Kibo, Chatbot Tech That Enhances Interest In Books, Wins 2019 JagStart Competition

Radhika Ravindran pitches Kibo during the 2019 JagStart competition. Photo courtesy of the IUPUI Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research
Radhika Ravindran pitches Kibo during the 2019 JagStart competition. Photo courtesy of the IUPUI Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research

An idea that originated more than five years ago was developed and refined into a project that won IUPUI’s 2019 JagStart Student Idea Pitch Competition on April 12.

Radhika Ravindran, a master’s degree candidate in the School of Informatics and Computing, has a younger brother who doesn’t enjoy reading but likes using his smartphone, including sending text messages to friends. She wondered why the same activity couldn’t be used for reading books.

“While there are services to help consume books differently, nothing addresses the lack of attention span and engagement aspects of it,” Ravindran said. “My solution, Kibo, uses chatbot technology to make book-reading like a conversation and more engaging than ever.”

Ravindran delivered a three-minute elevator pitch and participated in a two-minute Q&A session with a panel of judges during the IUPUI student competition. Kibo was named the best of the 11 projects in the competition, and Ravindran was awarded $2,500 to further develop it.

“Originally I thought of making Kibo an application for home use,” Ravindran said. “But with the JagStart competition award and insights from two contacts I have made, I’m planning to turn it into an education application that could benefit students up to the university level.”

Samuel Kropp, a bachelor’s degree candidate in the Kelley School of Business, won second place and $1,500 for The Aquaponics Company. The company is based around the sustainable science of aquaponics — the combination of fish farming and hydroponics. The goal is to scale down commercial aquaponics to an in-house system to be sold directly to household consumers.

Eli Hoopengarner, a double bachelor’s degree candidate in the School of Engineering and Technology and the School of Liberal Arts, won third place and $750 for The FlexWheel. The product improves motorsport driver comfort, allocates stronger muscle groups to decrease a driver’s fatigue and provides energy dissipation upon impact.

Kristina Tinsley, a bachelor’s degree candidate in the Kelley School of Business and a member of the Honors College, and Madhura Mhatre, a master’s degree candidate in the School of Informatics and Computing, won the audience choice prizes and $500 apiece. Tinsley pitched Archived, a smartphone app that increases visitor engagement at museums and helps maintain museum inventory. Mhatre pitched Swelter Produce, which addresses the challenge of desert farming by using renewable resources to generate clean energy from heat and to extract water from humid air in arid environments for irrigation.

JagStart is organized through IUPUI’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. It has undergone different iterations, including a business pitch competition, since it started in 2012. Simon Atkinson, vice chancellor for research, said it is important that resources like JagStart are available for innovative IUPUI students.

Simon Atkinson
Simon Atkinson

“These students are future entrepreneurs and leaders for Indiana,” Atkinson said. “Competitions like JagStart and other resources offered by IUPUI help them hone the soft skills that will carry them far in whatever career they choose.”

Other competitors in the 2019 JagStart Student Idea Pitch Competition and their projects were:

  • Michael Daniells: Breeze Microloans, a mobile application platform that provides access to short-term, low-principal, low-interest-rate loans.
  • Sneh Khatri: Kidzie, an application that promotes the development and well-being of young children through features that enhance parent-child communication.
  • Dakota Merkel: Rest in Peace, a social media platform that allows people to actively remember their loved ones years after they pass away.
  • Yi-shan Tabitha Tsai: epiQ, a mobile application that helps students achieve basic furniture needs.
  • Natalie Woods: Green Roofs, a product designed to allow residents in an urban environment to have their own green spaces.
  • Szu-Yu Yang and Swaroop John: Pickcart, an online-shopping-style mobile application for university students to access free food items from their on-campus food pantries.

Read the original story from IUPUI NewsSteve Martin 

Opening Eyes: Students Learn About Neighborhoods That Predated IUPUI

Anthropology professor Paul Mullins leads the new Digital History and Community Change in Indianapolis class in University Library. The course explores the history of neighborhoods that existed where IUPUI is today. Photo by Tim Brouk, Indiana University
Anthropology professor Paul Mullins leads the new Digital History and Community Change in Indianapolis class in University Library. The course explores the history of neighborhoods that existed where IUPUI is today. Photo by Tim Brouk, Indiana University

Alysa Meyer’s sobering research project began with a 1978 article about an Indianapolis man found drowned in Fall Creek.

