News Release

Central Indiana Racial Equity Fund Launches with more than $2.2 Million in Initial Commitments

June 25, 2020
The fund, established by the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, Lumina Foundation and Central Indiana Community Foundation, will focus on solutions that address racial inequities in the criminal justice system

INDIANAPOLIS, June 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A coalition of local stakeholders has established the Central Indiana Racial Equity Fund with an initial investment of more than $2.2 million to advance effective solutions to racial inequality in Indianapolis and its surrounding counties. The fund will work with organizations to support efforts to improve interactions between the Black community and local police in Indianapolis; address the disproportionate number of Black youth in the juvenile and criminal justice system by providing positive alternatives for education and employment; and increase employment, health and wealth opportunities for communities of color. 

The fund was established by the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, Lumina Foundation and Central Indiana Community Foundation, with contributions from the Anthem Foundation, Buckingham Foundation, Dorsey Foundation, Rick Fuson and Karen Ferguson Fuson, Marianne Glick and Mike Woods, Glick Philanthropies, Herbert Simon Family Foundation, High Alpha, The Indianapolis Foundation, Indianapolis Power & Light Company, Lilly Endowment Inc., and Pacers Foundation.

The Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) will also serve as the fiscal agent and project manager. The intent is to grow the fund with additional commitments from companies and other organizations across Indiana.

"Lilly and the Lilly Foundation are committed to action in addressing the systemic injustices in America that disadvantage people of color, with a special responsibility to Indianapolis, home of our headquarters for 144 years," said Tiffany Benjamin, president of the Lilly Foundation. "This is the first distribution of the Lilly Foundation's $25 million commitment over five years to decrease the burden of racial injustice on communities of color, including health, education and economic inequalities."

The Central Indiana Racial Equity Fund will support organizations focused on having difficult conversations about Indiana's and the Nation's complicated past; building additional capacity within the nonprofit sector to address issues of racial inequity, in particular relating to the criminal justice system; and advancing effective, data-driven solutions at the local level.

The fund will be led by a community-driven, multigenerational steering committee:

  • Darryl Lockett, executive director, Kennedy King Memorial Initiative
  • Jasmin-Shaheed Young, president and CEO, RISE Indy
  • Jordan Maitland, regulatory consultant, Eli Lilly and Company
  • Kai Wright, executive director, Voices Corporation
  • Nick Ison, corporate giving manager, Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana
  • Valerie Davis, community ambassador, Near Eastside neighborhood, Central Indiana Community Foundation
  • William Shrewsberry, founder, Shrewsberry & Associates LLC

"Lumina Foundation's work has long been driven by our 'equity imperative,' a focus on justice for Black, Hispanic, and Native American students that we build into all of our efforts to increase the nation's educational attainment," said Timothy P. Robinson, assistant vice president, operations, and grants administration at Lumina. "To strengthen those efforts, we have forged a new commitment to what we call Equity and Justice Intelligence – our capacity to address diversity, inclusion and racial justice in all of our work."

"In 2018, CICF changed its mission and made the generational commitment to dismantle systemic racism in our community," said Pamela Ross, vice president of opportunity, equity and inclusion at CICF. "We knew then and we know now that we cannot do this work alone. Collaborating with our philanthropic and corporate leaders in our community to create this fund is a huge step forward in our fight for creating a community where everyone has an opportunity to thrive—no matter place, race or identity."

Learn more at

About Eli Lilly and Company Foundation
Established in 1968, the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation is a private, tax-exempt organization that makes strategic and philanthropic investments consistent with Eli Lilly and Company's purpose of making life better. The Lilly Foundation's areas of focus include improving health for people living in communities with limited resources, strengthening communities and improving education opportunities for children living in underserved neighborhoods. In 2020, the Lilly Foundation established a new area of focus to address racial inequities in Indianapolis, and nationally.

About Lumina Foundation
Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. We envision a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation's need for talent through a broad range of credentials. Our goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.

About Central Indiana Community Foundation
Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) is an $850 million public foundation working to mobilize people, ideas and investments to make this a community where all individuals have equitable opportunity to reach their full potential–no matter place, race or identity. CICF was established in 1997 as a partnership between The Indianapolis Foundation, serving Marion County since 1916, and Hamilton County Community Foundation, serving Hamilton County since 1991. For more information about CICF, visit, or call 317.634.2423.

About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly is a global healthcare leader that unites caring with discovery to create medicines that make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more about Lilly, please visit us at and C-LLY

Refer to:          

David Marbaugh;; +1-317-489-7109

Ben Snyder;; +1-317-634-2423


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