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Minutes: OIC General Meeting (January 27, 2021, 7:00 pm)

Present: Kristi Hale (chair), Judy Cook, Jeremy Newport, Sam Dorf, Healy Jackson, Leigh Ann Fulford, Madeline Iseli, Dan Turben, Norbert Klopsch, Kyle Ramey



New Business

I. Welcome (Kristi Hale and Judy Cook) 7:00 – 7:05

Hale and Cook welcomed members and offered opening words.

II. OIC’s History, Mission and Purpose (Norb Klopsch) 7:05 – 7:15

Klopsch offered comments on the history of the OIC: conversations began in early January 2020 to form the group and to develop a formal structure to examine issues of diversity equity and inclusion within Oakwood. A planning team of eight members met in February 2020 and looked at the Centerville-Washington Township Inclusion Council as a model. Over the summer of 2020 the group developed founding documents and began the process of setting up the OIC as a non-profit corporation.

Klopsch read the OIC Mission and Purpose and shared his own hopes for the organization: active participation, a diversity of voices, keeping the mission and purpose at the center of the OIC’s work, subscribing and adhering to the OIC’s Code of Conduct.

III. Leadership Team Introductions (Kristi Hale) 7:15 – 7:20

Leadership Team members introduced themselves.

IV. What does it mean to be a member of the OIC (Kristi Hale) 7:20 – 7:30

Hale reviewed OIC Member Expectations and read the OIC Code of Conduct document.

Brian Potts from WMPL explained how the Break-Out Sessions will work.

V. Break Out Discussions 7:30 – 8:00

VI. Full Group Conversation 8:00 - 8:20

Below are some of the comments and questions raised by the thirteen break out groups:

GROUP 1: “What do we want the role of OIC to be within our broader community.” “Everyone of us is on this journey, but that journey doesn’t have a finish line. OIC should be a space for anyone, no matter where they are on that journey, to learn and to lovingly educate each other.” “The OIC should be a place to have difficult conversations and to take action.”

GROUP 2: Overall love for Oakwood but also “hesitations” from some about “moving here and fitting in.” Much of the group’s discussions focused on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion within the schools.

GROUP 3: A desire to “turn good thoughts into good actions.” OIC should focus on education and a focus on the schools. “We should prepare our kids to engage in a more diverse world.”

GROUP 4: Discussed preparing students for life and how diversity needs to be discussed across the community. “OIC needs to look across all areas of diversity, the use of language, the need to understand privilege.” The group discussed how Oakwood should be known as a welcoming place.

GROUP 5: Discussed how we may measure success and hoped OIC will look to make an impact within Oakwood and within the larger Dayton region. There was an interest in exploring issues of food insecurity in the region and finding ways for OIC to help.

GROUP 6: “How will we know that we have got to where we need to be? How do we measure our impact? One way is to look at our most vulnerable populations. It is important to ensure our institutions are at the table and are listening.”

GROUP 7: Discussions included regrets on how many people think and feel negatively about Oakwood. There was discussion of “the bubble.” There was a suggestion to organize a book club and to celebrate minority-owned businesses within Oakwood and in the area. Group questioned how to bring the people not with us tonight into the discussion.

GROUP 8: Group offered “Diversity is more than race, but it is about not fitting into the status quo. It is sometimes hard to be different in Oakwood. It is important to include all forms of diversity.”

GROUP 9: Suggested an OIC book club and offered a number of possible titles (i.e. Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste).

GROUP 10: Hoped the OIC will help the community “have our consciousness raised, making our city a safer place to live and to preserve our democracy.” The group suggested focusing on how diversity, equity and inclusion can be a part of hiring decisions for the city. They suggested the OIC play a role in exposing our community to diversity, playing a role in tutoring, and providing opportunities to learn about different cultures. The group also recommended the OIC helps the community take a closer look at our city’s history.

GROUP 11: Hoped the OIC will help destigmatize the ways people see Oakwood. “This group can be a vehicle to really support us all.” The group recommend Wilkerson’s Caste for book discussion.

GROUP 12: The group hoped the OIC can play a role in educating ourselves as a group, for example a discussion of the history of redlining in the region. The hoped the OIC can play a role in the discussions of curriculum, the teaching of cultural competency and understanding. They hoped the OIC will look at the perceptions of law enforcement. The group hopes the OIC will help create, nurture and sustain our stories.

GROUP 13: This group expressed hopefulness that a variety of Oakwood institutions are represented at the meeting and that the group can listen and promote action. Many stories were shared. “It is important to listen to people who have had negative experiences in the city.” The group suggested that OIC will look outward, that members “stand up when the conversation gets tough,” and to “think beyond race to include other forms of diversity.”

VII. Open Comments:

Lauren Kawai shared a link to a survey to capture experiences within the schools concerning Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: []

Book recommendations were shared in the chat and in conversations. [See attached]

Other suggestions included:

  • Focus on exploring global impact of diversity equity and inclusion.

  • A summer film series.

  • Interest in logo development.

VIII. Closing (Kristi Hale) 8:20 – 8:30

Meetings will be held quarterly. Next meeting will be April 28th at 7pm

Meeting adjourned at 8:31pm

Respectfully submitted, Sam Dorf


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