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History of Racial Equity & Inclusion at IPS



The IPS Crispus Attucks Center comprises the Office of Multicultural Education (OME) and the Crispus Attucks Museum. The OME opened in 1987 when the superintendent and board responded to the concerns voiced by parents, teachers and community members about the lack of curriculum, resources and professional development on teaching Black History. Patricia Payne was placed on special assignment to design and direct the OME. The Museum opened in 1998. and a curriculum guide was developed. The Center, under the auspices of the Indianapolis Public Schools, is located on the campus of Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School, 1140 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Street.

Believing that Education is a Civil Right, the mission of the Center is to provide authentic experiences, professional development and cultural resources that improve academic achievement through providing the skill and developing the will for educators, parents and community members to understand:

  • The critical need to create a bridge between the students’ home culture and school culture, while still meeting the expectations of the district and state educational requirements;
  • The process of infusing / embedding school curriculum, resources and materials with diverse concepts, issues and themes from different perspectives, and in particular, perspectives of children of color, children in poverty and other disenfranchised groups;
  • The culturally responsive strategies for equipping students with survival skills that help them develop non-violent strategies to cope with the omnipresence of racism, sexism, other isms and phobias that are inherent in a damaged society that does not look kindly upon them;
  • The culturally responsive instructional practices for centering all students in their own culture by combining the cultural orientation of the child with the instructional strategies of the school and utilizing data analysis;
  • The need for transforming the educational environment of the school to make it academically and culturally compatible with the diverse cultures, learning styles and behavior styles of all learners, as per the requirements of the IPS Policy on Multicultural Education and State Law; 
  • The importance of acknowledging and celebrating diversity and multicultural education in homes, schools, colleges and universities, churches, organizations, businesses, government and community;
  • The importance of support for developing racial equity through dialogue, public programs, policy, laws, debate, events, disaggregated data analysis and intentionally designed staff development workshops, conferences and seminars.


IPS Policy on Black History / Multicultural Education

In 1975, Pat went to the administration with a plan to establish the IPS Black History Committee. The committee was co-chaired with Dr. Victor Smith, Supervisor of Social Studies. The purpose of the committee was to give teacher the resources and training needed to teach children about the history of Africans and African Americans, a history intentionally excluded from textbooks

In 1979, Pat went before the Board with a resolution on the teaching of Black History in IPS. This was unanimously passed. The IPS Board of School Commissioners approved a policy on the teaching of Black History in 1979. In 1996, the policy was revised by the Office of Multicultural Education to be more reflective of the diverse groups represented in the IPS student population and the society at large. The most recent revision is dated December 5, 2005. Compliance is not an option. 

State Law on Cultural Competence in Educational Environments

House Bill 1308 was signed into law by the Governor of Indiana. The law became effective July 1. 2004. The director of this office lobbied for the bill and was present when it was signed by the Governor of Indiana. This much needed legislation defines cultural competency and requires school districts and accredited teacher training institutions to provide authentic courses, methods, strategies, policies, practices and on-going professional development designed to develop teachers who can effectively work in culturally diverse school settings, hold high expectations of all students and increase academic achievement. Compliance is not an option. 

IPS District Cultural Competence Action Plan (D-CCAP)

The Cultural Competence Action Plan was introduced at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year and in conjunction with the AdvancED mandate. Schools are required to develop individual plans and submit to this office with evidence of compliance. Implementation was/is monitored throughout the year with the assistance of Diversity Cadre members. Cultural competence plans are submitted to the State as part of each school’s required Improvement Plan.

The Historic Journey Curriculum is the instruction-based, standards-based, culturally relevant-based foundation of the plan and is online so teachers and students can have instant accessibility through use of a code.



Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)

The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), developed by Dr. Mitchell Hammer, is accessed online and administered by the Office of Multicultural Education. It is a 50-item, theory-based assessment that measures an individual and/or groups’ fundamental worldview orientation to cultural difference, and thus the individual or groups’ capacity for intercultural competence. It is a critical component of the District’s Cultural Competence Plan. The IDI is a D-CCAP requirement. 

Television Show (since 1980’s – 2013)

The Office of Multicultural Education has hosted a monthly television program, Multicultural Points and Perspectives, for over 20 years. The program highlights cultural events in the city and presents perspectives from a variety of diverse voices. The executive producer and host is Patricia Payne. It is taped every third Tuesday by IPS Television and televised on cable stations Comcast 20 and Bright House 99.

Annual Televised Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (since 1981)

The IPS annual program honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is televised to our schools and to the community through Comcast and Bright House cable. It is a blend of community churches, speakers, IPS choirs and other performances that highlight our magnificently talented and academically blessed students.

The Diversity Cadre (since 1987)

The Diversity Cadre meets monthly at the Multicultural Center for one hour. The Cadre is a site team composed of staff members, licensed, classified and parents. They are the critical link between the OME and the school district site. They serve as on-site experts and meet with the staff of OME every month. Duties and responsibilities of Cadre members include: receiving and distributing information, attending and promoting cultural activities, events and workshops, scheduling cultural development workshops for their school, reporting problem areas that are obstacles to achieving equity for all students, providing leadership in achieving an educational atmosphere that reflects and responds to the needs of a diverse student population.

Infusion Conference / Cultural Competence Institute/ Summit (Since 1987)

The IPS Conference on Infusion of Culture and History into School Content, now named the Cultural Competence Institute, is an annual professional development experience that was first held in 1987 when this office opened. The purpose of the conference is to equip educators, parents, students and community residents with the strategies, skills and the will to create and sustain learning environments that promote high academic achievement within the context of the cultural orientation of the child. The conference is now named the Racial Equity and Inclusion Summit.

IPS Annual Youth Summit (since 1987)

The annual Youth Summit celebrates history, culture and academic achievement through workshops and performances that help students know, understand and appreciate who they are, where they come from and what they must do to become outstanding, productive community activist and social justice advocates.

IPS/IEA Annual Multicultural Festival (since 1987- 2020)

The annual Multicultural Festival is sponsored in conjunction with the Indianapolis Education Association and is held at a local shopping mall. It culminates the school year and celebrates diversity with table exhibits and cultural performances. Community organizations, with similar goals, join us at the mall for a full day of joyous fun-filled, educational conversations with parents and the public.

Spirit of freedom ( since 1996)

In collaboration with the Crown Hill Cemetery Foundation, over 1,000 IPS fifth and sixth graders participate in an educational program to celebrate African Americans. Students, teachers and staff receive critical information as they travel to six stations where interactive presentations introduce them to historical icons and Civil War replicas. The program will be moved to the American Legion Mall in 2024.


The Museum, located on the campus of Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School, opened in May, 1998, under the tutelage of Gilbert Taylor, to give honor and recognition to the historic Crispus Attucks High School. It is an exciting and provocative history museum that focuses on the legacy of the school, as well as African and African American History. As an educational facility, the museum celebrates the history and culture through both guided and self-guided tours. Previously, all IPS fourth graders tour the Museum as an integral part of their instructional program. The Museum is open Tuesday-Friday, 9am–5p and Saturday by appointment. Tours are designed for pre-school age through adult. The admission charge is minimal and IPS students and personnel are admitted free of charge.


In order to prepare us as employees to meet the needs of our diverse students, Indianapolis

Public Schools has embarked on an initiative around racial equity. By partnering with the Racial Equity Institute, we are able to receive the training and guidance needed to increase our knowledge, shift our thinking, and elevate our understanding. As of 2019, all IPS employees are required to take the two day, 9a-5p training by registering on the IPS Learning Portal.