The tragedy and the life of Dr. George Watkins was part of the new Digital History and Community Change in Indianapolis class, which focuses on the histories of racial displacement and urban transformation along Indianapolis’ downtown canal in commemoration of the IUPUI 50th Anniversary and Indiana University Bicentennial. The class explores the rich history of the Indiana Avenue Cultural District and the nearby Ransom Place neighborhood as well as the contentious displacement and gentrification that occurred when IUPUI was established in 1969.

Meyer and research partner Kyle Turner dug up what they could with the random address they were assigned: 402 W. Vermont St. Watkins’ home also held his practice, once standing where parking lots are now paved near Inlow Hall.

As their research will soon be published online, Turner and Meyer were guest presenters at the April 12 Butler Undergraduate Research Conference. Their findings shocked their peers from other Indiana institutions. Though Meyer grew up in Indianapolis, she, too, was unfamiliar with the history of the area before the university, which included Watkins’ sad story.

This house that once stood at 402 California St. belonged to Dr. George Watkins. It was located where parking lots for Inlow Hall and the Science and Engineering Laboratory Building now exist. Photo courtesy of Indiana Landmarks Central Canal and IUPUI Image Collection

“He was very involved in the community and worked a lot with the YMCA,” said Meyer, a biology senior with an anthropology minor, of Watkins. “We found articles that said he would often give his chiropractic services for free in a way to give back to the community. In his later years, he would wander around the old neighborhood, searching for his house, according to another article. It was thought he had developed Alzheimer’s.”

The Digital History and Community Change in Indianapolis course is led by the team of Andrea Copeland, associate professor of library and information science; library and information science lecturer Kisha Tandy; and anthropology professor Paul Mullins, whose 2009 book, “The Price for Progress,” pays tribute to the neighborhoods that once bustled before IUPUI’s establishment. The final projects are being managed with the help of Herron Art Library digital services specialist Danita Davis and librarian Sonja Staum, who is also the director of the Herron Art Library.

The class of 17 undergraduate and graduate students majoring in science, museum studies, library science and public history utilized digitized newspapers, databases, old city directories, and Sanborn insurance maps from the late 1800s and early 1900s to monitor what kind of homes, businesses and landmarks once stood where IUPUI is today.

Museum studies graduate student Hannah Lundell had no idea of the history that was once literally beneath her feet as she prepared for her class, which takes place in University Library.

“It’s been a consensus with the class that a lot of people weren’t fully aware of the extent of the neighborhood that used to exist here,” said Lundell, a Florida native. “But we’ve been able to talk to former residents, which is rare when working in archives and piecing together stories.”

‘Study our city’

As the student projects are nearing completion, the research is being uploaded into a digital map from 1908. Users will be able to scroll along the map and click on the houses to learn more about the structures and the families who once inhabited them. Some of the content was acquired in collaboration with Indiana Landmarks.

A Civil War-era mansion once stood at 538 W. New York St., near where Inlow Hall is today. Photo courtesy of Indiana Landmarks Central Canal and IUPUI Image Collection
A Civil War-era mansion once stood at 538 W. New York St., near where Inlow Hall is today. Photo courtesy of Indiana Landmarks Central Canal and IUPUI Image Collection

Copeland said her students have learned about an early, hyper-local example of gentrification and displacement, which occurs in cities all over the country. These final projects give needed history, images and data to one of the most historically underrepresented parts of Indianapolis.

Copeland hopes the class will help pave the way for an Indianapolis history minor, specialization or certificate at IUPUI.

“There is a need to study our city,” she explained. “We don’t have a permanent course with the word ‘Indianapolis’ in it. Geography, history, social issues, current events, economics in our city — it’s all intertwined.”

Dr. Watkins’ story to live on

Meyer and Turner’s work filled in not only Watkins’ story, but that of his neighborhood.

“I think this is really eye-opening for a lot of people because I don’t think they realized this was happening,” Meyer said. “I think it’s a good way to teach people about displacement. You get to read about people’s lives and who it affected.”

Since publishing his book, co-authored with Glenn White, Mullins gets calls and messages from relatives of former area residents who are curious about their former homes. He hopes his class’s digital research project will answer questions for those relatives as well as for Hoosier historians.

“In general, we are interested in putting as much of this history as possible in an accessible, digital place,” Mullins said. “We’re building like genealogists would. We have so much digitized. Now, it’s about helping people understand how to use it and what they can do with it.”

