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Roesch Chair in the Social Sciences

Addresses, Lectures and Presentations

This three-part series, hosted by Mayor Nan Whaley, shares the historical events that have shaped our community racially, socially and economically. Each segment (about 20 minutes each) highlights key moments in Dayton’s history from the 1700s to the early 2000s and feature elders from our community as they retell their earliest memories of Dayton.

  • 1700s to 1900 Presented by Kelly Bohrer, Director of Community Relations; Acting Director, The ETHOS Center in the School of Engineering.
  • 1900 to 1950 Presented by Leslie Picca, Professor of Sociology; Roesch Chair in the Social Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • 1950 to Present Presented by Tiffany Taylor Smith, Assistant Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion,  and Will Smith, Dayton Public Schools.

This series was sponsored by the University of Dayton, Premier Health, Dayton Metro Libraries, Dayton Daily News and other local sponsors.

Developed as a resource for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, this eight-part video series shares the perspective of scholars and faith leaders who examine Catholicism, religion and race/racism. The purpose of the video series is to increase awareness of systemic racism and white privilege, particularly within the context of the Catholic Church, and to foster dialogue among parish members. 

Part 1: Racism & Privilege: An Introduction 

The possibilities of healing our past through reconciliation and re-membering the Body of Christ.

Part 2: What Can We Learn from the Genesis of the Idea of Race?

The idea of race has a particular genesis. This presentation revises a few of its more important stages and offers some considerations to curb its influence in our lives.

Part 3: Seeing the Past Clearly

Racism and white privilege have been central features of American history thanks to slavery and Jim Crow segregation. 

Part 4: Systemic Racism in Dayton Today

The legacy of slavery and Jim Crow legal segregation are prominent in intergenerational wealth and wealth creating resources which impacts every part of our society. We need to shift conversations about race away from sin and hate, and examine power and policies.

Part 5: What is Implicit Bias?

Implicit biases are the unconscious or subconscious attitudes, thoughts and stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions and decisions. The unconscious biases that we carry are influenced by our life experiences and the messages we are given, either intentionally or unintentionally, about others and ourselves.

Part 6:Reflections on the Experience of a Black Catholic

Sr. Nicole Trahan shares her experience of being a Black woman and now vowed religious in the Catholic Church. She also shares how these experiences differ depending on the location.

Part 7: Inches and Seconds: Thinking About White Privilege 

This talk considers structural racism and white privilege by exploring the history of a working class white family and a working class black family. When life for so many comes down to “inches and seconds” the inequalities caused by structural racism add up to profound injustices over time and across generations.

Part 8: Conclusion: A Bigger Faith

In a conclusion to the series, this talk reflects on the grace God is extending to many of us individually and collectively to see racism, name it and disrupt it so that we can enter more fully into our joy.  

Racism & Privilege Discussion Guide


Leslie H. Picca, Roesch Chair in the Social Sciences

St. Joseph Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469