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Joy Roller ’76

Session: “Breaking Through: The Unique Path From College Majors to Careers”

Joy Roller works with clients to bring funds and assistance to neighborhoods, communities and non-profit organizations through project management, strategic fundraising, grant writing, video production and marketing. Joy’s focus is to work on transformational social justice, arts and economic development projects to improve individuals’ quality of life and wealth distribution. Prior to returning to Cleveland to attend law school in 2004, Joy produced, wrote and directed television programs for national syndication and cable networks. Starting her television production career at WJW in Cleveland, her credits have appeared on HGTV, VH1, TLC, Discovery, Lifetime and PBS. She has served as Executive Director of the Gordon Square Arts District, a collaboration of three separate non-profit organizations in a single $30 million capital campaign. Becoming Global Cleveland’s President, in 2012, The Plain Dealer referred to Joy as, “The woman who oversaw the conversion of Cleveland’s Gordon Square Arts District into an edgy, creative economic engine is about to bring her exuberance and marketing mojo to a wider audience.” Joy also served as development director, at Karamu House, the country’s oldest African American theatre. In September 2019, American Theatre reported, “One of the most overlooked success stories in our field: how a century-old theatre of color, once in a state of crisis, has been revitalized and rejuvenated…” In addition to her consulting work, Joy is currently producing a documentary film in partnership with Transition Studios about Cleveland in the 1960s. Joy holds a J.D. from Cleveland State’s College of Law, a Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and a Bachelor’s degree from Denison University. through management, strategic fundraising,