Dear friends and family,
Sister Edna Hess • President, Sisters of the Precious Blood
Life has changed very little since my last communication with you. We continue to be in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, racial inequities demand attention, and the November elections lie ahead. In this issue, we are highlighting our history and relationship with the city of Trotwood, the municipality in which we are located. It is a story that speaks to elements of racism found in other communities around our nation.
When our Community arrived on the outskirts of Dayton from rural Maria Stein, Ohio, the area was still primarily farmland. Little did the Sisters realize how the landscape would change. The city of Dayton expanded northwest. Farmland gave way to housing development and infrastructure that would support businesses, churches, schools and other amenities. Neighborhoods were largely white, middle-class with strong ties to their churches for active social lives. In the mid- to late 1950s a shift occurred as Black people began to move from “across the river” into West side neighborhoods. Fueled by realtors who predicted a drop in the price of homes, white people began to move out. The nearby suburb of Trotwood saw an increase in population. Trotwood had much to offer: new homes, good schools, restaurants, businesses, the Salem Mall, Hara Arena, access to Good Samaritan Hospital, etc. Black people in the inner city also desired these things for their families. They too began to move into Trotwood. Once again, white people moved — some further north; others to southern suburbs. What role did implicit biases, white privilege and fear of “the other” play in this shift?
We Sisters of the Precious Blood have made a commitment to stay in the Trotwood community. Precious Blood spirituality impels us to see every person as precious no matter the color of their skin, their ethnicity, culture or religion. We choose to be an active part of the community even as it is designated a food desert, restaurants and businesses close, schools struggle to improve, the hospital no longer stands. Like so many in Trotwood, we are committed to its vitality and revitalization. Through mutual respect and collaboration, together, we will make a difference.
Stay well and remember to vote: “I will vote for faith over fear, hope over hatred, love for all.” (Source: votecommongood.com.)