Stories from The Dayton Foundation’s 2021-2022 Annual Report

Momentum in Motion: A Better Community for All

Northwest Dayton PartnershipFrom helping to ensure all individuals have access to the internet, to establishing age-friendly communities, The Dayton Foundation prioritized diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in its leadership initiatives for fiscal year 2022.

The Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative, which employs the talents of skilled, older adults to address community needs, made significant strides in its partnerships with area nonprofit organizations. This past year, eight fellows were at work in the region. One fellow partnered with the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission and nine communities to help the Miami Valley become Ohio’s first designated Age-Friendly Region. Another fellow helped to establish a network with Brunner Literacy Center for nonprofits to aid clients at risk for low levels of literacy. In addition, Fellow Beth Grubb’s work with the Dayton Chamber of Commerce’s Minority Business Partnership has helped the organization better serve its constituents by providing meaningful data to foster inclusive growth among minority and economically disadvantaged businesses.

Promoting racial equity and awareness remained at the forefront of the Foundation’s work in FY22. The Nonprofit Capacity Building Partnership Initiative, a collaboration between The Dayton Foundation and the Mathile Family Foundation, continued efforts to strengthen Black-led nonprofits and organizations predominately serving African Americans. The program offered robust programming and resources to its 21 member organizations in hopes of creating a network that will help them succeed and better support underserved minorities in the region.

Another Foundation initiative, The Institute for Livable and Equitable Communities, launched several impactful efforts, including the Regional Equity Calendar that promotes opportunities for equity training and events; the Miami Valley Regional Broadband and Digital Equity Forum to discuss and address local issues around broadband infrastructure and access; and the Environmental Justice Academy, a training program developed in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for community, nonprofit and environmental leaders to identify and address environmental challenges in their communities.

Del Mar Encore Fellows InitiativeThis innovative program is key to developing a network of individuals who are committed to building an equitable, healthy and thriving Dayton Region.

Momentum also is building with the Northwest Dayton Partnership, a collaborative, placed-based effort focused on strengthening racial, ethnic and economic equity in this primarily Blackled community. Representatives from governmental, educational and nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups and others are working alongside area residents and business leaders to develop a comprehensive strategy to align resources and identify opportunities so that together they can create solutions and meaningful change for individuals and families. Learn to Earn Dayton is continuing to facilitate this initiative, with capacity-building assistance and support provided by The Dayton Foundation.

“I was inspired to become a part of the Environmental Justice Academy, because it heightens awareness about the environmental conditions, disparities and deficiencies that are detrimental to the health and well-being of our families and children and contribute to higher mortality rates among people of color,” said Gayle Fowler, a 2022 graduate of the program. Gayle recently was elected vice president for the National Environmental Justice Alumni Association. “EJA provides expanded knowledge and tools for individuals to build community capacity, develop and enhance leadership skills, and become strong advocates to mitigate the disparities in our region. I hope to create engaging and informative opportunities with my cohort and peers in other regions to educate and increase our understanding of environmental justice.”

For recent news and updates about The Dayton Foundation, read our press releases online.

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File date: 05.18.2023

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