Spring 2012 Newsletter - NCCJ

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					                                                        Spring 2012 Newsletter

Our mission:    To fight bias, bigotry and racism and to promote respect and understanding among all through
                advocacy, conflict resolution and education.

                    Leading Public Prayer in a Diverse Society

    Leading prayer within a public venue is both a privilege and a responsibility to honor and respect all who are
    present. Prayer in such settings can and should bind a group together in a common concern. From time to
    time NCCJ is asked for advice about how to handle such situations. Here are some suggestions that we hope
    are helpful.

    Inclusive public prayer in a multi-cultural society must be sensitive to a diversity of faiths. However, it can
    become unintentionally divisive when forms or language of the person leading the prayer exclude persons of
    different faith groups, or those who many not hold a position of faith. Attention should be given to careful
    planning to avoid any embarrassment or misunderstanding.

    When asking a person to offer a prayer during a community event, it is important to explain clearly the public
    nature of the occasion and the need for respect for the composition of the audience. The invitation should
    indicate that inclusive public prayer:
         Seeks the highest common denominator without compromise of conscience;
         Uses forms and vocabulary that allow persons of different faiths to give assent to what is said;
         Incorporates universal, inclusive terms for addressing a deity rather than particular proper names for
         divine manifestations. Some openings for invocations or benedictions are “Almighty God,” “Our Maker,”
         “Source of All Being,” “Creator God,” or “Creator and Sustainer.” Possible closing words are “Hear our
         Prayer,” “May Goodness Flourish,” or simply “Amen.”

    Some persons are reluctant to offer inclusive public prayer. This position should be respected, and the
    individual asked to lead the prayer should be given the option of gracefully declining the invitation.

    As the demographics within our communities continue to change, we have a responsibility to our neighbors to
    be aware and informed about these matters and to exercise as much sensitivity as possible in all situations.
    We trust this information is helpful and invite you to share it with others. If you would like additional
    information, please contact:

             The National Conference for Community and Justice of Greater Dayton (NCCJ)
             14 W. First Street, Suite 401
             Dayton, OH 45402-1259
             Telephone: (937) 222-6225
             Fax: (937) 222-8669
             Email: info@nccjgreaterdayton.org
                                                      Spring 2012 Newsletter

Our mission:    To fight bias, bigotry and racism and to promote respect and understanding among all through
                advocacy, conflict resolution and education.

          Teens in Action… Teen Summit March 1, 2012

   Our thanks once again to the Dayton Daily
   News for their support as the Spring Teen
   Summit presenting sponsor and to the DP&L
   Foundation for their partnership support of
   this event that brought approximately 250
   teens and their advisors to the Ponitz Center to
   learn how to overcome bullying and find
   non-violent methods for resolving conflicts.
                                                          Spring 2012 Newsletter

Our mission:     To fight bias, bigotry and racism and to promote respect and understanding among all through
                 advocacy, conflict resolution and education.

 NCCJ is pleased to introduce our new Executive Director, Mary E. Tyler Mary joined NCCJ on
 March 1, 2012 — and was greeted by the nearly 250 young people at our spring Teen Summit!

 A Message from Mary
 Coming Home...
 I am delighted to be back home in Dayton, close to my family, surrounded by great friends and filled with fond
 memories. After a rich and fulfilling United Way career — in Modesto, CA, Baltimore, MD,
 Winston-Salem, NC and Gastonia, NC as well as in Dayton — I am thrilled to lead NCCJ. When I first
 returned to Dayton, I began seeking opportunities to get involved in the community. Friends made several
 suggestions. Among them, the late Marsha Froelich, who was then on the Board of NCCJ, who thought I would be
 the ideal candidate for the executive director’s position, which was about to become available due to
 Pat Meadows impending retirement. While it was a change for me, Marsha knew of my abilities and passion for
 the work: fighting bias, bigotry, racism and all forms of discrimination. As it turns out, she was spot on: it is a great
 fit for me and for NCCJ.

 The Personal Side...
 When I am not at work I enjoy spending time with my daughter, Lisa, son, Jas, and my grandchildren. Our
 activities include attending church together, eating family style meals, going to dance competitions, watching
 movies, visiting museums and celebrating birthdays. They are the joy of my life. I also enjoy interior design and
 admit that I am an HGTV junkie. “Divine Design,” “Color Splash” and “Dina’s Party” are some of my
 favorite shows! Before I returned to Dayton I began taking English Riding lessons. I started out with two other
 adults who quit, so I continued with a group of children. Boy oh boy, what a humbling experience! One day the
 instructor asked us to canter. I told her I wasn’t sure I could do it. One of my young classmates, Taylor, loudly
 shouted, “You can’t canter; I learned when I was 8 years old.” I trust that in Dayton I will find another riding group
 — with adults! I also hope to take up golf again. I began to play at the United Way Loaned Executives Golf
 Outing. I continue to enjoy playing with my girlfriends. I play hard, and I work harder.

