Indiana Retold

Student Stories

Katie Lichtle, a graduate student in the school of library science, discusses her path toher dream career and her self discovery within the LGBTQ+ community.

Description of the video:

00:01
[Music]
00:05
so when I was 18 I thought I had it all
00:08
figured out I knew what I was doing
00:09
professionally I knew myself super well
00:12
and then I was in a Delia's dressing
00:17
room bawling my eyes out with my mom on
00:22
the other side of the door going Katie
00:24
Katie are you okay I opened the door
00:28
tears staining my face and I show her my
00:32
phone with the email from Purdue saying
00:35
hey it's the new year freshman year you
00:37
have been kicked out
00:39
whoo my mom being the champion that she
00:44
is immediately took me in the car and we
00:47
drove over to the Ivy Tech where I
00:49
signed up for classes and rolled to a
00:51
story I got back into Purdue spring of
00:55
my sophomore year and all things to Ivy
00:59
Tech great school so few weeks after
01:06
actually a few months after I got back
01:09
to Purdue I ended up getting a job at
01:11
the West Lafayette Public Library and
01:14
that is where I created the best family
01:17
I have ever made they're a bunch of
01:19
queer women that took me under their
01:22
arms and so we're getting you through
01:24
school and along this route they also
01:27
sparked my love of libraries again
01:29
something I lost somewhere in my angsty
01:31
preteen years and never got back I took
01:35
this love of libraries with me to a
01:38
study abroad it was an LGBTQ health
01:40
inequality study abroad I'd always
01:42
considered myself an ally I mean I read
01:45
I was an English major so I read queer
01:47
literature I took intro to LGBTQ courses
01:49
and I'm like why not I want to be a
01:51
better Ally let's go on this trip so I
01:54
did while we were there we were in
01:56
Scotland Ireland we went to a bunch of
01:58
libraries and archives and this was my
02:01
bread and butter as I found out I kept
02:04
bird them with questions if you don't
02:07
know anything about archives it's okay
02:08
but I'd ask them how do you get these
02:11
things how often do you get donations
02:12
are
02:13
he's open to the public can I take
02:15
pictures so of course the study abroad
02:19
ended I came back five days later I was
02:22
to graduate from Purdue with my Bachelor
02:25
of Arts in English turns out I had no
02:29
idea what I was doing after I graduated
02:31
and well I graduated and a few weeks
02:35
later I was sitting in my parents house
02:37
and my lime green and pepto-bismol pink
02:41
room and going what am I doing with my
02:44
life um when I was on that study abroad
02:47
though my professors had planted this
02:49
seed for me like why don't you go to a
02:51
master's program
02:53
like well first of all you know my GPA
02:55
is not that great I got kicked out
02:57
second of all like why would anybody
02:59
take a chance on me but staring at those
03:02
walls I decide you know what I'm gonna
03:04
take the GRE and I got two awesome
03:08
recommendation letters one for my
03:09
library and one for my other professors
03:10
and here I stand I am at Indiana
03:14
University for my masters of library
03:16
program and I decided that I wanted to
03:20
be a bigger part of this I you community
03:23
in the Bloomington community so I ended
03:24
up joining a professional organization
03:26
the Society of American archivists and I
03:29
also signed up for the Q newsletter
03:32
which I then saw that they had a
03:34
call-out for a thing called grad queers
03:36
which is just a social organization for
03:38
graduate students like yeah I'm a good
03:41
Ally I am going to go to this meeting
03:43
and I did I got off work at wells and I
03:47
was walking to the LGBTQ library Center
03:49
the meeting was in the library and it
03:53
was the longest 15-minute walk of my
03:55
life it's really not that far of a walk
03:57
partially because I got lost it was my
04:00
first few weeks okay when I got to the
04:03
center I just planted my feet and stared
04:06
at that door for what felt like probably
04:08
five minutes going why am I so scared to
04:12
go into this room eventually I did it I
04:16
walked up the stairs walked into the
04:17
library we were walking and we were just
04:19
saying a nice little circle and we
04:22
started introductions I was about midway
04:25
through I was sweating
04:27
as everybody started introducing
04:29
themselves and what came out my mouth
04:32
when they got to me surprised even me
04:35
what's something like this hi my name is
04:38
Katie little I use pronouns she/her/hers
04:40
and I'm by they all waved san moved on
04:47
meanwhile I'm having an existential
04:49
crisis in that chair
04:53
how what just came out of my mouth
04:56
and then I thought about it for you know
04:58
five minutes before we got to the end
05:00
and I realized for 24 years of my life I
05:03
had buried something very deep down and
05:06
I felt light as a feather when I got out
05:08
of that meeting and since I've told some
05:11
very important people in my life I told
05:13
my mom who took it like a champ like
05:15
she's taken everything else my partner
05:18
he's been the most supportive I could
05:21
have ever asked for
05:24
so indianature has truly blessed me I am
05:29
now a mentor to an amazing freshman
05:32
Ellie btq freshman and I'm about to
05:35
graduate in May with my master of
05:37
library science degree so I found my
05:44
profession at Purdue and I found myself
05:47
at IU
05:50
[Applause]
Caleb King, an Alaskin native, talks about his work with First Nations organizations oncampus and the impact they have made on the Bloomington community.

Description of the video:

00:01
[Music]
00:05
jahmai I cannot nagashi Peck you touched
00:07
the soup back we Caleb yoni hammock hi
00:10
my name is Caleb King I am soup back
00:12
Alaska native from Anchorage Alaska and
00:14
my family's from Old Harbor that was how
00:18
I learned to introduce myself
00:19
for 18 years before I came to Indiana
00:23
University I learned something else for
00:25
my grandma growing up that everything we
00:27
do in our lives we do for the next seven
00:29
generations every decision that we make
00:32
is to make sure that seven generations
00:34
from now the world will be a better
00:36
place for people who hopefully remember
00:39
us but most likely won't so I came here
00:42
deciding I will make an impact that will
00:45
last seven generations and maybe even
00:47
more and then I found out that there are
00:49
50 Native students at Indiana University
00:51
that might sound like an exciting number
00:53
until you learn there 48 thousand
00:55
students on campus so we comprised point
00:58
1 percent of the in a university student
01:00
population so I sought out to find the
01:04
Native American Student Association the
01:06
FN ECC and find my community here I you
01:08
and I did that I expected to find a
01:11
homogenous native population akin to
01:12
what I had at home which is 20% Alaska
01:15
native hosted 229 federally recognized
01:17
tribes many languages but one people
01:21
when it came to IU I realized we were
01:23
different
01:23
there was a Native diaspora I had never
01:25
before encountered we didn't have the
01:27
same foods I fished they didn't know
01:31
what fish was we sailed on boats to
01:36
different states to different tribes we
01:39
got to know each other through the ocean
01:40
through the water and people here didn't
01:42
have that same grounding not only that
01:44
but we didn't speak the same languages I
01:45
can at least understand a little bit of
01:47
my neighbors when they speak their
01:49
native tongue here I don't understand at
01:51
all so I gained a second goal coming to
01:53
India University not only why impact the
01:55
next seven generations but I will impact
01:56
right now I'll create a community that
01:59
native people can join to connect with
02:01
each other and find ways to move past
02:03
our differences to create a native
02:05
experience one that will keep us going
02:07
near here how am I gonna do that I had
02:11
no idea I was a freshman 18
02:13
it was in the American Indian Student
02:14
Association that had a white president
02:16
and a white treasurer so okay we have a
02:20
third goal we need to get Native people
02:24
in charge of the Native American
02:25
Association okay so we did that all of
02:30
that happened it was great finally we
02:31
had a Native American Student
02:32
Association I was the treasurer I was in
02:34
charge of making sure with a robust
02:35
financial situation to move forward
02:36
after I left and I thought that that
02:39
would be my my impact make enough money
02:41
for the Native American Student
02:42
Association the last seven generations
02:47
and then I was going through my canvas
02:49
page and I saw Columbus Day for October
02:53
of 2018 I said well if there is one
02:56
thing that indigenous people can come
02:59
and consensus on it's that Columbus did
03:00
not discover America we might have
03:02
discovered him actually and maybe this
03:05
isn't actually celebrating history in a
03:07
way that is representative of where we
03:09
as a society stand in 2018 2020 I saw an
03:13
opportunity to impact the next seven
03:14
generations I thought I would only be
03:17
working with Native people I found out
03:18
that I would be working with
03:19
administrators senior executives at
03:22
Indiana University vice presidents vice
03:24
Provost's the janitor the cafeteria lady
03:28
inside of the wells library names Terry
03:31
I found everyone I could possibly find
03:35
and spread the story that Columbus Day
03:37
was not only not representative or
03:38
indigenous people wanted here I you that
03:40
we want to change it we proposed
03:42
indigenous peoples day which would have
03:44
been the first one in Indiana to ever
03:45
happen together with all of those people
03:48
we made it happen we protested well I
03:51
shouldn't say protest and where Hamilton
03:53
liked that we asked in requests very
03:57
nicely and let them know that we'd be
03:59
marching from Dunn meadow to the Monroe
04:02
County Courthouse and we invited them to
04:05
come along with the Rotary Club and a
04:07
bunch of Bloomington residents everyone
04:09
showed out really well the Friday before
04:12
Monday Friday before the Monday of
04:14
October the 8th it was before the March
04:16
I got a call from the mayor's office the
04:18
thousands of emails that were sent out
04:20
the word of mouth I would spread the
04:22
petition that was signed it worked out
04:24
it was all for something they said that
04:26
we
04:27
be recognizing indigenous people say on
04:28
October the 8th - 2018 and I just lost
04:36
it I felt the power of my ancestors
04:40
behind me and the power of my grandma
04:42
who told me to impact the next seven
04:44
generations and this is the first time
04:46
that I got to know what a Hoosier may or
04:48
may not be I was the one who didn't know
04:51
what a Hoosier is in the end it wasn't
04:55
native people who brought about the
04:57
change of a digitus people stay to
04:58
Bloomington Indiana it was actually all
05:00
of you who jurors who well welcome to
05:01
our communities he welcomed our people
05:03
he welcomed our ways of knowing and now
05:06
you're celebrating us with indigenous
05:07
peoples day I thought that I chose IU to
05:13
make an impact for seven generations and
05:14
I was very happy to discover that I you
05:18
actually chose me in my community and
05:20
chose to invest in us and for that I
05:22
thank you and in my community we don't
05:24
say bye so I'll leave you with a nasty
05:27
knock tongue - Duncan thank you until I
05:29
see you again
Dalton Gibson recounts his journey of how he became an IU student.

Description of the video:

