As our nation’s presidential election results affirm, America is a nation divided, politically, with rising racial tension during and after the campaign. But Child Advocates, a non-profit organization in Indianapolis, has been committed to “undoing racism” for several years through community workshops and, this Fall, it launched a four-part, monthly Speakers Series for the public.
This Thursday, December 1, Child Advocates will host its final “Undoing Racism” Speakers Series at Martin University in Indianapolis at 2186 N. Sherman Drive. The event, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., is free and open to the community.
The last series will feature Ron Chisom, the co-founder of the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond , an anti-racism organization headquartered in New Orleans. The Speakers Series, from Child Advocates, takes on renewed importance in the wake of an election that also stoked racial divisions and has many Americans wondering, “How do we heal?”
“Where do we go from here?” says Barbara Major, one of the past speakers in the series, repeating a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King. “We have to continue the conversations about what racism is. How it functions. How it dehumanizes everybody,” she says. “Then, we must sit down and say, ‘How do we change it? How do we undo it?’
Each speaker at the “Undoing Racism” Speakers Series has discussed how to prevent systemic and institutional racism in our nation. This Thursday, Ron Chisom will talk about race history, how to collaborate as a community to help stop racism and the work of the People’s Institute across the U.S.
Child Advocates launched the “Undoing Racism” Speakers Series in September. It has been a successful venture with people from all races turning out to listen, learn and discuss ways to be more empowered to prevent racism.
The Speakers Series is an offshoot of Child Advocates annual “Undoing Racism” workshops. Since 2010, Child Advocates has hosted more than 40 workshops to address racism and racial inequities in the child welfare system, other institutions in Central Indiana and in our nation.
Child Advocates provides volunteer court-appointed special advocates (CASA) to represent thousands of abused and neglected children in Marion County.
Cindy Booth, Child Advocates executive director, says, “I started doing the workshops to address and reduce the disproportionality of African-American children in the child welfare system. As the voice of the child, we hope to create an atmosphere and culture that promotes and supports having a race equity lens.”
The year-round workshops, facilitated by the People’s Institute, focus on education, understanding and racial equity solutions for community service organizations, businesses and the community.
Booth hopes to spread the message of racial equity, outside of the workshops, through the community Speakers Series. And, she says, “The “Undoing Racism” Speakers Series is a conversation for blacks, whites and everybody. We can’t continue in hatred. We can’t continue in distrust. It will destroy our country.”
“We want to have conversations with people who want to better the nation, not with people who want things to stay where they are,” says Major. “We, as a nation, must decide whether we will go forward and recognize the full humanity of everyone in America and our world, or whether there will be a fight against people who are trying to take us back,” she says. “Many people are not willing to move backwards.”
I am grateful to Cindy Booth and Child Advocates for creating a space where more of our community can “have the conversation” about race and work toward healing wounds and seeing each other with new eyes and new hope.
If you believe that this is the time to promote understanding between the races and you want to collaborate to help undo racism, please attend the final Speakers Series. Bring your family, relatives, work colleagues and friends. You can RSVP to Nikita Garner at firstname.lastname@example.org Child Advocates.
We can all be a part of the solution.
*Here is a link featuring at some of the speakers who’ve already headlined the “Undoing Racism” Speakers Series
Angela Cain is an Emmy award-winning former television news anchor/reporter, community affairs director and director of public affairs. She left the corporate world to launch her own small business with a desire to inspire and motivate people to focus on “what matters most” in this beautiful life we’ve been given. Angela Cain Communications shares people’s stories and expert interviews about “what matters most,” including our passions and purpose, family, relationships, health, careers and community. Angela Cain Communications also helps tell the story of “what matters most” to businesses, including nonprofits, through blogs, videos, PR,