Julian Khan’s roots in Buckeye run deep. His grandparents have lived in the East Side neighborhood since 1973. His grandfather worked at Park View Federal Savings Bank at Larchmere Road and South Moreland Boulevard. He can’t call it anything but home.
“I owe a lot to this neighborhood,” says Khan, a community activist and neighborhood organizer who lives in Buckeye. “It’s a deep love for this community that I just can’t describe.”
Khan has witnessed Buckeye and surrounding communities such as Larchmere and Woodland Hills amass a series of changes including an influx of incoming economic opportunities that reimagines possibilities in a community once lost by redlining and white flight.
But Buckeye rarely sees coverage outside of reporting on crime, poverty and drug abuse.
“The news stories these reporters craft never go deeper than who got shot, where it happened and a photo of a grieving family,” Khan says.
Exhausted from seeing this absence of good news highlighted in publications across the city, he’s launched A Greater Buckeye, a site that will cover positive news and relay information needs in Buckeye, Shaker Square, Larchmere and Woodland Hills. For the site, Khan received a grant from the Cleveland Foundation and others as part of a collaborative geared toward supporting hyperlocal media, community organizations and more.
Khan hopes his project will build better community relationships and provide a different perspective to the negative news often associated with this community.
“If the good news doesn’t reverberate throughout the city, then how deep does it affect our perspectives, our communities?” he says. “We needed something to stifle the counterpoint these outlets give.”
Though the pandemic may have halted plans for an official launch this summer, Khan shifted his focus to work on building a foundational base for the publication. In April, he launched a microblog and Instagram account for A Greater Buckeye, raising awareness about the community’s efforts during the height of the virus.
In partnership with Black Valve Media, Khan is also working on releasing a four-part docu-series through the site, which will feature positive developments for the area.
Despite the early setbacks, Khan is determined to better serve, recognize and highlight Buckeye.
“News agencies aren’t equipped to tell my story,” he says. “These are our lives. It’s a tough pill to swallow, especially for communities who look like me or mine. And that alone is enough to create a drive for a better news model.”