00:01
[Music]
00:06
thank you my close enough perfect all
00:11
right so when I graduated from high
00:14
school my grandmother gave me a journal
00:16
and on the first cover page of the
00:19
journal she told me that life was my own
00:21
story to write and she was correct but
00:24
she was also wrong and I'm gonna tell
00:27
you why
00:27
so a few blocks from here a few years
00:30
ago I was actually born in Bloomington
00:33
Hospital my parents worked in
00:37
manufacturing and when the economy
00:39
tanked in 2008 our family was left broke
00:42
and with hard choices to make so we
00:45
moved to Indianapolis my mom was able to
00:48
get a job there and I started going to
00:51
an affluent suburban high school the
00:54
high school was great it was a critical
00:56
part of my development experience I was
01:00
able at that high school to kind of
01:02
start writing that story but also
01:04
understanding my place in it so the
01:07
first day when I walked in the door I
01:09
remember I used to wear very baggy
01:11
clothes and they were hand-me-downs from
01:14
my older brothers they didn't look very
01:16
good and it wasn't what everyone else
01:19
was wearing for the very first time I
01:21
started to acknowledge that I was
01:23
different than these people around me
01:25
later that year when I came out as gay I
01:28
realized I was much different than many
01:31
of the people around me but the support
01:34
that I received from my peers was a
01:37
first in a generation perhaps I never
01:40
experienced the issues of bullying and
01:42
harassment and discrimination that you
01:45
hear about and that meant more to me
01:48
than I think I could conceptualize in
01:50
words to you all right now these same
01:53
peer stayed with me through the years
01:55
they were great to me they elected me
01:57
their homecoming king
02:02
but then graduation day came around and
02:04
we were all supposed to go our separate
02:07
ways and it was on that day that I got
02:09
that journal and realized that it was my
02:11
turn to write the story it was the first
02:15
story that would get to begin at college
02:17
for anyone in my family
02:19
my mom and dad both dropped out their
02:21
sophomore years my grandparents never
02:24
finished middle school so I thought
02:28
about what I wanted to do next my
02:30
parents expected me to go work in a
02:32
factory that's what my siblings were
02:34
doing and it was what it appeared I was
02:37
going to do I didn't want to do that
02:40
though not because I didn't admire and
02:42
respect the hard work that they put in
02:44
day after day but because I wanted to
02:47
find a deeper sense of meaning and to
02:49
help more people who had been in a
02:51
situation like me and felt lost
02:53
so I remember around October I'm sitting
02:56
there big tub chocolate ice cream some
02:59
show on Netflix that I was binge
03:00
watching at the time and I'm scrolling
03:03
through Instagram right so it's dark
03:04
I've got my phone I'm looking on this
03:07
glass screen and I'm seeing all of my
03:09
friends all of those peers the people
03:10
who were so good to me away and at these
03:15
fancy colleges in these places that
03:17
seemed so far off in foreign and it
03:20
really struck home that all of the other
03:25
barriers I had overcome had led me to
03:28
this point and I wasn't going to let
03:30
that barrier stand in my way either my
03:33
parents god bless them worked two jobs
03:36
and so they weren't able to really help
03:39
me with that they didn't know what to do
03:40
or where to go so I marched myself up to
03:43
the Community College Ivy Tech in
03:45
Indianapolis I enrolled same day they
03:48
were able to get me health insurance for
03:49
the first time in my life I worked my
03:53
behind off and I came down to IU for a
03:59
tour day and I remember seeing all of
04:01
the senior kids with their families and
04:03
it was this dark day everything was kind
04:06
of dreary but the campus was beautiful
04:08
and I was so excited to be there until
04:10
it rained I had not brought an umbrella
04:15
and standing with the kids and their
04:17
parents holding their umbrellas while I
04:19
was being rained on it struck to me
04:22
again you don't belong here I refused to
04:27
listen to that voice and when I applied
04:29
to IU I was accepted I moved down here
04:32
with my pride and I stuck to it when
04:38
deciding what I was going to do for a
04:39
career I chose to become an educator
04:41
because I felt that my own education had
04:44
empowered me and I wanted to empower
04:46
others with knowledge and learning in
04:48
the same way that I had been empowered
04:50
and so dan and day-out
04:52
I continued to rewrite my own story and
04:55
that to me is what it means to retell
04:57
India
05:00
[Applause]
Carrick Moon talks about coming out as trans and the importance of love andacceptance.

Description of the video:

Gavin Mariano reflects on growing up in Northwest Indiana and his experience as an IUstudent leader.

Description of the video:

00:01
[Music]
00:05
[Applause]
00:05
[Music]
00:06
[Applause]
00:08
everyone how you doing
00:11
so I'm from Chicago I'm shy town in the
00:16
house well at least that's what I grew
00:19
up thinking see we were on Central
00:22
Standard Time we were White Sox fans
00:24
some Kautz fans Bears fans our highways
00:28
went to Chicago our radio TV was in
00:30
Chicago but here's the thing we lived in
00:33
Northwest Indiana
00:36
so Northwest Indiana has a river running
00:38
through it called the Calumet River so
00:40
it's a nickname they call it the Calumet
00:42
region or the region and those from the
00:45
region affectionately call ourselves
00:48
anyone no region rats yes it's a term of
00:53
endearment so all that time I thought
00:57
you know I'm from Chicago but Chicago
00:59
really didn't claim us they thought you
01:01
know they blamed us for the pollution in
01:03
Indiana blamed us well for everything
01:06
they said we weren't even on their time
01:07
zone so I didn't know anything about
01:09
being a Hoosier and there were some
01:11
amazing moments I had in Northwest
01:13
Indiana but also some bad moments you
01:16
know my dad left our family when I was
01:18
10 years old and my mom became a single
01:21
parent my older brother sort of became
01:24
the men of the house and they brought
01:27
along gang activity and crime and other
01:31
things and so I was convinced that
01:33
that's where I was gonna be forever and
01:37
then at the age of 17 I ran away from
01:39
home and I ended up in an emergency
01:42
shelter youth shelter and he got a went
01:45
to a foster home but because of that I
01:49
suddenly felt safe but I was already a
01:53
senior in high school so any idea of
01:56
doing anything other than surviving was
01:59
kind of beyond me right until my high
02:03
school guidance counselor her name is
02:05
Sylvia Morris row and she stalked me
02:10
but the good kind of stalking see she
02:14
called me down to the office for that
02:15
let's talk about college thing and I
02:18
thought well this is either a good way
02:19
to get out of class or this is just a
02:21
joke and I thought really it was a joke
02:23
when she said you should go to IU
02:24
Bloomington I got I don't know anything
02:27
about IU only thing I know about IU is
02:29
that I you try dent that looks like a
02:32
pitchfork which also looks like a gang
02:34
symbol so she persisted she was diligent
02:38
she did not quit and there we have it I
02:42
ended up at IU she successfully
02:43
recommended me to the group Scholars
02:45
Program and here I was a
02:47
first-generation Latino student in
02:49
Bloomington but I was kind of in over my
02:54
head like I just didn't know what was
02:56
happening I was culture shock was seem
03:00
like the least of my problems I was just
03:01
kind of a dazed over deer in the
03:04
headlights right until one day my RA in
03:08
my dorm announced that they're accepting
03:12
candidates for floor governor any former
03:15
floor governors in the house okay I
03:17
didn't think so but that's okay well hey
03:20
I was so excited I threw my I threw my
03:22
hat in the ring
03:23
and then a couple days later he came and
03:25
he knocked on my door and he's like
03:26
Gavin you won your floor governor and I
03:30
was like just I was so empowered I was
03:34
so thrilled I was so badass that it just
03:38
you know I decided to run for everything
03:40
and get involved with everything I did
03:42
Dance Marathon I became a student body
03:45
senator I even became president of
03:47
Latinos Unidos one of the student
03:49
organizations I mean it was just out of
03:51
control I even became a cold Stan Oh
03:57
or what most of my friends back in the
04:00
region called a traitor but or they
04:03
don't even acknowledge the coals but so
04:05
you know it's it's like when I think of
04:08
my high school counselor my guidance
04:11
counselor and when I think of my RA I
04:13
think man they created a monster they
04:18
also created a Hoosier
Meloddy Gao reviews her time in Washington DC and discovers what it means to be aHoosier.

Description of the video:

00:00
I was sitting in a congressional office
00:09
for an Indiana representative in
00:11
Washington DC and I had just gotten off
00:14
the phone with a very concerned man he
00:16
was talking to me about something about
00:19
the weather changing he said he was
00:21
concerned because of the trees now if I
00:25
had been any other intern on Capitol
00:27
Hill I probably would have thought to
00:29
myself okay another tree hugger and then
00:32
got him along with my day except I had
00:36
also noticed that the ginkgo trees this
00:38
year had shed their leaves without
00:39
turning golden yellow like they usually
00:41
do and had been following the indiana
00:43
weather and noticed that the unusual
00:46
weather that we got in in indiana was a
00:48
little bit more unusual than normal i
00:51
made a mental note in my head for yet
00:54
another person who cared about the
00:56
environment but also happened to be from
00:58
indiana in high school i became keenly
01:02
aware that everyone around me wanted to
01:04
leave my friends would say things like i
01:07
can't wait to get out of this day or
01:10
when I graduate I'm getting as far away
01:12
from here as possible
01:13
and they stuck to their word many of
01:17
them went out of state for college
01:19
others were so insistent on leaving that
01:21
they left the country and I had adopted
01:26
the same mentality as them only I
01:28
decided to extend my stay a little bit
01:30
longer and so I came here to Indiana
01:34
University and in my mind I knew all
01:38
this was temporary I was a Hoosier
01:41
because I grew up in Indiana and now I
01:45
was a Hoosier still because my school
01:49
had a very original mascot in the back
01:53
of my mind I knew that I was destined to
01:56
be somewhere else
01:57
no one could convince me otherwise going
02:02
to DC was kind of like mapping out my
02:04
escape plan I'd go there for a semester
02:08
fall in love with the city and then
02:10
return there after I graduated
02:13
I chose DC because I thought that's
02:16
where everybody who cared with anybody
02:20
with a fiery burning passion for some
02:22
sort of policy issue went to the city
02:24
where everything happened I thought that
02:27
if I wanted to make a difference if I
02:30
wanted to be somebody someday I had to
02:33
go to the nation's capital so I did
02:37
every single day on Capitol Hill brought
02:40
a new sense of excitement
02:41
I was always bumping into somebody who I
02:44
thought just might be famous
02:46
or stumbling into incredible events
02:49
during my quest for free food I was a
02:52
college student still after all and my
02:55
favorite part was meeting other Asian
02:57
Americans and looking at the astonished
02:59
look on their faces when I told them I
03:01
was from Indiana because they didn't
03:03
know that Asian Americans lived in
03:04
Indiana and since I was interning for an
03:08
Indiana representative I came in contact
03:11
with Hoosiers wherever I went I was
03:14
always engaging with them either over
03:16
email on the phones or in person and in
03:20
the back of my head I also couldn't
03:22
shake this thought of Indiana I'd go to
03:25
a hearing about vaping or education and
03:29
wanted to write a letter to my school
03:31
board back home or I go to an event
03:34
about environmental justice and think
03:36
about all my classmates at IU who would
03:38
have really enjoyed it as well one
03:41
afternoon I was sitting in a meeting
03:43
with a bunch of high school students
03:44
from Indianapolis when one of them asked
03:47
me what they could do to give back to
03:49
their community I thought for a little
03:51
bit and came up with something along the
03:54
lines of vote when you're old enough
03:56
talk to parent talk to people even if
03:59
you disagree with them sometimes they
04:01
might be your parents and also through
04:04
in a reassuring Oh high school doesn't
04:07
last forever they were so eager to make
04:12
a change and give back to the
04:14
communities that came from the very
04:17
communities that I wanted to leave
04:18
behind meeting with these students made
04:22
me realize that I had a lot to reflect
04:25
on
04:26
why I cared about the same issues that
04:28
they cared about about the environment
04:30
and education I realized I cared about
04:34
these issues because I love people who
04:36
were impacted by them my community
04:39
taught me how to be passionate and I was
04:42
so focused on leaving that I hadn't
04:44
thought about giving back
04:46
instead of having conversations with
04:48
people I had just assumed that they
04:50
didn't care and as somebody who thought
04:54
they knew everything about Indiana
04:56
I now realize there's a lot more for me
04:59
to learn there's so much more to
05:02
discover and I realized that telling
05:04
people that Indiana is nothing but
05:06
cornfields or just a state that people
05:09
drive through is really not give is
05:11
really discrediting all the history
05:13
that's come before me I thought that
05:16
going to DC would help me chase some
05:19
sort of sense of belonging find a new
05:21
home but I realized that the people
05:24
there although passionate didn't feel
05:27
like home I thought that leaving Indiana
05:31
would solidify my decision to return to
05:33
DC after I graduated but instead it made
05:37
me grow more fond of this place and
05:40
after leaving I finally realized that
05:44
the people who care the most aren't the
05:47
ones who decide to leave they're the
05:49
ones who choose to stay thank you
Anna Tragesser discusses belonging within her seven generation Indiana family.