Read the original story from IUPUI NewsTim Brouk 

Herron Professor’s New Book Explores Public Art’s Impact

Laura Holzman stands in the 2017 House Life Project on Sept. 20, 2017. Photo by Tim Brouk, Indiana University
Laura Holzman stands in the 2017 House Life Project on Sept. 20, 2017. Photo by Tim Brouk, Indiana University

You’ve seen the “Rocky” movies. You hum the theme song every time you run up a flight of stairs. You might even have posed in front of the statue when visiting Philadelphia. But have you thought about the impact the statue has made on the city and public art in general?

A new book by Laura Holzman, IUPUI associate professor of art history and museum studies, explores the history and public discourse concerning public art in early-21st-century Philadelphia. “Contested Image: Defining Philadelphia for the Twenty-First Century” focuses on the “Rocky” statue as well as “The Gross Clinic” by Thomas Eakins and the Barnes Foundation art collection.

The book is available through Temple University Press and many other online outlets.

Pinpointing Activities: Office of Community Engagement Launches Engagement Map

The community engagement map features more than 350 activities, heavily concentrated in metro Indianapolis but also spreading across the country and internationally.
The community engagement map features more than 350 activities, heavily concentrated in metro Indianapolis but also spreading across the country and internationally.

IUPUI faculty and students participate every year in activities that enhance lives in the Indianapolis community and beyond.

That’s not just a tagline or a talking point; it’s documentable work that anyone can explore, thanks to a new map launched by the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement.

On the map — dive in yourself here — are points representing more than 360 activities, heavily concentrated in Indianapolis and within the I-465 loop but stretching across the country and as far away as Africa. Each one represents an activity or where an activity’s community partners are located, with details about faculty, schools/centers involved and the scope of the work. Among all the activities, more than 5,000 IUPUI students have participated.

“The map further demonstrates IUPUI’s commitment to Central Indiana,” said Amy Conrad Warner, vice chancellor for the Office of Community Engagement. “It provides essential information about initiatives underway, assets in the community and partners who contribute to a common goal.”

The map, funded by an IUPUI Welcoming Campus Initiative grant, was developed in partnership with The Polis Center and includes social and demographic data from SAVI, one of the nation’s first and largest community information systems.

For example, selecting a point just southwest of downtown brings up a window about SEAL Indiana, a statewide dental program that provides preventive oral health services for children who do not have adequate access to dental care. The Indiana State Department of Health and IUPUI provided startup funding for the program, which began in 2003. The School of Dentistry, naturally, is the school listed as the participant, with areas of focus including education, government and public safety, health and wellness, and social issues.

School of Dentistry assistant professor Armando Soto is one of two faculty members listed, and clicking on Soto’s name brings up lines on the map connecting to other sites where he is involved in community activities — a web of engagement, if you will.

A toolbar on the map allows further pinpointing; activities can be filtered by information such as start date, number of students involved or community organizations involved. Adding layers allows for demographic, education, income and health data by neighborhood in Marion County that provides further context to the community’s opportunities and challenges.

The map will be updated periodically as more information is added to the Collaboratory, a platform that captures IUPUI’s community engagement efforts.

Film Screening of Faat-Kiné

Come join us to watch the film, FAAT KINÉ (Senegal 2001)! Ousmane Sembene, the father of African cinema, calls his fellow Africans to a reckoning of the post-independence era at the beginning of a new century. FAAT KINÉ tells the story of the title character (Venus Seye), a gas-station manager in present-day Senegal, who has climbed the ladder of success in a male-dominated society after enduring numerous betrayals by men she trusted. A masterful portrait of the changing roles of women in Senegalese society, Sembene’s film is a poignant reminder that Africa will not be liberated from its colonial past without a concomitant liberation of African women.
This event is presented by the IUPUI Committee on African Studies (CAS)
Thursday April 25th, 6-8pm
Lilly Auditorium University Library 
We’ll see you there!

For the record: IUPUI Talks Favorite Albums In Time for Record Store Day

From connecting with family members to influencing their research at IUPUI, music has played an important part in the lives of IUPUI staff and faculty members.

With Record Store Day sweeping into Indianapolis record shops on Saturday, April 13, we wanted to know what some of your favorite records are and why.

Jordan Munson, Department of Music and Arts Technology
“OK Computer,” Radiohead

A senior lecturer in music and arts technology, Jordan Munson teaches synthesis and sound design classes while leading the student performing group Electronic Music Ensemble. He also oversees the performance studios’ use within his department.

