Myesha Crowe named executive director of Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance

Myesha Crowe, an experienced youth development professional, has been named the new executive director of Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance, a nonprofit violence prevention organization.

Crowe, who has been serving as the group’s interim director since February, will oversee a staff that does street outreach in the city’s higher-risk neighborhoods, provides violence interruption services at MetroHealth Medical Center and University Hospitals and helps youth in the juvenile court system find positive paths.

Crowe holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from Cleveland State University.

Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance Board Chair Kevin Griffin announced the appointment.

“The board is enthusiastic about the next phase of the Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance,” Griffin said. “We are confident that Myesha and the CPA staff will serve as a trusted resource for young people in our community and that the organization will build bridges of opportunities and work to create environments that reduce incidents of violence among young people.”

Crowe said, “I am honored to have the opportunity to work towards a solution to a generational problem of violence, one that our neighborhoods and communities have been battling for years.”

Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance is an independent organization focused on reducing youth and gang violence in the city’s neighborhoods by engaging young people and those who influence them, like family members and peers. Peacemakers Alliance was re-launched in early 2016, when Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland — now a branch of Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio — agreed to take over the organization, restructure it and make it a subsidiary.

“Myesha is passionate, driven leader who cares deeply about reducing violence in our community and keeping young people on a positive path,” said Jeff Scott, BGCNEO’s president and CEO. “She is committed to the mission of Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance and to finding ways to make our streets safer for everyone.”

Peacemakers Alliance, which had been based at East Tech High School before the pandemic, will soon move into a new office in Cleveland’s Slavic Village-North Broadway Neighborhood.

Crowe’s experience includes a stint with Boys & Girls Clubs, where she served as Broadway Club director. She has also worked as a psychotherapist for homeless young adults and as psychological social worker at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center.

A Cleveland native and John Marshall High School graduate, Crowe was raised by a single mother. During her childhood, her family moved more than 20 times and she transferred between schools about 15 times. She is the first in her family to graduate from college and graduate school.

Crowe lives in Cleveland Heights with her daughters Elle, 7, and Cori, 3.

Peacemakers Alliance has an annual budget of about $1 million and is governed by an independent six-member board led by Griffin. Most of the organization’s funding comes from philanthropic sources, including the Cleveland Foundation, United Way and the Conner Family Foundation.

The organization also receives funding from the city of Cleveland.

Key community partners include the city of Cleveland’s Community Relations Board, University Hospitals, The MetroHealth System and the Northern Ohio Trauma System.

Peacemakers Alliance focuses on:

  • Street outreach: Outreach workers intervene at the street level by consistently monitoring individuals and groups in higher-risk neighborhoods. They also mentor youth and young adults, thereby reducing risk factors and increasing their chances for success. In addition, Peacemakers staff members help monitor safety at Cleveland Metropolitan School District buildings during student dismissal.
  • Hospital trauma response: Peacemakers Alliance violence interrupters are embedded at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and MetroHealth Medical Center to counsel gunshot victims and their families, thereby serving as a deterrent to retaliatory violence.
  • Working with the juvenile justice system: Staff members help court-involved young people take the steps they need to stay out of trouble and lead productive lives.

Since the start of the year, Crowe and the Peacemakers Alliance staff have been working with acclaimed Seattle-based consultant Eleuthera Lisch, who founded and directed Alive & Free, a youth violence prevention and gang intervention program in that city. Lisch also served as a member and consultant for the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention Preventing Youth Violence and My Brother’s Keeper initiative during the Obama administration.