The Journal Gazette
Saturday, January 22, 2022 1:00 am

Frankness on race welcome exchange

EDITORIAL BOARD | The Journal Gazette

United Front participants today were supposed to celebrate the progress they've made in improving cultural awareness in Fort Wayne, but the Dinner of Great Conversations was postponed by increased COVID-19 infections in Allen County.

United Front is a local initiative to assist community members in having conversations about race, equity and inclusion. More than 8,000 people and 210 community organizations, including Fort Wayne Community Schools, participated in the yearlong United Front.

Deputy Superintendent D. Faye Williams-Robbins told The Journal Gazette's Devan Filchak and Ashley Sloboda the best thing that resulted from United Front were the conversations.

“I was surprised by the transparency of individuals who participated in those breakouts,” she said, “because they realized this is a conversation that's needed.”

Developing connections and meaningful conversations about race can be uncomfortable, and some members of the Indiana General Assembly want to shield public school students from discussing such “divisive concepts.” But last week, Senate Republicans killed their version, SB 167.

Among the bill's provisions was a transparency requirement for teachers to post class materials online for parental review. The controversy centered on concepts teachers shouldn't teach.

The House has its own version: HB 1134, with almost the same language. It passed out of committee and heads to the full body for consideration.

Perhaps a United Front program for House and Senate members at the Statehouse could curtail the filing of divisive proposals such as SB 167 and HB 1134. 

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