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Who's Who In Black Indianapolis


This past session of the Indiana General Assembly marked the end of an era in Indiana state government. A legislator known for "standing up for the people," retired after a 40-year career. State Representative William "Bill" Crawford was the state's longest serving legislator after being elected by voters in district 98, twenty times.

In those 40 years of service, Crawford has championed the issues of the "common man." He believed in accountability, justice and neighborhood development.

Some of his long list of achievements include: creating the Low Income Housing Trust Fund, which provides assistance in obtaining affordable housing and starting The Minority Teacher Scholarship Fund, to provide grants to help potential African American and Latino educators. He was also the first African American to serve as the chairman of the powerful, House Ways and Means committee.

Representative Crawford has also led major cultural institutions, serving as the president of Indiana Black Expo. He helped to shape and set the course of the organization. We are so honored that this statesman agreed to write the foreword for our eighth edition of Who's Who In Black Indianapolis.

Educating our youth is the purpose of two organizations in our special features section. The Center for Leadership Development (CLD) is an organization founded here in Indianapolis, that trains and prepares it's students for success in college and in life. CLD has a strong track record of success stories, and many of it' alumni have returned to Indianapolis to make meaningful contributions to the city.

The work of The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is recognized around the country for providing the means for African-American students to go to college. The efforts of local UNCF team, however has set the bar of achieving, higher than ever before. We will share stories of their success!

We hope you enjoy this edition!



Additional Info

Sherma Wise

Associate Publisher for its Who’s Who In Black Indianapolis® publication since 2003, Sherma Wise-Thomas is the CEO of the Media Wise Communications Group, a multi-faceted organization engaged in a variety of media related ventures. A broadcast journalist by training and profession, this Chicago native has worked as an on-air reporter and anchor for a number of media organizations including WTLC Radio, WKYT-TV (CBS) in Lexington, Kentucky, WPDS-TV, and WFYI-TV (PBS).

She has produced a number of television projects and special events. Nationally, she has been the executive producer of the National Association of Black Journalists' annual award shows. Additionally, Wise created, produced and co-hosted a television show starring NBA star Reggie Miller.

Her community service distinctions include being the founder of the Lexington, Kentucky chapter of the Coalition of 100 Black Women and being named a "Kentucky Colonel," the highest civilian honor that can be bestowed by the governor. She is Vice-President Elect of the Junior League of Indianapolis and is married to Indianapolis attorney Gregory L. Thomas.

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