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Public forum explaining what CRT is and 'what it's not' to be held at IUPUI

A state senator, the NAACP, American Constitution Society and Black Law School Association are hosting an open dialogue to explain what CRT is and what it isn't.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A term you may be hearing a lot of is "critical race theory."

State Senator Greg Taylor helped organize a forum after hearing so many people, including lawmakers, using the term when discussing House Bill 1134.

Taylor, along with the NAACP, American Constitution Society and the Black Law School Association are hosting an open dialogue Wednesday to explain what critical race theory is and what it isn't.

House Bill 1134 does not explicitly reference critical race theory, but it's inspired by it.

In its current form, HB 1134 says it bans educators from teaching lessons that cause, "discomfort, guilt, anguish or psychological distress due to sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin or political affiliation."

#CriticalRaceTheory: What it is and is not. A frank and open discussion among IN state legislators and policy...

Posted by Greater Indianapolis NAACP Unit #3053 on Wednesday, February 16, 2022

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CRT was created in the 1970s and 1980s by scholars as a way to examine how laws and systems promote inequality.

It has since expanded, being taught on the graduate level primarily to students pursuing law and sociology degrees.

In a statement to 13News, Taylor said, "I'm hopeful that spreading the reality about what this theory is and how it explores themes in American history, will help more people understand and embrace CRT."

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Barbara Bolling, president of the Indiana NAACP, said some parents may have the wrong idea.

"We want to dispel the myth that it's being taught K-12 because it is not. It's a concept that is beyond the skill set of children. And nobody is offering that conversation for children," Bolling said.

Taylor said he hopes to provide a space for conversation, learning and growth.

The forum is Wednesday night at IUPUI from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the IU McKinney School of Law.

Seating is limited to 50, but it'll be available to watch on Facebook or Zoom.

Registration for the Zoom webinar is available here

The forum can be watched live on the NAACP's Facebook page.

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