IBLC announces “call to action” days at the Statehouse

IBLC, News & Media

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus (IBLC) this week sent out the following call to action for Black organizations to gather at the Statehouse to voice their concerns on legislation and stand in support of the IBLC's demands for reprimands and implicit bias training following last week's disrespectful behavior from House Republicans:

“The time is always right, to do what is right. It is these words that have guided our voices for the last two generations since the Civil Rights Movement began. The Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted for 381 days, and consisted of dedication and perseverance. In order to achieve the goals that we seek as the Black Legislative Caucus, we too will need dedication and perseverance. 

“The racial incidents that occurred at the hands of the Republicans on Thursday, February 18th, were inexcusable. The heckling and harassment of the Black members of this state legislature are a part of a larger pattern of racial insensitivity and aggression here in our state. Today, we truly say, 'no more.' We are taking a stand. This is our call to action.

“We are requesting the presence of Black organizations and our allies from across the great state of Indiana. We would like you to join us in our days of action and make an appearance at the Statehouse. The days of action will be March 1-4 and March 8-11 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. EST (in 2-3 hour increments).

“Here at the Statehouse, we will provide templates for your support or opposition of legislation, guidance on how to voice your concerns on racial injustice and any other issues. Furthermore, we would also like your support in ensuring our demands of racial and implicit bias training, reprimands, and a safety plan for our members are met. The time is now to let your voice be heard and we will be with you every step of the way.”

Prominent leaders currently scheduled to attend include:

·         Tanya Bell McKenzie, Indiana Black Expo

·         Barbara Bolling-Williams, NAACP

·         Willis Bright, African American Coalition of Indianapolis

·         Pastor David Greene, Concerned Clergy

·         Tony Mason, Indianapolis Urban League

·         Robert Shegog, Indianapolis Recorder

·         Marshawn Wholley, African American Coalition of Indianapolis

“We want the presence of our Black and Brown communities to be felt,” State Rep. Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis), Chair of the IBLC, said.

“Last week's incident came about when Black members tried to explain the discrimination imbedded in House Bill 1367. Those legislators and their concerns were written off. The next two weeks are an opportunity for Black and Brown Hoosiers to gather with a unified voice and say, 'we will not be ignored.'”

For the safety of all Statehouse occupants, social distancing will be practiced and attendees are asked to wear masks.

Individuals or organizations interested in attending one of the IBLC action days may contact IBLC Executive Director, RaeVen Ridgell, at raeven.ridgell@iga.in.gov for more information.

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