March 2022 Newsletter
To our strongest supporters:
One of my favorite public servants—and a gifted politician, in the best sense of the word—is former Marion County Sheriff Frank Anderson. I’ll never forget attending an event when he was running for his first term in 2002. A line in his stump speech went something like, “And I’m going to hire people to serve the citizens of Marion County who know the difference between lip service and hip service.”
I was standing in his line of sight, so he saw me furrow my brow for just a second. He quickly said, “C’mon Bill, that’s the difference between talk and action!” Everyone laughed while I turned red.
I’ve invoked that line a hundred times since then—with proper credit—because we live in a world where there’s plenty of talk but little real action.
So it was in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder. For six months in 2020, well-meaning politicians, civic activists, professional athletes, editorial writers, clergy people and regular folks volubly pledged their commitment to changing America’s heart in the pursuit of racial justice.
Then 2021 came, and many of these voices became silent.
Not so for two Indiana philanthropies, the Herbert Simon Family Foundation (HSFF) and the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF). In 2020 and 2021, HSFF was the primary funder of two of our initiatives, our GOTV campaign “One More Voice for Racial Justice”—supported by CICF–and our anti-gerrymandering project “Racial Justice Requires Fair Maps.”
Now HSFF is generously funding our new Racial Justice Reporting Project, the most ambitious and consequential effort in our short history. We’re partnering with the Indianapolis Recorder, America’s fourth-oldest African American newspaper and a leading voice for Indianapolis’ Black community, to hire our first full-time reporter whose “beat” will be covering the way policies pursued or ignored at the state and local government levels promote or frustrate our pursuit of racial justice.
Once again, the Herbert Simon Family Foundation has shown our community the difference between lip service and hip service.
I hope you will follow this link to learn more about our new initiative. If you know any good candidates, please send them our way.
We have created a separate account for our Racial Justice Reporting Project. The HSFF grant is for one year; we want to start sending designated contributions to that account now. So this month I encourage those who have not given this year to do so now, with the understanding your contributions will go there.
Co-Founder (with Ann) and President, Indiana Citizen Education Foundation, Inc.
Publisher, The Indiana Citizen
I learned some very sad news when I contacted my old friend Kevin Murray, the Distinguished Barrister who ran Frank Anderson’s first campaign and remains General Counsel to Sheriff Kerry Forestal. Sheriff Anderson is fighting a courageous battle with cancer. Kevin urged me to perpetuate the Sheriff’s living legacy by buying his book of poems, Lines & Rhymes by the Poet Sheriff.
I look forward to receiving my copy of the book, and I hope our community will always appreciate and honor Frank Anderson, the consummate, iconic peace officer who devoted his life to serving others. May the example of his life be a blessing and inspiration to us all.
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The Indiana Citizen Education Foundation, Inc. is a non-partisan, non-profit platform dedicated to increasing the number of informed, engaged Hoosier citizens.