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Levin Student Ricardo Reinoso Creates Safe Space for Dialogue on Race and Equity in Cleveland

Ricardo Reinoso, a Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs student pursuing a Master of Science in Urban Studies, was featured in the October issue of CSU’s Viking News, “Facing Hard Truths, Gaining Perspective.” The story shares that in 2020, he founded Cleveland Dinners, an organization that provides people with a safe space to have conversations about race, racism, and other issues in their communities. Having hosted twelve dinners since August of last year, he has encouraged countless others to push themselves out of their own comfort zones to engage in these conversations.

“For a lot of people these conversations are not easy,” said Reinoso. “It’s not meant to be a comfortable topic, but we intend for it to be a comfortable place to have a difficult conversation. We want people to feel comfortable to be uncomfortable by creating a safe space to share experiences.” The safe space that Cleveland Dinners creates allows attendees to be open about their experiences and delve into issues affecting their country and local communities. “People are eager to interact in any way and hosting the dinners virtually has allowed people to do that.” Reinoso said the venue has also allowed people to connect with others beyond their own communities. Over time, Reinoso hopes that the dinners will continue to facilitate these connections and inspire other to create change in their own communities.