Hood alumnus to conduct chapel service, sign book Wednesday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hood Theological Seminary alumnus the Rev. Odell Cleveland, class of ’97, will be in town Wednesday to sign his book “Pracademics and Community Change: A True Story of Nonprofit Development and Social Entrepreneurship During Welfare Reform.”
Cleveland is a founder of the Welfare Reform Liaison Project in Greensboro, a grass roots, faith-based community action agency that helps put people to work.
“We are always happy and proud to have our alumni come back to our campus and share with our students the stories of their efforts, their successes and their ministry,” Hood President Albert Aymer said.
During his visit, Cleveland will conduct the morning chapel service at 10:10 a.m., followed by book signing sessions in the Cokesbury Bookstore on the seminary campus from 11 a.m.-noon and then from 1-2 p.m.
Cleveland was invited to the White House in January to be part of President Obama’s Summer Jobs Plus Summit. The event marked the launch of Obama’s challenge to businesses to commit to provide jobs to low-income youth.
Cleveland said that after serving as president and CEO of his Greensboro organization for the past 15 years, he has found two things to be true:
• The working poor are looking for a handup, not a handout.
• The best social program is a job.
Cleveland said his organization become financially stable through multiple funding sources. He also tracks outcomes and assesses program effectiveness and maintains a range of national partnerships.
“Pracademics and Community Change,” told by Cleveland, a practitioner, and Bob Wine-burg, an academic consultant and professor of social work, is the story of the process of creating and growing a successful nonprofit organization.
Hood Theological Seminary is at 1810 Lutheran Synod Drive. For more information, call the Development Office at 704-636-6926.