FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — “We’ve seen what division brings. Let’s figure out what unification brings.”
That’s how Fort Wayne UNITED Executive Director Iric Headley explains the new city-wide initiative: United Front.
“Our community, like the country, is tired from just watching the dissension and the division around our country,” Headley adds. “We need something that encourages us and brings us together.”
Headley says the United Front sessions can help heal all types of differences – political, racial, religious and more.
With its keynote sessions scheduled for January 27, United Front already has support from leading Fort Wayne businesses, nonprofit groups, churches, law enforcement agencies and schools.
D. Faye Williams-Robbins is Chief of Student, Family and Community Engagement for Fort Wayne Community Schools and also part of the Fort Wayne United steering committee. She believes the approach of Dr. Pascal Losambe is unique because it doesn’t start with blame. “I’ve never seen anything like the kind of conversations that (he) brings from a human perspective, not pointing fingers or saying certain people are being racist or anything like that but simply looking at who we are as human beings and how we respond and react and why.”
After the online keynote sessions, additional workshops will take place among similar professions to solve problems that might be unique to different sectors of the community.
“What does equity mean in the education arena and then what can we do as educators to ensure that employees, students and families are getting the things they need and we’re treating each other like humans?” asks Williams-Robbins.
The 700 people already signed up far surpasses Headley’s expectations. He expects a ripple effect that could change the trajectory of Allen County. “United Front is built on that platform that we can once again be human beings together. It’s not about you being a Republican or a Democrat or who you voted for. Those things divide us. It’s a totally different philosophy that says, hey, under this sky that we’re all under, we are human beings and we’ve got a lot of work to do but together this time.”
Headley doesn’t want cost to be a barrier to enrollment.
Updated to correct Williams-Robinson’s job title.