News release from Huntington University:
Statement of the Harmony Initiative Task Force
(HUNTINGTON, Ind., August 31, 2011) â€” We the undersigned citizens of Huntington County are dismayed by a report of racially charged conduct at the recent football game between Huntington North and North Side High School.
We take this issue seriously. Inappropriate behavior is not, and must not be, characteristic of our community. Race should never be a factor in athletic competition.
We commend the leadership of both school corporations for responding to the allegations, and we support both investigations. We want to get to the truth and have a fair resolution to the conflict.
We affirm and continue to strive toward living out the values of our city’s mission statement: “Huntington, Indiana is a community of civility and inclusion, where diversity is honored and differences are respected.”
We want to be a welcoming community. Last year, during the Huntington North High School homecoming game, we hosted the Harmony Feast, a culinary celebration of racial and ethnic diversity. Nearly 400 people of many nationalities and ethnicities participated. The event was such a success that we are planning another Harmony Feast during the Vikings’ 2011 homecoming game on September 23. All are welcome.
We are committed to creating a better future and want to continue the forward movement of acceptance and harmony among all citizens. Today we in Huntington realize, in the words of our city’s mission statement, that “ethnic, economic and religious diversity provides the strength that holds our community together.”
The Harmony Initiative Task Force
Dr. G. Blair Dowden (chair), President, Huntington University
Mr. Mike Perkins (vice chair), Director, Parkview Huntington Foundation
Mr. Jesse Brown, Assistant Dean of Students, Huntington University
Rev. Brooks Fetters, Common Council, City of Huntington
Mr. Chuck Grable, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Huntington County Community School Corp.
Mr. Kyle Hamilton, President, Our Sunday Visitor (Offertory Solutions Division)
Ms. Trace Hinesley, Director of Special Programs, Huntington County Community School Corporation
Mr. Michael Howell, Executive Director, Huntington County Community Foundation
Mr. Steve Kimmel, President, Chamber of Commerce of Huntington County
Mr. AndrÃ© Laird, Reporter/Photographer, The Huntington County TAB
Rev. Dr. Marti Lundy, Senior Pastor, Evangelical United Methodist Church
Mr. John Niederman, President, Pathfinder Services
Mr. John Paff, Vice President for University Relations, Huntington University
Mr. Tracey Shafer, Superintendent, Huntington County Community School Corporation
Mrs. Jenna Strick, Executive Director, United Way of Huntington County
Mr. Tom Wall, President, Huntington County Commissioners
Ms. Sue Wilhelm, Director, Victory Noll Center
Mr. Mike Zahn, CEO and President, First Federal Savings Bank