Description of the video:

00:01
[Music]
00:05
I'm Anna I'm a Hoosier and I'm a tracker
00:09
sir and the story of being a tracker sir
00:12
in Indiana can be summed up in seven
00:14
words it starts in 1777 are you ready
00:18
Yohan Lorenz George is a door Louis
00:23
Scott Anna here's some other things you
00:29
should know about being a tracker sir
00:30
you work all over the state and you take
00:33
meetings with people in small towns and
00:35
they ask you if you know Roxy or Joe or
00:38
Chuck
00:38
Drago sir and you say you know but I am
00:40
probably related to them because my
00:43
grandfather Louis is the oldest of dev
00:46
hold on 19 children 17 that survived so
00:51
I don't know most of my family but
00:52
they're out there and they've been there
00:54
for seven generations that those 19
00:58
children were also all had the same
01:00
parents and so as you might assume the
01:03
tractors are also very Catholic
01:07
except for that was true for our entire
01:10
story until my dad and my mom and my dad
01:14
were not married in the Catholic
01:15
tradition and so according to my mother
01:17
my grandfather believes that my brother
01:19
and I were bastard children and we get a
01:21
kick out of that we wear that like a
01:23
badge of honor the other thing you
01:27
should know about being a tractors that
01:29
were farmers we work outside we know the
01:32
land we know equipment we know livestock
01:34
we know of us guys and we know how to
01:36
work hard and after 60 plus years of
01:39
working and some heavy-duty machinery my
01:41
grandfather could not hear anything
01:44
that's not true he could hear people who
01:47
he knew very well but I can never
01:49
remember him ever being able to hear me
01:52
and so for most of our lives together we
01:56
kind of orbited each other I never spoke
02:00
with him because he couldn't hear me and
02:01
he didn't really know how to handle kids
02:02
except there's one moment I can remember
02:05
sitting on a log next to him in
02:08
Yellowstone National Park and there are
02:11
1 trillion brilliant stars above
02:13
and we were both just staring up and
02:15
that didn't require any hearing my dad
02:18
and his five siblings lived on a 50 acre
02:20
farm into the southern part of Tipton
02:23
County for 50 years and this farm has
02:27
been in our family for now two
02:28
generations it is my favorite place on
02:32
earth it's the place we went for every
02:35
holiday every single gathering where
02:38
around that 10 foot long dining-room
02:40
table
02:40
we were playing frisbee golf outside we
02:42
were playing euchre at every free moment
02:44
floating right on from luncheon to
02:46
dinner and back again after we were done
02:48
playing in the hayloft with my with my
02:50
cousins and that was a place I felt like
02:53
I I'm I most belonged and yet never
02:56
quite belonged this is a feeling that I
02:59
created for myself in some way nobody
03:01
ever really told me this directly but I
03:04
was kind of like I was not quite in on
03:06
the joke maybe not all the way in the
03:08
loop and somebody allowed me to be there
03:11
while they were doing other things this
03:13
kind of you know wasn't something I was
03:15
ever told to me but years and years and
03:17
lifetime of feeling this way cemented
03:19
this periphery trogir identity I took on
03:21
never fully a in it but always kind of
03:24
near it so about this so yeah so this my
03:34
life took a pretty big change about a
03:37
year ago when my long-term relationship
03:40
five years my partner decided he didn't
03:43
want a life with me and that was pretty
03:44
disorienting that's not the story here
03:46
by the way but it did make me reevaluate
03:50
what I was doing in my life
03:51
and made me go back to the thing that I
03:53
thought was most true about me and that
03:54
was that I am a tractor and so I was
03:57
gonna dig into what that really meant
03:58
what no matter how much I actually felt
04:00
like I belonged and so I started running
04:02
with my aunt on the country roads asking
04:05
her as many questions as I could about
04:07
what it was like to live on the farm and
04:08
her siblings in her aunts and uncles I
04:10
started to garden the plot that had been
04:13
there for 50 years and grew the best
04:15
cherry tomatoes the best black
04:16
raspberries watermelon and asparagus
04:18
that still pops up every spring I also
04:22
started to just show up to things that I
04:25
wouldn't
04:26
I've done before to family parties or
04:29
one day my aunt told me that the tree
04:31
that we used to play euchre in the shade
04:33
of every summer afternoon when we were
04:35
in town had to be cut down and so I just
04:38
showed up to take pictures and to pick
04:39
up wood and to be there with her and
04:41
with the tree one day when I was I did
04:46
that I went up to the farm to garden a
04:48
couple times a week an hour drive up
04:50
from my downtown Indianapolis apartment
04:52
and I would walk around the property up
04:54
to the creek out to the road down to the
04:56
southern most part of our property where
04:59
there was a signpost that was put up by
05:01
the Tipton County Department of
05:02
Transportation that read southern
05:04
boundary of the Miami reservation how
05:08
did I not notice that before this was
05:10
art this is our land this is the place
05:12
that I felt like I belong because it
05:14
belongs to us right
05:15
that's it threw me for a loop for a long
05:18
time and I was not sure how to be
05:19
present here in that place anymore it
05:22
has always been there
05:23
as long as I can remember and this is a
05:25
problem that was probably bigger than me
05:27
this is not something that a periphery
05:29
trakzer can figure out what to do with
05:32
this knowledge and understanding sinking
05:34
in so I continued to garden and I
05:39
remember specifically one day just
05:41
standing up and exhaling as hard as I
05:43
could into the sky feeling this weight
05:45
and sending up that it was unanswered
05:49
questions cuz I didn't know what to do
05:51
with it and then for some reason I
05:53
started building kites that's a
05:55
different story but those were also
05:56
representing to me this unanswered
05:58
questions of what it meant to be a
05:59
tractor and singing up into the sky of
06:01
the place that I felt like I belonged
06:02
most around the same time I also was
06:05
taking a look at my life and realizing
06:07
that in the last five years of my
06:08
relationship my life had gotten pretty
06:10
boring and I was not boring and so I got
06:13
my motorcycle license my classmates in
06:17
the safety class could not believe that
06:19
I was taking it just to learn something
06:21
new and they were right nobody should
06:23
get licensed after just like five five
06:25
hours on a machine like that in fact I
06:28
was so confident I just I had nothing
06:31
else to lose really I wanted to just try
06:33
something new that kind of had been
06:34
boiling in me for a long time I put it
06:36
out there and when I walked across the
06:38
room to get my certificate from the
06:39
instructor on the
06:40
last day he said to me we didn't think
06:42
you were gonna make it when you walked
06:44
in here that first day and my mo is to
06:47
prove other people wrong and prove
06:49
myself wrong and so that doe Lake of
06:52
wanting to be a person who rode a
06:54
motorcycle was now this fiery unfounded
06:57
confidence that I need to get back on
06:58
that bike ASAP so I was cruising
07:01
Craigslist every day for the next couple
07:04
of months and then she found me
07:06
1973 Honda twin so I took Cody my
07:10
brother to go Steve Andrew the current
07:13
owner and he was so gracious to me and
07:16
answered my stupidest questions while I
07:17
sat on the bike and giggled and could
07:19
not think of anything else to do so I
07:21
asked him if I could sleep on it
07:23
I didn't sleep on it cuz I knew that I
07:25
needed to get on that bike and ride it
07:27
before I bought it
07:28
I couldn't sleep because that thing was
07:32
a rumbly beautiful 400 pound angel that
07:35
I should not be behind the bars of the
07:37
handlebars of but I went back and took
07:41
her out on the road this was the first
07:42
time I'd been on the road mind you and
07:45
released the crutch clutch really slowly
07:47
eventually kicked it up into first gear
07:49
into second gear from first gear and got
07:51
around the corner where my dude Andrew
07:53
couldn't see me anymore and approached a
07:55
stop sign and rolled right through it
07:58
sorry mr. Mars but at least I got back
08:03
down at first right so did that a couple
08:04
more lap a couple more times and my
08:06
nerves were tingling and I knew she was
08:08
coming home with me
08:10
so Andrew drove her back to my apartment
08:12
for me and I stashed her behind my
08:14
apartment building so nobody could see
08:16
her and steal her and for the second
08:18
night I didn't sleep at all because
08:19
every three seconds I was looking
08:20
outside the window checking make sure
08:22
she was still there so I feel like
08:24
that's probably as close to Parenthood
08:25
as I'm ever gonna get at feeling it's a
08:28
healthy fear I didn't tell my parents
08:32
about this motorcycle for a couple
08:33
months cuz I just didn't want them to
08:35
just start praying out loud instantly
08:36
for me to make good decisions I just
08:38
wanted to have this for myself for a
08:39
little bit and I also this thing is not
08:44
even powerful enough to go out on the
08:45
interstate it was perfect
08:47
however for backcountry Indiana roads
08:50
especially those between Indianapolis
08:52
and
08:53
in Indiana where our family farm was so
08:58
I continued along this trend of just
08:59
showing up to family things and so I
09:01
showed up to my cousin's graduation
09:02
party and she didn't even show up to it
09:04
by the way and we had somehow gotten
09:08
into this new tradition of gaining every
09:11
family photo we had out of our books
09:13
since my grandparents had passed
09:15
apparently there's only one person
09:16
family knows how to scan but I would
09:19
just took great joy in this newfound
09:21
presence in investigation into my family
09:23
history of looking through stacks of
09:25
photos and asking as many questions as I
09:27
could loved guessing which of my aunts
09:29
and uncles were the babies in these
09:30
pictures if those were great stories but
09:33
then I found the photo that made me
09:35
remember actually that created belonging
09:38
for me this was this photo became
09:41
fertile ground from which I actually
09:42
grew my own belonging in my family out
09:44
of so picture this it's a perfect
09:49
black-and-white photo crisp not blurry
09:52
at all looks like a fake photo because
09:54
of the theatrical lighting that's coming
09:55
in in this afternoon Indiana Sun it is
09:59
1917 and my great-grandfather Isadora is
10:02
17 years old there's a perfect 1913
10:07
single-cylinder Indian bike sitting on
10:09
its hind back stand back kickstand on a
10:12
brick street in Tipton Indiana Court
10:14
Street he is in a black pinstripe suit
10:18
he's wearing a white handkerchief and
10:20
leather gloves and a bow tie and he has
10:24
this coolest haircut it looks like peach
10:26
fuzz on the side because it's so short
10:28
buzz and it's amazing comb back like you
10:30
would see some rows probably something I
10:34
heard yeah he's looking ahead ready for
10:40
whatever is coming out down the road at
10:42
like hey I got you and I know that
10:44
feeling I know exactly what that feeling
10:46
is so I asked a story what is this
10:48
what's going on here and I get this
10:51
my grandfather was 17 and a few months
10:54
after this photo was taken he was riding
10:56
his motorcycle and was hit by a train
10:58
and he survives and so of course in tiny
11:02
Tipton he becomes the talk of the town
11:04
everybody's buzzing about Pat Isadora
11:07
Pat including Anna Hoffman
11:10
Anna Hoffman is enthralled with this
11:12
story and wants to meet this dude with
11:14
such passion and such daredevil
11:15
abilities that he survives this accident
11:18
and so she does and she marries him and
11:21
taking on his last name she becomes an
11:24
attractor and so this became my
11:29
permission to belong in my family after
11:31
seven generations of actually being here
11:34
in Indiana and of it and there are a lot
11:36
of things a lot more things about being
11:38
a tracker sir that I am NOT proud of at
11:40
all I take on and belong to my own
11:44
generational reactions of racism and
11:48
xenophobia and homophobia in colonialism
11:51
that feel really heavy on me and I am
11:54
now part of this family fully and don't
11:58
quite know what to do with all of those
11:59
things and so I keep making kites and I
12:03
keep gardening and soon I will move to
12:07
the farm and this spring we will plant a
12:10
tree it will be an American chestnut
12:13
because my dad always said that my
12:16
grandpa thought that would be neat thank
12:19
you
12:20
[Applause]

Stories from Across the Hoosier State

Jonah Dahncke talks about the history and uniqueness of being a Hoosier.

Description of the video:

