Discussion Series

Elevating critical issues through civil conversation is a tool for change. Leadership Indianapolis has brought together subject matter experts, those with lived experience and organizational leaders to have discussions on topics ranging from economic inequity, philanthropy and mental wellness. 

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Don't Just Take Our Word For It

I will definitely share the experience I had and encourage others to attend future events with Leadership Indianapolis as well. The interactions were refreshing, and I enjoyed engaging with others and listening to their viewpoints.

Sherie Scott
OI Insights

As an entrepreneur and community developer, I'll be referring to my notes as I continue to develop the community.

Aaron Laster
Aaron Laster
Poverty and Wealth Series

This discussion series presented by Leadership Indianapolis was very informative. It's always nice to hear from individuals with lived experience. Additionally, hearing the success stories that include pitfalls and barriers and how they worked to overcome and address them on a systematic level was inspiring.

Josette Robinson
Discussion Series (Public Safety and Criminal Justice)

Past Discussion Series

Here for the Long Haul: A Series on Mental Health for Civic Leaders

In the age of crisis and social distancing, many of our lives have been interrupted in ways that directly and indirectly impact our mental health. This series focused on: awareness of distress signals in ourselves and others; how to prioritize self-care as a part of your work as a community and civic leader and finally how a grassroots organization is helping Hoosiers living with serious mental illness.


  • Aja Gray, Red Cross of Central Indiana
  • Jay Chaudary, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
  • Cassie Stockamp, yogi, world-traveler and former non-profit president
  • Barbara Thompson, NAMI
Poverty and Wealth

Poverty and wealth create barriers in our collective community, both visible and unseen. A quality education, stable housing, access to healthcare and even the ability to leverage social capital are just a few areas of a person’s existence that are greatly impacted by where they fall on the socioeconomic spectrum. In Indianapolis, studies show that about 1 in 4 residents is living in concentrated poverty. Additionally, 17.2 percent of residents and 24.5 percent of children live below the federal poverty line – a figure that outpaces the national average. Our Poverty & Wealth series brought together data experts, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, community organizers and those with lived experience to not only discuss the issues but also offer insight into ways civic leaders can become involved in creating more equity in our community.


  • Ashley Gurvitz (Alliance for Northeast Unification)
  • Kelli Mirgeaux (Southeast Neighborhood Development)
  • Robert Hawthorne (Westside CDC)
  • Yecenia Tostado (Project Azul)
  • Dr. Una Osili (IUPUI Lilly School of Philanthropy)
  • Tom Hanley (Nine13 Sports)
  • Unai Miguel Andres (SAVI)
  • Lashauna Triplett (MLT Outreach)
  • Tara Morse (Indiana 211)
Public Safety & Criminal Justice

Often, conversations around public safety and criminal justice focus primarily on efforts to curb crime. However, the experiences of those who seek to create collaboration, reconciliation and progress in these areas present another valuable opportunity for discussion and excavation. Our Public Safety & Criminal Justice discussion series centered the perspective of citizens with lived experience and those working to create change in our community.


  • Carlette Duffy (Director of Re-Entry, Office of Public Health and Safety)
  • Devi Davis (The Bail Project)
  • Antonio Lipscomb (Indiana Re-Entry)
  • Shonna Majors (Director of Community Violence Reduction, Office of Public Health and Safety)
  • DeAndra Dycus (Purpose 4 My Pain)
  • Ryan Mears (Marion County Prosecutor)
  • Kia Wright (Founder/Executive Director, VOICES Corp)
  • Commander Catherine Cummings (Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department)
Shelter: A Series on the Housing Crisis in Indianapolis for Civic Leaders

Homes provide us with stability and security, a sense of place. For thousands of Indy residents, that basic human need is virtually inaccessible due to a myriad of factors including; affordability, displacement as a result of redevelopment and debilitating rental policies. In our three-part discussion series, Shelter, we explored the complex issue of housing in Indianapolis from the perspective of renters, developers and policy experts.


  • Lourenzo Giple, Rottmann Collier Architects  
  • Steven Meyer, Renew Indianapolis 
  • Joe Hanson, INHP 
  • Natalie James, Prosperity Indiana/Housing for Hoosiers 
  • Dr. Breanca Merritt, FSSA
  • Wildstyle Paschall, Community Activist
  • Amy Nelson, Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana 
  • Kyle Arbuckle, National Low Income Housing Coalition 
  • Andrew Bradley, Prosperity Indiana