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“Racism and lack of opportunity must end in Indianapolis”, states Chair of GIPC

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Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee Logo For Press Release 6.18.20

GIPC  creates Race and the Legal Process Working Group


INDIANAPOLIS – The Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (GIPC) announced today the creation of the Race and the Legal Process Working Group, whose work will combat racism and bias in Indianapolis, as well as the disparate impact of pandemic-related events on the Black and other traditionally underrepresented minority communities. The Working Group will research and make recommendations on changing policing and police governance; and will create a pro bono “surge” team of lawyers to address the urgent needs of Black and other disadvantaged residents arising out of COVID-related economic hardship.
GIPC is composed of private sector corporate and community leaders and has engaged for over 50 years to improve Indianapolis. GIPC’s initiatives have included brick-and mortar projects such as the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital; as well as collaborative projects such as the Race and Cultural Relations Leadership Network, established by GIPC in 1994.

The actions announced today arise out of GIPC’s deep concern about the unjust impact of policing practices and policies on Black residents of Indianapolis, and the economic hardship experienced by disadvantaged Black and other traditionally underrepresented minority communities because of COVID-19.
Chaired by incoming Dean Karen E. Bravo of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, the Working Group is composed of two teams:

  • The Structural Reform Team, co-chaired by John Gaidoo, Assistant General Counsel, Cummins, Inc., and Joseph Smith, Partner, Faegre Drinker Biddle and Reath, will collaborate to provide research, policy recommendations and education on best practices, primarily in policing focused on the treatment of Black residents in Indianapolis equitably and with dignity.
  • The Pro Bono Legal Services Team, chaired by Myra Selby, former Indiana Supreme Court Justice and Ice Miller Partner, will create urgent surge capacity for pro bono legal services providers from the private sector legal community. This team will focus on such issues as the flood of housing evictions expected to occur when the state’s temporary moratorium on such actions is lifted.

Both teams intend to conclude work before the end of 2020 to facilitate near-term changes that lead to systemic change. “Racism and lack of opportunity must end in Indianapolis”, said Mary Titsworth Chandler, Chair of GIPC and Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Community Relations for Cummins, Inc. “Our city simply will not advance unless Black residents are treated fairly, with dignity and access to opportunity.”

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this important effort,” said incoming Dean Bravo. “We can each play a role in combatting both bias and systemic racism. This Working Group is a tangible way for me to help to make a difference in our community.”

Beth White GIPC Executive Director (317) 626-7851

strong>About GIPC
Founded in 1965, the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (GIPC) is a private, nonprofit, and non-partisan organization that provides a forum in which leaders of the public and private sectors of Indianapolis can work as partners to study, discuss, and address issues of concern and areas of opportunity which affect the progress of the city. Driven by business and civic leaders, GIPC represents the bipartisan alliance that is a continuing example of public-private partnership in Indianapolis.