The year of 2023 was full of progress for the Black Cultural Awareness (BCA) Taskforce. In late 2022, the BCA restructured to welcome ally members and added another chair position, naming Jaymee Cummings and Alyssa Hurt as co-chairs. Expanding membership and establishing co-chairs provided the group with more flexibility and extra hands to achieve more during the year.
In June of 2023, the BCA took part in the Indianapolis Juneteenth Celebration for the first time. A group of 15 members and supporters, which included the BCA and their families, marched in the parade and had a presence at A&C’s booth to show support in the community.
Another new event for the BCA was the Indianapolis Black Expo. “It was amazing that we had the opportunity to share A&C’s services and the BCA with the community,” said Alyssa Hurt, co-chair. With enough staff volunteers to cover three whole days of Expo activities, she said that A&C’s participation “showed the agency’s dedication and support to the community, while allowing us to have fun and learn more about our friends at the Expo.”
Later during the summer, the BCA joined A&C’s inaugural National Health Center Week Health Fair. This event was held at A&C’s 8404 Siear Terrace location and was open to staff and the community. Attendees played filled out a scavenger hunt by speaking to every table to learn more about A&C,which allowed the BCA to talk about the taskforce and their 2023 highlights so far. It also gave the BCA an opportunity to meet some of A&C’s clients and make deeper, mission-driven connections. Employees and attendees also enjoyed karaoke hosted by ZeeBee Karaoke and sponsored by the BCA.
In December, the BCA visited Gleaners Food Bank to volunteer their time to give back to the community. They spent three hours in the warehouse filling grocery and pantry requests for families; everything from boxed goods to fresh fruit. They filled over 800 bags for food pantry distribution and packed enough food to provide over 4,000 meals for the community!
“The BCA is proud of the year we had and we look forward to 2024,” said Hurt. This year’s plans include building new partnerships, continuing to get together as a group to support Black owned businesses, and showing our support within the community.
Any A&C staff who are interested in joining the BCA or learning about volunteer opportunities tied to BCA initiatives can reach out to the BCA (email@example.com) or DEIB Commission (DEIB@adultandchild.org) directly. Members of the community who own or know of a business that the BCA should support or who have connections that could help the BCA meet their goals are also invited to reach out any time.