Community service

Tara Dyer and the importance of community service

Every week, this series shares MarionMade! stories of our many wonderful people, places, products and programs in the greater Marion community. To read more positive stories from Marion, or to share some of your own, visit us at marionmade.org or on social media.

Tara Dyer has been a lifelong resident of Marion. Although she has many significant contributions to our community, she is widely known for her time as an educator in Marion City schools for 35 years.

Dyer is a graduate of Marion City Schools. She then earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Defiance College in Elementary Education. After his undergraduate program, Dyer earned a Master of Arts from The Ohio State University.

Dyer attributes his involvement to some amazing women.

“For me, it was the presence of strong role models in my life; from my grandmother, Beulah Fair, and my mother, Mary Emma McDuffie, to community icons Mother Earlean Baskin Hatch, Mary Houston and Tippie Allen, each blessing me with their wisdom and grace,” Dyer said. “These powerful women poured into my mind. It is this inherited “spirit” that motivates me and I pray that it will be passed on to my granddaughters. »

Dyer’s inspiration to give back to the community continues now.

“Every day brings a new challenge,” Dyer said. “I can always contribute in a positive way to make my city shine and prosper. Whether it is the opportunity to offer my services to facilitate ongoing projects and organizations, or to participate in activities that involve me personally, God continues to guide me to do things in Marion.

Dyer believes in the importance of people being active and involved members of their community.

“When people tell me, ‘You’re always so busy!’ I take that as a compliment,” Dyer said. “I believe it is our duty as citizens to be community-minded.”

Tara Dyer's community work keeps her busy even in retirement.  She sits on the Black Heritage Council in one of her many roles.

Dyer is driven by a spirit of volunteerism. She works to improve the quality of life of the citizens of her community. She is passionate about homelessness and housing and is currently working on ‘Nia House’, an outreach center for homeless youth.

Dyer also enjoys researching, collaborating, and writing grants to fund humanitarian efforts.

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth,” a quote from Muhammed Ali that Dyer uses to describe his conduct.

Dyer taught elementary grades third through fifth. She also worked in the Marion City Schools child care program, providing child care to teenage parents while they attended classes. She is currently a Mentoring Supervisor with Marion Mentors at Grant Middle School.

Dyer’s additional community involvement includes the Black Heritage Council of Marion County, where she serves as Treasurer; The Peace and Freedom Committee; The Marion Minority Commission, where she helped advocate for a street name to be changed to Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue; Turning Point Council from 2018 to 2021; Black Business Council of Marion; COVID Defense team in Marion; Community collaboration; the Marion City Literacy Team; an Athena Prize nominee; Business Women’s Council; Ohio Democratic Club, where she is vice president; representative of the Democratic Central Committee; Marion Housing Coalition; Continuum of care in 2019; Healthy Food Access Team; Marion Ohio 2020 Bicentennial Planning Committee; Marion Voice; Marion graduated in leadership; Drug-free Marion; Alzheimer Association volunteer; surrogate volunteer with Pleasant School District; 2019 MTC Perkins Stakeholder Member; “Umoja: Blight to Beauty” project; and the Marion Microfarm project. Dyer also ran for office and is a 2021 MarionMade! honored.

Dyer attributes her involvement in the community to extraordinary women in her early years.  Her hope is that she can pass this on

“I don’t participate in this community for fame or glory, but I’m truly honored to be recognized by MarionMade! and I want to thank God, my nominator and the committee for this award,” Dyer said of his recent recognition.

Dyer shares that a principle of Kwanzaa describes his commitment and belief: “Building and holding our community together and making our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems and solving them together, is called ‘Ujima’.”