Plan aims to change systems, create empowering environments, dismantle systemic racism
Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) announced its 5-year strategic plan on Thursday, Apr. 11. The plan will execute its mission to mobilize people, ideas and investments to make this a community where all individuals have equitable opportunity to reach their full potential—no matter place, race or identity. The foundation called for a more Inclusive City by helping to create environments and neighborhoods that empower people, changing systems that unfairly hold people back, and dismantling systemic racism.
“We know that there is a growing gap between the affluent and poor in Central Indiana, and that race has a profound impact on opportunity,” said Greg Hahn, CICF board chair. “People are being left behind systematically and we are ready to change that.”
“We have goals that will take years, if not generations to accomplish.”
CICF announced a focus around five community leadership areas that overlap and influence one another:
- Family Stabilization – Everyone should have equitable opportunities to obtain housing, transportation and health services.
- Neighborhood Empowerment and Placemaking – Communities are most successful and thriving when investments are resident-driven and when neighborhoods have access to culturally relevant art, nature and beauty every day.
- Economic Mobility – All people can rise out of poverty by acquiring skills that lead to living wage jobs, and if they are not held back by inequitable policies.
- Criminal Justice Reform – Residents have a right to live in safe communities, and we need to commit to better outcomes for people interacting with the criminal justice system.
- Dismantling Systemic Racism – As a foundation, CICF is committed to becoming a fully inclusive, anti-racist and multicultural organization.
“We have goals that will take years, if not generations to accomplish. We will make mistakes, and we will learn from them,” said Brian Payne, president and CEO of CICF and president of The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate. “But most importantly, we have the will to do it. We are committed to this work for generations, even as we make progress.”
At the event, Inclusive City, Payne and CICF board members promised to continue learning, adapting and partnering with others in this work, emphasizing that CICF cannot do any of this alone. Payne then delivered on this promise by announcing a new Opportunity Equity and Inclusion Advisory Council made up of 20 diverse community members to serve as accountability and relationship building partners to the foundation.
“Racist systems have perpetuated inequities and disparities that have impacted our entire community for too long. We cannot continue to leave people behind.”
Audience members were also given an opportunity to support the plan by committing to being “in.” Attendees pledged their commitment on social media by posting “I’m IN for a more #InclusiveCity,” and were asked to financially contribute to the new Equity Partners Fund created to support this work in Marion County.
“Right now, there is no more important work than this for our community,” said Payne. “Racist systems have perpetuated inequities and disparities that have impacted our entire community for too long. We cannot continue to leave people behind.”