Indy Racial Equity Pledge

Martin University

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As Indiana’s only Predominantly Black Institution of higher education (PBI), we pledge to take meaningful action to help eradicate racial equity gaps and racial injustice in Central Indiana. Together, we must be intentional in our actions, thoughtful in our approaches, and resilient in our efforts to achieve more positive and equitable outcomes for African Americans. We pledge to address racial inequities and disparities in education, income, health, social mobility, and all other determinants that have resulted in marginalization, disadvantage, exclusion, and inequality for communities of color.


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Help Close Racial Equity Gaps in Employment, Income, and Wealth

Focus Area: Workplace, Prosperity, and Education

We will continue to intentionally focus on closing equity gaps in college attainment, unemployment, and poverty for African American, low-income, and adult students. We will transform our institution into an Urban Work College by partnering with employers and workforce development organizations so that our students are prepared for and achieve promising careers upon graduation.



The Martin WORKS Pilot began in May of 2021 with the launch of the Martin WORKS Academy The immersive, 8-week student development process included formal Martin classes to include business and leadership development as well as other important life skills such as emotional intelligence and financial literacy. At the conclusion of the academy students participated in “Draft Day” on August 26, 2021 where students were formally introduced to their assigned employer patterns and officially welcomed into the program.

As students begin employment on September 6, we will implement the continuing student support, performance management and coaching to help them be successful as the program grows.


  • Select pilot student group was conducted: Jan - Mar 2021

  • Conduct Martin WORKS Academy completed: May - June 2021

  • WORKS Academy Orientation was held: May 2021

  • WORKS Academy Training conducted: June – July 2021

  • WORKS program mandatory orientation (pilot students): August 2021

  • Fall '21 WORKS assignments begin: Sept 2021

  • Conduct Fall '21 WORKS evaluations: Dec 2021

  • Pilot will conclude: May 2022

  • Conduct Evaluations Report after: Spring '22 and June 2022

Student demographics:

  • Over the age of 25

  • Financially independent

  • Currently or previously employed (full and part-time)

  • Attending the university for professional/career development and advancement

Employer Partners include: Eskenazi Health, Lilly, USA Track and Field, Circle City Broadcasting, First Financial Bank, Cook Medical, Indianapolis Zoo, Pedcor Companies, Allison Transmission, and Pacers Sports and Entertainment.

Program Partners include: Ivy Tech Community College, Kroger, Paul Quinn College, Indiana Workforce Development, UNCF Career Pathways Initiative, Ascend Indiana, American Red Cross, Indiana Commission on Higher Education, and the Indiana Department of Correction.


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Help Create and Maintain Sustainable Racial Equity and Inclusion Practices

Focus Areas: Education

Through the Martin University Center for Racial Equity and Inclusion, we pledge to provide education, training, and resources to help businesses, organizations, and communities develop and implement sustainable racial equity and inclusion practices.



To accomplish the stated goal listed above, the National Center for Racial Equity and Inclusion at Martin University has hosted the following education and training events to the at-large community:

  • National Center for Racial Equity and Inclusion Official Launch and Juneteenth Celebration on June 18th, 2021. The program included presentations, community listening sessions, and networking with invited participants including Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, Martin University President Sean Huddleston, IMPD Chief Randal Taylor, City-County Councilman Zach Adamson, leaders from the faith-based community, and other community partners.

  • In the middle of a global and nationwide pandemic, Martin University wants to take the lead within our community in building a series of workshops that will allow our target audience to walk away with easy steps to use, information to share, knowledge to be prepared and a voice to be heard. The Health Assurance Initiative is a new series that Martin is eager to create that will bring in community leaders and industry experts to help bring light to the health disparities that racial and ethnic minorities face consistently. Specifically, we want to address, low-quality care, lack of education, and infant mortality. In partnership with Health Care Initiatives, Eskenazi, the Red Cross, and the Metropolitan Indianapolis Central Indiana Area Health Education Center we will host series built around the three separate topics (listed above). These topics will be a catalyst to drive change in the community to help strengthen Martin University’s Center for Racial Equity and Inclusion presence while enhancing the knowledge around these three topics. Dating back to March, the National Center for Racial Equity and Inclusion and Health Care Initiatives have held monthly workshop in the areas described above. March 24th, 2021, April 14th, 2021, April 29th, 2021, May 26th, 2021, June 23rd, 2021, July 29th, 2021, September 22nd, 2021.

  • The National Center for Racial Equity and Inclusion began hosting a Central Indiana Racial Equity Fund monthly event series geared toward supporting culturally responsive community engagement in July. The intended outcomes are to:

    • Increase in subject matter knowledge as it relates to equity within the African American community.

    • Improvement in attitudes toward the real-life traumatic experiences in African Americans and an improvement of and better understanding of law enforcement and their jobs.

    • Strengthen social support opportunities for community members and leaders to provide a safe space for racial equity and inclusion through resource guides and educational knowledge of systemic racism.

    • Dates: June 18th, 2021, July 16th, 2021, August 20th, 2021, September 17th, 2021, October 15th, 2021, November 2021, December 10th, 2021, January 2022.

  • The National Center for Racial Equity and Inclusion will be hosting the inaugural Access Fair on October 9th, 2021. The purpose of this Access Fair is to connect the community to resources, disrupt systemic barriers and increase student retention. Traditionally, marginalized communities have struggled with access to the traditional systems of banking, housing, criminal justice, public health, education, employment, government, and civic engagement (voting, safety, volunteering). Given the focal points of the NCREI, it is imperative to dispel the systemic barriers that continuously oppress and depress these populations, thus promoting access. Composing this production will invoke partnerships and insight on how to disrupt those barriers and give marginalized communities better access.


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Serve as a “Communiversity” for Racial Equity

Focus Areas: Workplace, Health, Prosperity, Education, Criminal Justice

We will serve as a “Communiversity” for racial equity, creating and providing welcoming spaces and resources for education, discourse, and constructive activism. As a Communiversity, we will also advance racial equity and economic development by utilizing minority-owned firms as vendors, hiring a diverse and inclusive workforce, and supporting collaborative initiatives that promote racial equity and justice.



Martin University has launched a Communiversity Committee co-chaired by board trustee Rev. Richard Hunter, alumni, and former trustee Ms. Tracy Boyd to oversee community wide events and activities designed to connect our institution to the needs of our community through education, discourse and constructive activism. We have produced and facilitated multiple community food distribution events through our partnership with Eskenazi Health, Richard Hunter Ministries, and Faith Hope and Love Community, Inc. We partnered with Cook Medical and the United Northeast CDC to celebrate Juneteenth 2021 with a series of events from June 14-17, 2021 including Monday Mondays, Take Care Tuesday, Workforce Wednesday, and Town Hall Thursday. Martin continues to advance racial equity and economic development through our hiring and contracting practices. We held our largest cohort of new hires in years in August 2021. We welcomed a class that included a diverse pool of employees who will advance the mission of our institution.

Join us in the important work of creating racial equity in Central Indiana.

Email us to learn more.