INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Community is everything for Indiana Black Expo. They’re kicking off their 50th anniversary, but rather than celebrating the time they’ve been operating, they’re taking time to celebrate those who helped them hit this milestone.
The core group of the Indiana Black Expo is somewhere around a dozen people, but they’ve got hundreds of volunteers that help make their organization and the community what it is today.
Indiana Black Expo has made its mark on the community for half a century. They’re throwing a party fancy enough to rival Hollywood’s own movie premieres to celebrate the volumes of accomplishments they’ve made in the last five decades.
“When you talk about youth development, when you talk about, from an educational standpoint, where we partner with educators from across the state of Indiana to scholarships — we’ve given out more than $4.6 million in scholarships every year,” Indiana Black Expo President and CEO Tanya McKinzie said. “The list goes on and on with respect to the programs and initiatives that we have across the state of Indiana.”
Just like movie premieres, all eyes are on the actors — in Indiana Black Expo’s case, those are the hundreds of volunteers who have made it possible for the organization to accomplish all it has. Each one of them was given a star on the organization’s walk of fame inside its brand new building.
“We couldn’t, we wouldn’t be here today,” McKinzie said. “There’s no way that we would be able to impact the community and implement the programs, even just a convening standpoint — not even our own programs — but being able to have a voice at the table. It takes a lot of folks in our community to have buy-in in that and so we would not be here without them.”
As the past is celebrated, many are looking forward to the future of the organization and growing this amazing community.
“In 50 years, I really hope to see the community actually get back into it and give their all,” volunteer Nicole Rene said. “Over the course of the years, we’ve lost different volunteers and stuff, now it’s time for that younger generation to get involved.”
If you’d like to help support Indiana Black Expo, you can donate, become a member, or try volunteering like many of the people celebrated on Saturday.