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Step By Step! How The Lincoln School Marchers Paved the Way for Justice




In the rich tapestry of American history, certain chapters often go unsung, stories that Aventi is dedicated to bringing to the forefront. One such narrative is the inspiring saga of the Lincoln School Marchers—a group of resilient southwest Ohio mothers and their children who embarked on a historic journey, demanding admission to the white school in Hillsboro following the transformative Brown v. Board of Education ruling.


The recently released children's book, "Step By Step! How The Lincoln School Marchers Blazed A Trail To Justice," authored by the talented duo of New York Times bestselling author Debbie Rigaud and Dr. Carlotta Penn, Equity and Engagement Director at The Ohio State University’s College of Education, takes a profound dive into this grassroots demonstration. This protest stands out as one of the longest-sustained civil rights movements in history.


Dr. Carlotta Penn, a graduate of Aventi's Business Planning Accelerator, is a crucial part of this story. Bringing not only academic expertise but also a firsthand understanding of the strategic planning necessary for impactful projects, Dr. Penn honed her skills through Aventi's program. She aligned her passion for equity and education with effective business strategies.


"I think one of the most important themes of the book is amplifying the legacy of everyday underrepresented leaders and heroes," Penn emphasized. "They're humans who wanted and knew that they deserved the best education quality for themselves and their children."


The relevance of the Lincoln Marchers' story echoes through an exhibit by Ohio Humanities, shedding light on the struggle for school integration in Hillsboro. Accompanied by a 20-minute documentary, this exhibit serves as a powerful reminder that the fight for justice and equality remains ongoing.


Daydreamers Press, founded in 2017 by Dr. Carlotta Penn, is not just a children’s book publisher; it's a creative consulting agency with a mission. Dr. Penn, a daydreamer herself, defines it as a creative thinker who believes in working dreams to life. Her background in creative writing, education, and community program development inspires her vision as the curator of children's content and programming at Daydreamers Press.


The journey of Daydreamers Press began in 2017 when Dr. Penn independently published her first picture book in dedication to her first-born, a Rainbow Baby. With a background in writing, multicultural education, and youth engagement, she didn't stop at one book; Dr. Penn penned three more books in the span of five years.


In 2022, Dr. Penn decided to expand into the realm of traditional indie publishing. Committed to making a broader impact in children's literature, she set intentions on curating literature not only for her own works but also for aspiring writers and visionary organizations. Significantly, Daydreamers Press is Black-woman owned with a focus on stories that center BIPOC cultures, perspectives, and experiences.


Dr. Carlotta Penn, with a doctorate in education from The Ohio State University, serves as the College of Education and Human Ecology’s Senior Director of Partnerships and Engagement. She lives in Columbus, OH with her husband and three children, embodying the spirit of a daydreamer turning dreams into impactful stories and experiences.

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