Monday March 5, 2018

Fitz Center Initiatives

The Fitz Center for Leadership in Community is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

The leadership practices of the Fitz Center adhere to five principles:

  • Focus on community assets as opposed to community needs.
  • Build trustful relationships that sustain results; relationships matter.
  • Hold public conversations on important issues; go in as learners, not experts.
  • Adapt to unique challenges and localize solutions; leadership is about learning and change.
  • Create a widely shared vision; the community will not follow the vision of just one person or one institution. 

"The U.S. economy has changed, and cities can no longer depend primarily on large corporations in order to thrive," said University President Daniel J. Curran. "Higher education must take the lead and bring a sense of urgency and willingness to engage their communities and regard revitalization as mission-central. Our passion for this work springs from a central tenet of our Catholic, Marianist identity — a powerful belief in community."

Fitz Center initiatives include:

* Dayton's Neighborhood School Centers - Encourages parent and neighborhood participation in learning, increases resources through community partnerships, and improves the neighborhoods surrounding five Dayton public elementary schools.

* Rivers Institute and River Stewards - Reunite Dayton and its rivers, creating opportunities for Dayton citizens to see the rivers as economic, recreational, ecological and aesthetic strategic resources.

* Semester of Service - Allows students to take a semester away from classes and serve full time in nonprofit centers for inner-city children and teens, individuals who are homeless and neighborhoods undergoing revitalization.

* Dayton Civic Scholars - Creates a pathway from the classroom to community leadership and public service by preparing students for meaningful civic leadership roles.

* Graduate Community Fellows – Pairs graduate students with local service organizations to make a positive impact in urban Dayton through direct professional involvement in the community.

* Rubicon House - Assists in the ongoing revitalization of the Rubicon Park district adjacent the University of Dayton.

* CityLinks Neighborhood Leadership Conference - Features workshops that bring Dayton and Montgomery County citizens together to learn from national speakers and from one another ways to revitalize neighborhoods and nurture grassroots leadership.

* Leadership in Building Communities Seminar - Places students inside a Dayton neighborhood to understand the inner workings of local politics through lectures, tours, neighborhood meetings, a team project and extensive reading.

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of news and communications, at 937-229-3256 or

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