The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) – a Quaker organization that has been working for peace and justice for more than 100 years – donated their former Dayton office building to the Dayton Unit of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The Dayton NAACP, also founded more than a century ago, is the city’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization.
When AFSC closed its program in Dayton, AFSC staff met with community elders who had long been supporters of the program to discuss what came next. They requested the building go to a like-minded social justice organization, and AFSC approached the local branch of the NAACP.
“We are so happy we are able to pass this building on to the Dayton NAACP,” said Sharon Goens-Bradley, Interim Regional Director for AFSC’s Midwest region. “The work they are doing with communities in Ohio and across the country is critically important, and we are grateful to contribute this building to the ongoing struggle for racial justice.”
The building, located at 915 Salem Avenue, was built on 1918 and housed AFSC since the early 1960s. Over the decades, it’s been a hub for anti-war activism, youth programs, anti-apartheid work, immigration and labor rights movements, and racial justice organizing. The building will now be home to the Dayton NAACP’s efforts to end racism and advance the political, educational, social and economic rights of all people.
“After viewing the annual reports of the Dayton Unit NAACP, it is clear that the work accomplished during your tenure as the president has been outstanding,” said Patricia Trammell, Building Management Committee Clerk. “You have been president of our local unit since 2007 and seven administrations you have assembled over the years reflect the great diversity of our community. It is amazing to read that our local Dayton unit has been recognized by the national NAACP for eight years in a row with the Thalheimer Award. It is a pleasure to learn so much about the Dayton NAACP ‘s outstanding programs; and that your local active staff /volunteers would be happy to move into the AFSC building,” said Trammell. “AFSC has been blessed to operate hundreds of programs from our building since 1964 and we know you will appreciate it being your property soon,” said Trammell.
“Since March 2020, it has been a pleasure working with the American Friends Service Committee on the donation of their building, as well as negotiating other aspects of the business,” said Dr. Derrick L. Foward, President of the Dayton NAACP. “It was very intriguing to hear about the extensive amount of research the Dayton AFSC Building Management Committee conducted before making a final decision to offer the building to the Dayton NAACP. Reviewing our annual reports, investigating how the Dayton NAACP received the Thalheimer for eight consecutive years in a row – the highest award any local Unit can receive from the national NAACP – and interviewing various Dayton NAACP Executive Committee Members were all very impressive techniques used during the decision-making process. We appreciate the leadership, judgment and wisdom of Sharon Goens-Bradley, and Patricia Trammell, Building Manager Committee Clerk and are humbled by this newfound partnership,” said Foward.