Radiohead’s epic 1997 release, “OK Computer,” directly influenced his professional aspirations. The record was groundbreaking in terms of the possibilities of electronic music and recording studio experimentation. Munson has pursued electronic music since then, creating for IUPUI and his solo performance work.

“It was influential in recording and production and all of these things I think about all the time now here at IUPUI,” Munson explained. “It was an interesting turning point. This was a milestone in terms of albums, production and concept.”

Check out Munson’s new, original music live at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Indy CD and Vinyl‘s Record Store Day celebration.

Carolyn Springer, Herron School of Art and Design
“Kind of Blue,” Miles Davis

For most of the 21st century, Carolyn Springer‘s academic work has focused on color and design. She has worked as an adjunct instructor since 2005, primarily teaching color theory in the elective arts program.

Color is her thing, so it’s fitting that Miles Davis’ legendary “Kind of Blue” would resonate so much with Springer, an Indiana University alumna. After all, the record’s compositions include “Blue in Green” and “All Blues.”

“It has this warmth, even though it’s ‘Kind of Blue,'” Springer said. “The rich tones … it just felt like it was inside my soul.”

Jasdeep Bagga, School of Science
“Chunga’s Revenge,” Frank Zappa

Jasdeep Bagga is the webmaster for the School of Science, developing and upkeeping sites for the program’s nine departments. Before he became adept at coding, he was putting the needle to the groove on an impressive record collection.

Bagga goes by the nickname “Jazz,” which is also an ingredient in the eclectic sounds of the late Frank Zappa. Bagga was a freshman at IU Bloomington when he first dove into the discography of the man who composed such works as “My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama,” “Dirty Love” and, of course, “Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow.” He took a music history class that focused on Zappa’s music, career and life.

“The music blew me away,” Bagga remembered. “I did this crazy deep dive of Zappa, fell in love — and there was no going back from there.”

John King, Department of Media Arts and Science
“Copper Blue,” Sugar

A lecturer in media arts and science, John King has collected music since his teens, but the 1992 album by noted alt rockers Sugar has stuck with him through the decades and format changes. It’s the only record he has several copies of; he first bought it on cassette, then CD, then LP — and then all of the reissues, international pressings and promotional copies. When he was a high school student, King said, “Copper Blue” was one of the first albums recommended to him that went beyond pop or classic rock radio.

“My buddy Ryan said I would like it because it was so loud and distorted,” King recalled. “After I bought it, I kept going back to it so many times. There were certain songs that spoke to me lyrically. To me, there isn’t a bad song on the album or one I skip every time.

“Today, when I see it in clearance bins at Half Price Books or something, I’ll get it and then give it to people: ‘I got this for $1. Here, take this.’ I feel like I am rescuing it from oblivion.”

King, who teaches video production, scriptwriting and digital storytelling classes, believes vinyl records still hold a place in modern music consumption. You can listen to Spotify, but holding an LP still strikes a chord.

“The tactile, the idea of holding it your hand — there are marks of character on it,” King said. “I like that there is a loud pop on this record between tracks. You get another copy, and it’s not going to play like that. There’s a significance to ‘This one is mine.'”

Mandy Porter, Division of Student Affairs
“Tapestry,” Carole King

The soothing sounds of “Natural Woman,” “I Feel the Earth Move” and “It’s Too Late” echoed through the Porter household near Portage, Michigan. Mandy Porter, the IUPUI coordinator for student success and outreach, said she grew up in the “CD era” and consumed music accordingly. But her parents’ massive collection of LPs always fascinated her. The old records have become an anchor to childhood memories of her home. She also had to listen to her dad explain — at length — the superior sound of vinyl over CD and digital.

Porter started buying current acts like Adele and Sam Smith on vinyl, but she always went back to those old tunes from “Tapestry,” which has sold 25 million copies and become an iconic title in 1970s soft rock.

“Just listening to an album my mom listened to when she was my age,” Porter explained, “brings me back to multiple times in my life and my mom’s life. Hearing music the way she heard music is relating to my family.”

Read the original article from IUPUI News’ Tim Brouk

Negotiating the Diaspora: African Immigrant Women’s Memoirs Dialogue with Human Rights

Dr. Tobe Levin von Gleichen, a multi-lingual scholar, translator, editor and activist, is an Associate of the HutchinsCenter for African and African American Research at Harvard University; a Visiting Research Fellow at the International Gender Studies Centre, Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford; an activist against female genital mutilation (FGM) and professor of English Emerita at the University of Maryland, University College. Her most notable works to date are Empathy and Rage, Female Genital Mutilation in African Literature, and Waging Empathy.