00:01
[Music]
00:05
all right so small tiny confession
00:08
starting out growing up I never really
00:11
saw it was anything special about being
00:13
a Hoosier it wasn't that I had anything
00:15
against it per se but just didn't seem
00:17
like there was a lot to recommend it
00:19
we'll do a quick case study
00:22
show of hands who here knows John
00:24
Mellencamp local celebrity you know
00:26
great guy let me tell you just a quick
00:28
thing about John Mellencamp when I was
00:31
growing up my dad had a small pizza shop
00:33
in the mall and every odd day John
00:35
Mellencamp would come in he'd pick up
00:37
two slices of sausage pizza large taiko
00:39
sit in the back corner of the restaurant
00:41
where no one could really see him and
00:43
spoke to cigarettes and he was done that
00:45
was it that was all that John Mellencamp
00:48
was to be the only yeah that's that's
00:52
what a celebrity wants to be in Indiana
00:54
the only celebrity thing I saw him do
00:57
was one time when this girl who was
00:59
working for my dad for the Christmas
01:00
season she came up to him she you know
01:02
really drawn in
01:04
mr. mail camp I'm such a huge fan my dad
01:07
is such a huge fan you are so important
01:09
to us and whom just mean the world you
01:11
could make his Christmas if I could just
01:13
get one autograph I'm so sorry but could
01:15
I just get one autograph from you
01:16
he looked her dead in the eyes told her
01:19
to piss off and to keep her tears to
01:21
herself that was what a huge celebrity
01:25
was to me that's what I knew the madness
01:28
I mean he was a jerk and every year
01:31
without fail if John Mellencamp was
01:33
putting on a concert in Bloomington my
01:35
dad would go see him cuz that's what a
01:37
Hoosier does I could not fathom why do
01:41
you go to see such a jerk and I continue
01:44
not to understand this until about a few
01:46
years ago which in it came about by when
01:50
I'm ashamed to say is a bit of a John
01:52
Mellencamp moment out in Brown County
01:55
there's this road called Bear Creek Road
01:58
and about a mile after it turns to
02:01
gravel there's a small church camp with
02:03
an even smaller library and I managed to
02:06
pick up a job that summer at that camp
02:07
and before I'd left my grandmother who
02:12
anything about being a Hoosier was
02:15
considered exemplary I mean if you just
02:18
born here you were special by design and
02:21
before I had left she had handed me a
02:23
book of James Whitcomb Riley poems and
02:25
said Indiana was once home to the second
02:28
highest amount of American authors and
02:30
this is a great Hoosier author now
02:35
there's some great Indiana writers in
02:37
this room tonight even and they do
02:40
fantastic work but I didn't think anyone
02:41
really deserved the full like chin up
02:43
patrician pronouncement that she was
02:46
giving so I thanked her for the book
02:48
promptly dismissed the rest and look
02:52
through that library for something to
02:53
read and I found this small little
02:54
pamphlet by Ernie Pyle there was a
02:57
collection of essays and news articles
02:59
he had written before the war he was
03:01
down in Brown County he was taking some
03:03
time and I thought well this will be
03:05
interesting
03:05
so I promptly stole the book threw it
03:08
into my pack and there it's at for most
03:11
of the summer then one night when the
03:15
kids were asleep and I needed something
03:16
to get my mind off things I found that
03:19
little pamphlet and I started flipping
03:20
through it and I couldn't quite figure
03:25
what I was reading because here he was
03:27
talking about Brown County he was
03:29
talking about something he really knew
03:30
but he he wasn't over cinema lysing it
03:34
but he still had since been in his words
03:35
there was just there was no over
03:37
amplification it was just pure simple
03:39
prose that just was honest I and it it
03:46
struck me it's like I couldn't quite
03:47
figure out what was going on here so I
03:49
need to figure out I need to figure out
03:50
how he wrote so simply and so honestly
03:53
so I wrote I you know ended up reading
03:55
what he wrote during the war same you
03:58
know kind of style vastly different
04:01
subject I still couldn't gather so I
04:05
went to Vonnegut same war vastly
04:08
different approach same honesty finally
04:11
I went back to the jerk Mellencamp
04:13
thinking okay there's there's got to be
04:15
some way to break the trend here but no
04:17
despite what I felt about him I could
04:20
not deny the man was looking at the
04:21
American dream with the same kind of
04:23
honesty that I found
04:24
and who's your writer after who's your
04:26
writer after who's your artist after
04:27
this long line of people I was seeing
04:30
and I just couldn't get it and I'm not
04:32
gonna tell you today that I do
04:34
understand anything special about being
04:36
a Hoosier or anything from my search but
04:38
I do have a theory and I'm testing it
04:42
every day anytime I meet someone
04:44
interesting anytime I meet someone who
04:45
has something to say and especially any
04:48
time it's someone from this state and
04:50
it's what I found was that Hoosiers are
04:53
observers and they see things with a
04:56
clarity and honesty that is hard to
04:58
encapsulate but when they do choose to
05:01
speak either through art music writing
05:05
or even up here in front of a you know
05:08
it's nicely collected group of people
05:10
and there's something special about that
05:14
and that is truly unique thank you
Jean Merrill advocates for the LGBTQ+ community and through her work within theNCAA, she fights for inclusion in college athletics.

Description of the video:

00:01
[Music]
00:05
the weight of the world is on my
00:07
shoulders and I am so full of hope you
00:12
see I was a college student athlete I
00:15
was a college softball student athlete
00:18
about an hour and a half down the road
00:20
at Hanover College about 1100 students
00:24
and I loved loved loved playing softball
00:29
I loved that
00:31
ping of the bat when you hit that sweet
00:34
spot the feel of the leather after about
00:38
15 years of using the same glove I loved
00:41
spring and Indiana when you you're out
00:44
there and you feel that that gradual
00:48
transition from winter to spring and you
00:49
can smell it you can feel it I loved
00:53
seeing a perfectly manicured field
00:56
before the game I loved playing softball
01:01
so when I had the opportunity to work at
01:05
the NCAA about 12 years ago I thought
01:08
holy cow I'm living the dream
01:12
but I've got the weight of the world on
01:14
my shoulders because this is the first
01:16
time that I now have the opportunity to
01:21
work on behalf of over 500,000 student
01:24
athletes
01:25
across the country at schools as large
01:28
as IU including I you and for schools
01:31
smaller than Hanover I was getting to
01:34
impact those lives and I think if you
01:37
were to ask any of my colleagues at the
01:39
national office they'd probably have a
01:41
similar feeling of holy cow that's a
01:44
large responsibility but how exciting
01:48
and how optimistic is that but I come at
01:53
it from a little different angle where I
01:56
come from I was a I was a closeted
02:00
college student athlete okay so as much
02:04
as I loved playing ball and I mean I
02:07
desperately loved playing ball it was so
02:10
critical to my development as a Stu
02:12
and as a human being it was part of who
02:15
I was but I was closeted and so I went
02:20
through my entire college career as a
02:24
2-dimensional person I was so full of
02:29
fear of terror of depression I'd be in
02:35
the locker room with my teammates or in
02:37
the showers with my teammates after a
02:39
game and it was eyes above the chin so I
02:42
wouldn't even give a hint that I might
02:45
be gay
02:46
when we were on the road for games and
02:49
we stayed in a hotel everybody had to
02:51
share a bed with a teammate I had an
02:54
inch over to the edge of the bed why is
02:57
straight and flat as I could and make an
03:01
invisible line in the bed so as not to
03:03
even suggest that I might be doing
03:06
something inappropriate
03:08
that was my existence doing something I
03:11
loved so much and with people I loved so
03:14
much but they didn't know who I was
03:17
fortunately when I graduated from
03:20
college I don't know where it came from
03:21
but I found a thimble full of courage to
03:24
come out to my family just a few months
03:26
later and thank God I'm not religious
03:29
but thank God I did because my mother
03:31
passed away a year later from ovarian
03:33
cancer I traveled for a year backpacking
03:38
overseas I did a couple years in
03:40
AmeriCorps and then I found myself here
03:42
at IU in 2006 and it was like this
03:49
Rainbow Pandora's Box opened up here I
03:54
was on a campus where there was an LGBT
03:56
Center that came with dug powder if
03:59
anyone has met dug powder he was a
04:04
lifeline to me that Center was a
04:05
lifeline to me there was LGBT
04:08
programming going on across campus in
04:11
Residence Life there were gay bars there
04:14
were drag shows that was not my
04:16
experience at Hanover I was like that
04:18
was at Hanover from 1998 to 2002 there
04:21
was no frame of reference there was no
04:24
resource there is no safe space
04:25
there's no pride flag there was nothing
04:27
I was on an island so I you saved my
04:31
life
04:31
it truly sincerely saved my life with a
04:34
caveat I did a year and a half practicum
04:38
while I was at IU in the athletics
04:39
department and that was the one place on
04:42
campus that I went back to being my
04:44
two-dimensional self and in his place
04:48
that I loved I loved sport and I just
04:51
software I loved sport and so it killed
04:54
me to have to walk through the doors of
04:56
assembly hall every day knowing I've got
04:59
to pin that down I've got to trap that
05:02
in and I'm not gonna even give a hint
05:05
that I'm gay so I resolved to myself
05:09
when I got the opportunity to work at
05:11
the NCAA I'm done with that athletics at
05:16
that point in time was not a safe space
05:19
for queer people but I had an
05:22
opportunity I had a platform and I had I
05:25
had some direction and so when I started
05:28
at the NCAA or resolved that I would be
05:31
an advocate I'm not gonna go march in
05:34
the streets but I'm gonna get to people
05:36
one by one I'm gonna reach people that I
05:38
work with at the national office I'm
05:40
gonna reach people out in the membership
05:41
I'm gonna affect change
05:43
I met my beautiful wife Cindy who also
05:46
works at the NCAA I met other queer
05:48
colleagues at the NCAA I met a boatload
05:52
of allies at the NCAA I got to work with
05:56
people across the membership as they
05:59
were trying to create athletics
06:01
departments that were inclusive of queer
06:03
people and now for the last two years
06:06
I'm in a position where I get to fight
06:09
for LGBTQ LGBTQ inclusion every single
06:13
day every single day I'm having
06:15
conversations with presidents athletics
06:18
directors conference commissioners
06:20
student athletes coaches academic
06:23
advisors you name it I'm having those
06:24
conversations how do we get trans
06:27
athletes opportunities to participate
06:28
how do we make sure they have safe
06:31
spaces to participate how do we create
06:34
visibility for our queer student
06:36
athletes and our queer coaches how do we
06:38
make
06:39
or that our policies are reflective of
06:41
our gender inclusion and gender
06:43
neutrality those are the conversations
06:46
I'm having I'm even having conversations
06:49
with faith-based institutions presidents
06:52
all the way down on how can we find
06:54
common ground for our queer student
06:55
athletes who also just as strongly
06:57
identify as people of faith so they
07:00
don't have to check one identity at the
07:02
door
07:02
I am honored and humbled and that is the
07:06
weight of the world that is on my
07:08
shoulders right now but which fills me
07:10
with so much so much hope and it makes
07:14
me so happy to be in a state that allows
07:18
me to be with my wife
07:20
to be with my family to be Who I am and
07:22
to make the experience of queer student
07:24
athletes all across the country so much
07:26
better than mine ever was thank you
Joon Park discusses identity as an Asian American and his work with the StudentCoalition during his time on the Bloomington IU campus.

Description of the video:

