CICF Reveals Plans to Dismantle Systemic Racism in Community and Reaffirms Its Commitment to Equity

Plan aims to create and motivate a grassroots anti-racist movement in Central Indiana and also interrupt and replace systems that are upholding White supremacy culture with multi-year investment of ‘tens of millions of dollars’

Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) announced its approach to dismantling systemic racism in the community during a digital event broadcast live from Madam Walker Legacy Center. During the program, Inclusive City 2020, leadership from the organization illustrated how dismantling systemic racism is vital to our community’s future—and that it is possible.

The event included commitments to action towards racial equity from CICF and its affiliates, The Indianapolis Foundation and Hamilton County Community Foundation, Women’s Fund of Central Indiana and community partners in various sectors of the community, including:

  • Mayor Scott Fadness, City of Fishers
  • Vop Osili, Indianapolis City County Council president
  • Ryan Mears, Marion County Prosecutor
  • Dr. Lisa Harris, CEO, Eskenazi Health
  • Marya Rose, vice president and chief administrative officer, Cummins Inc.
  • Michael O’Connor, board president, Indianapolis Public Schools
  • Norman Burns, president and CEO, Conner Prairie
  • Dan Evans, board chair, Indiana Biosciences Research Institute

“What affects one of us truly does affect all of us.”

“It’s important to think holistically—to remember that we’re not just a city of neighborhoods, but also an entire region of people,” said Brian Payne, president and CEO of CICF and president of The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate. “The change we look to make is for everyone—across boundaries of race, gender and geography. As all Central Indiana communities manage through this pandemic and the racial reckoning happening throughout our nation—as we grapple with how we will move through a portal into a new world—these changes we see ahead affect everyone: people who are Black and Brown and White, people in Indianapolis and people living in Hamilton County, people who identify as male and female and nonbinary, people who identify as LGBTQ, and people with disabilities. What affects one of us truly does affect all of us.”

At the event, Marisol Sanchez, incoming CICF board chair, and other CICF board members committed to continue learning, adapting and partnering with others in this work, emphasizing the importance of developing and nurturing authentic relationships. Payne then went on to introduce the organizations’ two-prong plan to dismantle systemic racism in Central Indiana communities, including Indianapolis. The plan includes an online, membership-based platform called the ‘Movement of 10,000’ with the goal to recruit and guide a collection of at least ten thousand individuals over the next three years on a racial equity learning journey and a life’s practice of daily acts of equity. The plan also includes a commitment from CICF to invest tens-of-millions-of-dollars over the next three years in more than 20 leadership initiatives and investments dedicated to dismantling systemic racism in Marion and Hamilton Counties. Details for both will be released early next year.

“We are committed to attacking disparities in two ways, Payne said. “A ‘top-down’ approach by interrupting and changing systems and policies that unfairly hold people back – and a ’bottom-up’ approach by building and sustaining a grassroots movement of daily acts of equity by thousands and thousands of people from all walks of life all around our region. Both must happen in order to create the anti-racist community we want—and need—to be.”

Later next week, we’ll launch an Inclusive City 2020 section on our website. This will allow you the opportunity to gain insight into specific sections of the program surrounding reflection, power, and action and access the individual videos featured throughout the program.

Currently, the entire event can be viewed online here.

The organization is inviting the community to join their commitment to making Central Indiana a region known for being the most anti-racist community in the nation. Charitable contributions are needed to implement programs and initiatives to identify and reduce racial disparities, advocate for policy change, and further deepen relationships with communities of color as co-conspirators and allies. Individuals can make a contribution online at Corporate sponsors wanting to participate in this effort should contact Rob MacPherson at, or by calling 317.634.2423.

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