The Wabash College Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies (MXIBS) presents speaker Karrah Herring, Indiana’s chief equity, inclusion, and opportunity officer, whose upcoming talk will highlight a day commemorating the life and leadership of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
The address will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 16, in Salter Hall.
Herring has served as the state’s first-ever chief equity, inclusion, and opportunity officer since 2020. Her team’s work focuses on growing statewide access and opportunity in education and economic development and enhancing employee experiences within Indiana state government’s executive branch.
“I am so honored to speak for the Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies MLK event,” Chief Officer Herring said. “We have accomplished many things in regard to equity, inclusion, and opportunity in the state of Indiana. Nevertheless, we have mountains yet to climb.
“Until we see more racial and ethnic representation in the highest levels of politics, business and more, we cannot get comfortable. Until marginalized and historically underrepresented populations have a seat at the table regarding conversations on the distribution of resources for our communities, we cannot get comfortable. Until the Black community whole heartedly dives head first into conversations regarding the Black family structure, Black on Black crime and how we want to be represented in various modes of mass media and entertainment, we cannot get comfortable,” she said. “I will challenge us in all these areas and more, so if you are ready to be uncomfortable so that we can climb together toward greater progress, join us for this amazing event.”
Herring previously worked for the University of Notre Dame for a decade and served as the director of public affairs. Herring serves on several boards and committees and was recently appointed to the Indiana Supreme Court's Commission on Equity and Access where she chairs a subcommittee focused on creating pathway programs that diversify Indiana's bench and bar.
She is also a member of the Center for Digital Government’s Digital Equity Advisory Committee, and the National Academy for State Health Policy’s Population and Public Health Steering Committee.
Herring received her bachelor’s degree in communications and public relations from Purdue University and her juris doctorate from Valparaiso University.
Steven Jones ’87, dean for professional development and director of the MXIBS, said Herring will bring energy, passion, and significant insights on how we can individually and collectively, continue to honor the life of Dr. King.
“Our theme for the evening, Mountains Still to Climb, acknowledges the progress we have made in the area of civil, voting, and human rights,” Jones said, “and it also allows for us to think about how we continue to remove obstacles so all of humanity can thrive.
“As a Wabash Community, this is our opportunity to come together and reaffirm our commitment to these words of Dr. King: ‘I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture of their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, men other-centered can build up.’”
The event is free and open to the public.