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January 22, 2013

Obituary: Inez Killingsworth, Cleveland Housing Crusader

Inez Killingsworth, a former Cleveland school janitor who became an internationally recognized activist on housing and social-justice issues, died Thursday of complications from cancer, The Plain Dealer reports. She was 75.

Ms. Killingsworth was president of Empowering and Strengthening Ohio's People, known as ESOP, the statewide successor group to Cleveland's East Side Organizing Project, which launched in 1993 as an outgrowth of her work with other city community groups.

From the late 1990s, when she began taking on predatory lenders, housing issues were Ms. Killingsworth's chief cause. ESOP's work with foreclosure victims amid the financial and housing crises was highlighted in an award-winning European documentary, Cleveland vs. Wall Street.

Read a 2010 Chronicle of Philanthropy article on Ms. Killingworth and ESOP.