storytelling

The Facing Project

The Facing Project is a community story-telling project that intends to bring awareness about human rights issues and assets of a community to inspire social action. The non-profit started in 2011 in Muncie Indiana and now has several community partners across the country and offices in five cities in Indiana and Georgia. Community partners include city and county agencies, colleges and universities.


About the Facing Project

"Our model guides communities as they enlist a team of writers to be paired one-on-one with citizens who are facing life circumstances that deserve to be shared to better educate the broader community. The pairs meet, get to know each other and share stories of triumph and tragedy, of loneliness and community, of hate and happiness, of deep depression and lofty goals.

The writers will use their talents to take on the voice and persona of their subjects and write as if they were them—in the first person—bringing to life a voice that has been silenced, while keeping the anonymity of the subjects.

All projects culminate with a book to be shared throughout the community."

- Learn more at facingproject.com


"Facing Dayton: Neighborhood Narratives"

With the support from an Ohio Campus Compact grant, the University of Dayton has partnered with Citywide Development and several Dayton neighborhood associations to bring a Facing Project to Dayton. Our project is titled “Facing Dayton: Neighborhood Narratives.” We collected stories from community members who have grown up or lived in the Dayton neighborhoods. We aimed to capture the experience living in Dayton, and the challenges or advantages that go along with it.

Phase I:

We had multiple courses that involved students as writers for the Facing Project stories. The writers interviewed community storytellers in order to tell a story that captured their voice. Some of the courses involved in the project included:

  • ENG 387: Literature and Ethics
  • MPA 561: Nonprofit and Community Leadership
  • ENG 596: Composition Theory
  • ENG 200: Writing Seminar: Community 

Students from the Write Place and from the Center for Social Concern were also independently involved in this portion of the project. We are working with community members from multiple Dayton neighborhoods. Some of these neighborhoods include:

  • Twin Towers
  • Five Oaks
  • Walnut Hills
  • Old North Dayton
  • McCook Field
  • Carillon
  • Madden Hills
  • and more!

We collected a total of 30 stories that will be published in a book spring of 2018. 

Phase II:

The second phase of the Facing Project involves public performances or artistic creations in response to the 30 stories that make up “Facing Dayton: Neighborhood Narratives.”

We have multiple Art and Design classes that have been involved in phase II of this project. Some of these include:

  • VAD 345: Typography II
  • VAD 412: Graphic Design II
  • And more!
Students in these Art and Design classes used the Facing Dayton stories as inspiration to create typographic posters, design books, take photographs, and film short documentaries about Dayton’s neighborhoods. Photos can be seen below.

PHASE III:

The third phase is currently ongoing and involves raising awareness of the issues that came forward in these stories. Some of the classes that are involved include:

  • SOC 339: Social Inequality

For more information on “Facing Dayton: Neighborhood Narratives,” contact Alexa Irwin at irwina1@udayton.edu or at 937-229-4614.


Our writers and storytellers

Photos below are from an event we held on March 7 at the Wright Dunbar Conference Center. This was the first time that all writers and storytellers met. We had pizza, icebreakers, and conversation about our hopes for the project. 

Our Artists

Below are photos from the “Facing Dayton: Visualizing Neighborhood Narratives” exhibition at Dayton’s main library from Oct. 17 through Nov. 17, 2017.

Making News

Read about the tremendous student involvement and collaboration of the "Facing Dayton: Neighborhood Narratives" in our College of Arts and Sciences Newsroom blog story. >

Find Us

Fitz Center for Leadership in Community

St. Joseph Hall 433 
300 College Park 
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1445

937-229-5400 

Connect