00:01
[Music]
00:05
Korean folklore is a big part of Korean
00:11
culture weird stories agrarian stories
00:15
and the night before I was born before
00:21
my mother went to labour she had a dream
00:23
and she had this dream that she received
00:29
a beam and this being that she was
00:34
gifted grew into this ginormous beam and
00:38
this ginormous being grew so big that
00:43
all the people in the village would come
00:44
around to admire this beam and to look
00:48
up to this beam my mother said to me you
00:53
are that bee
00:55
I was four so I didn't really know what
01:00
to take from that but she would repeat
01:03
the story to me my entire life over and
01:08
over don't forget you are the being so I
01:13
was born in Seoul came to the United
01:16
States when I was four very much an
01:21
impoverished immigrant story we had
01:23
nothing I had three older sisters I
01:27
remember sleeping with my three other
01:31
sisters on a queen-size bed in a
01:34
one-bedroom apartment which meant you
01:39
know when I thought about that later on
01:41
where were my parents sleeping they're
01:44
probably on the floor in the living room
01:46
right so at that time the neighborhood
01:51
that I was living in was almost entirely
01:54
black and Latino and I didn't really
01:58
think about identity at that point so in
02:01
the fourth grade we move up to the
02:03
suburbs and I quickly become the only
02:06
person of color in my school certainly
02:11
one of the only one of the very few
02:12
Asians and in those sort of out lesson
02:18
time period is challenging enough as it
02:20
is when you're also trying to figure out
02:22
your identity and where you fit and I'm
02:24
a Korean born citizen but I really grew
02:26
up in the States
02:27
I grew up watching the Bulls and at the
02:32
same time I think the Asian American
02:34
experience is very much one which Ronald
02:37
Takaki calls feeling like you're a
02:39
stranger in your own backyard
02:40
and so I grow up through high school and
02:44
I try very very hard to assimilate I
02:48
think into what is commonly referred to
02:50
that sort of broom culture and I come to
02:55
I you and I naturally continue that
02:58
transition and I'm out rushing a
03:01
fraternity and I'm trying so desperately
03:03
to fit in and it's almost it's actually
03:08
kind of
03:09
it's exhausting right because I kind of
03:13
tell myself if I stand really still no
03:16
one will tell with it I'm Asian and
03:21
something just doesn't sit right with me
03:23
I'm at an age where I have this
03:27
opportunity to come to a big university
03:30
to sort of go down this path of self
03:34
identity and a journey towards I guess
03:37
sort of forging your consciousness I
03:39
guess so
03:42
I go to my first Asian American
03:44
Association meeting there's a student
03:46
organization on campus I say hi my name
03:50
is Jun Park I'm an Asian American
03:53
everyone says hi June
03:55
welcome and it begins this journey for
04:00
me where I begin to study Asian American
04:03
literature and history and as I'm
04:08
flipping through these pages I see
04:11
Asians who've been in the United States
04:13
since 1880
04:14
I see japanese-americans and internment
04:18
camps and I begin to become very very
04:23
empowered by what I'm reading and what
04:25
I'm seeing and the game changer for me
04:28
is this notion of being a foreigner in
04:34
your own backyard
04:36
is this false pretense that I've always
04:39
had an understanding that all of these
04:43
different cultures is part of a truly
04:45
American narrative just sort of blows my
04:48
mind and it kind of liberate Smee from
04:50
this framework of thinking about my
04:52
identity in that way and so I dedicate
04:56
pretty much my entire student career to
04:59
advocating for Asian Americans in the
05:03
asian-american community I stay at
05:08
Indiana Bloomington for the summer in
05:11
1996 and I write a proposal to establish
05:14
the Indiana University Asian Cultural
05:17
Center and it was a moonshot
05:20
so there was a strategic initiative
05:22
grant at the time which was primarily
05:25
meant for grants for students but there
05:27
was a loophole because they never said
05:28
students couldn't submit their proposals
05:32
so I wrote one and I spent my entire
05:37
summer putting that proposal together
05:40
and the following year I started meeting
05:44
with other student leaders and these
05:48
student leaders including the Plex
05:50
Students Union the LGBT community
05:54
Latinos Unidos they all have different
05:58
concerns that we want to start to voice
06:00
and we formed something called the
06:03
student coalition so in 1997 Martin
06:09
Luther King Day was not an official
06:12
holiday recognized by Indiana University
06:14
so on that day we decided that we were
06:18
going to march with demands and we had
06:21
this group called a student coalition
06:22
and it was 1960s nostalgia of civil
06:27
rights you know type of movement and we
06:31
all march on the chancellor's office we
06:33
were gonna chain ourselves to the
06:36
chancellor's office door and do
06:37
something very dramatic and I remember
06:40
it was my moment to speak to the crowd
06:43
and I stepped up to the mic and I saw
06:49
all these people and it occurred to me
06:53
that maybe this was my moment
06:56
I'm the bean now and I spoke and we were
07:04
expecting something really dramatic and
07:06
then the late Ken gross Louis the
07:10
Chancellor actually said you know what
07:12
this all makes sense all of the demands
07:14
will be met
07:16
so it was a little bit anticlimactic and
07:20
I remember walking away thinking wow the
07:24
moon shot worked so MLK Day is now
07:29
official officially celebrated holiday
07:32
at IU we have an IU Asian culture center
07:35
that's been around for 20 years and you
07:40
know the big moment for me afterwards I
07:41
remember coming back to my apartment
07:44
just kind of in this dais but it's soon
07:49
kind of dawned on me what happens now
07:54
what happens after you're woke what
07:59
happens to being because you leave
08:02
college and you go on into the real
08:04
world and my identity was so tied to
08:08
being an asian-american student leader
08:11
what was I gonna do now did I peak at 21
08:15
was it all downhill from here and like
08:19
most people I think when they leave the
08:22
university they go on and their career
08:25
sort of becomes their new identity that
08:27
they begin to form that's what they
08:29
focus on and when I joined the corporate
08:32
world you know one of the things that I
08:35
sort of strive to accomplish was to end
08:37
up becoming a c-level executive at a
08:41
asset management firm and you know I
08:43
worked really hard over 15 years and was
08:45
able to accomplish that and I remember
08:49
sitting in in our office and we had 50
08:53
employees and we built this thing from
08:56
the ground up and I thought well maybe
09:00
maybe I'm the bean now and and those are
09:04
the people maybe that's that's what this
09:06
was supposed to be but that didn't
09:08
really sit really well with me either
09:10
so I quit and our
09:17
their child is on the way
09:20
we have a almost two-year-old daughter
09:24
at home and I remember my daughter
09:29
coming up to me and you know she's just
09:31
comes up right to your sort of knees and
09:33
she looks up and she kind of puts her
09:36
hands up which is like the sign for I
09:39
want to be lifted and at that moment I
09:44
think I have sort of realized what my
09:46
parents were trying to communicate to me
09:48
and I sort of finally understood what it
09:50
meant to be the being thank you
09:53
[Applause]
Samrat Upadhyay talks about the outpouring of love from Hoosiers during Nepal's timeof need after an earthquake.

Description of the video:

00:01
[Music]
00:05
everyone I'm gonna jump right in in 2015
00:11
one morning in April when I opened up my
00:13
laptop to write at 5 a.m. I sighed in
00:17
the news on Facebook I woke my wife was
00:21
sitting right there who through bleary
00:24
eyes looked at me in disbelief as I told
00:26
her this is a big one the next few hours
00:30
were spent in frantic attempts to
00:32
contact our loved ones in Kathmandu the
00:34
city where I grew up
00:36
my main concern were my parents whose
00:40
old age made them vulnerable
00:42
my wife's worry was primarily her mother
00:45
a widow who lived in a tall building a
00:48
monster earthquake had rocked Nepal the
00:52
initial quake that Saturday of eight on
00:55
the Richter scale was followed by 25
00:58
aftershocks
00:59
a 5 or higher that had everyone panicked
01:03
reports were coming in of entire
01:05
villages laid to waste in the mountains
01:08
my parents with whom communication was
01:11
difficult at first because of erratic
01:13
phone connections and lack of
01:15
electricity were camped out we learned
01:18
for days in rain on a small field near
01:21
their home on the outskirts of the city
01:23
my mother-in-law found shelter with one
01:27
of her daughters the overall human toll
01:30
was massive 9,000 dead and 22,000
01:34
injured one tragic news was the
01:38
destruction of centuries old temples
01:40
prized for the exquisite carvings in
01:43
Carmindy valleys old palace squares all
01:45
World Heritage Sites kathmandu durbar
01:49
square was in ruins Partin durbar square
01:53
considered the most beautiful of the
01:55
three had been decimated
01:57
these were world heritage sites so in a
02:01
very literal sense the whole world lost
02:03
physical access to its cultural history
02:06
the temples and monuments of these
02:09
squares were my pride and joy as I
02:12
escorted my MFA students
02:13
from I you on what I had begun to think
02:16
as my annual pilgrimage to the land that
02:19
guided my literary material that made me
02:22
the writer I am a year before the
02:25
earthquake my students had taken photos
02:28
of erotic carvings in the juggernaut
02:30
temple in patan durbar square for I used
02:33
Kinsey Institute that temple was now
02:36
gone in 2010 we climbed that Hara tower
02:41
whose original structure dates back to
02:43
1832 for a panoramic view of this
02:46
chaotic yet vibrant city at the top
02:49
I remember now with horror telling my
02:52
students that the monument was
02:54
vulnerable because Nepal was so
02:56
earthquake prone that Saturday Thera was
02:59
reduced to a stump Nepalese most of whom
03:03
are Hindus and Buddhists are well
03:05
attuned to the idea that nothing is
03:08
permanent after all the champion of
03:11
impermanence Siddhartha Gautama Buddha
03:13
was born here he also taught that life
03:16
by its very nature is filled with
03:19
suffering for many Nepali is living
03:22
abroad our attachment to Nepal is fierce
03:25
Indiana is my home but Nepal is my
03:28
homeland it's a place I have zealously
03:30
returned to in all of my novels and
03:33
short stories written mostly in that
03:35
Starbucks across the sample gates on
03:38
Indiana Avenue these trips I take with
03:41
my MFA students every year are
03:43
highlights of my teaching and I return
03:45
to Indiana with renewed insights on how
03:48
people live and love all over the world
03:51
the year before the earthquake we went
03:54
up to the Himalayan region of Mustang
03:56
where my students bathed as a ritual of
03:59
spiritual cleansing in the icy cold
04:02
water of 108 spouts in Medinah temple
04:06
situated at 12,000 feet we were
04:10
surrounded by mountains of unimaginable
04:12
beauty throughout the trip I was even
04:15
more moved by the kindness of Nepal ease
04:18
we encountered from the old grandma who
04:21
served us food at Hotel Bob Marley in
04:24
muktinath to the guide in the resort
04:26
town of
04:27
who went out of his way to arrange
04:30
transport for us but it was the
04:33
outpouring of kindness that I
04:34
encountered here in Bloomington in the
04:37
immediate aftermath of the earthquake
04:38
that I continued to treasure nearly five
04:42
years later when the wounds of that
04:45
earthquake were still fresh
04:47
I received notes of concern and sympathy
04:49
from countless Hoosiers strangers even
04:52
asking me what they could do to help the
04:55
earthquake victims halfway around the
04:58
world people they didn't know with whom
05:01
they didn't have the kind of intimate
05:03
geographical and emotional ties as I did
05:06
when we formed a Bloomington group to
05:09
collect money for disaster relief the
05:12
outpouring of donations was overwhelming
05:15
within one week we gathered more than
05:18
$30,000 to send back to Nepal I realized
05:22
then that I didn't need to go climb
05:24
mountains in Nepal to experience
05:26
kindness it was all around me right here
05:29
at home in Indiana it also occurred to
05:33
me then that it's in the midst of
05:34
intense suffering that people are the
05:37
strongest and this is true whether you
05:40
live in Kathmandu or Kokomo feeling
05:43
helpless my wife wrote on her Facebook
05:45
post from Bloomington after many failed
05:48
attempts at calling family in Kathmandu
05:50
during those early hours of the
05:52
earthquake when we managed to connect it
05:55
was our loved ones in Nepal who
05:57
reassured us don't worry we're fine
06:00
it'll be okay
06:02
thank you
Chris Chyung reflects on being a politician and the threads that tie us together inIndiana.

Description of the video:

