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Annual Summit Addresses the Lessons of Inclusiveness, Equity and Diversity

The Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) Racial Equity Office will host the district’s 3rd Annual Racial Equity Summit from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 24, 2021 for IPS students, parents and staff. School Equity Teams (SET) will begin their day at 8:30 a.m.

This year’s theme is “Racial Equity: In Pursuit of Educational Freedom.”

The summit — which will be held virtually — will explore how we can achieve educational freedom, not merely reform, by approaching education with imagination, determination, boldness and urgency. It will feature a welcome and opening performance by Krash Krew and an expert panel featuring Dr. Bettina Love, an award-winning author, professor and public speaker on a range of topics, including issues of diversity and inclusion. 

IPS staff, students and current IPS parents are invited and encouraged to attend this one-day, transformative dive into how everyone can work to ensure that classrooms and all educational environments are reflective of a diverse and inclusive community.

In separate, but correlated, workshop tracks, these groups will explore and address a multitude of issues and topics, including:

IPS Parent Track

  • Learning about age appropriate books to talk to your child about race, tolerance and diversity.
  • Creating post-COVID partnerships that help your student(s) achieve even more at school. 
  • Discussing the Good News: IPS’ Racial Equity Mindset, Policy, and Black Lives Matter Resolution.

IPS Secondary School Student Track (Grades 7-12)

  • Learning how to use social media platforms to advocate for social change and to highlight injustices within your community.
  • How student athletes can become active and take a stand for injustice.
  • Exploring identity and intersectionality (LGBTQ+).
  • Finding your freedom in the classroom and the community.

IPS Staff Track

  • Using the four tenets of social justice as a vehicle to build anti-racist thinking.
  • Gathering tools to empower students to investigate and dismantle racial inequities.
  • Engaging in racial and gender equity work within your school and community.
  • Confronting white privilege/advantage and utilizing that as a vehicle to challenge racial inequity.
  • Finding your freedom in the classroom and the community.

Students in Grades Pre-K–6 will participate in the summit asynchronously. Students will engage in a variety of age-appropriate online activities, including recorded readings from local authors. Registration for Pre-K-6 students is not required.

In its third year, the summit is a direct reflection of the district’s progressive approach to addressing the ongoing inequities in the educational landscape. In the summer of 2020, the IPS School Board established a framework for the mitigation or substantial reduction of bias, particularly racism and cultural bias, as well as factors affecting student achievement and learning experiences. This Racial Equity Mindset promotes learning and work environments that respect and value diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. 

Among these initiatives, IPS’ commitment to a Racial Equity Mindset is demonstrated through a pathway in attracting and retaining teachers of color in the district, training administrators, teachers, and staff on the history of racism in the U.S. and how to implement that knowledge in the classroom, and other measures.

Registration links:

IPS Students (Grades 7-12) | Current IPS Parents | IPS Staff