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Want to know what is on our minds? Find blog posts written here, by the City Club staff, members, and partners. Every week you can find a new edition of #FreeSpeech in the News — a collection of related stories, commentary, and opinions on free speech in the 21st century that’s making the news. You’ll also find takes on current events, past forums, and issues surrounding Northeast Ohio. Read on for all things City Club.

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Monday, September 30, 2019

Member Spotlight: Brant Silvers

Alyssa Giannirakis

Member Spotlight: Brant Silvers

Occupation:

Business Lead, Spry Healthcare, LLC: a new way to get primary health care in downtown Cleveland

Neighborhood where you live:

Shaker Heights, Ohio

Tell us a bit about yourself:

After growing up in Cleveland and then moving away, I recently returned to start Spry after a 20-year career in the international non-profit and government sectors. My public health focus includes past employment with Planned Parenthood Global, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Columbia University among others. I began my career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cote d’Ivoire. I hold a BA in Political Science and English from Tufts University and a MA in International Development and Economics from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

I’m so happy to be back in my hometown - supporting great institutions like the City Club and raising my kids here with my wife Gaylea.

How long have you been a member of the City Club?

I’ve attended City Club events for many years. I decided to become a member in 2017 to strengthen my commitment. I also sit on the Health Committee to promote health related forums at the City Club.

Tell us about a recent forum that you enjoyed:

There are so many good speakers; it is hard to choose. If I had to choose one, I was deeply moved by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris’ recent forum on adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress. There’s more work to be done here in Cleveland but also great hope for interventions we can already implement now. She’s inspirational!

Why are you a member of the City Club?

I am a member of the City Club because I believe free speech is important and worth supporting. I also think there are fewer and fewer places where people of differing viewpoints have the space to engage in civil dialogue about issues that matter to all of us.

Plus, there’s always something to learn. A longtime member of the City Club gave me the advice to sign up for a few random forums when time permits – even if it isn’t in your line of interest. It’s a great tip and helps foster unexpected connections.

What’s one of your favorite ‘hidden gems’ in Greater Cleveland? (restaurant, park, attraction, museum, etc.)

I love the Cleveland Cultural Gardens along MLK Boulevard. They aren’t very hidden, but many Clevelanders hurry past them every day on their way to somewhere else and don’t give them a second thought. They are a great testament to Cleveland’s rich immigrant heritage and living present. It’s worth getting out of your car and looking at some of them. The One World Day festival is a unique opportunity to celebrate them even more fully each year and engage with other Clevelanders. My family makes it a point to bike around to as many as we can each year and celebrate the diversity of Cleveland.

What tip would you share with someone who is attending their first forum at the City Club?

Don’t be afraid to ask a question! We really do want to hear from you and the audience and speakers are supportive. Also, be sure to introduce yourself to others at your table. You’ll be surprised at who else is sitting with you!

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