Statement issued Wednesday by the Harmony Initiative Task Force:
HUNTINGTON, Ind. – We the undersigned citizens of Huntington County are dismayed by a report of racially charged conduct at the recent football game between Huntington North and North Side High School.
We take this issue seriously. Inappropriate behavior is not, and must not be, characteristic of our community. Race should never be a factor in athletic competition.
We commend the leadership of both school corporations for responding to the allegations, and we support both investigations. We want to get to the truth and have a fair resolution to the conflict.
We affirm and continue to strive toward living out the values of our city’s mission statement: “Huntington, Indiana is a community of civility and inclusion, where diversity is honored and differences are respected.”
We want to be a welcoming community. Last year, during the Huntington North High School homecoming game, we hosted the Harmony Feast, a culinary celebration of racial and ethnic diversity. Nearly 400 people of many nationalities and ethnicities participated. The event was such a success that we are planning another Harmony Feast during the Vikings’ 2011 homecoming game on September 23. All are welcome.
We are committed to creating a better future and want to continue the forward movement of acceptance and harmony among all citizens. Today we in Huntington realize, in the words of our city’s mission statement, that “ethnic, economic and religious diversity provides the strength that holds our community together.”
The Harmony Initiative Task Force
- Dr. G. Blair Dowden (chair), President, Huntington University
- Mr. Mike Perkins (vice chair), Director, Parkview Huntington Foundation
- Mr. Jesse Brown, Assistant Dean of Students, Huntington University
- Rev. Brooks Fetters, Common Council, City of Huntington
- Mr. Chuck Grable, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Huntington County Community School Corp.
- Mr. Kyle Hamilton, President, Our Sunday Visitor (Offertory Solutions Division)
- Ms. Trace Hinesley, Director of Special Programs, Huntington County Community School Corporation
- Mr. Michael Howell, Executive Director, Huntington County Community Foundation
- Mr. Steve Kimmel, President, Chamber of Commerce of Huntington County
- Mr. André Laird, Reporter/Photographer, The Huntington County TAB
- Rev. Dr. Marti Lundy, Senior Pastor, Evangelical United Methodist Church
- Mr. John Niederman, President, Pathfinder Services
- Mr. John Paff, Vice President for University Relations, Huntington University
- Mr. Tracey Shafer, Superintendent, Huntington County Community School Corporation
- Mrs. Jenna Strick, Executive Director, United Way of Huntington County
- Mr. Tom Wall, President, Huntington County Commissioners
- Ms. Sue Wilhelm, Director, Victory Noll Center
- Mr. Mike Zahn, CEO and President, First Federal Savings Bank