A United Focus on Civic Engagement

Over the last six months, we’ve seen our city, state and nation face immense and, at times, seemingly insurmountable challenges. Families have been devastated by the spread of COVID-19, businesses of all sizes have struggled to keep their doors open, unemployment numbers have risen dramatically, and even just the simple yet powerful act of  gathering together in a room – as friends, volunteers, board members, and community leaders – has been put on hold. 

This pandemic and the shifts it has necessitated have been particularly challenging for our city’s nonprofit community. Once consistent volunteer pools are unable to serve. Charitable giving has slowed. And organizations all across Central Indiana have had to make tough choices about how – if at all – they can keep advancing their missions. 

Both IndyHub and Leadership Indianapolis work everyday to empower and uplift these nonprofits – connecting them with talented and passionate people that serve across a broad spectrum of their organizational needs and providing learning opportunities that supercharge their work. Each summer, IndyHub brings together over one hundred nonprofits to connect with thousands of potential volunteers, committee members and champions at our massive volunteer event and celebration, IndyVolved. And each fall, Leadership Indianapolis hosts Get On Board to help many of these same organizations identify the advanced volunteer leaders who will help guide their work and increase their board capacity. 

As the leaders of these two organizations, we know how high the stakes are. We know that now – perhaps more than ever – we need leaders of every age, background and perspective to step up, jump in, and find ways to invest in the common good. So rather than hosting our traditional, single-day events, we’re ensuring that the next two months in this city are laser-focused on what matters most – taking care of our neighbors, doing good however we can, and empowering people to make the greatest impact possible.

Throughout September, IndyVolved 15 presented by Indianapolis Power & Light Company will highlight 100+ Indy nonprofits, showcasing the ways that they are serving our community and providing opportunities for you to get involved. We’ll host conversations that tackle the issues facing our city and let you hear directly from the front line workers who are fighting everyday to design solutions and get results. We’ll help you plan your impact and ensure that whether it’s your time, talent or treasure, what you give is paying off. And we’ll even provide some useful swag that helps you give back to our city as often as you’d like.

In October, Leadership Indianapolis will take over with a month-long expansion of Get On Board. Participants will take part in workshops that help strengthen organizations and prepare individuals to serve in meaningful ways throughout our city. You’ll have a chance to listen in on conversations with leaders as they reflect on their own experiences of serving nonprofit organizations and share their advice for those looking to get more involved in the city now. And we’ll provide resources that connect you with nonprofits that need volunteer leaders in the coming year.

Indianapolis has consistently proven that it’s a community willing to collaborate on ways we can get stronger and smarter, and to build a bench of leaders that are ready to tackle our challenges and innovate on an even brighter future for all of us. This is a moment that demands leaders who are willing to “do good often” and “get on board.” We’re committed to doing this work together, and we hope you’ll join us in the months to come.

– Blake Johnson and Rebecca Hutton

The Convo featuring Emil Ekiyor

“Everybody recognizes that there are some systems we need to change to make sure everyone has access to opportunity. Now that it’s common knowledge, the question is what do we do now?” – Emil Ekiyor

The Leadership Indianapolis series The Convo provides opportunities to learn more about community leaders, organizations, issues and opportunities in our city.

In this conversation you will meet Emil Ekiyor, founder of Innopower LLC. Emil, a former professional athlete, uses that same winning mentality to help empower minority business owners here in Indianapolis and even around the world. Innopower will be holding a free conference this weekend with a host of workshops and panel discussions on the topic of equity and inclusion in business.

Resources Mentioned in The Convo:

Innopower 2020 Conference

The Convo featuring Brandon Cosby

The Leadership Indianapolis series The Convo provides opportunities to learn more about community leaders, organizations, issues and opportunities in our city.

In this conversation you will meet Brandon Cosby, Executive Director of Flanner House. For over a century, Flanner House has been an advocate of food justice in the community. Recently, their cause has been amplified due to the effects of COVID-19 and civil unrest in across Indianapolis. Cosby, a friend of Leadership Indianapolis, says the work doesn’t end when the spotlight goes away. “Every day, you have to wake up and ask yourself, ‘What am I doing to make the world a better place than what I found it?’ If at the end of the day you don’t have an answer, you have one of two choices – either stop saying you’re committed to doing the work or get up and do the work.”

Resources mentioned in The Convo:

Cleo’s Bodega

The Convo featuring Dane Nutty

“When you peel back the onion you realize that we all really want the same things, to be happy, healthy and safe… (these discussions) help us to bridge the gap,” Dane Nutty.

The Leadership Indianapolis series The Convo provides opportunities to learn more about community leaders, organizations, issues and opportunities in our city.

In this conversation you will meet Dane Nutty, Executive Director of the Indy Public Safety Foundation and a graduate of SKL Class XLI. You’ll learn about how IPSF is supporting first responders and about how IPSF and LI are partnering on a conversation about gun violence through the upcoming LI Audio Book: Long Way Down.

Resources mentioned in The Convo:

Indy Public Safety Foundation

Indy PAL

LI Audio Book Club: Long Way Down