00:01
[Music]
00:05
[Applause]
00:07
hello so despite being a politician I
00:11
hate the sound of my own voice and I
00:14
like listening to people way more so I
00:16
just want to get a gauge of the room
00:18
who's interested in politics public
00:20
political science major political wonk
00:22
raise your hands okay mayor I see a lot
00:27
of people okay this so I never imagined
00:30
myself to be in politics in Indiana let
00:36
alone in this country ever I graduated
00:39
from Monster High School up in the
00:40
region the person who said on the card
00:42
that they were Bears Jersey with an IU
00:45
hat I can tell where you're from it's
00:47
probably near me and I didn't think I
00:51
would even want to stay in the state
00:53
quite honestly after graduating from
00:55
Munster in 2011 I was like the top
01:00
person to say I am getting the hell out
01:03
of here and I'm not coming back to
01:04
Indiana and everyone kind of knew it
01:06
they were like yeah he never really was
01:08
kind of like a dick he was kind of
01:09
standoffish and he didn't really want to
01:11
be like he wasn't really Hoosier
01:13
hospitality honestly when you talked to
01:15
him and looked at him he just didn't fit
01:17
that mold and I was like yeah you're
01:18
really right but when I went to New York
01:21
City and I when I went to college I
01:23
realized something that's really Queens
01:26
and it seems profound at the same time
01:28
it's that you can change so much about
01:30
you and how it is you can change your
01:31
name you can change your appearance you
01:33
can change all kinds of things about
01:34
yourself but you can't change where
01:36
you're from and that really stuck with
01:38
me because it was never going to change
01:40
that I was from Indiana that I cared a
01:43
lot about my friends back home you know
01:45
even though I would make fun of the
01:46
state and I would say things about
01:48
Indiana I mean I think we all do as
01:50
Hoosiers I think that's part of our
01:51
identity is that we can take shots at
01:53
ourselves and still be strong about it
01:55
and point out the flaws and find ways to
01:57
make things better so I came back and to
02:02
my own surprise was working in real
02:05
estate in Chicago commuting from my
02:07
district in Northwest Indiana which is
02:09
Dyer chervil st. John Griffith area
02:13
and I somehow caught the political bug I
02:16
mean it seems like in the past few years
02:19
politics is the new small talk which is
02:21
just awful
02:22
it's like we used to be able to talk
02:23
about the weather and talk about really
02:25
mundane that celebrities do and now
02:28
it's just like every story is political
02:30
every goddamn story
02:31
so it's really tedious it's really
02:33
annoying
02:34
but what I was immersing myself in that
02:37
because I hadn't considered myself an
02:39
inherently political person whatsoever
02:41
my family was never involved we didn't
02:43
donate we didn't volunteer on campaigns
02:44
we barely knew who was running I barely
02:46
voted in non presidential years so once
02:51
it became like part of the national mood
02:54
I guess the identity was just non-stop
02:56
politics 24/7 I immersed myself in it
02:59
and decided that I was going to do
03:01
something about it in Northwest Indiana
03:02
which as I said I still have a special
03:05
place in my heart for where I grew up
03:07
and I still want to see it become better
03:09
than it is today and improve the lives
03:11
of people and ultimately I decided you
03:14
know I got to get my ass up and run I
03:16
got to do something about my community I
03:18
can't just sit here and bitch about
03:20
what's wrong with where I live if I'm
03:22
not gonna do something serious about it
03:24
and all the speakers before we're saying
03:26
the exact same thing they were saying
03:28
that they got up and did something they
03:30
got this challenge put in front of them
03:32
and they met that challenge and overcame
03:35
it and that's kind of what I did when I
03:37
decided at age 25 to run for the Indiana
03:40
House of Representatives and then I won
03:42
my election after running a brutal
03:44
campaign by 82 votes out of a 25,000
03:49
cast so an extremely narrow win pretty
03:52
unexpected it was a narrow estate
03:54
legislative race in the entire state in
03:56
2018 and I discovered that I really
03:59
loved political strategy so it kind of
04:01
works out and I'm able to serve my
04:03
community in a way that's unique in that
04:05
I encourage everybody to do serving in
04:08
public office is unlike any other job
04:11
that you will have in your life honestly
04:13
it's such a blessing to be able to talk
04:17
to so many people in a unique way get on
04:20
their level one on one it's unlike any
04:22
education you can get at any big
04:24
University at
04:26
you know master's program or whatever
04:28
the best sociology class is to talk to
04:32
your neighbors to knock on their doors
04:34
to be invited into a really personal
04:38
space of theirs and to understand them
04:40
on a uniquely intimate level is
04:42
something that I think this country
04:45
needs a lot more of especially at this
04:47
time we I don't need to go on about how
04:50
polarized it's gotten and how difficult
04:52
it's gotten to talk to people who are
04:54
different from you but if there's one
04:56
thing that I realized running and that I
04:59
learned from my community is that I
05:01
think that Hoosiers I don't even think
05:04
that we align with one political party
05:06
or even an ideology all on one I think
05:08
we are aligned though however and that
05:10
were really independent minded and I
05:13
found that was a really unique thing
05:16
that when I was talking to neighbors of
05:18
all kinds of different stripes I mean I
05:20
got suburbs I've got a little bit of an
05:22
urban area and I've got rural precincts
05:24
as well
05:25
got some racial diversity not not a ton
05:28
but it's there and we could see all
05:32
kinds of threads that tie us all
05:34
together in unique ways I mean not every
05:36
thread ties us together we're not all
05:38
homogeneous but there's so much more
05:40
that unites us than what divides us and
05:44
it hurts my heart today to see how nasty
05:49
things have gotten I mean it's you don't
05:52
have to talk about it now I'm kind of I
05:53
felt bad closing it out because I'm like
05:55
bringing everyone back down to earth
05:57
it's a super downer here with talking
05:59
about politics I mean it's like
06:00
everyone's favorite topic right like oh
06:03
no one wants to talk about this
06:04
it's super annoying but it's important
06:09
because all of us need to help make it
06:11
better we know that the state of
06:12
politics is pretty corroded in in in
06:15
different areas and it's not going to
06:17
fix itself it's not going to fill that
06:19
void if we just sit back and don't do
06:22
anything about it so no matter what your
06:24
ideology is no matter who you support we
06:27
have got one hell of a presidential
06:29
election gubernatorial election attorney
06:31
general election state legislative
06:33
election 2020 is unique because G it's
06:36
the 2020 census is happening and then
06:38
the immediate term
06:39
there is when redistricting will happen
06:42
so if you care about that this is an
06:44
extremely important year so I just
06:46
encourage you to seek people out and not
06:49
only seek people out who you know you
06:51
support and you know who you align with
06:53
but also people who you disagree with
06:55
the most valuable thing I found when I
06:58
was campaigning was talking to people
07:01
who I disagreed with what were my
07:03
favorite conversations I mean talking to
07:06
someone you agree with is just an echo
07:07
chamber and it's really boring
07:08
intellectually I think for most people
07:10
so when you go out and talk to someone
07:13
who is just the polar opposite of you
07:15
and you challenge yourself to get on
07:17
their level to see where they're coming
07:19
from but to not sacrifice your ideals
07:21
then you are going undergoing a really
07:24
strong exercise mentally and helping
07:27
bridge gaps in communities which like I
07:30
said is something that is so important
07:31
nowadays so yeah I thank you all for
07:35
listening today I feel super awkward
07:37
it's like doing stand up up here and
07:39
pretend that before so I just encourage
07:44
you just please seek out those voices
07:45
seek out those people who disagree with
07:47
seek out those people who you agree with
07:48
and register to vote register your
07:51
friends to vote and make sure you get
07:52
informed about who's on your ballot so
07:55
thank you
07:59
[Applause]
Denny Spinner retells Huntingburg’s basketball history and how it brought a communitytogether.

Description of the video:

00:01
[Music]
00:06
thank you very much
00:08
I am from hunting burg we are a city
00:11
like no other I am required by a City
00:13
statute to say that hunting burg is the
00:15
only hunting burg in the United States
00:17
if you google hunting burg you find us
00:20
we are we are there it's truly a who's
00:23
your thing to be from hunting burg and
00:25
there would be no any telling of idiot
00:27
re told I think must have a basketball
00:30
story so I got the basketball story
00:32
because hunting burg is a is a great
00:35
basketball story and the story goes the
00:38
start at the end of the story is I live
00:40
in a town of 6,000 people and the
00:43
hunting burger Morial Jim seats six
00:46
thousand people but the story really
00:48
goes back to 1949 because honey burg
00:52
Memorial Gym at the time it was built
00:54
hunting Berg's population was three
00:57
thousand and they built a gym that seats
01:00
six thousand people and the reason for
01:04
all this is because that city that was
01:06
mentioned before us the city of Jasper
01:09
Jasper and hunting burg were rivals all
01:12
the time and especially in basketball
01:14
and in 1940 Jasper was had the big gym
01:17
they were the county seat that's where
01:19
we played the sectional and for ten
01:21
consecutive years Jasper won the
01:24
sectional because it was played on their
01:26
floor they cheated you know they had to
01:28
sew but 1949 hunting berg had the team
01:32
they had beaten Jasper twice in the
01:35
regular season and they went over to
01:38
Jasper for the sectional championship
01:39
game and lost and it got worse not only
01:47
did they lose to a team that they had
01:48
beaten and thought they could win the
01:50
sectional
01:51
this very mediocre Jasper team look it
01:54
up it's the worst team to ever win the
01:56
state championship in 1949 the hunting
02:01
burg team that was destined to break the
02:03
record and break this jinx lost in the
02:06
championship game and that team won the
02:10
state championship imagine watching
02:13
the parade come back from Indianapolis
02:15
celebrating the state championship when
02:16
we knew we had a better team than they
02:18
did so what happened on that Monday
02:21
morning in March in 1949 when the all
02:24
the guys from hunting burg were at the
02:25
Palace of sweets having the coffee and
02:27
they said this has got to stop this has
02:30
got to stop and the only way that we can
02:32
ever stop this is we've got to build a
02:35
gym that's bigger than theirs so
02:39
logically so they thought about and they
02:42
said well how big a gym can we build
02:44
well we want to build it so big that
02:46
Jasper will never want build one bigger
02:48
than that so they went to the state
02:50
school board and they said how big a gym
02:52
can we build and they told him because
02:53
it was a school of only about 150 kids
02:55
you could do only build a gym it was
02:57
about it wasn't best the biggest Jasper
02:59
so they said okay the school won't build
03:02
a gym the city will the town will the
03:05
businessman got together and they formed
03:08
a holding corporation and bought the
03:11
property next to the high school they
03:15
sold bonds
03:16
everybody in town bought a bond my dad
03:19
had bonds to build the gymnasium they
03:22
bought the team to get that put a team
03:23
together and they heard about this
03:25
revolutionary new type of gymnasium in
03:27
Illinois where this that was sunken into
03:30
the ground and there was no posters to
03:33
obstruct your view the leading industry
03:36
and hunting burger at that time was
03:37
Olinger construction company which built
03:39
highways they built I said i-64 through
03:42
southern Indiana they took mr. olinger
03:45
to Illinois they stood in this little
03:46
gym he looked up and I said what do you
03:48
think he goes looks like a bridge to me
03:50
we can build that so they came back to
03:54
hunting burg and they build this big
03:56
hole in the ground next to the school
03:58
they fill it with concrete
04:00
they build steel arches all around it at
04:02
night the guys would come in with
04:04
wrenches and tighten bolts the citizens
04:07
that Cape would come and tighten bolts
04:08
of the bleachers so that the the gym
04:10
could be built and on in 1951 IU's
04:15
branch McCracken came to hunting burg
04:18
Indiana dedicate dedicate to hunting
04:20
burg Memorial Gym and it's six thousand
04:22
two hundred and fourteen seats
04:26
you think that you know these people
04:28
working nuts this will never fill up the
04:30
1952 sectional sold out every night 53
04:37
54 55 98 through the all through single
04:43
class basketball in Indiana the hunting
04:47
burg Memorial gymnasium sold out every
04:51
session you had to buy a season ticket
04:55
at your school and hope your name would
04:59
be drawn to get a ticket to go to the
05:02
sectional people would scalp tickets
05:04
people created ways to come into the
05:08
gymnasium there were guys who faked
05:10
carrying ice into the gym with
05:12
concessionaires and they reasoned they
05:14
found out that happened because they put
05:16
him in the bathrooms the bathrooms all
05:17
flooded so so that's you know you think
05:22
about this and when I was growing up in
05:23
hunting bird you know the Big Jim that's
05:27
what that was it wasn't Memorial it was
05:28
the Big Jim you were going to the Big
05:30
Jim yeah we're going to the Big Jim
05:31
you'd go to the Big Jim and the still to
05:35
this day the smell of pickles and
05:37
popcorn remind me of the sectional
05:40
because that was that that was just part
05:42
of it if you grew up in DuBois County
05:44
from 1950 to 1996 you've got stories
05:47
about going to the game at Memorial Gym
05:50
and watching your rivals across the way
05:53
you weren't impartial you watched
05:55
everybody you watched every game and you
05:57
cheered for every game because you
05:58
either wanted one team to win or Jasper
06:00
to lose it was it was everybody against
06:04
Jasper that's just the way it was but
06:07
then I think about that now
06:10
you know eight years ago I became mayor
06:13
or hunting burg probably the proudest
06:15
thing I've done I mean I'm I could be
06:18
mayor the place that I grew up in and I
06:20
think about Memorial Gym and you think
06:24
wow for over 60 years now people have
06:29
come to hunting burg to be part of that
06:31
experience I you know long before Field
06:36
of Dreams Kevin Costner said if they
06:38
build it
06:39
honey berg did in 1952 they built it and
06:43
for over 60 years now people have come
06:46
and it's a spirit that our community has
06:50
it was something that the community took
06:52
on it wasn't it said we have we can do
06:55
this let's let's let's do this thing and
06:57
nobody had enough craziness to say well
07:00
why are we building at 6,000 see Jim in
07:02
a 3,000 seat three thousand population
07:04
town because we needed it and they had
07:07
the foresight and the drive and the
07:09
ambition and the ability to do it and
07:12
now as mayor this is an inspirational
07:15
story for me every time I I hear
07:17
something about going on in town and
07:19
says well we can't do that says yeah we
07:20
can yeah we can and we've done things
07:24
like that in hunting bird
07:25
well we're blessed to have a lot of
07:28
great projects going on we're a
07:29
community that I'm very very proud of
07:31
and proud to lead right now but it's all
07:34
about Hoosiers love and basketball
07:37
loving each other having a purpose and
07:40
coming together and doing what seemed to
07:43
be impossible at the time so if you ever
07:45
come to hunting burg other than watch
07:48
going to league stadium where illegal
07:49
their own was filmed that's it honey
07:51
verb to that's why we're a city like no
07:53
other you got to cut Memorial Gym
07:55
because it is if you've if you've seen
07:58
the pictures of New Castle hunting burg
08:00
was built first the New Castle gym is a
08:03
copy of the hunting burg gym that design
08:05
is all across the state
08:07
it started in hunting burg which is a
08:09
city like no other thank you
08:12
[Applause]
Jeff McCabe recounts his experiences during 9/11 and how it affected his family’s life inIndiana.

