Community leaders Thursday gathered at the Northwest Branch of the Dayton Metro Library to announce the launch of the Northwest Dayton Partnership, a collaborative, place-based effort to build economic and racial equity for Northwest Dayton’s children and the adults in their lives.
“The Northwest Dayton Partnership is the culmination of years of discussions and planning for how to improve outcomes for kids and families in this critical corner of our city. I am thrilled that this work is moving forward to intentionally focus on investing in existing community leadership and creating better outcomes for Black students. I’m grateful for the leadership of all of the partners involved and look forward to seeing this work come to fruition,’ said Mayor Nan Whaley in a written statement.
Commissioner Jeff Mims represented the Dayton City Commission at the event.
The Northwest Dayton Partnership brings together people and public and private sector organizations working together to dramatically improve results at a population level and reduce racial disparities by changing the status quo with sustained, systemic solutions, including:
- Taking a two-generation approach to building well-being by intentionally and simultaneously working with both children and the adults in their lives;
- Shifting power to deeply connected, primarily Black-led community organizations;
- Building high-quality early childhood education for children birth to age five;
- Creating quality K-12 schools that close opportunity gaps;
- Supporting community-based institutions’ racial and economic equity work; and
- Articulating and advocating for policy priorities developed with youth, families, and community residents to impact education and economic mobility
“We at Harlem Children’s Zone are committed to cradle-to-career models across the nation, and we have a generation of data to prove the effectiveness of place-based work,’” said Chief Executive Officer Kwame Owusu-Kesse in a written statement. “We are inspired by the Northwest Dayton Partnership’s impactful, on-the-ground work and are excited to see the effect on the future outcomes of young people here in Dayton.’
The Northwest Dayton Partnership community steering committee guides the work and builds upon community assets, including neighborhood associations, DPS neighborhood school centers, Dayton Metro Library Northwest Branch, Gem City Market, Omega CDC Hope Center, Preschool Promise, and Salem Avenue Reconstruction. Current steering committee members include Cheryl Garrett, Geraldine Pegues, Chad Sloss, Sharon Taste and Lauretta Williams, all of whom live or work in Northwest Dayton.
“The Northwest Dayton Partnership will enhance and further the existing work that educators, community leaders, residents, and organizations have done to remove barriers to equitable education and affordable daycare. Removing such barriers can elevate families above their circumstances and help children excel in and outside the classroom. The stabilization of families will result in the stabilization of our neighborhoods,” says Sharon Taste, who manages the Northwest Branch of the Dayton Metro Library in addition to serving on the Northwest Dayton Partnership steering committee.
As part of its Place Matters portfolio, national funder Blue Meridian Partners provides catalytic supports for the Northwest Dayton Partnership with a two-year, $8 million grant to develop a comprehensive six- to ten-year vision that aligns opportunities, bolsters the infrastructure critical for the community’s success and equips families to pursue their goals and thrive.
“We are excited about the opportunity to work with the Northwest Dayton Partnership,” said Founder and President of Harlem Children’s Zone Geoffrey Canada in a written statement. “We are looking for models around the country on how to effectively address the complexities of race, poverty, and education. The Northwest Dayton Partnership has the potential to serve as a model on how to address, and ultimately solve, these profound issues.”
Canada and the team at the William Julius Wilson Institute of the Harlem Children’s Zone work with Blue Meridian Partners to provide the tools and resources necessary to catalyze the success of place-based partnerships like the Northwest Dayton Partnership.
Learn to Earn Dayton serves as the backbone organization for the Northwest Dayton Partnership. As the backbone organization, Learn to Earn convenes the full set of partners and provides the partnership with core supports to achieve the partnership’s shared vision.
“Our job as the Northwest Dayton Partnership backbone organization is to accelerate the amazing work being done by deeply-connected community leaders and facilitate collaboration so that all the organizations in Northwest Dayton can work towards their common goals,” says Learn to Earn Dayton CEO Kristina Scott.
The Dayton Foundation provides the Northwest Dayton Partnership team members with technical assistance on capacity building, impact investing and leveraging philanthropic investment to support partnership goals.
“Blue Meridian Partner’s generous investment in the Dayton community comes at a critical time in closing the economic gap. Thanks to this grant, the Northwest Dayton Partnership can align and leverage resources, as well as increase linkages across agencies, to build equitable neighborhoods and improve life outcomes for area youth and families,” says Michael M. Parks, CFRE, president of The Dayton Foundation.
Learn to Earn Dayton fosters the success of all Montgomery County children from birth until they graduate from college or earn a high-quality credential. Our big goal is for 60 percent of Montgomery County’s working-age adults to have a 2-year or 4-year college degree or a high-quality credential by 2025.