Marc Hardy grew up in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood of Indianapolis. He received his undergraduate degree from Indiana University in Sociology and African American Diaspora Studies. Marc currently serves as our Manager of Operations at KIPP Indy Legacy High.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History Month is a chance for myself and people who look like me to feel pride in our culture. Too often, we are encouraged to suppress our pride. But, in February, it’s on! Also, it’s a chance to focus on having an impact on our community, whether it is through community service, education, etc.
What role does your identity play in your work at KIPP Indy?
My identity plays a huge part in my work because I grew up within walking distance of KIPP Indy off of 34th and Keystone. I see myself in our kids from the things they do outside of school like walking to the corner store or hanging out at Douglas or Washington Parks. That was me when I was younger and I want them to know that. I’m not exactly where I want to be in life yet but I have been fortunate enough to experience life outside of the 46218-zip code. So now I want to bring all of those opportunities of the world back to Martindale-Brightwood.
Why does representation matter in the teaching profession?
You don’t know something is possible until you see it. You may never even think about it, before you see it. I can speak for myself and say, I didn’t know it was possible for a 20 something year old to own rental properties, until I saw it. I didn’t know it was really possible to write and publish a book, until I saw it. That’s why it’s so important for us at Legacy High to make sure our students are career exposed. They may not be interested in all the opportunities we put in front of them, but something is going to stick. We always remember the impression people in our life left on us. I want to leave as many positive impressions as I can on our students.
How did representation of people of color affect your own educational experience?
Unfortunately, I did not have teachers or leaders of color until I moved in with my uncle in Pike township at the end of my sophomore year of high school. I remember Mr. Dobbs; he was a cool, young administrator who could relate to us. I realized that you don’t have to be a complete book worm to live a comfortable life. You can still be cool and be yourself without having to struggle financially. He showed me that you can make it, just by being yourself but handling your business at the same time.