Past Programs

October 4, 2017 – Community Conversation about Racism and Islamophobia was a continuation of the “Ask A Muslim” program the council offered in March. This program, including a short film and open discussion, was a partnership among the Dayton Human Relations Council and Marium Husain, MD, MPH, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.  “As a Muslim, the San Bernardino shootings were a turning point in politics and community dynamics. I finally understood what discrimination meant and how it felt,” says Dr. Husain. “I started the Town Hall program as a medium for community members to ask questions about Islam and help dispel myths. I also wanted this to be a platform from which we could address the fundamental issue of discrimination and racism in our society.” 

As a follow-up to the discussion, the Council offered an informal “Coffee and Conversation” event on Tuesday, Oct. 24.

August 29, 2017 – Meet & Greet – Approximately 25 citizens, interested in promoting diversity within the Centerville/Washington Township community, attended a Meet and Greet hosted by Centerville-Washington Diversity Council. Following a brief history of the Council by Chair, Sivaji Subramaniam, the group heard about an upcoming Peace Walk to be held in Dayton in September.  Attendees then broke into small groups that rotated around the room to hear about the different initiatives and committees of the Council and how they might be able to volunteer

March 3, 2017 – CWDC Annual Meeting – Dr. Saeed Al-bezreh, local dermatologist and consultant who is also a scholar on Islam and social justice, spoke about his experience as a Muslim in today’s world and answered questions from the group. The information shared created more dialogue and understanding, and several people were interested in learning more. At the suggestion of one attendee, the Washington-Centerville Public Library created these book lists for those who would like to read more:

Books on Islam

Islam list for Children and Teens

January 18, 2016 – 16th Annual MLK Breakfast –  This year’s program continued the tradition of excellent speakers on this day of celebration and remembrance, when we welcomed our local poet Dr. Herbert Martin. Dr. Martin is regarded as the world’s foremost authority on Paul Lawrence Dunbar and he shared work from many different poets. If you were unable to attend this year’s MLK Breakfast, please visit this link on You Tube to view the program! 2016 MLK Breakfast Thanks to our presenting sponsor, LBrands!

November 12, 2015 – Voices & Stories: Without Prejudice or Malice. Headlines are filed with law enforcers misconduct, unknown gunmen shooting officers and the innocent are caught in the crossfire. From Eric Garner to Michael Brown, this play offered the facts and the fiction of our world today. It asked the question “Can we live without prejudice or malice”? Following the play, community discussion explored this important topic.

September 12, 2015 – A Day in South Slavic Europe was presented by the South Slavic Club of Dayton and sponsored by Washington-Centerville Public Library, the Centerville Arts Commission and the Centerville-Washington Diversity Council, with support and assistance provided by the Dayton Peace Accords @20 Committee, Washington Township, the Dayton International Peace Museum, the Dayton Sister City Committee, the Dayton Council on World Affairs, WPAFB and Whole Foods of Centerville. Dance demonstrations by Živio, music performed by Ann Mosconi, food prepared by members of the South Slavic community, costumes and doll exhibits, an architecture display, kid crafts, and more were enjoyed by many.

January 19, 2015 – 15th Annual MLK Breakfast – Dr. James Perkins addressed a sold out crowd as he gave first person, eye witness account to the event of Bloody Sunday that led to the Civil Right Act of 1964.

November 6, 2014 – Step Up: Dancing Our Way to Inclusion – This performance was performed by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, designed to use dance as a lens for educating people about diversity, cultural awareness, and inclusion as they relate to bullying, racism, sexism, body image, flash judgments, and first impressions. Incorporating poetry, spoken word, music, and modern dance, attendees felt the impact stereotyping has on society and the importance of acceptance through inclusion.

September 11, 2014 – A Day in Mexico was held to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month and learn more about the Mexican culture. Activities included dance demonstrations by Imelda Ayala, stories by Alicia Pagan, music by Ramon Perez, a Day of the Dead display, food, and more. Co-sponsored by: Washington-Centerville Public Library, Centerville Arts Commission, St. Leonard Franciscan Living Community, and Friends of Washington-Centerville Public Library.

May 17, 2014 – Somewhere Between  explored the  topic of international adoptions. We watched an excerpted version of Somewhere Between and engaged in a post film discussion about assimilating into America.  Of the roughly 80,000 girls who have been adopted from China since 1989—a decade after China implemented its One Child Policy—this film intimately follows four teenagers: Haley, Jenna, Ann, and Fang. These four wise-beyond-their-years, yet typical American teens, reveal a heartbreaking sense of self-awareness as they attempt to answer the uniquely human question, “Who am I?” They meet and bond with other adoptees, some journey back to China to reconnect with the culture, and some reach out to the orphaned girls left behind. The complete file is available on Netflix. The film excerpt was followed by a panel discussion of shared adoption stories from professionals working with adoptions and individuals who have adopted internationally

March 25, 2014 – Human Trafficking Documentary and Presentation, part of a Global Issues Scholar Series included viewing the documentary, ” Half the Sky” and listening to a post film presentation on human trafficking, provided by Wright State Professor of Political Science, December Green. “Half the Sky” documentary is based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book by the same name, and tells the personal stories of several woman impacted by human trafficking. The program was co-sponsored with Washington-Centerville Public Library.

