Yvonka Marie Hall Executive Director

Ms. Yvonka Marie Hall, MPA serves as the Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition and co founder of the Cleveland Lead Safe Network. 


She is a nationally recognized award winning health disparities expert and serves on the board the Ohio Healthy Homes Network; Health & Human Services Region V Health Education Advisory Committee; Multi Ethnic Advocates for Cultural Competency (MACC) and a member of the United Way Accountable Communities Health Committee. 


She is a proud member of the National Council of the Negro Women Cuyahoga County Section, Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus, The National Coalition of 100 Black Women Greater Cleveland Chapter and the Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., Greater Cleveland Chapter. She was recently elected to the Democratic Party of Cuyahoga County Central Committee Member representing District N. The Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition was named the 2019 Voices of Health Champion by Aetna, received the 2019 National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Distinguished Health Leadership Advocate Award and the El Hasa Temple Afro American Women of the Year 2019.


The 1974 murder of her mother dramatically changed her life; her childhood promise to use her life to help others has lead to the creation of cutting edge programs and impacted thousands of people’s lives including No More Tears-When Your Sweetie Ain’t So Sweet, LEAV Leadies Escaping All Violence and MOVE Men Overcoming Violent Environments.


She speaks across the country regarding Effective African-American Engagement. She organizes a national conference every year focused on the State of African American Health Disparities. She is a published author lending her story The Making of a Public Health Emergency to the book Not Far From Me: Stories of Opioids and Ohio and Racism, Hypocrisy, and Bad Faith: A Moral Challenge to the America I Love.


Ms. Hall has hosted local conversations throughout Northeast Ohio geared towards creating solutions in health, education, criminal justice and youth engagement. Her local conversation on the Department of Justice Community Corrective Action Report was utilized by the city of Cleveland to craft the consent decree. She is the first African American in the state of Ohio to run a syringe exchange harm reduction program. Her efforts over the last four years to bring local legislatures to the table to create a lead safe Cleveland has lead to a national awareness and support of her local efforts. Her strength and tenacity will save many children from the lifelong impact of lead poisoning. 


She is a proud mother, grandmother and activist deeply impassioned and involved in social justice activities. She is a graduate of John Marshall High School in Cleveland, Ohio and an inductee into the Alumni Hall of Fame. She is part of numerous justice groups including Stop the Inhumanity at the Cuyahoga County Jail; Cleveland Lead Advocates for Safe Housing(CLASH); Clevelanders Organized for Regional Development (CORD); Pregnancy and Infant Loss Committee (PAIL) and the Ohio Lead Free Kids Coalition.


Whether it’s speaking against environmental issues, systemic racism, cardiovascular disease, infant mortality, environmental hazards, domestic violence, housing disparities, mental illness, juvenile justice, employment, education or hosting community forums, she uses her voice to make a difference in the lives of others.




The Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition (NEOBHC) was formed in 2011 and became a non-profit 501(c)(3) in 2015. The NEOBHC is the first organization in the State of Ohio dedicated to addressing disparities in health, employment, housing and education in the community. 


NEOBHC’s strength is in its ability to work across multiple sectors using unified approaches regarding education, advocacy and empowerment utilizing partnerships to specifically meet  the unique needs of African Americans in Northeast Ohio. NEOBHC holds the following guiding principles for:


a.   Health and Health Care Disparities Elimination


b.   Capacity Building


c.   Community Empowerment



Slavery in the United States existed as a legal institution for more than  200 years until the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865 following the Civil War.


Most slaves were of African descent and were held by whites; in the English colonies, their status as foreigners and, generally, non-Christians contributed to hardening the legal boundaries of slavery.  In 1662 the colony of Virginia passed a law adopting the stating that children of a slave mother inherited her status.


By the early 18th century, colonial courts and legislatures had racialized slavery, essentially creating a caste system in which slavery applied nearly exclusively to Black Africans and people of African descent.  According to the Census of 1860  the slave population in the United States had grown to more than four million.


Diseases Among Slaves

Slave faced serious health problems. Including poor nutrition, unsanitary living conditions and excessive labor made them susceptible to disease. 


Slave Diet

The slave diet featured very little in the way of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that were essential to good health and nutrition.


Because of this history it is important that the needs of the African American community be looked at from a unique perspective.  Many slaves suffered from horrible living conditions, working conditions and life conditions.  The end of slavery did not make everything that had gone on prior to and during slavery go away.  It has only been in the last 40 years that African Americans have gained some of the freedoms that should have been given to them when they were emancipated. 


A Healthy African American community cannot happen overnight, but it is important that we work to make it happen everyday and that we remember that African Americans are still traveling a long hard road to GOOD Health.


We are no longer accepting the things we cannot change.

We are changing the things

we cannot accept.


-Angela Davis

The Brown Rose


The brown rose conveys a feeling of warmth and stability. Despite of all of the atrocities that African Americans have faced we are still able to warmly embrace our ancestry and remain strong in our unrelenting faith.