Leadership Indianapolis Welcomes New Vice President

We are thrilled to have Beth Perdue Outland join the Leadership Indianapolis staff as Vice President! 

For more than 30 years, Beth’s career and civic engagement have focused on building community through creative experience design, innovative programming and strategic problem solving. Prior to coming to Leadership Indianapolis, Beth served as the Vice President for Community Engagement and Strategic Innovation at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Fueled by a lifelong passion for the arts and a desire to support an inclusive, equitable and thriving community, she is committed to building connections across sectors to catalyze personal, professional and community development.

Beth’s civic leadership roles include serving on the boards of Leadership Indianapolis and Centric and on the steering committees of Spirit and Place, TedX Indianapolis and the Music Crossroad’s Initiative. Beth is an alumni of the Stanley K. Lacy Leadership Program, class XXVIII. 

Help us welcome Beth to the team! 

COLUMN: More than a number

This column originally appeared on IndianapolisRecorder.com

Conversations around public safety and criminal justice seem to never end. When you turn on the news, open a paper, scroll social media or listen to the radio, chances are there is a conversation happening about how dangerous things are, how many people have perished, the injustice that pervades the justice system and the dire circumstances behind each tragedy.

A conversation has also begun to happen around whether or not crime statistics, which are often used to inform and legitimize this news as well as enact policies, are as reliable as we’ve been led to believe. However, what is undoubtedly important to focus on are the stories of those who are affected and impacted by the issues surrounding public safety and criminal justice. What is the true, human experience?

In planning our programming for this season, it became clear to us that this should be the focus.

On July 20 we will host a skill workshop facilitated by Duane Ingram of the Citizens’ Police Complaint Board and starting on Aug. 5 we will lead a book club using Ian Manuel’s riveting memoir “My Time will Come.”Ian was arrested at the age of 14 and sentenced to life without parole for a non-homicide crime. Following the book club, is a three-part discussion series (held in September) centering the perspective of citizens with lived experience and those working to create change in our community. Attendees will learn about programs created to prevent recidivism for the formerly incarcerated, initiatives that provide community support in traumatic times and collaborative efforts around repairing the relationship between citizens and law enforcement.

One of the panelists for our discussion series is DeAndra Yates. Yates, the founder of Purpose4MyPain, got into this work after her teenaged son Dre was wounded by a stray bullet — changing their lives forever. DeAndra works alongside families with stories similar to hers and advocates on a national level for common sense gun laws. In a conversation with our staff, Yates said something that underscored how we have decided to approach these conversations. “It takes a lot when the numbers keep climbing,” she said adding that it is her goal to “make sure that the families of shooting victims know that their community is here to support them and that their loved ones’ cases are far beyond just another number.”

The numbers, as we have heard time and time again, are challenging but people like DeAndra and others demonstrate to us that the story doesn’t end at the statistic. There are always opportunities to fight for justice, amplify the voices of the marginalized, support those in grief and imagine a new way of being. It’s more than just the numbers. This is about the people.

Rebecca Hutton serves as President  & CEO of Leadership Indianapolis. Ebony Chappel is Program & Communications Manager. Leadership Indianapolis educates, inspires, connects and mobilizes community leaders to serve and strengthen greater Indianapolis. 

The Convo: Kristin Kohn

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 Kristin Kohn, owner of Silver in the City. Kristin talks with us about how the social justice uprisings of last summer impacted her business and the leadership lessons that inform their continued commitment to the community.

Learn more about Silver in the City: https://www.silverinthecity.com/blogs/blog/too-many-names/

LI Spotlight: Get on Board featured on Community Link

Each week on Community Link, Carolene Mays-Medley and Marco Dominguez take a look at an organization or business that is making a positive impact on the community.

This week, they were joined by Ebony Chappel, the program and communications manager for Leadership Indianapolis.

They discussed the organization’s mission, its Get on Board program and how community members can get involved.

To watch the entire segment, click here.

The Convo: Larry Williams (Indy Black Chamber of Commerce)

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 Larry Williams, President and Founder of the Indy Black Chamber of Commerce. Larry talks to us about the Chamber’s founding over five years ago and their work to support Black businesses through grants and other funding.

Learn more about Indy Black Chamber of Commerce at https://indybcc.org/

LI Spotlight: Get On Board featured on Inside Indiana Business

Since the onset of the pandemic, Leadership Indianapolis has had to pivot its Get On Board program from a one-day event to a series of virtual workshops to connect organizations with potential volunteers. This year, the organization is partnering with Indy tech company Selflessly to launch an online portal where residents can sign up to take advantage of volunteer opportunities.

In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Program and Communications Manager Ebony Chappel said the goal is to streamline those connections.

“There are so many different ways to get involved and sometimes, it can be a little bit difficult to parse through all the different opportunities and we’re hoping that our partnership with Selflessly can do that,” said Chappel. “We are bringing these nonprofit organizations together, even some corporate organizations together that are looking for that volunteerism. We are bringing them together with the people that are ready and willing to bring their time, talent and treasure to the table.”


The Convo: Ashley Gurvitz (Alliance for Northeast Unification)

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 Ashley Gurvitz, CEO of Alliance for Northeast Unification. Ashley talks to us about developments happening on the eastside including new jobs and a grocery store opening.

Learn more about Alliance for Northeast Unification at anuimpact.org

COLUMN: Examining poverty and wealth

This Op-Ed originally appeared in the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper

“Societies are built on great wealth disparities, and thus need an exploited class to develop that wealth.”

Those are the words of Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika, a researcher, journalist and assistant professor at Rutgers University, as heard on the podcast “Seeing White” produced by Scene on Radio.

Dr. Kumanyika said this in 2017 and three years later, we are likely worse off than at that time due to many factors — one being a global pandemic that we are still living through.

But on that note about wealth disparities, the mention of an “exploited class” deserves more examination. Here, he is talking about people. People in our families, our workplaces, neighborhoods. People who are us.

In the Indianapolis Recorder, writers Breanna Cooper and Tyler Fenwick have penned the real-life stories of the people behind those statistics in their recent reporting.

People like Chris Busbee, a young father balancing the debt of child support, rent and utilities on less than $15 per hour and Kyerra King, a 25-year-old who put her education on the back burner to work at age 16 to help support her mother and three siblings. Chris and Kyerra represent the reality of the situation in our city and unfortunately their stories are not unique.

Click here to read more

The Convo: Jennifer Green (Partners in Housing)

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 Jennifer Green, Executive Director of Partners in Housing. Jennifer talks to us about the reality of housing inequity in Indianapolis and what PIH is doing to help.

Learn more about Partners in Housing at partnersinhousingindy.org