Teleange’ Thomas is the Program Officer for Health at the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland. Charged with reducing the impact of health disparities through systems change and strategic investments; her launch of the Healthy Eating, Active Living initiative is one example of her innovative approach towards addressing the issue of health and poverty in neighborhoods. In a short time, the initiative has expanded the greening of the Central neighborhood, created sustainable job opportunities, advanced policy change and increased access to healthy food and physical activity for thousands of residents.
Before joining the Sisters of Charity Foundation, Thomas served for four years in leadership positions with the Cleveland Department of Public Health, addressing infant mortality and chronic disease in the City of Cleveland; particularly among African Americans.
Thomas was raised in Alliance, Ohio. There she was reared with values and principles that have shaped her love and commitment to community, service, young people, social justice, family and faith. It was also in Alliance that Teleangeʹ at an early age, began her journey as a community leader. Carrying forward the legacy of her grandparents who founded Johnson’s A.C., she and other family members sponsored athletic teams for youth, hosted annual Easter Egg Hunts and even provided educational Scholarships through the Nellie R. Johnson Scholarship Fund, which she chairs.
Her entrepreneurial spirit has created many opportunities for her to connect enterprise and social innovation. A great example of this is Ohio Homecoming – a grassroots Movement led by a core of energetic, dedicated “Clevelanders” representing various industries, professions and backgrounds. Getting its start in 2010, the Movement combines both socially conscious and entertaining fare to promote an environment that attracts and retains diverse, unique, talented and skilled individuals to Greater Cleveland and raises the profile of Ohio. The Movement has engaged over 30,000 Ohioans, 800 volunteers, provided hundreds of hours in community service and donated over $50,000 to local causes and organizations throughout Ohio. Thomas continues to support and cultivate the Movement and this year as Co-Chair, Teleangeʹ and other members of the Movement will bring together 10,000 people on Public Square for Cleveland Rocks New Year’s Eve!
Thomas earned the opportunity to attend State College High School in Pennsylvania through the A Better Chance program, an academic initiative focused on identifying talented minority and low-income students and providing them with scholarships and opportunities to attend the best high schools in the country. Thomas went on to attend Case Western Reserve University and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management. She was named a Robert Wood Johnson – Ladder to Leadership Fellow in 2010, completing a 16-month fellowship with Center for Creative Leadership. Teleangeʹ holds certificates in health, research and is also published in several academic journals. She is a Board of Director for Health Policy Institute of Ohio and Green City Growers Inc. She was recognized as a Who’s Who in Black Cleveland in 2012 and was named one of Cleveland’s most interesting personalities in Who’s Who in Black Cleveland 2013.
Teleangeʹs work, leadership, passion and activism are just part of the woman she has matured into. Teleangé finds joy and pleasure in the simple things – good food, wine, great conversation, entertaining and the company of interesting people. She also has a love for travel, sports (competing as an athlete in fast pitch softball up through college, and coaching a youth baseball team for 5 years post-grad), and music among other interests. She is the proud first born child to Simon and Clara Thomas and loving big sister to Alzavier (AJ) Thomas.