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Facing Dayton

Facing Dayton: Neighborhood Narratives

With support from an Ohio Campus Compact grant, the University of Dayton partnered with Citywide Development and several Dayton neighborhood associations to bring a Facing Project to Dayton. For this project, entitled “Facing Dayton: Neighborhood Narratives,” students collected stories from community members who have grown up or lived in several neighborhoods to capture the challenges and advantages of living in Dayton. The project resulted in 31 personal essays; 26 works of typographical art; nine research projects; a professionally designed book; multimedia narratives; studio and environmental portraits; and a series of marketing pieces to promote the project. 

About 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, Ind., 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.

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Campus Involvement

Fitz Center for Leadership in Community

In 2017, University of Dayton student writers met with storytellers from Dayton neighborhoods to listen and to speak, to narrate and to write about the experiences of living in Dayton. Neighborhoods represented include Twin Towers, Five Oaks, Walnut Hills, Old North Dayton, McCook Field, Carillon, Madden Hills and others. The Fitz Center's continuing involvement in this Facing Project endeavor involves a three-phase process:

  • Coursework
  • Public performances and artistic creation
  • Raising community awareness

Learn more about the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community.

Department of Art and Design

The department has acted on the Fitz Center's goal of artistic creation to help bring the stories collected within the community neighborhoods to visual fruition. In 2017, a group of graphic design majors worked closely with student writers and the community storytellers to produce individual story books for the collected narratives. Photography students captured the interactions and visual outcomes and a video has been produced to highlight what this exciting experiential learning project has come to mean for students. Facing Dayton work has been on exhibition in several venues.

Learn more about the Department of Art and Design.

Human Rights Center

The Human Rights Center presented an exhibition of student work focused on "Facing Dayton: A Neighborhood Narrative" in 2017.

Learn more about the Human Rights Center.

The Write Place and the Center for Social Concern

Student writers came together from several programs to write a total of 30 narratives. The Write Place and the Center for Social Concern provided valuable resources and guidance. The Write Place helped to ensure the success of the project's student writers. The Center for Social Concern offered valuable resources and guidance on aspects of community interaction.

Learn more about the Write Place.

Learn more about the Center for Social Concern.

More Information

To learn more about the University of Dayton's work with the Facing Project, please contact the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community.


Facing Dayton

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469