Updated: 6 days ago
(Dayton, OH) - May 5, 2023 - Wright Dunbar, Inc. recently announced the inductees into the 2023 Dayton Region Walk of Fame: Early pioneer, abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor Charity Davis Caesar Broady, Emmy and Grammy Award-winning comedian and actor Dave Chappelle, Dayton Daily News sports journalist Tom Archdeacon and retired Five Rivers MetroParks CEO Marvin Olinsky. The nominees were selected based on their impactful contributions locally, nationally and internationally.
“Through terror and tears, love lost and found, the Ohio lineage of Charity Broady has inspired twelve generations of her children,” said Patricia Smith Griffin, historian, genealogist and Founder of Charity’s Children Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the life and legacy of Mrs. Broady and her descendants. “We are proud and humbled by this honor and hope that this recognition of the journey of Mother Charity, her legacy, informs and continues to inspire her beloved community of Dayton, Ohio.”
Smith Griffin, a direct descendant of Mrs. Broady, is also the executive producer of the short story podcast series, The Legacy of Charity’s Children.
Mrs. Broady arrived in the Dayton, Ohio, area as an infant with her father, John Isaac Davis, around 1802. She was an early pioneer of the first free state who survived several pro-slavery attacks and stayed to rebuild the community. She was a co-founder of the First Wesleyan Church and a conductor on Dayton’s Underground Railroad.
In March 1842, Mrs. Broady co-founded the First Wesleyan Church, the Mother of Dayton Ohio’s Black Churches. She was also part of Dayton’s Underground Railroad and an early participant in the Suffrage movement. She attended the 1851 Women’s Suffrage Convention in Akron, Ohio, where Sojourner Truth gave the famous "Ain't I A Woman" speech. Mrs. Broady died in 1899.
"First Wesleyan Church of Dayton Ohio is truly honored to have one of our founders honored on the Dayton Region Walk of Fame,” said Rev. George B. Coles, pastor of First Wesleyan Church. “Mrs. Charity Broady has been an inspiration to our church and we are honored to have her descendants continue their loyalty to First Wesleyan through the Charity’s Children Project."
First Wesleyan became the epicenter for the Underground Railroad and served as the first school for Dayton’s Black children. Many of the “old mothers” and fathers also took this opportunity to learn.
The inductees will be recognized at the annual Dayton Region Walk of Fame
luncheon which will be held on October 11, 2023 at Sinclair Community College.
Tickets for the event are now available at
The actual engraved stones on the Walk of Fame will be installed at a later date.
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About Charity’s Children Project, Inc.
Charity’s Children Project, Inc. and The Legacy of Charity’s Children LLC (TLCC) was founded to preserve the inspiring heritage of early Ohio settlers, John Isaac Davis and his daughter, Charity Davis Caesar Broady who was of African and Ani'-Yun'wiya (Cherokee) descent. A family in the first free state, since its inception, TLCC represents 12 generations (and counting) in the Miami Valley of Dayton, Ohio since 1803/1804. Mrs. Broady is one of Dayton’s most iconic and historical figures as an abolitionist, suffragist and co-founder of the First Wesleyan Church, a major location in the Underground Railroad and a site selected by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, “1,000 Places Where Women Made History.” The vision of TLCC includes a multi-phased plan that seeks a place of permanence for cultural enrichment and community engagement, including exhibits, genealogical research and special events for artistic expression and development.