Description of the video:

00:00
I was leaning up against a an old
00:07
sycamore tree and I was near a creek
00:11
deep in the woods and that wasn't far
00:15
from Helms Berger out in Brown County
00:17
Indiana and it was this beautiful
00:21
beautiful day the Sun was shining the
00:23
sky was blue and was cool out it was
00:28
just just gorgeous and as I stood there
00:33
my friend Ed Wagler came over and
00:36
grabbed me by the arm and he said Jeff I
00:39
think we should pray and we prayed and
00:44
then I gave a Edda hug and I quickly got
00:48
over to my car and drove up about half
00:51
mile to the cabin that September that's
00:53
my wife September and I had rented up
00:57
there near Friendship cabin road and
00:59
walked in through the door in the cabin
01:01
and I hugged September and then I called
01:05
my Fred Jeff my friend John land Vil who
01:08
was at 40 Wall Street in New York City
01:11
and phone rang he answered and before I
01:15
could say anything he said hey Jeff
01:18
what's going on and I said started to
01:20
say something and he cut me off and he
01:22
said I think there's a parade today
01:24
there's ticker-tape coming down and
01:27
about that time September had the TV on
01:30
in the cabin and that's about the time
01:32
at about nine o'clock 903 that the
01:35
second airplane hit the South Tower at
01:38
the World Trade Center and I told Judd
01:41
what happened and I got off the phone
01:42
and we started to pack up and if we
01:49
could just we'll hit the pause button
01:51
right there and I'll take you back
01:55
twenty-eight years before that and about
01:57
twenty-eight years before that
01:59
what was that September it was 1973
02:04
right 1973 September and I were seniors
02:08
at Carmel High School and
02:12
after putting me through my paces for
02:15
several months September decided to let
02:18
me be her boyfriend and I thought that
02:20
was really great and I was on cloud nine
02:24
there for a few months and I will tell
02:26
you though we were different that we had
02:28
very different backgrounds because
02:29
September's family was one of the
02:32
founding families of Carmel right so she
02:35
was several generations in and she had
02:38
lived in the same house on the same
02:40
Street actually Main Street in Carmel
02:42
for her whole life and I on the other
02:46
hand had moved to Carmel with my family
02:47
when I started high school and my five
02:51
brothers and sisters like to tell people
02:53
about how we had all grown up and been
02:56
born in different cities in different
02:59
states from Nebraska and Idaho to New
03:03
York and West Virginia and then finally
03:05
to Indiana so we had a different sense
03:09
of home and we had a different sense of
03:11
place and being in that kind of thing
03:14
but I sure was crazy about her that
03:17
worked out for me and as soon as we
03:22
graduated I was 17 I went to school at
03:25
Annapolis and I was determined to become
03:27
a naval aviator and at that point I
03:30
think September was determined to make
03:31
sure that we got married by when I got
03:34
out of Annapolis so we we got engaged
03:37
because that's what people did back in
03:40
the 70s right if they fell in love young
03:42
people actually planned on getting
03:43
married and and so three days after I
03:48
graduated we went back to Indiana and we
03:51
got married in Carmel on Main Street in
03:55
the backyard of the house that September
03:58
grew up in and I think that was about
04:02
the best place we could have done that
04:03
but after that we left the next day and
04:06
we didn't really stop traveling for
04:08
about 23 years we we lived several
04:11
places in the country from Georgia to
04:14
Texas Florida and just all over ended up
04:20
in Atlanta but every year for those 23
04:24
years
04:24
we would come back to Indiana visit and
04:27
in fact every Christmas we'd come back
04:32
and we did that because it was important
04:34
to September and important for her to
04:36
know that her three kids our three kids
04:40
had a sense of place and being and a
04:43
place to come back to and that was
04:44
Carmel Indiana at that house on Main
04:47
Street and that worked out for us and at
04:51
one point I can remember we were living
04:53
in Atlanta my second daughter was a
04:55
senior in high school and she said dad
04:58
I've been to I've attended 11 schools
05:02
and I think this one should be the last
05:03
so so we worked that out she graduated
05:07
there in Atlanta and then she ended up
05:08
that Hanover College with my other
05:11
daughter Megan and they both graduated
05:14
from Hanover but come along come along a
05:18
few years there so now it's 2001 and
05:21
I've got an office in New York City I've
05:25
got an office in Atlanta and if you were
05:30
one of the thousands of people that year
05:33
who got an American Express corporate
05:36
card you got a letter from American
05:38
Express signed by me welcoming you to
05:41
American Express and promising you that
05:44
we would provide you the best travel
05:48
services that you could get anywhere in
05:50
the world that you could be confident
05:52
that if anything ever went wrong or
05:55
anything ever happened you'd be able to
05:57
get to an American Express office and
05:59
we'd be able to help you and I feel good
06:03
about that felt good about that so
06:06
you're probably wondering how I ended up
06:09
and or how September and I ended up in
06:12
Brown County on September 11th in 2001
06:16
well pretty simple really over the years
06:18
all those visits back to Indiana we of
06:21
course we visited Brown County and we
06:23
ended up buying some property on
06:25
Helzberg Road we call that property
06:28
September's for us now it's about 64
06:30
acres of beautiful woods beautiful place
06:32
and in 2001 we thought we could build a
06:36
cabin
06:37
on that property and have a vacation
06:40
have a cabin so that when we came to
06:42
visit in Indiana we'd have a place to
06:44
stay and I convinced September that
06:50
before we built the cabin we needed to
06:53
dig a big pond that way we'd have a
06:55
better idea where the cabins should be
06:56
on the property and I don't think I
06:59
really convinced September that but she
07:01
allowed me that notion that she she let
07:03
me get started on the pond so it was
07:05
about September 4th when a guy named ed
07:10
Wagler who I mentioned earlier in the
07:12
story called me up and he said Jeff he
07:15
said I'm gonna start on your pond on
07:17
Monday and if you get you get up here to
07:20
Brown County we'll walk the property
07:23
we'll get up at sunrise and we'll take a
07:25
look around and things go well let you
07:28
drive the excavator because I've seen
07:30
you I and the excavator and I know you
07:31
want to drive it so I thought about it
07:35
for a minute and I said you know ed I
07:38
really wish I could but I'm sorry I'm
07:40
too busy and I've got a meeting in New
07:43
York City that morning and I remember
07:46
that he paused and just for a second and
07:50
then he said he said yes sir
07:53
that sounds important and he paused
07:57
again and then he said but if you change
07:59
your mind if you change your mind I'll
08:02
be out there and you know the rest of
08:05
the day I thought about that and I
08:06
thought about him saying if you change
08:10
your mind I'll be out there and and I
08:15
thought about it enough and finally I uh
08:17
I decided I'd changed my mind
08:22
and I called my boss in New York Judd
08:24
and I said you know Judd I never do this
08:26
but I think I'm gonna miss that meeting
08:29
in New York on Monday morning he said he
08:32
said well Jeff if you think that's
08:33
important and that's what he said he
08:35
said if you think that's important to
08:37
miss the meeting that's fine with me you
08:40
just call in whenever you want and I did
08:43
that and then I told September we were
08:44
going to go to back to Indiana for the
08:48
weekend and
08:51
we can't we flew up to Indianapolis and
08:53
then we came down to Brown County had
08:56
this wonderful weekend wonderful weekend
08:58
beautiful weather great time and then
09:03
that Monday morning I went over to the
09:05
property and I got with it and we walked
09:07
the property and we looked at where the
09:09
pond would be and you know it was just
09:12
just this wonderful beautiful blue sky
09:15
morning and then I was leaning up
09:18
against that sycamore tree and standing
09:22
there near the creek and felt that old
09:26
flip phone in my pocket vibrate and I
09:29
got it out and sure enough it was
09:31
September and I answered the phone as
09:33
she said she said Jeff an airplane just
09:36
flew into the North Tower of the World
09:39
Trade Center and that's when it grabbed
09:42
me and said Jeff I think we ought to
09:44
pray and we did and the rest of the day
09:51
we drove back to Atlanta and really
09:55
September did quite a bit of the driving
09:57
and I called the rest of my teammates
10:01
who weren't in New York City and we
10:04
tried to fill that promise that we
10:05
talked about we actually had literally
10:08
thousands and thousands of business
10:12
travelers out all over the world when
10:15
when that happened and all of them were
10:18
stuck because there were no airplanes
10:20
flying there was nobody going anywhere
10:22
because nobody knew what was going to
10:24
happen next it was it was if you were
10:27
there and you can remember it was a
10:30
remarkable time a terrible time and
10:34
believe it or not in about 17 hours we
10:37
found everybody we knew where they were
10:39
and we were able to either get them a
10:43
place to stay or extend their stay or or
10:46
help them contact the people that they
10:49
needed to contact and make sure that
10:51
they knew they were okay and we felt
10:54
good about that like I said felt good
10:57
next weeks and months were a little bit
11:00
different because we we had lost
11:04
several colleagues in the World Trade
11:06
Center and we celebrated their lives and
11:09
we also had to move the headquarters of
11:11
American Express to New Jersey we had to
11:14
take take everybody out of the world
11:16
financial center where our headquarters
11:18
was well that building was rebuilt and
11:23
that was a big deal so you know I heard
11:26
what Letty said about when she was
11:29
talking about that moment when she and
11:33
Dell were looking over that scenic Vista
11:35
and I think she said there was no you
11:38
know like one moment or no magic moment
11:41
or particular epiphany and I can tell
11:43
you for for me and I think for September
11:46
that was true - I don't think we had
11:49
this big this big moment where we
11:52
decided of the world's change that we're
11:54
going to change their lives I think that
11:56
I think we just understood it so we
12:00
didn't have this big conversation about
12:03
what to do next or or you know how the
12:07
world was changing we just knew that we
12:10
needed to change with the world and we
12:14
decided then that we would that that
12:17
vacation cabin we could we're gonna
12:19
build could be our permanent home and my
12:24
son Ian is sitting right over there
12:26
Ian was in the 8th grade he's awful
12:30
young for his advanced stage now right
12:32
awful young looking but but anyway we
12:36
went to unit said Ian would you like to
12:37
go to school in Brown County with about
12:41
what 3 or 400 classmates or would you
12:44
like to to go to high school here in
12:46
Alpharetta Georgia in the suburb of
12:48
Atlanta with about 3,000 classmates and
12:51
he jumped right on that idea to go to
12:53
Brown County and so by the time school
12:55
was out or that when school started
12:59
in September of 2002 we had moved back
13:02
in he had started school in Brown County
13:04
and they called him Georgia for a few
13:07
years and eventually they forgot about
13:11
that though didn't they right you became
13:12
a just a regular Brown County guy but we
13:17
made that move
13:18
and fast-forward to today
13:22
right so for the last 15 years my wife
13:28
September who is sitting over there
13:30
behind Ian has been a volunteer fireman
13:34
and a assistant fire chief and a first
13:38
responder in Brown County and she and
13:42
her mom who's sitting beside her over
13:44
there who is also a fireman and is still
13:48
on the fire department at 89 years old
13:51
[Applause]
13:56
have touched the lives of hundreds of
14:00
people in Brown County at the worst
14:02
moments and and I think helped a little
14:06
right or maybe helped a lot and they
14:09
found a place and we feel really good
14:13
about that and for me for the last 10
14:16
years I have been doing this thing with
14:19
my family and friends that this big
14:21
adventure that we call Big Woods and now
14:24
hard truth hills and that kind of stuff
14:26
and for me it's been a dream because and
14:30
the biggest adventure because we're
14:32
building an enterprise but we're
14:34
building a culture right we're building
14:36
kind of a kind of a thing there that
14:39
kind of transcends the business part of
14:42
it and it's more about the experience
14:44
that we help people have when they come
14:46
to visit Brown County so it's a
14:48
wonderful thing and I can tell you that
14:53
I still go visit that big old sycamore
14:56
tree a lot and I think about these
15:00
things and I stand there as a creek and
15:02
I'm there in the deep woods that we call
15:05
September's for us now and I'm thankful
15:08
for every minute and every day that
15:10
we're here and I'm really proud to be
15:14
from Indiana and to be a Hoosier and to
15:17
have the wonderful family and friends
15:19
that I do and thank you for letting me
15:22
be here tonight
15:25
you
Jean Capler discusses the LGBTQ+ experience as a Hoosier woman.