Please join IUPUI Committee on African Studies, CAS, as Dr. Levin von Gleichen lectures on the topic of human rights for immigrant women in the African diaspora. Come with questions and leave with knowledge.

Wednesday April 17th 12-1pm
Business Building BS 3018

We’ll see you there!

Spring Break Around the World 2019

During spring break, more than 160 IUPUI students experienced the world through study abroad, with “classrooms” ranging from museums to the beach to the rainforest. The following four program locations highlight how students explored different dimensions of their fields of study, conducted service projects and more.

Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Twelve Honors College students from a variety of majors journeyed to beautiful Guanacaste, Costa Rica, for the annual Honors College Service Learning program. The service portion of the trip was divided into two groups working at Cartagena and Tempate elementary schools, allowing the students to go beyond the textbook and get an in-depth understanding of the current education system in Costa Rica.

The first group taught a variety of English lessons — greetings, body parts, food and nutrition. The second group assisted with teaching the importance of hygiene and best dental practices.

“Words cannot describe the feeling of getting to see how excited the students were to learn English from us,” student Amber Greaney shared. “One day we walked in, and all the students started chanting ‘English, English, English’ all together. Although we were the ones doing service, I felt like I gained more from the experience than I could ever give to them. This trip was truly the best week of my life.”

The group also participated in two language exchanges with local universities, practicing their Spanish skills and making friends with local Santa Cruz students. The group saw why Costa Rica is famous for ecotourism, receiving a tour of the Diria coffee plantation, hiking the rainforest surrounding the Miravalles volcano, and taking a natural mud bath followed by a dip in natural hot and cold springs.

“Before visiting Costa Rica, I had always seen myself as belonging to the United States solely,” student Lilly Pollard said. “Every individual I met in Costa Rica was so incredibly inviting and kind. I was able to make an impact on individuals in another country by volunteering at schools. My experience made me expand my thoughts of what makes a community, helping me grow and become a better global citizen.”

Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Kelley School of Business‘ Argentina: Corporate Social Responsibility program exposed students to the economic and political history of Argentina, the social issues that its population faces today, and how businesses are helping to address those issues. The class completed a service-learning component and met with a variety of Argentine businesses.

“In discussion with these companies, I gained an understanding of how these businesses contribute toward the three pillars of sustainability,” shared program participant Vidula Gongade. “I also had an incredible volunteer experience with Proyecto Agua Segura, a company that creates solutions for the water crisis in the rural areas. My group and I visited a local school to build a rainwater-harvesting system with water filters and a vertical garden irrigation system.”

London

Two IUPUI programs based their courses in the United Kingdom’s capital city, a multicultural bastion with approximately 9 million inhabitants. With a timely topic, the Kelley School’s U.K.: Brexit, Business and Brits program explored how business is conducted in the U.K., examining the purpose and structure of the European Union and the potential impacts of Brexit.

“Studying abroad was one of the best decisions I made at IUPUI,” said Kelley student Gauri Nagaraj, who participated in the Brexit program. “I met so many new people, learned a lot of new things and explored the city of London — without Google Maps! It was an amazing experience to be in a city so full of history and culture.”

The second London program, offered by the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, took a look at the U.K.’s National Health Service for this year’s Health Systems Around the World course. Students visited London-area health facilities, met with local faculty, completed a public health scavenger hunt and toured historical sites directly related to health systems, including the Broad Street pump, site of the famous cholera outbreak of 1854.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Herron School of Art and Design‘s Exploring Art and Design in Denmark program allowed students to experience the public and private spaces that embody a people-centered approach to daily life in the Scandinavian city of Copenhagen. Students attended lectures from leading design groups with an emphasis on service design and had the opportunity to experience hygge firsthand by cooking a Danish and American meal in the home of some Danish hosts.

“Being exposed to well-designed solutions that address a particular problem has had the biggest influence on me,” student Caila Lutz reflected. “I am now confident that I can provide techniques and ideas similar to the ones used in Denmark for problem-solving in the United States. For example, at the airport, instead of scanning your ticket when you start boarding, you scan your ticket to get into a seating area when you first arrive at the gate, making the boarding process quicker and less stressful.

“I’ve learned so much from studying abroad, but with the growing city, there will always be more to learn.”

