Is Dayton a dying city? Project aims at inspiring Dayton residents

On the side of a brick building in the Oregon District, a stenciled mural paints the picture of a more united future in the city. Its message is simple: Dayton Inspires.

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The local project aims to shift the perception of the city through a new social campaign that celebrates growth and opportunity in the region. Dayton Inspires, created by several young professionals in the Miami Valley, starts a conversation about the possibilities of the region — and gets people out in the community for volunteering projects.

Zack Silver, project manager for Dayton Inspires, told the Dayton Daily News about the project — and what he envisions for the future of the Miami Valley.

Tell us about your role with Dayton Inspires, and what else you do in the city.

My volunteer position at Dayton Inspires is the project manager. I’m responsible for creating and managing projects from start to finish. I present them to our board, and together we take these ideas and make them a reality. Outside of the Dayton Inspires, I work at Lily’s Bistro. I go to school full time at Sinclair Community College, and am currently recording an album at Encore Studios in Kettering.

>> PHOTOS: Dayton Inspires Clean-Up 2016

What does it mean to “shift the perception” of Dayton?

We want all Daytonians to have nothing but pride for the city we live in. People who have lived here and have began to feel disenfranchised, those are the people we are trying to influence. Those that are unable to see the change that has been happening in Dayton.

Our city has lost many large companies and the jobs that go with them in the past 30 years, giving some a mindset that Dayton would never go back to what it was. I challenge people every day to be the pebble that will eventually stop the river. With enough pebbles, we can. If we can give these people hope, they will do everything in their power to help make Dayton what it is — and what it has always been is amazing.

Read the full story, including what Sliver envisions for the future of Dayton, on

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Dayton Daily News is taking an in-depth look at quality-of-life issues in the Miami Valley and compares the Dayton area to like-sized metropolitan areas. We will feature stories that explore business growth, entertainment options, and a push to revitalize the core of downtown. Leaders, economic experts and residents answer the question driving the next phase of the region’s development: “Why Dayton?”

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