About Us

Who We Are

The Indiana Remembrance Coalition was formed by a group of community-focused individuals who felt that it was vital to acknowledge and address the difficult heritage of lynching here in Indianapolis. By doing so, the IRC hopes to facilitate a means of healing for affected individuals and communities.

Words from Our Members

“I was driven to create and spearhead the Indiana Remembrance Coalition by visiting Equal Justice (EJI) Initiative’s history sites in Montgomery, Alabama, on two different occasions. These trips allowed me to spend worthwhile time touring the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration as well as the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which stands witness to the lynching of more than 4,000 Black Americans between the years of 1877 and 1950. Viewing every one of the lynching victims’ monuments hanging from the ceiling and the ones placed on the ground at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice resonated with me in a way that left me feeling compelled to return home to Indiana and become involved in some form of community action. After holding several discussions with others who shared in the same experiences, I first decided it would be beneficial to communities around the state to examine the 18 lynchings that took place throughout Indiana during this time period and work towards making a connection within the counties where they occurred. Once this work began, we discovered that a largely undocumented lynching took place right here in Indianapolis. This discovery led us to redirect our focus on racial terror truth-telling and reconciliation here in Marion County.”   

–Arlene Coleman, Ph.D., of Indianapolis is a retired educator, having served four decades as a teacher, secondary administrator and university associate professor. She currently serves as a racial justice advocate and program coordinator for Child Advocates’ Interrupting Racism for Children program.

“History not only explains how we got where we are; it can also help us avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. But too much of our history has been deleted, distorted or denied. I take part in the Indiana Remembrance Coalition because achieving racial justice is possible only if we acknowledge racial injustice, both past and present.” 

–Phil Bremen, an associate professor emeritus at Ball State University, previously worked as a journalist in newspapers, radio and both local and network television.

“Teaching the truth of horrors in the human experience — so we never repeat them — is what motivates us to be part of the Indiana Remembrance Coalition.”  

–Clete Ladd is author of Afrikan American Male Rites of Passage: Volumes I, II, and III. He established Indiana’s first boys-to-men (rites of passage) program in 1982. He has served more than 30 years in ministry, education and educational leadership. 

–Carolyn Ladd is an office manager and created Advantage Consulting to help minority entrepreneurs and not-for-profit organizations.