When a City Commits to Racial Equity

For nearly twelve months our founder has been working with stakeholders in the city of Fishers, Indiana in coming together to take collective action towards racial equity. The work was led by a nationally recognized organization and was at times frustrating. Frustrating, not because of the topic but because of the pace and because of the stage in which racism, privilege, and mis-understanding were evident.

No one ever reaches a point where they are done learning about equity work.

The work of Fishers is ongoing, but courageous. The outcomes are yet to be achieved. The only thing we can collectively do is keep talking, keep learning, keep raising the bar, and keep holding others accountable to the community we wish to see.

One that is committed to racial equity, and looking ahead to achieving equity in access to all.

What is Interrupting Racism Now Training? Interrupting Racism Now is a one- or two-day training by national equity firm, Soul Focused Group. Led by moderators Mahdi Davenport and Dustin Washington, the training addresses the realities of systemic racism in America, both historical and present-day.

Why is this a priority for Fishers? Understanding the historical context of racism and the systems that perpetuate the existence of racism, even if subconscious, is critical to having productive and effective relationships to mitigate racism’s impact on communities of color. In early 2019, Mayor Fadness identified equity and inclusion as a key area of focus for his administration. As community members began participating in discussion groups and planning sessions, it became clear that race relations and disparities are the highest priority for Fishers to address. Interrupting Racism creates the foundation necessary to take action in a systemic and impactful manner.

What can I expect in the training? The training will begin by educating the group on the origins of race and racism and how those decisions impact the systems and biases we all participate in today. Throughout the session, the moderators will weave historical references with modern day examples and personal experiences to help participants identify the role racism plays in their everyday lives.

What’s the difference between the one- and two-day sessions? The one-day class is a modified version of the full two-day session. You’ll learn the basic foundations of Interrupting Racism, but may not experience the immersive portions of the training.

What else is the City working on to improve racism and inequities in Fishers? The launch of Interrupting Racism training is just the first initiative from the City of Fishers to address systemic racism. For more information, visit fishers.in.us/race.

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