Dayton Young Black Professionals – Black Excellence Week Opportunity Fair

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by India Brown, Project Coordinator

Open the Door

We know that opportunities aren’t fair

unless you’re in there

unless you know where

unless you connect heirs

You have to know somebody

to be somebody

You have to be known

to move on

to succeed

to breathe

to live

to be

to live

to breathe

to succeed

to be

shouldn’t take all these

Everyone

Deserves

This

Opportunity

There is no less

when we welcome

somebody

who should have always

been here

Invite them in

India Brown and Nilofer Ali attending the Dayton Young Black Professionals Opportunity Fair

India Brown, Project Coordinator and Nilofer Ali, Resources Manager attend the Dayton Young Black Professionals Opportunity Fair

Westchester Education Services had the privilege to sponsor one of the numerous scholarships offered by the Dayton Young Black Professionals and to participate in the organization’s Opportunity Fair during Black Excellence Week. This is the second annual event for this group, one aimed at honoring and uplifting the community and students within it by creating avenues of access while celebrating excellence.

Participating in the Opportunity Fair allowed Westchester to join in and be a part of a legacy of lifting while climbing. Mary Church Terrell coined this phrase, but as DYBP President Daj’za Demmings notes, this ideology is realized in spaces, particularly segregated spaces, where we put in work to navigate them, despite the dissonance, rather than simply talking about diversity, equity, and inclusion. We have to do the work. We have to show up. Therefore, it was essential that Westchester Education Services, located in Dayton, Ohio, not merely take up space here but that it support initiatives put on by the community residing within. At this event, we were able to do so.

We connected more than three dozen people with the work we do and the ways that they could become involved. As the original poem above touches on, it is our responsibility—humanity’s—to open doors that have been closed to historically marginalized groups. We’re in the room, we have the ability to unlock the door, and there’s already room.

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