Read the original article from IUPUI News’ Mandy Bray

A Few Minutes With: Shariq Siddiqui, Muslim Philanthropy Initiative Director

Shariq Siddiqui is leading the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative, which will explore the “uncharted territory” of Muslim Americans in the philanthropic sector. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

Shariq Siddiqui has been named as the inaugural director of the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI, which will focus on understanding and helping to enhance Muslim philanthropy.

In addition to directing the initiative, Siddiqui will be an assistant professor in the school. He talked to IU Communications about the Muslim American community, how they give and how the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative will help Indianapolis.

Q: How quickly is the Muslim American community growing, both in numbers and as an active member of the nonprofit sector?

A: It’s growing really fast. As a community, we have gone from nearly 1,200 mosques to over 2,100 mosques nationally. We are also seeing growth in nonprofits — we estimate that we have nearly 7,000 Muslim nonprofits nationwide.

Q: Generally speaking, do Muslim Americans give in a certain way or to certain areas?

A: The Lake Institute on Faith & Giving just funded a poll with the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding called the American Muslim Poll, and what we are finding are some really interesting things. American Muslims are very similar to most religious Americans in terms of commitment to social justice and poverty, but because they are a diasporic community, you’ll see engagement outside of the U.S. as well.

The thing that I think is most remarkable is the timing of when they give. Muslim Americans probably give much more during the months of Ramadan. Most of us think of giving in December, because of tax reasons, but American Muslims tend to give more during these holy days.

Q: What work around this new initiative excites you the most?

A: We know very little, so it’s uncharted territory. If you think about the American Muslim community, we’re less than 1 percent of the population, but if you think about the scrutiny on American Muslims, it’s much larger than 1 percent. So there’s a great intensity of curiosity, an intensity of interest — who these people are, what they do, and how they engage in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector — from very little data. Answering those questions is what excites me the most.

Also, these organizations need a lot of help. Over the last year, we’ve trained 200 Muslim nonprofits, but as we put more intensity behind hiring a full-time person and so on, we should be able to have a greater impact. If you think about a sector with 7,000 nonprofits, it seems large, but if you think about the fact that in the last year, on a part-time level, we trained 200, imagine what we can do over the next five years.

The other interesting and exciting part is how there are people out there who want to raise money from American Muslims — the Red Cross, all these different organizations. We can provide training to them about how to raise money from an American Muslim population, how to engage with that community, how to involve them. So we’re excited about the two-way relationship — one is to help strengthen the sector itself, and then the other is to think about the broader 1.4 million nonprofits that want to get engaged with the Muslim Americans but just don’t know enough. We hope to provide them that education.

Q: How is that engagement different?

A: Ultimately, we’re all Americans, but our histories inform our perspectives and how we act. The school broadly focuses on this range of diversity, equity and inclusion — how do we look at different populations, how can we figure out what is that other aspect of their lives and how do we bring that unique perspective to the table.

Q: How do you see your work benefiting Indianapolis?

A: There’s a pretty significant Muslim population here — 15 mosques, four full-time Islamic schools and a great number of nonprofits. So right there, you have a community that’s interested. We have an opportunity to do research, to do training and to recruit. We have already increased the number of Muslim students in our master’s programs from that community.

There’s also really strong interest from the Indianapolis nonprofit and philanthropic community to engage with Muslims. One example is the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis. A few years ago, its board decided they wanted to have greater diversity, equity and inclusion on their board, so they went out and recruited a Sikh member. Then they decided they needed to have a Muslim, and a few years ago they had me join the board. But they had to figure out who I was and how to find me.

We hope we can create those kinds of connections between the broader community here that wants to engage with Muslims.

Read the original article form IUPUI NewsJohn Shwarb

Run Toward Fear: Education & Art as Cultural Sites of Resistance

A Diversity Speaker Event Featuring Haki R. Madhubuti; a poet, professor, and publisher. A Leading poet and one of the architects in the Black Arts Movement, Haki R. Madhubuti has been a pivotal figure in the development of independent Black Institutions and a strong black literary and intellectual tradition. He is one of the world’s best-selling authors of poetry and nonfiction. In this public lecture, Prof. Madhubuti will address challenges and opportunities confronting us in our current historical moment, He will speak on the importance of developing critical stances in matters of culture, agency, social justice, equity and community.

Friday April 19th
2-3:30pm
Lilly Auditorium
UniversityLibrary
755W.MichiganAve

This event is free and open to the public! We’ll see you there!