January 26, 2021 - Fort Wayne UNITED and Mayor Tom Henry today announce the 2021 United Front Initiative curriculum and schedule. Since its launch last September, 150 businesses/organizations and over 5,500 individuals have joined the comprehensive cultural competency program that fosters racial equity, healing and unity.

The goal of the United Front Initiative is to bring the community of Fort Wayne together to attain racial healing, equity, education, and organizational transformation by developing shared knowledge and understanding around various topics related to diversity and inclusion. Educational sessions are offered to Fort Wayne organizations, businesses and individuals in order to empower them with the ability to value diversity, assess their environments, and implement interventions that will enhance their inclusive cultures, motivating people to work together toward community shared goals. The United Front Initiative is funded by grants and donations.

Each month in 2021, participants will receive access to a 60 – 90 minute keynote which delves into topics such as implicit bias & microaggressions, individual and organizational bias, stress of minorities, stereotype threat, imposter syndrome and privilege, power and position. After completion of the keynote, individuals will be offered role-specific educational sessions that dive deeper into the topic, based upon their responsibilities within their organization.

The following customized sessions are available:

  • People Leader Virtual Sessions - designed for hiring managers, organizational leaders, human resource professionals, and others in leadership
  • Education Virtual Sessions - designed for individuals in the education field - early childhood education, K-12, higher education, etc.
  • Criminal Justice Virtual Sessions - designed for individuals working directly in or with the criminal justice system
  • Front Line Virtual Sessions - designed for individuals interacting directly with the public
  • Community Virtual Sessions - designed for individuals who are part of the community
  • Diversity & Inclusion Leads Virtual Sessions - designed for professionals and volunteers involved in D&I work inside an organization

To register or learn more: UnitedFrontInitiative.com.

“It’s encouraging to see so many businesses, organizations and individuals joining the United Front initiative and I’m hopeful that many more will register,” said Mayor Henry. “Having a safe environment where everyone in our community is invited to learn about diversity, equity and inclusion while we grow together will make our community stronger and more welcoming to all.”

Educational sessions are conducted by Dr. Pascal Losambe, who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Middlebury College (VT) and a Master’s of Science Degree in Biology from Boston College where he received the Donald J. White award for teaching excellence. He earned his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Purdue University with a focus on cultural competence. Additionally, he serves on regional diversity boards, has led strategic vision initiatives for various institutions, and has conducted multiple workshops on cultural competence at national and international conferences.

Fort Wayne UNITED is a Mayoral initiative that places two national efforts, Cities United and My Brother's Keeper, under one umbrella. It is designed to answer the call to enhance opportunities, advance youth advocacy and help create a safer city for all, but more specifically for black men and boys. By bringing together a group of passionate and committed leaders, the initiative will educate, inform and engage the community in an effort to make positive change one neighborhood at a time.

Fort Wayne UNITED’s vision is for every black male in Fort Wayne to be respected and valued with an opportunity to reach their full potential. The mission is to advocate for and implement policies, practices and procedures to ensure equity and opportunity for black fathers, brothers and sons at home, work, school, and the community through collaborative efforts.