As of Sunday, The Talk is full and registration is closed. But if you find somaindy on Periscope, we'll have a live video stream of The Talk you can watch from home!

Could Indianapolis become the next Ferguson?

It may be only a matter of time before Indianapolis finds itself in a situation like Ferguson, Baltimore, or Chicago. Where something triggers underlying social tensions in our city and fractures our community. Where we find ourselves divided – possibly violently – by issues related to race.

How can we get ahead of the violence and stop these problems before they start? How can we address these issues peacefully and thoughtfully now, before we have to do it over shock and grief and anger? How can we cultivate racial unity and social solidarity, to heal the deep divisions under the surface of our society?

The Talk is aimed to address these exact questions. Local leaders from the media, the nonprofit sector, the government, and the church will discuss major obstacles to solidarity in Indianapolis today. They’ll also discuss ways we as a city can act to heal tensions, pursue unity, and deepen cross-cultural relationships, and field questions about how different institutions in Indianapolis can contribute to those goals.

When: Wednesday, February 17 | 6:30-8:30p

Where: Soma Church Midtown | 2815 E 62nd St


Moderator: Douglas Hairston

Director, Front Porch Alliance of Indianapolis

Douglas Hairston is the Outreach Minister at Mt Zion Baptist Church. He has formerly served as Director of the Front Porch Alliance of Indianapolis, and has also worked with the Jobs Partnership of Greater Indianapolis and the Ten Point Coalition.

Nakeina Cane

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Marion County

Nakeina Cane is a deputy prosecuting attorney at the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. She is an experienced trial attorney and has successfully represented the State of Indiana in both court trials and trials by jury. Nakeina is also an adjunct professor at Indiana Wesleyan University.

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Russell Pulliam

Director, Pulliam Fellowship of the Indianapolis Star

Russ is the associate editor of the Indianapolis Star and Director of the Star's Pulliam Fellowship Program. In the past, he has been a reporter for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Springfield Union, the Indianapolis News, and the Associated Press.

Jamal Smith

Athletic Director, Indianapolis Public Schools

Jamal Smith served as an adviser to then-Gov. Mitch Daniels before heading the Indiana Civil Rights Commission over the last five years. He is a former collegiate athlete, and has served as a coach and mentor in inner-city Indianapolis for the past 15 years.       


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Gina Lewis-Alexander

Executive Director, Oasis Christian CDC

Gina Lewis Alexander has served the Oasis Christian CDC in the Martindale Brightwood Community for the last 18 years.  She has a passion for youth having operated summer youth day camps, inter-generational activity and youth employment programs. She also serves on the Martindale Brightwood neighborhood board of directors.

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Tara VanderWoude

Social Worker, Educator

Tara VanderWoude is a social worker, educator, and lifelong learner with professional experience in the areas of adoption, child abuse/neglect prevention, gerontology, and medical social work. She currently educates nationwide on post-adoption issues including race and identity.

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Dr. Charles Ware

President, Crossroads Bible College

Dr. Charles Ware is president of Crossroads Bible College, an institution dedicated to training Christian leaders to a reach multiethnic urban world for Christ. Dr. Ware has authored, co-authored, and edited several books; among these is One Race One Blood.


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James Waters

Assistant Chief of Police, IMPD

James Waters has served as an Assistant Chief of Police since November 2014.  Prior to that, he served as the Commander of IMPD East District for three years. Watersbelieves sustainable crime reduction can only be achieved with a comprehensive approach, utilizing a variety of law enforcement tactics supported by neighborhood and social service partnerships.