The Indianapolis Foundation announces Center for Racial Equity and Economic Opportunity and new leadership positions

Dr. Lorenzo L. Esters, President, The Indianapolis Foundation

Dr. Lorenzo L. Esters

Since its founding in 1916 as one of the very first community foundations in the U.S., The Indianapolis Foundation has been a force for good that mobilizes people, ideas and investments to make our community a place where all individuals have equitable opportunity to reach their full potential—no matter place, race or identity.

As President of The Indianapolis Foundation, I am proud to continue this legacy of leadership and love for community. We are currently embarking upon the development of a new strategic plan to guide our programming, partnerships and investments moving forward. A key component of our strategic plan will be the launch, later this year, of the Center for Racial Equity and Economic Opportunity (CREEO). CREEO will build upon and formalize the Foundation’s prior work and commitment to addressing racial and economic disparities in Indianapolis and Marion County—particularly for individuals and families in historically underserved and disinvested communities.

CREEO will focus on developing innovative research-based solutions and scaling exemplary practices to drive and track meaningful, systemic progress in advancing racial equity and economic opportunity both now and over time. Through collaboration and convening, CREEO will also seek to influence policies and actions that build bridges and remove barriers to improve outcomes, so that everyone in our community can thrive in a changing economy.

Two senior leaders from The Indianapolis Foundation with a demonstrated commitment to this work and to our community— Vice President of Community Leadership & Equitable Initiatives, Pamela Ross, and Vice President of Development & Strategy, Rob MacPherson—have accepted my invitation to join the CREEO leadership team in senior roles as Vice President for Racial Equity and Vice President for CREEO Advancement, respectively. This transition will occur over several months during which Pamela will continue to lead The Indianapolis Foundation’s Community Leadership & Equitable Initiatives team and Rob will continue to lead our development efforts. In planning for this transition, however, The Indianapolis Foundation is now seeking highly qualified candidates for two senior-level vacancies—Chief Development and Partnerships Officer and Vice President for Grantmaking.

The Indianapolis Foundation is also launching a search to engage a luminary leader to direct the development and operation of CREEO as Chief Equity and Innovation Officer. This individual will develop the theory of change, identify programmatic areas of focus, and build the strategic and fundraising plan for CREEO, as well as oversee its launch and day-to-day operations. Other responsibilities will include the development of a prestigious local advisory board and local, state and national partnerships to expand the reach and impact of CREEO’s work.

In addition, the Foundation has posted a position announcement for a Director/Senior Director of Communications and Community Engagement. This position, which will also report directly to me, will provide hands-on development, implementation and leadership for accessible, inclusive, and creative communications campaigns and events to inform, engage and inspire community members and leaders, nonprofits, civic and corporate partners, donors, and other key stakeholders and collaborators.

Please share these position announcements with highly qualified candidates in your professional networks.

We welcome your engagement and participation in The Indianapolis Foundation’s vital work to shape the future of our community by building a more resilient, inclusive, and thriving Indianapolis for all. I am confident that, with your continued support, we will achieve remarkable outcomes for communities across Indianapolis.

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