Parents worry SACS has partnered with ‘anti-woke’ group to combat racism

Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 7:11 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Some parents say the organization chosen to address racism in Southwest Allen County Schools may not address the complaints from students this year.

The Southwest Allen County school board approved a plan to address racism in their schools this week. The board agreed to partner with a group called FAIR for All.

This comes after a photo of a Homestead High School student in blackface went viral in February. The photo sparked protests and anger. Months after that, the district committed to create a plan to address racism.

21Investigates took a closer look at the organization FAIR for All after hearing concerns from parents.

“I’ve been doing research. They were founded to be anti-woke.” SACS parent Shawn McCarthy said. “The selection of this group was to make people feel more comfortable talking about this problem, it was not designed to address the needs of the minority kids in our schools.”

FAIR is known to be ‘anti-woke’ and they call their approach ‘pro-human.’ One of the original members of FAIR for All wrote that their mission was to take over the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In an article by the New York Post, a founder said he wanted to create FAIR for All to combat critical race theory.

“They demonize the traditional diversity and equity crowd as the real racists,” McCarthy said. “It’s the kids who feel like they are treated like an other or a less that, that’s what we need to address.”

FAIR’s website argue the group “seeks to treat everyone equally without regard to skin color”. They argue many of the mainstream diversity, equity and inclusion programs would, “take us backward, toward discrimination and division, instead of forward toward a more fair, optimistic and just future”.

April Gregg says she moved her kids to a new district because of the racism they say they’ve experiences at Southwest Allen. She says she doesn’t think FAIR will be able to combat racism in their schools.

Gregg says she would not feel safe having her kids learn from this organization.

“It just pushes their experience down and tells them to ignore it rather than standing up for themselves and teaching that what’s happening is wrong,” Gregg said. “They just want everyone to forget about the past.”

21Investigates will continue to follow this story. We’ve reached out to FAIR for All and so far they’ve said they’ll pass on an interview. We’ve also reached out to each board member to talk about their mission.