UpDayton, an organization known as a launchpad for volunteer-powered community projects, is looking to determine how the organization could best serve the Dayton community. As part of this strategic planning process, UpDayton is launching a survey to collect input from the community and organizational stakeholders. If you’d like to provide your input, you can take the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QRPL273
Some of the core considerations for UpDayton over the coming year include: defining community needs that UpDayton is equipped to address, funding for the organization’s administrative costs, and sustainable transitions. UpDayton’s current director, Lauren White, will transition from her director position to a project support staff role, solely working with the 2019 summit project winners, effective March 13, 2020. Lauren’s achievements as director include launching the UpDayton Incubator Program and improving organizational processes, as well as defining possibilities for the organization’s future.
“It has been incredibly rewarding to support such passionate, community change-makers in my capacity as director,” said Lauren White. “One thing is for sure, there’s a whole lot more happening in Dayton than in 2008 when UpDayton began, and that’s something we can all celebrate.”
UpDayton’s focus has gradually shifted over time as the issues Dayton faces, and the awareness around them, have evolved.
“In the early years of UpDayton, Summit winning projects included things like mural painting, highlighting points of interest and walkability in Downtown Dayton, and creating Dayton bucket lists. While they contributed positively to the city, we’ve seen a shift in the last four years, with winning projects geared towards tremendous social impact and change,” said Jason Benning, UpDayton board chair.
In response to the community’s interests, UpDayton recently has focused on grassroots projects that create social change. The Longest Table, held over 10 meals, inviting over 2,000 Daytonians to not only break bread with each other, but also break down racial and economic divides. The Reading Park Project focused on eliminating book deserts along the Salem Avenue Corridor. Participatory Defense provides people facing charges, their families, and their communities with a deeper understanding of the justice process, and assists them in preparing for meetings with their attorney, court dates, etc.
Daytonians of today seem to feel more empowered than ever, and have more tools and programs at their disposal. Dayton is now home to new co-op programs, a growing start-up community, and new incubator programs.
With all of these changes in mind, UpDayton is re-evaluating how it fits into the Dayton community. One thing that has remained constant is that UpDayton provides a platform for anyone to share their idea to make Dayton a better place.