About The Big Read Panel Discussion

Last Updated: Monday, 13 July 2020

Dayton Metro Library and the Dayton Daily News hosted a live streaming Panel Discussion, Wednesday, July 8, 5 - 6 p.m., moderated by DDN Community Impact Editor, Amelia Robinson.

AmeliaThis discussion was be based on The Big Read book Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad. You can read the book for free on OverDrive with no wait through July, and explore more materials using the links at the top of this page.

Our Moderator - Amelia Robinson

Community Impact Editor, Dayton Daily News

Award-winning journalist Amelia Robinson is Community Impact Editor for the Dayton Daily News. In this role she leads the newspaper’s efforts to convene local voices and guide engagement with impactful investigations and journalism. She has been a reporter, columnist and podcaster for Dayton.com and the Dayton Daily News since 2000. Her Sunday column, “Smart Mouth,” has appeared in the newspaper’s Life & Arts section for 15 years. It was recognized as the best newspaper column in Ohio in 2019 by the Society of Professional Journalists, and has also been recognized multiple times by the Ohio Associated Press Managing Editors.

The 2020 Kiplinger Program fellow is president and a founding member of the Greater Dayton Association of Black Journalists. She serves on the on the board of the Dayton Sister City Committee and as president of the Oregon Historic District Society board of trustees. She was the recipient of the 2014 Ohio AP Media Editors award for social media, and the 2015 Ohio AP Media Editors columnist award. Her podcast, “What Had Happened Was...” was a 2019 National Association of Broadcasters Marconi award finalist. The podcast has earned more than 3 million downloads since launching in January of 2018.


President & CEO, YWCA Dayton

Shannon Isom is President and CEO of YWCA Dayton. She is responsible for the executive and administrative leadership of YWCA Dayton, dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women. She served as a YWCA Dayton Board member, as well as Board Chair, before taking the helm in 2013. She has spoken in a range of venues, including the University of Dayton Human Rights Conference, TEDx Dayton, YWCA USA, Girls on the Run, and POWER RISING Summit. Her focus strives for political advocacy, mission, and collective voice within national, state, and local platforms.

Shannon holds a B.S. in pre-medicine/biology from Spelman College and an MBA in healthcare administration from Northeastern D'Amore-McKim School of Business. Her accomplishments include: Dayton Business Journal Forty Under 40 and Forty Under 40 Hall of Fame, Leadership Dayton, Dayton Business Journal 50 Most Powerful Women, Better Business Bureau WiBN Top 25 Women to Watch, and Antioch College Coretta Scott King Justice Award.


Executive Director, Dayton International Peace Museum

Kevin is the Director of the Dayton International Peace Museum, after serving several years focused on museum media and exhibitions. He is a native of the Miami Valley; he returned to the area after living on both US coasts and overseas, working in media, education, and consulting. As the director of the Western Hemisphere's only museum dedicated to peace, he is focused on expanding the organization's educational programs and media outreach to the public as well as to inspire more museums of peace in the future.

"We have a long-overdue opportunity and a responsibility to find permanent solutions and fresh ideas on how to finally end the timeless scourge of racism and inequity in this country," said Kelly. "I was motivated to become involved in this project because it is only through honest and often painful dialogue can we ever hope to make progress. There is a true commitment by millions of Americans to make this right, but we need all voices to consider how best to achieve what has in the past always seemed out of reach. Through the lens of a pandemic, another financial crisis, and undeniable acts of brutality, most Americans are ready to do more."


AICP, Executive Director, Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission

Brian began his career with MVRPC as its 6th Executive Director in February 2013. He oversees all management aspects of the organization including air quality, water quality, transportation, land use, research and GIS. He has expanded MVRPC’s role to now include Community Recovery from the Memorial Day 2019 tornadoes and formation of an Institute of Livable and Equitable Communities. He is President Elect of the Rotary Club of Dayton and on the executive board of the National Association of Regional Council’s Executive Directors Council. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Dayton Conservation Fund, Dayton Foundation, the United Way Greater Dayton Area, and Bike Miami Valley.

“I feel it is important to participate in this project because this movement is so very painful for everyone,” he said. “We feel like we need to do something. It is forcing a reaction in all of us. In addition to the marches and protests, the best way to move forward is to have a community wide discussion on the topic of racism and why the George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery murders are important at this time. I’m hopeful that this Big Read will lead to more discussions across the area, Ohio, and the Nation.”


President and CEO, Dayton Children’s Hospital

Deborah Feldman is the 4th President and Chief Executive Officer of Dayton Children’s Hospital. Since joining the organization in 2012, Debbie has led the development and implementation of the hospital’s new strategic plan and overseen a campus-wide revitalization, all in a uniquely family-centered setting.

Prior to Dayton Children’s, Debbie served Montgomery County government for 30 years, the last 16 as County Administrator. In that role, she led many critical community initiatives including the Homeless Solutions Ten Year Plan, the Out-of-School Youth Taskforce, the Montgomery County Healthcare Safety Net Task Force and the establishment of the Community Health Centers of Greater Dayton. She currently serves as a Board member of the Children’s Hospital Association, Ohio Children’s Hospital Association and Ohio Hospital Association Board of Trustees. She serves as the Chair of the Preschool Promise Board as well as the Montgomery County Family and Children First Council. Her contributions have been recognized by the YWCA Women of Influence Award, Dayton Daily News Top Ten Women Award and the National Conference for Community and Justice’s Humanitarian Award, among others.