Tuesday March 28, 2006

New Life for Old Cities

Citylinks Neighborhood Conference to focus on possibilities for the city of Dayton.

Dayton may be 200 years old, but it has a lot of life left.

That's the theme of this year's Citylinks Neighborhood Conference, which will focus on how to breathe life into aging cities and highlight local initiatives designed to do just that.

The conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11, in Kennedy Union on UD's campus. The keynote speaker will be Sylvia Lovely, director of the Kentucky League of Cities and president of New Cities Foundation, a national nonprofit organization that encourages citizens to get involved in helping their communities thrive.

Registration, which includes lunch, is $20 per person, or $35 for two people, and $5 for students. The registration deadline is Thursday, April 6. Call (937) 229-4641.

The conference is designed to connect area residents with national community leaders to revitalize neighborhoods and empower grassroots leadership. Also during the conference, the University of Dayton will announce the winner of the eighth annual Mattie Davis and Joe Kanak Community Builders Award, given to an area resident who exemplifies vision and compassion toward neighborhood or community.

The schedule for the conference is below.

* 8:30 to 9 a.m.: Registration in the Kennedy Union Torch Lounge.

* 9:15 to 10:30 a.m.: Plenary session on the Neighborhood School Project, in which UD's Fitz Center for Leadership in Community is working with Dayton Public Schools to ensure that five of its new school buildings also are able to serve as neighborhood centers.

* 10:45 a.m. to noon: Four concurrent workshops on getting involved in the community and encouraging others to do the same, local organizations' plans to encourage regionalism in the area, issues surrounding housing in Dayton such as predatory lending, and a look at programs that are preparing youth for leadership roles in the community.

* noon to 2 p.m.: Luncheon in the Kennedy Union ballroom, followed by an awards presentation and keynote address.

Sylvia Lovely is the author of "New Cities in America: The Little Blue Book of Big Ideas," and the Miami Herald, Indianapolis Star and Cincinnati Enquirer have published her commentary pieces. In addition, she has discsussed community solutions during appearances on CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight," CNBC's "Power Lunch" and ABC Radio. Lovely has been named one of Kentucky's Top Women of Influence and Appalachian Woman of the Year.

The Citylinks Neighborhood Conference is sponsored by UD's Raymond L. Fitz, S.M., Center for Leadership in Community, with support from DP&L.

For media interviews, contact Dean Lovelace at (937) 229-4643. For more on the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community, contact executive director Dick Ferguson at (937) 229-5400.