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Alumni Among Leaders Who Call for Change

A recent Indianapolis Star article featured alumni Rev. Ronnie Bell (MDiv, 2016) and Thaddeus Shelton Jr. (MAMFT, 2017) among a number of local leaders reflecting on how to make Indianapolis a more just and inclusive city. Other leaders featured in the article include Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Aleesia Johnson and Indianapolis Recorder Editor Oseye Boyd.

Photo from IndyStar story.

Rev. Bell, pastor of Cumberland United Methodist Church, offered both personal reflections and suggestions for policy changes. Along with such changes, he explained, “we need an accompanying shift of the heart in white people to see and fight for the sacred worth of Black people.”

Rev. Bell also reflected on the important role of the church in the struggle for justice. About this, he said, “I pray for a day when churches realize that a protest is an act of worship. Demanding justice for Dreasjon Reed and Breonna Taylor is an act of worship.”

Photo from IndyStar story.

Shelton, a Marriage and Family Therapist and Managing Director of Project L.E.A.S.T., drew attention to the ways in which oppression and marginalization are often perpetuated by the categories that haunt our language. He called for a change in the way we think about one another, explaining that “we need to learn to value people in community versus staunch individualism, competition and privilege which has caused the demise of the great experience to spoken of at the founding of this nation.”

He also called for more equitable economic opportunities, naming the importance of Black businesses and the need for more just lending practices. Noting both structural and individual aspects of the work, Shelton said, “Each citizen should notice their own biases and do the personal work needed to evolve.”

Read the full article here.



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