Tuesday April 8, 2008

Divided We Fall

The 23rd annual CityLinks Neighborhood Conference April 22 will address how to stabilize the city's economy and neighborhoods, avoid foreclosures, fight crime, build community in the face of change and develop links to the city's suburbs.

Helen Jones-Kelley, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, will deliver the keynote address at the 2008 CityLinks conference. The conference is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 22 in the Kennedy Union. Registration is required by Thursday, April 17, with a charge of $20 for one or $35 for two and $5 for students.

With 20 years of service in Montgomery County, Jones-Kelley was the former director of the Montgomery County Department of Job and Family Services before Governor Ted Strickland appointed her to his cabinet in 2007.

She oversees an $18 billion dollar budget, a staff of 4,500 and administers the state's public assistance, child protection, child support enforcement, Medicaid, adult protective services and workforce development programs.

Brother Raymond L. Fitz, S.M., former president of the University of Dayton, will deliver the opening address. Fitz now works with the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community as the Ferree Professor of Social Justice.

Participants can attend one of six targeted workshops focused on the conference theme "Divided We Fall: Challenges in Greater Dayton." The workshops will discuss:

  • crime-fighting strategies
  • race matters
  • the job market
  • educational opportunities
  • commonalities with the suburbs
  • citizen-driven community building

The conference is designed to connect local residents with prominent community leaders to revitalize neighborhoods and empower grassroots leadership. Also during the conference, the University of Dayton will announce the winner of the 10th annual Mattie Davis and Joe Kanak Community Builders Award, given to an area resident who exemplifies vision and compassion toward neighborhood or community.

CityLinks is sponsored by UD's Fitz Center for Leadership in Community with support from the Community Action Partnership of the Greater Dayton Area and the Dayton Power and Light Co.

Char Cook Robinson at 937-229-4641 or charlotte.cook@notes.udayton.edu