Why Race Equity Matters From A Longtime Justice Warrior | Podcast Episode 11

Posted on April 1st, 2022

She survived court-ordered busing in the 70s where she and hundreds of IPS teachers lost their jobs; a race riot at a township school in the 90s; and she is a longtime racial justice warrior today who remains optimistic about the future even as racial divisions rise.

“Throughout history, we’ve always taken one step forward and two back… I think we’re living in a very exciting period right now because we have so many people simultaneously working on interrupting racism for our children’s future. I feel like we’re going to reach our goal of stamping out racism and discrimination.”

We talk to Dr. Arlene Coleman, a facilitator for our “Interrupting Racism for Children” workshops, who shares wisdom that can unite us around one goal—to build a better future for every child where race does not predict their life outcomes. Listen to our podcast, ‘Your Voice. Their Future.”


  • Dr. Arlene Coleman / Race Equity Facilitator for Child Advocates
  • Cindy Booth / Child Advocates CEO
  • Jill English / Chief of Community, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Angela Cain / Communications Consultant / Podcast Host




  • Race equity and justice warrior, Dr. Arlene Coleman, discusses her history of commitment to fighting for race equity; how racial justice took root when she and other IPS teachers lost their jobs during court-ordered busing
  • Why Dr. Coleman calls Child Advocates a lighthouse – a brave beacon in race equity work, for more than a decade now, to create a better future for every child
  • The one critical question Dr. Coleman asks attendees of the Interrupting Racism for Children workshop and why it can truly help interrupt racism
  • Cindy Booth, Child Advocates’ CEO, and Jill English, Chief of Community, Equity, and Inclusion talk specifically about what people will learn and what they are saying about their Interrupting Racism for Children Workshops
  • How we all can contribute to racism, why it’s happening, and how the workshops discuss that without shame or blame and with a historical perspective
  • How history helps workshop attendees see the thread from the past to racism’s impact today
  • Some ‘light bulb’ moments – epiphanies – from workshop attendees including youth who attend
  • Why Dr. Coleman feels the nation will reach our goal of stamping out racism and discrimination and what makes her optimistic in the midst of increasing racial strife
  • How our communities can continue to push the race equity movement forward in the midst of protests and some state’s CRT-inspired legislation actions such as Florida education officials canceling a lecture for teachers on the history of the civil rights movement
  • Why Dr. Coleman believes the protests and racial strife are short-term because “a lie can’t live forever” and she discusses how history will lead us
  • Why Child Advocates and Dr. Coleman think the controversial Indiana House Bill 1134, inspired by protests against critical race theory, was killed by the Senate, and how Child Advocates was engaged in helping defeat that bill
  • Cindy Booth asks, “When did America become a place where we fear ideas and fear learning new things?”
  • Dr. Coleman discusses how court-ordered busing in the 70’s in Indianapolis harmed Black children and Black teachers, as hundreds lost their jobs, and where and why a race riot broke out in a township school in the early 1990s
  • An examination of why one-way, court-ordered busing was inherently racist with only some children having to travel to other schools
  • An examination of how far we have come in schools today… and the question, ‘Have we really?” We discuss the achievement gap and other ways racism continues in schools
  • Dr. Coleman asks, “If you want to know what you would have been doing during the height of the civil rights movement, ask yourself, “What are you doing now?”
  • Dr. Coleman, Cindy Booth, and Jill English discuss their concerns about racism, their hope for the future, and what you can do to stand up for race equity

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Thank you for joining us on our podcast as we use our collective voices to create a better world for all children.