NAACP Greater Indianapolis Branch
At Work for Your Civil Rights
We Fought for Justice at the Statehouse
NAACP lobbied state legislators on behalf of our important issues, such as a comprehensive hate crimes bill and redistricting reform. Working with the Indiana NAACP State Conference, the Indianapolis branch fought successfully to defeat a bill that would have allowed the state to try 12- and 13-year-old children as adults and to place them in adult prisons.
We Helped Improving Voting Access in Marion County
The Marion County Election Board voted to establish voting centers where anyone can vote at any center on election day, ensuring greater access to voting opportunities for all Marion Coun- ty voters. With Common Cause of Indiana, we helped ensure greater voter access.
We Ensured More Children were Tested for Lead Poisoning
Indianapolis Public Schools, Pike Township Schools and Mayor’s Charter Schools began offering free lead testing for all kindergarten and first graders this year through the Marion County Pub- lic Health Department. In January, a survey showed 161 of 297 Marion County school facilities tested were in violation of federal standards for lead levels in drinking water. Affected schools replaced water fountains, added filters and took other corrective measures.
We Pushed for Implicit Bias Training in Schools
The NAACP called attention to racial disparities in school discipline policies in Indianapolis schools. We believe the state should require school employees to attend implicit bias and cul- tural competency training. We also advocated for more trauma-responsive learning environ- ments, where educators focus on anger management and self esteem.
We Connected People to Jobs
On May 21st, the Young Adults Committee hosted a community job fair that helped 50 indivi- duals connect to a dozen employers who offered over 100 jobs, including an entrepreneurial opportunity to start their own business.
We Fought to Ensure Discipline for Police Misconduct
We called on the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to investigate videos showing IMPD officer Robert Lawson using excessive force against a Shortridge High School student. On September 16, the Marion County Prosecutor’s office charged Lawson with battery, obstruc- tion of justice, official misconduct and perjury.
We Supported Young People through the ACT-SO Talent Competition
Two Indianapolis high school students were selected to advance to the national NAACP talent competition known as ACT-SO, the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics. They competed in the national ACT-SO competition from July 18-22 in Detroit, in conjunction with the national NAACP convention.
During 2018, the Greater Indianapolis NAACP Branch 3053 has worked to safeguard civil rights and the advancement of communities of color through the following activities:
Victory for Voters! 6 Early Voting Sites for Marion County this Fall: The NAACP and Common Cause sued to gain equal access to early voting in Marion County. Voters had six additional early voting satellite locations in Marion County for the fall election.
Ethnic Studies Standards Set for Indiana Schools: The NAACP, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and educators collaborated to create standards for the new ethnic studies course. Starting with the 2018-2019 school year, the first ethnic studies courses that meet these standards must be offered in all Indiana high schools.
NAACP Calls for Reform in Wake of Failed Action to Discipline Officers Involved in Aaron Bailey Police Shooting in Indianapolis: The NAACP Indianapolis leadership called for a number of reforms to implement best practices for the use of lethal force by police.
Working to Prevent Childhood Lead Poisoning: At the urging of NAACP's education committee, Indianapolis Public Schools school board and Indianapolis City-County Council have passed resolutions calling for lead testing for all kindergarten and first grade students.
State Agency Recommends Denial of IPL Rate Increase: The NAACP supported the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) recommendation to deny (IPL) Indianapolis Power & Light Company’s request for an approximate $96.7 million rate increase.
Redistricting Reform Debate: The NAACP Women in NAACP co-sponsored a debate on redistricting reform with Common Cause Indiana, League of Women Voters Indiana, and Women4Change Indiana. The debate was moderated by Chrystal Ratcliffe, President, NAACP Greater Indianapolis Branch #3053 and John Krull, Director, Pulliam School of Journalism at Franklin College and host of WFYI’s No Limits.