Interrupting Racism in Fishers

This past fall, Fishers Mayor, Scott Fadness, announced a free program for up to 500 residents of the city titled, “Interrupting Racism.” Led by New Orleans-based The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, the one day training sessions are offered virtually due to a spike of COVID-19 cases in Hamilton County. Interested residents can sign up on the Fishers Parks & Recreation site/catalog.

The program uses as its jumping off point the premise that racism is structurally systemic in America, but that it can be corrected. To be successful in that endeavor, students are taught where structural racism originated, how it operated in the past and how it operates today and also why it is ongoing. Students typically participate in dialogue with trainers and other students, general role play and listen to expert presenters in the field.

From the People’s Institute website, some of the goals of the program include:

  • Develop a common language and analysis for examining racism in the United States;
  • Understand one’s own connection to institutional racism and its impact on his/her work;
  • Understand the historical context for how racial classifications in the United States came to be and how and why they are maintained;
  • Understand the historical context for how U.S. institutions came to be and who they have been designed to serve;
  • Understand how all of us, including white people, are adversely impacted by racism every day, everywhere;
  • Address surface assumptions about how your work is (or is not) affected by racism;
  • Gain knowledge about how to be more effective in the work you do with your constituencies, your organizations, your communities, your families.

Again, the program is free to the first 500 residents of Fishers.