FISHERS (WISH) — The City of Fishers is working to dismantle racism and hopes hundreds of people will participate in first steps to really make a difference.
People were headed to school in Fishers Thursday, but it wasn’t the normal school crowd. One group of adults came for different reasons.
“If I can be part of the solution, instead of part of the problem, that’s why I took the class,” said Chris Neel, a Fishers resident who is taking the training.
“If we’re going to be the ones to make a difference, the people in the room? Yeah, they’re getting it. W’ere the ones making a difference,” said Roz Harris, another Fishers resident who is taking the training.
Thursday was the first day of lessons and training for the class called “Interrupting Racism.” Twenty-five students enrolled for first session. It’s part of a one- to two-day training put on by the City of Fishers, and it’s open to all residents.
The goal is to address head on, the issues of systemic racism today, and also in the past.
“It is a delve into the history of what the United States is as it relates to the experience of the African American. It delves into the systemic racism that does exist and how it was built into the fabric of our country,” said Latrece Murdock, co-chair of Fishers Committee on Race.
One tangible tool being taught in the class is how to translate what you mean when talking with, say family or co-workers, about racism so you can avoid miscommunication.
“Our language is a reflection of our own experiences. So, a lot of times, as we seek to have communication, we in effect, because we don’t translate our meaning, end up creating more confusion, more miscommunication,” said Dustin Washington, senior consultant for Soul Focused Group.
Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness spoke with News-8 this past summer about how he and his leadership team took the class.
“It gives you the historical context of how we as a society have gotten where we are today,” said Fadness. “With that understanding and knowledge, it gains you a power, the ability to go and do something about it.”
So that was the launching point. Class will be in session at various times until the end of the year, and they hope this will be the start of really making a difference.
“The exciting thing I’m learning is we can change this reality by looking inside to begin to affect what goes on outside. It’s very powerful,” said Neel.
The City of Fishers is still looking for 500 people to take this training. Click here for more information on the training sessions.