April 2020 marks the one hundred and sixth anniversary of United Way of the Greater Dayton Area. The Dayton area has a rich history of innovation, resilience and change. Some of the changes we have made were forced upon us because of factors we could not control such as economic down turns and unavoidable tragedies but there are some things that need to change that we can control.
Our business and community leaders are doing an examination of how the Dayton area can continue to grow and prosper. That examination includes looking in the mirror in ways that may make some people uncomfortable, excited, upset or even angry, but we are doing it and that is all that matters at the moment. We have historical and contemporary data that shows deep disparities in communities such as educational attainment, employment, food deserts, affordable housing, access to health care and financial services, and a higher acuity for chronic diseases, as examples. These disparities and others are far more prevalent in neighborhoods that are lower income and have a higher concentration of African-Americans.
While there is no quick fix for these generational challenges, we can reverse their effect by educating and involving more people in solutions. People who are fortunate to not be impacted by the aforementioned disparities are learning more about their causes and effect through experiential learning like the Cost of Poverty Experience and The Wealth Gap Analysis. Understanding what our less fortunate neighbors are dealing with and how to prevent and solve those challenges is what ‘Dayton Strong’ is all about in our work.
Thanks for your awesome support of our Family Stability initiatives that are prevention and solution based strategies to sustain and grow fragile families. Thank you for giving more in times when your support is most needed and thank you for your ongoing support because without you we would not be as strong but with you our mission of Leading a United Community to Uplift Our Neighbors will help to transform many lives for the better.
J. Thomas Maultsby
President and CEO