Add more community organizing tools to your utility belt! Join us for a day of workshops to create tools and empower us to make change locally. Participants will engage with frontline community organizers in large and small groups; learn a variety of organizing tactics; have meaningful discussions while creating relevant action plans; and network with eager folks. Sliding fee scale available, let's chat!

Location: CSU-Dayton, 840 Germantown Street, Dayton, Ohio 45402

Date: March 18, 2017

Cost:  $60 - Standard (Sliding fee scale available)

          $65 - At the door on March 18, 2017

Conference Speakers

Basim Blunt

Basim joined WYSO as a member of the 2012 Community Voices program. His work has earned him a “New Voices” Scholar award by (AIR) Association of Independents in Radio. Basim has produced the award-winning documentary Boogie Nights: A History of Funk Music in Dayton. He also is the Production Coordinator for Dayton Youth Radio in addition to hosting Behind the Groove.

Daytonian of the week:

Isaac DeLamatre

From Akron, Ohio, Isaac has been working in professional kitchens for 12 years. Isaac worked at the Sunrise Café in Yellow Springs before coming to Antioch. He studied culinary arts and hospitality management at Summit College in Akron and was briefly enrolled at Antioch College in 2003.

Isaac facilitated Antioch College's first Food Justice Symposium, organized a trip to Standing Rock to deliver money, supplies and a letter of support, and empowers the community  by sourcing Antioch's food from local farmers.

Clay Dixon

Richard Clay Dixon is an American politician of the Ohio Democratic party. He served as a city commissioner of Dayton, Ohio, and as the city's mayor. He was the second African-American person to serve as mayor of Dayton. He currently works with the Miami Valley Organizing Collaborative.

Miami Valley Organizing Collaborative is a grassroots action organization committed to improving the quality of life for workers and families in our communities across the Miami Valley. They strive to create positive change in our neighborhoods and communities through collective action. They aim to engage local leaders to be active in the political process on the local, state and regional level. They recognize that collaboration is critical to making our communities stronger. They will work to bring diverse organizations together to communicate, mobilize and organize around important issues and support partner organizations. They recognize and respect each organization in this coalition, and that each operates under their own set of values, beliefs, regulations and policies.

Naim Edwards

Naim Edwards works as the garden designer and program manager with Voices for Earth Justice and has been a participant in the GRP through his work living and growing family and community gardens in Northwest Detroit. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of farming with an emphasis on ecological restoration. Naim holds a master’s degree from University of Michigan where he studied biodiversity in urban gardens, specializing in beneficial insects and recently completed a course in Permaculture. Naim has also worked with numerous organizations to address both political and cultural obstacles to achieve food sovereignty and is a staunch advocate for land, water, housing, and education rights.

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Darryl Fairchild

Darryl Fairchild is the Manager of Chaplain Services at Dayton Children’s Hospital. He is an ordained United Methodist minister who preaches, teaches, and consults in local churches and is recognized as a community leader. From 2008-2012, he was the community organizer for Lift Greater Dayton, a local affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation and a part of Ohio IAF. He has served in a variety of ministries including local churches and as the Executive Director of the Greater Dayton Christian Connections. His primary focus in ministry is to initiate, sustain, and extend loving relationships. He is the creator of the Be A Better Lover blog ( 

Darryl graduated from United Theological Seminary and the University of Cincinnati (cum laude), and attended the Joint Doctoral Program at the University of Denver and Iliff School of Theology. He has taught as an instructor at the University of Denver and United Theological Seminary. He is married to Kim with whom he has a daughter, Maya, and two cats, Spanky and Marley. In 1992, he was involved in a bicycle accident where he broke his back, damaged his spinal cord and became paralyzed. In his spare time he is an avid hand-cyclist, Bearcat basketball fan, and a botcher of simple recipes.

Daytonian of the Week:

Reece Freeman

Reece is involved with many things from Applied Sociology, lecturing in the field of Sociology, presenting research dealing with Food Injustice (particularly food inaccessibility), being a chef, and food blogging. She has over 14 years of experience teaching Sociology,
Anthropology, and History. BA, MASS, MAED, EdD.

Dr. Michael Gaines

Dr. Michael Gaines has over 20 years in positions serving the community.  Michael joined Central State University as the new Director of the Dayton location (formerly CSU-West) in 2015. Prior to this, he held various positions in the Dayton and Cincinnati area. These positions include a stint at Sinclair Community College as Senior Director of the School and Community Partnerships Division and Director of Youth and Young Adult Services for The Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency. While working with Cincinnati Public Schools, he managed the Adult Education, Charter Schools and Homeschool initiatives. He brings with him a passion for community education and a proven track record of developing programming for youth, young adults, and adults.

Michael has over 25 years of experience in public speaking, having presented at national conferences, and at churches and non-profit organizations throughout the Midwest.  He is an aspiring author with his first book, Fail Into Success, scheduled for release in 2016.  He has served on a number of Dayton community boards including Parity Inc., Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and Mound Street Academy.  His awards are varied including the Dayton Business Journal’s 40 under 40 award and Parity’s Top 10 African American Male award.

He holds a Bachelors of Arts from Morehead State University, a Masters of Arts in Adult and Higher Education from Morehead State University, and his Doctorate in Urban Education and Leadership from the University of Cincinnati.

