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Local organizations, IMS moving ‘full speed ahead’ with event on equity and inclusion in motorsports

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Leadership Indianapolis, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Indianapolis Foundation are moving “full speed ahead” with an event Thursday that will explore equity and diversity in motorsports.

The Opportunity Indianapolis Insights event, named Full Speed Ahead, is open to the public and will run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at IMS Pavilion 3.

Leadership Indianapolis is a nonprofit organization that focuses on developing community leaders and putting them into action. OI Insights is a companion to the organization’s two-day Opportunity Indianapolis events, where participants learn about an aspect of the city’s civic life and engage with local leaders.

The event will take the established OI Insights formula and give it a motorsports twist, according to Ebony Chappel, communications director for Leadership Indianapolis and moderator of the event.

“This event is important because, at Leadership Indianapolis, our goal is to make sure that the pipeline of leaders in Indianapolis is multicultural, multigenerational, and collaborative,” Chappel said. “So, working with historic organizations like IMS helps to push that work forward. It gives us an opportunity to expose people as well to the great work being done at institutions like IMS.”

Jimmie McMillian, chief diversity officer at IMS, will be part of the panel at Full Speed Ahead. McMillian says he wants people to know that IMS is a place for all.

“This is a place where everyone can enjoy and share the traditions that have been going on for 100 years,” McMillian said. “For so long, many people in this community, kind of their tagline was, ‘I’ve lived here my entire life and I’ve never been to the race and I’ve never been to the track.’ Our job is to destroy that. My job is to take that way.”

Attendees will get to hear from a wide range of panelists in addition to McMillian, including Luisa Macer, community outreach and fan engagement manager at IMS, and Kristin Weeden, chief talent officer for Penske Entertainment. After the panel discussion, guests can tour the IMS garage area.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online from Eventbrite.