 Leadership and Vision…
 My life has been devoted to serving others, ensuring their right to dignity and defending their personal choices. I
 was instrumental in assembling and leading a diverse group of women to address community race relations. I have
 continually been involved with the faith community, working with clergy leaders and community members to
 advance understanding. I have been called upon to bring objectivity and calm, and to facilitate in highly sensitive
 and potentially volatile situations. These experiences, and others, have helped prepare me for the responsibility
 of NCCJ. NCCJ is an outstanding organization whose work is as relevant to helping build a strong, vibrant
 community in 2012 as it was when it began in Dayton in 1978. Programs delivered in school systems are vital to
 educating students about respect and appreciation for differences. Our challenge is to increase NCCJ’s capacity to
 reach more students. Today, the need to build awareness and respect for differences in the work place is essential
 to the success of every enterprise. Our challenge is to help businesses and organizations understand that making
 diversity and inclusion part of their organizational culture is a necessary ingredient of a successful business model.
 Creating a unified community where all can experience the benefits is fundamental to a thriving region. Our
 challenge is to enhance our visibility so that NCCJ is the place individuals, organizations and businesses turn to when
 seeking ways to eliminate bias, bigotry, prejudice and discrimination . I trust I can count on you to help us meet these
                                                         Spring 2012 Newsletter

Our mission:     To fight bias, bigotry and racism and to promote respect and understanding among all through
                 advocacy, conflict resolution and education.

               MEET OUR LEADERSHIP
Board of Directors ~ Board Member Spotlight on David
In each Newsletter we will spotlight a member of our Board of Directors
David Ahlstrom is an attorney practicing in the Litigation Department of Sebaly
Shillito + Dyer LPA. His practice focuses primarily on commercial litigation. He also
represents businesses and individuals in a wide variety of immigration matters. Dave
joined the NCCJ Board in 2010 and currently serves on the Executive
Committee of the Board as Chair, Board Development Committee.

We recently asked Dave about NCCJ. Here is what he had to say.
1) What about NCCJ attracted you to serve on the Board?
NCCJ’s core values should be human values, but experience tells us we still have much
work to do in making this vision a reality. As an attorney practicing in the areas of
employment and immigration law, I am called upon to fight for and protect on behalf of
clients some of the same values espoused by NCCJ. The NCCJ mission complements my
professional work. As I mature I have become more self-reflective. I realize I have bi-
ases and prejudices that inform my daily life and decision-making. My work with NCCJ
allows me to constantly evaluate my conduct against the high standards NCCJ advocates.
I am growing as a person as a result of my service with NCCJ and I look forward to
constantly improving in this area as I partner with NCCJ.

2) Have you experienced prejudice or discrimination? How did it make you feel?
Overall I have been blessed not to experience the deep-seeded prejudice or discrimination many have felt. However,
in two areas of my life I have experienced sufficient prejudice to allow me to empathize with those who have suffered
more deeply. First, as the son of an enlisted Army soldier growing up in California, I felt a distinct “us” vs. “them”
mentality between children of military and children of civilians. The prejudice was subtle, but I sensed it: children of
military were often viewed as less desirable, transient residents who did not really belong in or to California. This was
very unjust, especially given the important service military families, including my own, were giving to our country.
Second, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (commonly referred to as “Mormons”), I have
been criticized and negatively questioned about my faith. Misinformation, legend and half-truths are often substituted
for meaningful and genuine insight. I care deeply about my faith and struggle to separate negative experiences from
the individuals responsible for them. I endeavor to remain open in the hope that some will be informed, touched and
changed as a result.

3) Which programs of NCCJ are most exciting to you?
I am particularly excited about NCCJ’s work with our youth through, for example, Anytown, Teen Summits, and Police
and Youth Together. These programs help root out bias and bigotry before they become entrenched. I have met
graduates of these programs and they make me optimistic about the ability of our youth, with exposure to NCCJ’s
programs, to chart a better course for the future.

4) Please share something about you/your life with us.
I am married to a beautiful, talented concert pianist, Kristina, and we have a wonderful eight-year old daughter,
Madalyn. I enjoy time on my motorcycle, playing golf and competitive target-shooting.
                                                         Spring 2012 Newsletter

Our mission:    To fight bias, bigotry and racism and to promote respect and understanding among all through
                advocacy, conflict resolution and education.

  Coming Soon
 This is a busy time of year for NCCJ. Upcoming programs and activities include:

 The NCCJ of Greater Dayton’s Annual Meeting
          When: Tuesday, June 12, 2012
          Where: Dayton Art Institute
          Time:      5:30 p.m.—7:00 p.m.
 Please join us to learn more about NCCJ’s activities this year. Light refreshments will be available

 Anytown Youth Leadership Institute
            When: Saturday, June 16— Friday, June 22, 2012
            Where: Camp Joy, Clarksville, Ohio
 This will be the 10th summer for NCCJ’s highly-regarded, premier leadership program. The Anytown Youth
 Leadership Institute addresses societal issues regarding race, ethnicity, gender, religion, disability and economic
 status. High school students from throughout the Miami Valley participate in a week-long residential program that
 provides an opportunity for delegates to live and interact with a diverse group of their peers.
 Spaces are limited. For information or applications call 937-222-6225 or email ssibbing@nccjgreaterdatyon.org.

 Police and Youth Together (PAYT)
            When: Monday, August 6—Friday, August 10, 2012
            Where: Fraternal Order of Police Lodge, Huber Heights, Ohio
 This will be the second year for this exciting program which is offered by NCCJ in partnership with five area Law
 Enforcement Agencies. PAYT fosters respect and understanding between police officers and youth ages 10-12. As
 with Anytown, spaces are limited. For more information call 937-222-6225.

 And don’t forget...

  Just go to our website, www.nccjgreaterdayton.org and click on the “Donate
                                  Now” tab!
  Monday, October 22, 2012 at the Sinclair Ponitz Center

  If you enjoyed reading about NCCJ, please forward this newsletter to a family member, friend or colleague. If you
  have suggestions or feedback for us, please send us an email at: info@nccjgreaterdayton.org.

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