The George Gund Foundation has elected Margaret Bernstein, director of advocacy and community initiatives at WKYC Channel 3, as one of its two Cleveland trustees. A champion of literacy, she earned a 2016 Emmy for her #WeReadHere campaign at WKYC, which encouraged parents to read every day with their children.
Bernstein is a Los Angeles native and she earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California. She was a reporter, editor and columnist for The Plain Dealer from 1989 to 2013. She won the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists’ first place award for minority issues reporting in 2011 and 2012 for co-writing a series of profiles on the 11 Imperial Avenue serial killer victims and their families.
“Our Cleveland Trustees are such an important part of the Foundation,” noted Catherine Gund, president of the board. “The family no longer lives there and we value our Cleveland colleagues for their insights into local needs and opportunities. We’re very excited to have Margaret bring her knowledge and dedication to our board discussions.”
In addition to her professional work, Bernstein is a committed community volunteer. She was named National Big Sister of the Year in 2000 for her work with two Cleveland girls through the local Big Brother Big Sister agency. She was also a longtime volunteer with the Urban Journalism Workshop, an annual program organized by black journalists for high school students.
She wrote The Bond, a memoir on fatherlessness by the nationally recognized “three doctors” who made a pact in high school in New Jersey to escape poverty and become doctors. That experience led her to write a series of storybooks designed to tighten the bond between fathers and their young children.
“I’m a person who looks for hope and solutions so I’ve long been aware of the Gund Foundation’s outstanding work, particularly in the education arena,” said Bernstein. “I’m looking forward to learning from this team and sharing my expertise.”
Bernstein succeeds noted Cleveland civic leader Randell McShepard, whose term on the Foundation board expired. She joins Cleveland trustee Mark Joseph, associate professor in community development at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. Cleveland trustees can serve two three-year terms. The other seven trustees are members of the Gund family.