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Roesch Chair in the Social Sciences

Imagining Community Symposium 2022:
Shaping a More Equitable Dayton

The Imagining Community Symposium is a space for community partners across the Miami Valley to come together in a space of education, dialogue, and action. The symposium is inspired by the UnDesign the Redline exhibit.

The symposium is open to all community members, activists, artists, students, scholars and academics with the goal of exploring the history, legacy and impact of Dayton’s racial segregation, and how to move toward a more just, equitable and inclusive Dayton.

Digital program


  • CultureWorks
  • Dayton Metro Library
  • Sinclair Community College
  • The Hub Powered by PNC at the Dayton Arcade
  • University of Dayton: Roesch Chair in the Social Sciences; Fitz Center for Leadership in Community; Office of Diversity & Inclusion; Human Rights Center; Fr. Ferree Chair of Social Justice; Department of Art & Design; Ethos Center; Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work

Chicago Footwork: A Lesson on Language and Reclaiming Black Humanity

In Ernest Gaines's "A Lesson Before Dying," he seems to suggest that Black male humanity could not be denied on the basis of their mastery of standard American English and logocentric notions of literacy. Gaines locates the humanity of his death row protagonist, who is likened to a "hog" in the literal broken lines of his unintelligible journal reflections, among other attributes. Likewise, if Black youth in Chicago also exist in a state of "imminent death," and are also considered to be disposable, subhuman menaces to society, Dr. Battle reclaims their humanity in non-logocentric terms. Through the urban art form, Chicago Footwork, which she argues is an embodied vernacular dance of Black liberation. Dr. Battle joins the chorus of post-humanist and disability scholars who challenge the argument that verbal language and conventional notions of literacy are preeminent markers of what it means to be human. She incorporates a short Footwork performance and interviews from her forthcoming docuseries on Chicago Footwork to illuminate Footwork as a language of the body in everyday communicative exchanges.

ShaDawn Battle: Chicago native, Dr. ShaDawn Battle is an assistant professor of Critical Ethnic and Black Studies at Xavier University. Her academic areas of interest include African American Literature and Studies, Hip Hop Studies and Critical Race Epistemology. She is co-producing a forthcoming docuseries on the art form known as Chicago Footwork.

Removal and Redlining: Resisting Erasure in Indigenous Ohio

Carolina Castoreno (Apache), Guy Jones (Standing Rock Sioux) and John Low (Potawatomi) will offer perspectives on the history of the removal of Indigenous peoples from Ohio and the surrounding area, along with ongoing Indigenous activism to advance sovereignty and land claims. 


Carolina Castoreno: Carolina Castoreno is the Executive Director of the American Indian Center of Indiana and an enrolled citizen of the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas and of Mescalero Apache descent.

Guy Jones: Guy Jones is a Hunkpapa Lakota and a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. He is one of the founding members of the Miami Valley Council for Native Americans and has served as an advisor to the Minority Arts Task Force of the Ohio Arts Council and the Bias Review Council of the Ohio Department of Education. His presentation is "Equitable: Whose Definition and How It's Measured."

John Low: John N. Low, Ph.D., J.D., is an enrolled citizen and member of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, Associate Professor at the Ohio State University in the Department of Comparative Studies and Director of the Newark Earthworks Center.

Shaping a More Equitable Dayton: Perspectives from Daytonian Scholar Activists

In this interactive session, three prominent Dayton Scholar Activists discuss the history, legacy and impact of Dayton's racial segregation with an eye toward how to move forward collectively. The session explores opportunities for change and growth in our Dayton neighborhoods. Please join us for a lively discussion.


Amaha Sellassie: Amaha Sellassie is an afrofuturist, peace builder, social healer, freedom fighter, network weaver, student of cooperation and lover of humanity. Amaha is a practitioner scholar dedicated toward building bridges of trust, healing historical wounds and harnessing the unique gifts and talents of every human being as we press toward a just and equitable society. He is co-founder and board chair of the Gem City Market, a community driven effort to address food apartheid through a food coop dedicated to increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables within west Dayton.

Faheem Curtis-Khidr: Faheem is a tenured faculty member in Sinclair Community College’s History and AFS programs. Faheem’s local research project covering West Dayton’s now defunct Hog Bottom neighborhood has been recognized and showcased at the REACH Conference, National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center, by the Association for The Study of African American Life and History. Faheem is co-lead of the Ubuntu Study abroad program with Furaha Henry-Jones. Black thought, black academia and black excellence is very much at the forefront of Faheem’s socio-academic nexus.

Furaha Henry-Jones: Furaha Henry-Jones is an English Professor at Sinclair and served as the Sinclair Poet Laureate from 2017-21. She was honored to receive the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for Poetry in 2018. She is proud to say she has taught English at the secondary and college levels for nearly three decades in public high schools and prisons, GED programs and college courses, charter schools for out-of-school youth and migrant education programs.