At Daylight’s Series 1, Episode 2, panel moderator, Starla Hart asked, “who are the people missing from the conversation?” I enjoy the culture of collaboration that exists in Indianapolis and believe that it is the key to our success, but gaps are still very present. What I mean by this, is there representation? Do organizations reflect the demographics of the neighborhoods they serve? What about boards? Staff? Earlier this year, I attended PolicyLink’s Equity Summit in Chicago where I learned about multiple projects and movements around the country. The theme for this year’s conference was “Our Power. Our Future. Our Nation”. Their summit’s logo stood out to me as a powerful image of our country’s makeup. Again, who is missing from the conversation? As planners, designers, community organizers, government staff, developers, and community shakers, are we being inclusive in how we approach our work? We must continue to challenge ourselves by asking ourselves those tough questions and being open to having tough conversations about what it truly means to be inclusive.
I’ll close with this last thought. NEAR’s Executive Director, John Franklin Hay, who served as a panelist said that “no matter who you are when you cast a light and do good, you have to be aware that you also cast a shadow”. This deeply resonated with me because there is so much truth to those words. We have to be careful with the initiatives we push forward as a city, though we may all have honest intentions to sincerely “do good” we also have to be very aware of the shadow we create.
Our next episode of DAYLIGHT will be a conversation on The Future of Retail.
DAYLIGHT // Season 1, Episode 2: Inclusive Design featured a discussion centered around the urban renewal in Indianapolis. Starla Hart, Program Officer at LISC, moderated the discussion and she was joined by panelists Jeff Bennett, the Deputy Mayor of Community Development for the City of Indianapolis, Meg Storrow, Co-Principal at Storrow Kinsella, John Franklin Hay, Executive Director for NEAR Indy, and Dr. Justin Ferguson, Executive Director of Outreach & Engagement & Director of Master of Urban Design (MUD) Program at Ball State University.