Description of the video:

00:00
I was driving from Bloomington up to
00:12
Chicago when the state police closed the
00:16
interstate right around Lafayette
00:18
diverting everybody off the highway now
00:22
it was snowing that night kind of heavy
00:24
but I was fine with that I like to drive
00:26
in the snow and I thought well you know
00:30
the winds blowing a little bit come to
00:32
find out we were actually starting a
00:34
blizzard but I didn't know that at the
00:36
time I thought maybe there was an
00:39
accident further on the highway they had
00:41
closed the highway so thought well I'll
00:43
just cut over to the state road take
00:45
that up north get back on the highway a
00:47
little further up head on up to Chicago
00:50
that was my plan but as I'm driving
00:53
along the conditions are getting worse
00:56
and worse the snow is just coming down
01:00
furiously and and the wind is picking up
01:03
and it's buffeting my car and visibility
01:05
is down to it like basically I'm on the
01:08
road because I can see a little patch
01:10
for some reason on the edge of the lane
01:12
was not covered in snow so I could see a
01:15
little dark patch there and that's how I
01:17
was standing on the road and I'm like I
01:19
really need to get off this road and
01:21
just hold up for the night in a motel
01:22
and I'll finish the drive tomorrow
01:26
except every little town that we were
01:28
passing through it was like little
01:32
motels had no vacancy signs up I'm like
01:35
okay maybe the next town no vacancy so
01:39
now I'm really starting to get worried
01:41
because everything's getting closed up
01:43
yeah I'm nobody's on the roads and I'm
01:46
out there with no place to stay so I'm
01:48
like alright if I cut back to 65 and I
01:51
get up to the next larger town maybe
01:53
they'll have a few hotels I don't find a
01:55
safe place so on the map because this
02:00
was before I broke down and got a cell
02:02
phone and I don't think they have GPS
02:03
then anyway on the map it looked like
02:06
this intersected with 65 so I'm taking
02:08
this little country road in the middle
02:11
of a bunch of cornfields in
02:13
now is clearly a blizzard but I'm gonna
02:16
get to 65 and I'm gonna find a hotel and
02:18
then my car dies in the middle of
02:22
nowhere in a blizzard and I have just
02:25
enough momentum to steer it off onto the
02:27
little sort of shoulder before the ditch
02:30
and I have no cellphone and I'm not sure
02:36
what to do at this point and it's really
02:38
cold and so I see some lights eventually
02:44
coming from the opposite direction
02:45
okay I'll flag somebody down at least
02:48
get me back to the town and I'll figure
02:49
it out so I get out of my car and to in
02:54
my lane and to flag them down but the
02:58
wind is blowing so hard at its fighting
03:00
ly cold and it's blowing me and the road
03:04
is so slick that I'm just moving without
03:06
moving my feet until I finally get some
03:08
traction and I'm waving and the car goes
03:11
by so I get back in my car completely
03:16
frozen at this point run the heater a
03:18
little while until I see some more
03:19
lights oh my god let's try again
03:21
nope went by now I'm I'm beginning to
03:26
feel like I might freeze in my car that
03:28
night I didn't have enough gas to just
03:31
keep the heater running
03:32
I see another set of lights and they
03:36
actually slowed down for me this time
03:38
and I'm like oh thank god and up drives
03:41
a white panel van and I've heard enough
03:46
horror stories about white panel vans
03:50
that I'm okay okay and I look and
03:55
there's a man in the panel van I'm like
04:00
alright that's forget in the van with a
04:03
man and so I get my keys out and I put
04:05
them between my fingers because
04:07
apparently that's supposed to be good
04:08
self defense but I'm not sure that that
04:10
actually works but it put my hands in my
04:13
pockets because not only are they cold
04:15
but I didn't want to offend him if he
04:16
was actually a nice guy
04:19
so I get in it turns out he was a very
04:22
friendly man he's like hey what happened
04:24
on my car just died for some reason it
04:26
just stopped running can you take me to
04:28
the other town I'm not sure where I'm
04:29
gonna stay but at least get me there and
04:31
he's like don't worry I'm going to meet
04:35
my wife at the VFW and you know you can
04:39
probably spend the night on our couch
04:41
but let me give her a call so he's
04:44
calling his wife and says honey I picked
04:47
up a woman on the road and I was really
04:50
hoping she was laughing on the other end
04:52
because I was gonna meet her shortly and
04:55
so we get to the VFW I hope in the door
04:59
and oh my god the warmth in this place
05:02
was just wonderful and you know people
05:05
are hanging around drinking beer eating
05:07
pizza being sociable I start talking
05:12
with a wife and she's very nice and she
05:14
was you know sorry my car froze and and
05:17
said sure you can stay with us tonight
05:20
sleep on the couch if you don't mind our
05:22
little dog will probably crawl up there
05:24
with you and I'm like that's fine just
05:26
like yeah we're here they bought me a
05:28
piece of pizza to be you know really
05:30
nice people so there she says you know
05:35
we're gonna take a pizza home to our
05:37
teenage daughter who's who's waiting for
05:39
us so we're gonna get out of here pretty
05:40
soon and then she sees my wedding ring
05:44
that I'm wearing and asked me you know
05:46
oh so you're married what does your
05:48
husband do now I was wearing a wedding
05:51
ring because several years before that
05:54
I'd had a commitment ceremony with my
05:56
partner my first partner who was a piano
05:59
teacher and and you know we in our minds
06:02
were married even though we were
06:04
completely illegal but I'm in this VFW
06:09
hall with some nice people and a
06:11
blizzard outside and I need a couch to
06:13
sleep on and I don't know these folks
06:16
and I don't know where they're at on
06:18
this you know their views about things
06:20
and so I said my husband is a piano
06:24
teacher now I'm not a person who lives
06:30
comfortably in the closet I never had
06:32
then I I can't even I don't even know
06:36
when I come out to people because we're
06:37
just talking and it comes out and it's
06:40
no big deal
06:41
you know even a few years before this I
06:44
was sitting in an entire shop in
06:45
Bloomington and a lady was in the
06:48
waiting room when I was getting new
06:50
tires she's watching CNN and there's a
06:52
story about a gay journalist who died
06:54
and she gets a sour look on her face she
06:58
looks at me and she says I don't care
07:00
what they say those people choose that
07:02
lifestyle and we ended up having a very
07:05
nice and interesting conversation about
07:07
how he didn't choose to be a lesbian I
07:09
just sort of figured it out yeah in the
07:12
tire story so here I am the f/w I go
07:19
home with them you know a married woman
07:22
married to a husband who's a piano
07:25
teacher I sleep on their couch their
07:27
little dog sleeps by my head we have
07:29
breakfast the next morning they drive me
07:31
into town I pick up my car somebody
07:33
towed it off the highway and brought it
07:35
into the gas station and and it's
07:36
running now it just froze apparently
07:39
everything was fine and I go on my way
07:42
now fast forward a number of years I
07:46
have a new partner now and in the summer
07:50
of 2014 after several years the fighting
07:54
really really hard to stop Indiana from
07:56
putting a marriage discrimination
07:58
amendment in the Bill of Rights of our
08:01
Constitution I'm in blooming foods in
08:06
the middle of June and my friend John
08:09
calls and says the courts ruled marriage
08:13
is legal in Indiana and I burst into
08:19
tears in the middle of blooming foods I
08:21
was so overcome like and it was weird
08:25
because I I was joyous I was incredulous
08:29
I was so relieved and at the very same
08:33
time I could feel something shift and
08:36
the world like like I took a step from
08:40
the margins into my community and I
08:43
hadn't even noticed that I'd been
08:45
the margins like I suddenly exhaled and
08:49
I didn't know I had been holding my
08:51
breath but it was it was such a shift
08:56
for me so I looked back from the tire
09:04
store conversation to being in the VFW
09:10
with these really nice people who were
09:12
gonna let me sleep on the couch and
09:14
saying that my husband was a piano
09:16
teacher because I didn't know what would
09:19
happen to now oh my god Jenny we can get
09:23
married you know and we've come so far
09:28
and yet at the same time I know we have
09:30
so far to go in Indiana and in this
09:32
country you know people can still get
09:36
fired because of their sexual
09:38
orientation gender identity we still are
09:40
dealing with white supremacy and even a
09:42
resurgence of that in our own
09:45
communities so we have a long way to go
09:48
and I don't know what all the answers
09:50
are for how to get where we need to go
09:52
as a community as a state I don't I
09:56
don't even know if that nice couple in
09:58
the VFW would have taken me home to
10:00
their couch even if I had said my wife
10:03
is a piano teacher maybe I'd like to
10:05
think that they would have probably
10:07
there but I don't know because it was
10:09
really damn cold outside and and I
10:12
didn't want to chance it
10:14
the one thing that I do know is that I'm
10:17
gonna keep working to make Indiana the
10:20
state where every Hoosier can be sure
10:24
that they don't have to choose between
10:27
safety and a blizzard and the truth of
10:30
their heart thank you
10:34
[Applause]
10:36
you
10:36
[Applause]
Don Griffin analyzes prejudice in our communities and assumptions involving race.

Description of the video:

00:01
[Music]
00:07
well I'm a Hoosier I'm a reluctant to
00:14
sure which I think most people might be
00:17
a show of hands that anyone dream about
00:22
becoming a Hoosier
00:24
okay see well 10 years ago or no it's
00:33
I'm gonna start my story 10 years after
00:37
I came back and I had a three year old
00:39
and we were married and to my lovely
00:44
wife Nicole and we we took on the idea
00:50
of embracing everything that Indiana has
00:52
to offer and so that means that we were
00:57
going to be going to the affair the
01:01
County Fair we loved fair we loved fair
01:03
food that's just something that we love
01:05
to do we like the the corn dogs and the
01:09
tenderloins and what's what's another
01:13
one yeah Alif any years yes that was in
01:16
years so there we were we were at the
01:19
County Fair and normally we we kind of
01:24
stay around the food section I'm a
01:27
little scared of carne so we stay away
01:29
from that but there was a sound in the
01:36
grandstands and it was a sound of cars
01:39
and if anyone knows me they know that I
01:42
love cars and my little three-year-old
01:45
at the time Dexter loves cars as well
01:48
and so we're hearing all this noise and
01:51
he's like dad we we we got to go check
01:55
that out and I'm like well okay you know
02:00
normally like I said I stay stay in the
02:02
areas that I'm safe with and that I'm
02:05
used to but we went ahead and went into
02:09
the grandstands and
02:13
immediately I recognize that we're the
02:19
only people that that look like us
02:21
there's eyes all on us in living in
02:27
Indiana that's something that and being
02:29
a real estate agent that's something
02:31
that I'm normally used to but it's
02:34
different when you have your your
02:36
three-year-old and your family with you
02:37
and because what this is supposed to be
02:40
fun it's it's it's not my job right now
02:43
but we're trying to train him to you
02:47
know at that age hey we just we do what
02:49
we want to do you know you you go into
02:52
places that you're not necessarily
02:53
comfortable with because that's just
02:55
life so we hurry up and we scary and we
03:01
we we go up into the the grandstands we
03:04
find a seat and this this man is looking
03:11
at us he's glaring at us he's um he's
03:18
got overalls on he's got the Hat I think
03:22
it was it was probably red man I think
03:24
or it could have been John Deere I'm
03:30
being stereotypical so I probably
03:32
shouldn't do that but you know he he had
03:35
his arms folded like this and he was he
03:39
didn't make a he didn't make his face
03:41
didn't change it was just this face and
03:44
he was he was just looking at us and I'm
03:49
mad I'm like okay and my wife she's a
03:52
she used to be a zero to three year old
03:55
you know teacher and so she knows how to
03:58
redirect and she uses that on me a lot
04:02
it works most of the time so I'm like
04:08
man I'm gonna go talk to go and handle
04:12
this and she's like you need to just sit
04:15
down and enjoy the dog or and you know
04:18
tractor cool because that's what we're
04:20
there just enjoy the tractor pool now
04:23
like you know but but what was happening
04:25
in my mind is
04:26
you know I lived I grew up a mile or two
04:32
from the mountain real County
04:35
Fairgrounds and so all the the feelings
04:40
all the things that happened to me as a
04:42
child we're kind of welling up inside of
04:46
me as this adult and some of the
04:50
examples are you know I I had a teacher
04:52
who my first grade teacher she told my
04:56
parents that she had never had a black
04:59
child and she didn't know how to teach a
05:02
black child or the fact that I had to
05:05
stay in the principal's office during
05:09
recess so that the kids would no longer
05:13
play KKK and chase me with belts my dad
05:18
was a police officer one of the first
05:20
black police officers in Bloomington so
05:22
my name was little black piglet so these
05:25
are all these things are in my mind
05:28
right now like in this man that's
05:31
staring me down he's gonna be the brunt
05:34
of it and I'm big now you know and you
05:37
know I've got a business and you know
05:40
it's not gonna happen to my child
05:42
anymore we're gonna I'm gonna take care
05:45
of this and of course my wife is still
05:48
tugging at my pocket saying you know and
05:51
I'm like no I'm gonna go and talk to
05:53
this man because I'm not having it but
05:57
what stopped me is at that moment these
06:03
two little african-american girls one
06:08
was probably no more than six the other
06:10
one was four probably they were sisters
06:14