Introducing Signal Cleveland’s new community reporter and our Central listening team, a dynamic group of Clevelanders who are focused on listening to residents in Central. 

Najee Hall is our community reporter. He has been a Cleveland Documenter since it started in 2020, and also worked as an organizer with New Voices for Reproductive Justice. His work as Signal Cleveland’s community reporter will focus exclusively on the Central community. 

Joining Najee are Lila Parker and fellow Cleveland Documenters Kellie Morris, La Queta Worley, Marvetta Rutherford and Teela Patterson. Look for this team at community events and gathering spaces around Central and in collaboration with our radio partner, WOVU 95.9-FM.

“The best way to be impactful is to be in community and to have conversations with people,” Najee said. “Often in journalism these days, media bias doesn’t allow for the full truth to be told to the citizens it is intended to inform. A lot of that stems from the media being completely out of touch with the people.”

That disconnect is one of the reasons we are starting our reporting work in Central by listening first. We want to understand what issues are important to residents. This team will spend the next few months riding public transportation, visiting the library and going to other community spaces and events to ask Central residents, “What’s important to you?”

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, they were at Friendly Inn, where City Year Cleveland hosted a lunch and discussion about civic participation and belonging. 

“Having a space for open, honest and productive conversations that can bring us together is key,” Najee said. “I’m looking forward to a lot of productive conversations to come.”

Editor-in-Chief (she/her)
Lila is the founding editor-in-chief of Signal Cleveland, the Ohio Local News Initiative's Cleveland newsroom. Lila, who has experience in community building and journalism, led the launch of Cleveland Documenters in 2020. Formerly associate director at Neighborhood Connections, a Cleveland-based organization that has done groundbreaking work building community networks, Lila has been a newspaper reporter, a student-journalism advisor and a freelance news producer. Born and raised on the southeast side of Cleveland, Lila is a first-generation college graduate with degrees from Columbia University.