Spotlight Interview with MAB Member Rev. Frederick Knuckles

Tell us about yourself and how you are involved with the Cleveland Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (CADRC)?

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, I am married to Lady Bregina Knuckles, a noted singer and Minister and together we parent four children.

I have been in the Ministry for forty-three years and served in the social service field in various management positions for over thirty years. For twenty-eight years I have served as Sr. Pastor of the New Fellowship Baptist Church of Cleveland, Ohio and Moderator of the Progressive Baptist Association Cleveland and Vicinity for ten years, and I serve as the chief visionary for its corporate affiliates.

In my role as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program Manager for the Cleveland Alzheimer’s Association, I focus on engaging the Hispanic community in Lorain County and African American communities in Cuyahoga & Summit Counties. Building relationships and partnerships to foster trust and connections to better serve the families touched by Alzheimer’s and all other dementia is my goal and hope in these communities.

What do you see as your main activities and goals with the CADRC?

Connecting the Faith Community and other underserved communities to the CADRC.

What is the focus of your community work currently, and where do you see your work going in the next two-five years?

Building and strengthening relationships and partnerships. Tearing down the walls that divide us from actually serving those in need .

In working with people with dementia in your community, what was the most insightful description given to you of what it is like living with dementia.

A living nightmare.

How has your personal life experiences shaped your interest in Alzheimer’s Disease?

As a pastor in the community for the last 35 years, watching parishioners suffer in silence with Alzheimer’s with no resources to support them has made me grateful to connect with a community of resources offer by the partners in the CADRC.

Any words on how your work as a faith leader has helped to raise awareness and support for people and families living with dementia?

Being able as a trusted voice in the community to connect families to resources that were once hidden and having the members of the CADRC family to support the work with passion and compassion has made a difference to so many. The faith community has began to look at the Great Commission of teaching and saving from a different lens. It is beginning to understand the importance of Partnerships and collaborations with Health Systems and community organizations.