A group of Indianapolis leaders says policy has enforced racial inequality and talked about opportunities for change at a recent event that focused on race and place.
Attendees including Mayor Joe Hogsett, his staff, elected officials, criminal justice representatives, participated in workshop sessions on system-based racism and heard what has been done to address it in other communities.
Indianapolis City-County Council President Vop Osili says it’s time for Indianapolis to act.
"We are coming together for a single purpose and that is to begin the process of embedding in our collective DNA," says Osili, "a commitment to addressing the historical inequities involving race, place and identity throughout Indianapolis."
He says the first hurdle is an open discussion.
"It can be awkward, but we must do it and today we’re doing it," says Osili.
The City and the Central Indiana Community Foundation hosted the event led by representatives from a national group called the Government Alliance for Race and Equity or GARE.
GARE Regional Manager Gordon Goodwin says implicit bias and racism impacts policy.
"Everything from library fines to how we do emergency snow removal," says Goodwin.
One in five Indianapolis residents lives in poverty, rates are significantly higher for black residents.