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Understanding the Roots of Racism: A Four-Part Series

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United Way of Central Indiana

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About the Event:

If you had previously register for the upcoming Understanding Roots of Racism events, you do not need to register again.

To better understand the history of racial injustice in policies and how it affects communities of color today, United Way of Central Indiana is presenting a new four-part virtual learning series, “Understanding the Roots of Racism in Food, Housing, Transportation and Health.”

These discussions will feature community experts in the fields of health, housing, food insecurity, and transportation – all focus areas within United Way’s Basic Needs strategy. Because racial disparities persist and result in disproportionate impacts for people of color, the goal of the series is to educate on inequalities and injustices in policy and action that create and perpetuate barriers to services, resources, and opportunities for Black Americans.

Each registrant will be emailed a personalized link to join the discussion 48 hours prior to the event.

Wednesday, Sept. 16

5-6:15 p.m.

Topic: Food Insecurity

African Americans are more than twice as likely to experience hunger and only 8% have a grocery store in their census tract. The USDA defines food insecurity as a “household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.” Food insecurity in households with children causes adverse physical, social and psychological outcomes for the whole family, including greater risk for diabetes, hypertension, depression, stress and behavioral problems. And in Black populations, food insecurity is significantly higher than for whites. Learn more from our panelists about the work that needs to be done to continue dismantling racism in community food efforts.


Brandon Cosby – Executive Director, Flanner House of Indianapolis, Inc.

John Elliott – President & CEO, Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana

Rep. Robin Shackleford – State Representative, Indiana House District 98

Shellye Suttles – Assistant Professor, Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Wednesday, Oct. 21

5-6:15 p.m.

Topic: Transportation

The struggle for people of color to access public transportation has a long history – from Frederick Douglass entering a train car reserved for white passengers in 1841 to the 20th century bus boycotts in the South which lead to landmark civil rights legislation. Transportation affects where we live, work, play and go to school, and it serves as a key issue in addressing poverty, unemployment, health care, and education. Join an important discussion about transportation and why it remains a civil rights issue in many communities.

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