The Inclusive City initiative is the new mission of the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) and a pledge to use its resources to create a more equitable community. At the April 11 kickoff at Bankers Life Field House, president and CEO Brian Payne announced, “CICF is and has been a white power organization. It’s time to shift and change that.”
He said CICF’s new mission aims to “help create neighborhoods and environments that empower people, change systems that unfairly hold people back, and dismantle systemic racism.” The foundation will generate strategic plans in five-year increments for the next two generations and utilize five leadership initiatives: family stabilization, neighborhood empowerment and placemaking, economic mobility, criminal justice reform, and dismantling systemic racism.
In addition to requiring all staff and board members to participate in an “Undoing Racism” workshop presented by Child Advocates of Marion County, Payne said CICF has established an opportunity, equity, and inclusion advisory council to provide feedback and hold the foundation accountable. Imhotep Adissa, co-founder of the Kheprw Institute, a Midtown-based nonprofit, serves on the council. “I don’t think racism is ‘undoable,’ but the workshop raises important questions and starts conversations that are needed,” he said. “I’m all for working with people trying to make the world a better place.” He said his work on the council is to “feed information and ask hard questions.”
CICF has sold its Midtown real estate holdings on Broad Ripple Avenue and consolidated offices at its downtown headquarters in the English Foundation Building. During the past decade, CICF has underwritten many initiatives in Midtown to support placemaking and community building. Details.