David Ross, Community in Action

Ivory Star

, Culture, Exclusives

In the world we live in, it is my firm belief that the inner city feels the effects the worse. The lack of parenting, the lack of resources, the lack of unity, and the lack of privilege creates an atmosphere of oppression which in turn creates an atmosphere of poverty and crime. There is a man here in Toledo born and raised who has made it his personal mission to change the mentality of our neighborhoods through Arts and Culture. Early in his childhood David Ross developed a sense of caring and morality by following his idol at that age the Musician Michael Jackson. As a child a therapist asked him to draw what he felt and instead he drew heroes. When I think of the word hero I also think of words such as rescue, change, impact, courage, and creativity. As Creative Placemaking Project Manager and Community Engagement Consultant Specialist at the Arts Commission David has been given the responsibility to use art and culture as a way to bring about solutions by identifying problems in key target areas in the inner city including areas such as Lagrange, Junction, Old West End, and Inglewood just to name a few. David has hosted many beautification projects that include cleaning and painting;

“To give the community civic pride so they will be proud of the neighborhood they live in, having ownership of their own neighborhood by being apart of the beautification.”

David Ross is the Creative Activities Hub alongside Roshawn and Otha Jones who oversee the year-round free program at Soul City Boxing gym offering free training to children ages 5 and up. Soul City just wrapped up there summer program which went from 12p.m.-7p.m. daily. This camp not only offered boxing but basketball and football. The goal was not only physical training but the promotion of safety, good health and mentor-ship through feeding, reforming, housing if needed, teaching and training. When I asked what is the biggest issue that they run into with running such a program his response was;

“Resources, it takes a lot of resources to be able to support these children at this magnitude.” “Our goal is to create champions, over-comers. We already have three Olympians.”

Even with the high demand of Arts and Boxing, this is not the only place David has his hand and heart. He also is apart of the Junction Coalition, Y.A.A.W., The Fredrick Douglas Center, Savage Park, one of the founders of Junction Park, as well as one of the founders for the annual charity basketball game “Dunkin for Donations.” Honored with a Humanitarian Award David says he has exceeded his goals for the Arts this year and is working on the continued build of the Soul City boxing gym. If you would like to follow or donate to any of his causes David Ross can be found on Facebook, or at by email found on theartscommission.org