January 20, 2014 – 14th Annual MLK Breakfast welcomed Dr. Mellonie Burnam, Director of Ethnomusicology for Indiana University, Bloomington. Dr. Burnam shared the pivotal role music played in propelling the Civil Rights movement and giving people hope to continue to work for the cause.

November 21, 2013 – Voices and Stories: Diversity in Music welcomed six community members who shared stories about how music and dance played a role in their cultural upbringing and how it allows them to continue to express their culture to this day. Professional actor/director Alan Bomar Jones oversaw the production and sets and lighting were provided by the Centerville High School Technical Theater Prep program.

March 21, 2013 – The Traces of the Trade reached an audience of nearly 2,000 citizens to encourage a discussion about the lasting impacts of slavery. Film maker Katrina Browne not only led a post film discussion, but presented to more than 1600 Centerville High School students the following day. Local churches held even more follow up discussions the week after.

January 21, 2013 – 13th Annual MLK Breakfast welcomed the Reverend Robert S. Graetz, Jr.  —  the only white minister to participate in the historic Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott  — to speak at the breakfast. A Lutheran minister, Rev. Graetz led an all-black congregation in Montgomery during the 1950s.  At the age of 27, he became a leader of the civil rights movement, associating closely with Dr. King, Rosa Parks, Ralph Abernathy and other civil rights pioneers.

November 14, 2012 – Voices and Stories: Tales from Diverse Religions welcomed six community members who shared stories about how their different religions relate to each other and reflected their personal experiences with religion. Professional actor/director Alan Bomar Jones oversaw the production and sets and lighting were provided by the Centerville High School Technical Theater Prep program.

October 25, 2012 – Council Forum – Tom Wahlrab, who oversaw the development of the Welcome Dayton Immigrant Friendly City initiative, shared information about the program and its implications for Centerville and Washington Township. Welcome Dayton points out that some states, counties and cities have adopted policies that help newly-arrived immigrants and refuges into the community. In addition, Rev. Kirk Lithander, Outreach Coordinator at Fairhaven Church shared information about their efforts with the African Christian Mission board and their new initiative with Kettering Circles.

September 8, 2012 – A Day in Scotland was a joint program of the Centerville Arts Commission, the Washington-Centerville Public Library, and the Diversity Council with assistance by the St. Andrew’s Society of Dayton and the Miami Valley Pipes & Drums. Exhibits, dancing, and food celebrating Scotland was enjoyed by many.

March-April, 2012 – Middle East Series was a joint program series offered by the Washington-Centerville Public Library and Hithergreen Center, with assistance by the Centerville-Washington Diversity Council. The five-part series was held at Hithergreen Center and included the following speakers:

  • The Region – March 6 – Dr. Vaughn Shannon, Wright State University and Dr. Ribhi Daoud, Sinclair Community College
  • Ancient Treasures & History – March 13 – Dr. Sally Struthers, Sinclair Community College
  • Gender & Social Issues – March 27 – Dr. Ellen Fleischmann, University of Dayton and Hadil Issa, Student from UD
  • Land of Turmoil – April 3 – Dr. Liam Anderson, Wright State University, Bashir G. Ahmed, from the Dayton International Peace Museum and Rabbi David Sofian, Temple Israel
  • Future Prospects – April 10 – The presenters convened for a panel discussion on the future outlook of the region

November 10, 2011, 7:00 p.m. – Voices & Stories: Tales from Diverse Families – Seven local families shared the humor, struggle, love and joy of family life in its many forms. Live music was performed by Michael & Sandy Bashaw, Dayton musicians and Emmy-nominated composers, and the program was directed by Chris Shea, Artistic director for Free! Shakespeare.

January 17, 2011, 7:30 a.m. – Annual MLK Breakfast was held at The Golf Club at Yankee Trace in Centerville. The Rev. Robert Jones, Senior Pastor of College Hill Presbyterian Church in Dayton, and Kate Campbell, country/folk artist from Nashville, Tennessee presented a weaving of song and story about civil rights. Join us each year on MLK Day for this community celebration.

November 4, 2010 – Voice & Stories: Tales from a Diverse Community – see a synopsis and photos of some of the presented stories here thanks to Debbie Lutz.

September 26, 2006 – Read a TRANSCRIPT from the panel discussion: “Gay and Lesbian Issues at the Intersection of Faith and Public Policy.”

Student Art Contest – Ten local students took top prize in the first annual “Diversity in our Community” art contest, sponsored by the Centerville Arts Commission and Centerville-Washington Diversity Council.  The contest, open to all K-12 students attending school in Centerville or Washington Township, challenged students to create a piece of art around a theme: “Diversity in our Community.” See more information at Student Art Contest.

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