INDIANAPOLIS (June 11, 2021) – The Kennedy King Memorial Initiative and Pacers Sports & Entertainment have teamed up to launch the Marvelous Potential program, a chance for civic, business, and community leaders to see central Indiana's challenges through the eyes of those most directly impacted by them. The effort is part of the Beloved Community partnership, a collaboration between the two organizations to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Senator Robert F. Kennedy by confronting issues of social injustice in Indianapolis neighborhoods.
"We talk a lot – and rightly so – about the need to listen to the community to better understand how to address the biggest disparities, and Marvelous Potential is meant to remove as many of the filters as possible and link decision-makers directly to those most impacted," said Darryl Lockett, Executive Director of the Kennedy King Memorial Initiative.
The inaugural class of the 8-month program will explore neighborhoods, visit with community members, and see often-unseen aspects of Indianapolis to dive deeply into our incredible potential. The experience is designed to be immersive, meaning in addition to discussions and conversations, participants will spend time on the road exploring first-hand the realities in many of the city's most challenged zip codes. The program's ultimate goal is to inspire leaders to leverage their platforms and public influence to develop solutions to persistent inequities.
"Unlocking the immense potential of Indianapolis neighborhoods requires sneaker diplomacy, being present and visible in the community to listen to unfiltered perspectives of what our neighbors actually need," said Rick Fuson, President and Chief Operating Officer at Pacers Sports & Entertainment. "That's the way to ensure solutions are collaborative and come alongside the incredible work already being done by so many to make Indianapolis a more resilient city."
The 2021-2022 class will consist of a diverse set of leaders from across industries and sectors. The group will meet once a month from September to March, and class days will include site visits and discussions with experts, leaders, activists, residents. The initial class size will be limited, and the competitive application and selection process will begin on June 28.
The name Marvelous Potential comes from a speech delivered by Senator Kennedy while on a 1968 fact-finding visit to Appalachia in eastern Kentucky. Kennedy lamented the disparities there while noting the untapped potential of the communities he visited.
For more information on the Marvelous Potential program curriculum and to access the application form, please visit www.kennedykingindy.org/marvelouspotential.