving the lives of citizens returning to the community after incarceration.

The groups that signed on with the coalition are as follows:

  • Mental Health America
  • Coalition of Care
  • The Society of St. Vincent de Paul
  • Licking County Job and Family Services
  • Mental Health and Recovery of Licking & Knox Counties
  • Behavioral Healthcare Partners of Central Ohio
  • Licking County Alcohol Prevention Program
  • Pathways of Central Ohio
  • Adult Probation
  • Adult Court Services
  • Licking County Coalition for Housing
  • Newark Addiction Recovery Initiative
  • C-TEC
  • Licking County Child Support



The Leadership Retreat

In June, NTTP held a Leadership Retreat for its members at the Saints Peter and Paul Retreat Center. Rooming and all meals were provided.

On Friday, we watched and discussed Michael Moore’s Where to Invade Next? Saturday morning and past lunch, we took a StrengthsFinder 2.0 course, lead by John Murphy, to recognize one another’s talents. After the course and before the Retreat’s end, we also formalized and began to use the NORA acronym for planning Think Tank actions: Needs, Opportunity, Resources, Access.

The “Pay It Forward” Grant

Denison economic students Isaac Bertman, Zakia Sultana, Ashely Mei and Ha Tran attended our April meetings. Not only did they give a wonderful lecture that helped us better our understanding of Downtown’s development, they won for us a grant to develop our newsletter!

A big special thanks to the students and Professor Fadhel Kaboub.

You can download their PowerPoint presentation by clicking here.

Alliance with the Civic Engagement Center

Our friendship with the Civic Engagement Center continues to grow.

NTTP and CEC have furthered our collaboration to include an office space within their base of operations.

The Think Tank office, located at 136 East Main Street, has operated under the work of Tonya Gordon, Larry Green, and Callie Rucker.

In addition to helping us establish a base of operations, NTTP and CEC are collaborating on a grant. We will keep you posted.

Thanks to our sister and brother Donna Shaw and Michael Holmes for welcoming us into their base, and thanks to Think Tanker and Denison Student Kellon Patey for acquiring new computers for their classroom space.

Justice, the Think Tank Newsletter

In April 2017, Justice, the Think Tank newsletter, was established.

The first print issue was distributed at the EPIC Rally on November 26th. The first blog post was made on the 27th.

The purpose of Justice is to raise the consciousness of Think Tank members and the general public with print and digital coverage.

The print version is published quarterly, and we update this blog frequently for immediate coverage.

What do you think so far? Let us know in the comments below, or email us at justicenttp (a) gmail (dot) com.


Vision 2028

Mayor Jeff Hall’s City of Newark, in collaboration with OHM Advisors, Steiner + Associates, and Newark Development Partners, is continuing forward with their plans to “develop” the Downtown area in a plan they call Vision 2028.

We all know their definition of “develop”: wealthy individuals and businesses give enormous amounts of money to elected officials and the government to buy power. They then remove people from their homes, remove affordable housing from communities, and develop the area to maximize their profits.

The Think Tank attended both public meetings, and has a member on each of the committee boards, which, unsurprisingly, never convened.

Expect more reporting in 2018’s Justice.

Grant Proposals

Throughout the year, we have continued to apply for grants to expand the opportunities of our brothers and sisters. In 2017, in addition to the Pay It Forward grant, the Think Tank won the Ohio Transformation Fund, and will be exporting its work to the surrounding communities, including Lancaster, Zanesville, and Mount Vernon.

Other accomplishments

We assisted Jeremy King of Denison with their Public Transit survey.

Callie Rucker organized a fantastic Holiday Party for Think Tank members and friends. Thanks Callie!

We continued our dialog with allies of our campaign in social service agencies. The Think Tank would like to thank and recognize Kay Spergel, John Fisher, Scott Fulton, and Judge David Stansbury for their continued assistance.

The Think Tank had a consistent presence at City Council, in addition to appearing at the EPIC and Fed Up! Rallies in Downtown Newark.

The Think Tank, in collaboration with Denison University, held a Manifesto Workshop at the Denison Art Space. The created manifestos were displayed in the Art Space for a week after.

The Think Tank Political Arts Coffee Klatsch was started, and is held at River Road Coffee House on the Square Thursdays at 10 a.m.

Think Tank members Sherry Hickman, Ellanor Shanklin, and Helena Stephenson participated in Denison University’s “Women in Poverty” presentation.

The Think Tank has been at the table with the Licking County Addiction Task Force.

We continued our work with our allies at Main Place, EPIC, United Way, and Holy Trinity Lutheran.

And we selected our new campaign--acquiring equal access to affordable and adequate treatment for all people suffering from drug addictions--through a democratic, strategic planning session.

To come in 2018

The Think Tank will continue its work, both in Newark, and in the surrounding communities through its Transformation Fund award.

Members will be working with Fadhel Kaboub on a Predatory Lending class at Denison University.

We will continue our activism for equal, adequate, accessible, and affordable treatment for all people suffering from drug addiction.

Want to join us? Our next General Meeting will be on Saturday, February 10th, at the Denison Art Space.

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