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Facing Project

Created to bring community storytelling to life and spark conversations about human rights and implement social change, the University of Dayton’s “Facing Dayton: Neighborhood Narratives" will honor the stories told by Dayton residents in a culminating event to close out the University's Stander Symposium, the annual showcase of undergraduate research.

“We chose to focus our project on Dayton neighborhoods because this is where we all live, this is our common ground,” said Alexa Irwin, Fitz Center graduate assistant. “Among the students, faculty and staff, we want to celebrate everything that’s gone into this project, including the beautiful stories being told by the Dayton community.”

Sponsored by the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community and the Department of Art and Design, the celebration and reception begins 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, on the second floor of Fitz Hall. Remarks begin at 6 p.m. and the event is free and open to the public.

After receiving an Ohio Campus Compact grant in summer 2016 and initiating extensive dialogue between the university and community leaders, the project gave students the opportunity to meet with local residents and conduct interviews about the residents' experiences living in Dayton neighborhoods. They aimed to capture the challenges and opportunities that go along with living in Dayton.

Twenty faculty members and more than 100 students enrolled in English and art and design classes served as writers and artists for the three-phase project. The artwork, photographs, posters, documentaries and books that captured the residents’ stories through will be displayed at the April 18 event.

Through their interviews, student identified two major social justice issues: racism and food deserts. Other problems mentioned include drug abuse and poverty.

“We don’t want this project’s message to conclude after this event,” said Irwin. “We hope to bring awareness to these issues surrounding our communities.”

- Liz Kyle, '18, News and Communications Student Writer


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