FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
INDIANAPOLIS – (September 7, 2021) – EmpowerED Families, an Indianapolis-based organization that builds family power through relationships, has announced the addition of Alexis Tardy as Lead Organizer, Delma Suber as Community Outreach Coordinator and Dr. Chantée Eldridge and Clare A. Pope to its board of directors.
“We are deeply honored to have such passionate parent advocates join our team”, said Ontay Johnson, Executive Director. “Their extensive experience, personally and professionally, of disrupting systems of inequality and their commitment to advocacy for their children and others, has prepared them to make an incredible impact in the lives of Indianapolis families.”
is a Minister who was previously the Director of Faith Formation at Zionsville Christian Church. Before returning to Indianapolis in 2020, Alexis led as the Program Director at Faith and For the Sake of All, where she organized trainings and workshops to end racial disparities in Saint Louis. As a consultant for Urban Strategies, she mentored youth and worked with families and community leaders in Ferguson, Missouri. Alexis earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and a Master of Divinity Degree from Eden Theological Seminary in Saint Louis, Missouri. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry in Womanist Preaching at Memphis Theological Seminary. Alexis is deeply committed to justice for Black and Brown families, while working toward equitable communities for everyone. In her role as Lead Community Organizer, Tardy will coach, mentor, and develop organizers in Indianapolis to lead and execute local campaigns aligned with the organizational mission of EmpowerED Families.
is an Advocate and Servant Leader whose professional work has included advocacy for equity in Healthcare and Education for marginalized families. She has served as a Social Worker and Family Support Specialist for Clarian Hospital (now IU Health) partnering with families to assess and overcome need gaps to put them on a brighter path. She has also served as a certified Doula teaching mothers how to advocate for their unborn children and has served as Program Representative for Indiana Wesleyan University helping students reach their fullest potential. Suber earned a master’s degree in Student Development Counseling and Administration from Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI). Suber, in her new role of Community Outreach Coordinator, will lead workshops, events and advocacy training for Indianapolis parents, in partnership with local schools and community organizations.
Chantée Eldridge, Ed.D
is currently the Vice President of Communications, Equity, and Outreach at Strada Education Network, a national nonprofit social impact organization. Her work has centered in the areas of higher education, communications, public affairs and engagement. Dr. Eldridge started a higher education career by serving as a registrar for two colleges in Denver, followed by a robust career in community engagement and public affairs for the Colorado Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, Indiana Department of Economic Development, and the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. She also served in the areas of talent management, organizational development, communications, and stakeholder engagement with Midcontinent Independent Transmission System Operator (MITSO) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Dr. Eldridge holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and a doctorate in higher education leadership from Maryville University.
Clare A. Pope
is Founder and CEO of Family Concepts Services offering Family Life Education and Development, committed to providing outreach sessions centered around Family Enrichment, Resident Leadership, and Community Engagement. She has worked in the area of Community Outreach in the Indianapolis (IN) area for the past fifteen years. Her dedication involves engaging trauma impacted communities through various neighborhood initiatives in defining basic foundational principles for individuals and family units to thrive beyond social barriers. Pope studied Mental Health/Social Science at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis (IN) and received training through the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center (INRC) Community Leadership, Transform Peer Coaching and Neighbor Power/Community Engagement organizations. Pope currently serves as a member of the Far Eastside Community Council. She has been recognized with the 2018 Urban Servant Leader of the Year Award presented by Unite for Change for ongoing dedication to outstanding community engagement.
“Parent advocacy is central to the work of EmpowerED Families, so it’s imperative that we have members on the board who are equally focused on ensuring parents and families’ perspectives are heard and acted upon,” said Shannon Williams, chair of EmpowerED Families Board of Directors. “Dr. Edwards and Clare each possess unique talents that will enhance the board and help hold the organization accountable”, said Williams. “We are proud to have such skilled and committed women join the board.”
EmpowerED Families launched a Parent Advocate fellowship with 8 Black and LatinX parents who were trained in organizing and advocacy work, working to connect virtually with local parents and families. Suber and Pope were among the inaugural cohort of Parent Advocates who held over 200 meetings with families to learn more about their educational challenges, personal experiences and areas of greatest need. In direct response to the feedback received from families, EmpowerED Families announced in May 2021 that the following four platform areas will inform their organizational priorities over the next three years: Education and Community Coaching, School Funding, Life Skills Coaching and Racial Equity in Schools.
In August, EmpowerED Families launched its first series of monthly events entitled, “Parent Power Development Trainings” (PPDT). The free information sessions offer a safe space for parents to learn, share and to ask questions. They are also family-friendly with children’s activities, incentives and dinner provided for all attendees. The next Parent Power Development Training, “Parenting in a Pandemic: Solutions amid the stress and uncertainties of schools and Covid 19”, will be held Tuesday, September 21st, 6-7 p.m., East 38th Street Branch, Indy Public Library, 5420 E. 38th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46205. Families will learn how to develop a plan in the event of unexpected school-mandated quarantines and will receive valuable tips for preserving mental health. For more information or to register: empoweredfamiliesindy.org/PPDT
About EmpowerED Families
EmpowerED Families builds Indianapolis family power through relationships while rallying behind the strengths of parents to weave together the home, school, and community, to fight for educational equity. EmpowerED Families listens, organizes, and educates parents to bring the change they want to see in the Indianapolis education system. To learn more, visit empoweredfamiliesindy.org.