Jonna Johnson

Jonna Johnson earned her Master’s degree with Northern Arizona University’s interdisciplinary, student-activist Sustainable Communities program.  Her academic concentration and professional expertise is in sustainability education and community empowerment.  Her passion for authentic relationships with children and the earth has guided her to work with community-based nonprofits, social justice organizations, national parks, higher education, residential outdoor education, and summer camps. Jonna  specializes in advanced analysis of Dr. Seuss and gourmet peanut butter and banana combinations.

Karil Sampson

Karil Sampson studied Political Science, earning both Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. He is pursuing his Doctorate in Transnational Political Systems and Public Policy at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.

Karil is a passionate political and environmental activist whose research has focused on sustainable economic development and social inequities in economically disadvantaged communities. This passion has led him to become a founding member of the ‘Dayton Community Action Network’.

Karil also serves as the Sales Operations Manager at Medizin Praxis. He has over 15 years of experience in information technology and operations management. Karil specializes in business & market analysis, process mapping, project management, team leadership, and strategic partnership development.  Clients benefit from Karil’s expert knowledge of Latin American & Caribbean cultures and economic climates as well as extensive political and corporate connections.

Karil believes that public and private interests need not be in opposition. “Our communities, our children, and our world depend on us all working together to create a better future.”

Amaha Sellassie

Amaha Sellassie is a peace builder, social healer, freedom fighter and lover of humanity.  He's an instructor in Sociology and director of Center for Applied Social Issues at Sinclair Community College in Dayton Ohio.  A Pan Africanist practitioner scholar dedicated towards building bridges of trust, healing historical wounds, and harnessing the unique gifts and talents of every human being as we press towards a just and equitable society.  His areas of interest include health equity, praxis, dismantling structural violence and getting the voice of marginalized communities into the center of public policy in order to emerge structures of belonging that acknowledge the dignity and worth of every human being.  Amaha is a Caux Scholar fellow
trained in the Swiss Alps in peacebuilding and healing historical wounds. He is the chair of the city of Dayton Human Relations Council, a member of the Community Police council (CPC) and co-chair of the MLK March.  As a community organizer, he helped organize the Justice for John Crawford movement after his tragic murder at a local Walmart.  He is presently involved in two research projects: exploring opportunity and food access in Dayton and a community based research project in Ethiopia focused on
building local capacity.  Currently he is working towards his Ph. D. in
Sociology at the University of Cincinnati with an emphasis on utilizing community based participatory research (CBPR) towards emerging equity and community transformation.

Daytonian of the Week:


Eric Smith

Eric Smith joined Rural Action in 2016 as Chief Program Officer. Before joining Rural Action, Eric served as a Community Development Coordinator with Think Tank, Inc based in Springfield, Ohio. During the 8 years he spent there, he helped launch various collaborative initiatives tackling tough social issues. This work included the establishment of the Miami Valley Fatherhood Initiative to pilot and scale promising practices related to father absence, and the Springfield Promise Neighborhood initiative to pilot and scale promising practices related to the achievement gap that exists between poor youth in low-income neighborhoods and their better off peers. Prior to Think Tank, Eric served in Africa with an international development organization, and on a workforce development program with a local community action agency. Eric received his BA from Taylor University with a double major in History and International Studies. He is working to complete his MA in Community Development from North Dakota State University. Eric holds professional certifications in such areas as Asset Based Community Development. He has also taught a Building Leaders to Build Communities class through Clark State Community College. Eric’s experience and education have helped to strengthen his natural interests, abilities, and skills in everything from community, program, and organizational development to workshop facilitation and curriculum writing. For sixteen years Eric has been using his skill set in one way or another to build communities where ALL people can thrive regardless of socioeconomic background.

Arlinda Vaughn 

Arlinda Vaughn is currently the Business Development Director at Medizin Praxis. Previously, she held executive positions within Halma’s Medical Division and General Electric. She is fluent in German, Spanish & English and has driven international business development in more than 50 countries on six continents: working in sales, strategic project management and channel development. She has a passion for experiencing different cultural perspectives and philosophies which she uses to assist businesses and social causes advance their goals, be it with entering new markets or promoting community projects. She is a founding member of the Dayton Community Action Network and serves on the Montgomery County Public Education Re-Entry Sub-Committee.Arlinda holds both a BS in German with a Biomedical Physics minor from Washington University in St. Louis, MO and a Masters in International Business from Webster University in St. Louis, MO. She is Six Sigma Green Belt certified and graduated from the Halma Executive Development Programme in Ashridge, United Kingdom. Arlinda Vaughn was appointed to the Dayton Metro Library Board of Trustees in September 2016. Arlinda is the founder of the Dayton Community Action Network. 

Kat Walter

Kat Walter is a coordinator with the Yellow Springs Resilience Network, enabling efforts among individuals, organizations, local government, and businesses to greatly reduce our carbon footprint. The six major areas include buildings, transportation, food, energy, goods & services, and waste & consumption. Even more, YSRN works to build long term resilience to the effects of climate change as well as strength in the community, which requires equity and inclusion of all villagers. Kat previously worked as an organizer for The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund throughout the United States to support communities intent on rewriting local charters or constitutions to confer more decision making powers to citizens and recognize the rights of nature. She then formed a nonprofit to do this work specifically with Ohio communities.


Community Solutions, Central State University and the Dayton Community Action Network are proud to present our first Annual:

"Miami Valley Community Organizing Conference"

With support from University of Denver Center for Community Engagement & Service Learning