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When They See Me

When they see me,

Will it be my intelligence

Or the color of my skin?

The sheer thought that

My life could end before
It begins scares me,

Making me have an

Out-of-body experience.

The cops’ persistence,

The mile risk, the distance

To not be the next

Victim behind barbed wire,

Makes me recognize that

My fear of red, white, and blue

Gives a clue they’ll do

And sacrifice anything

To prove that I’m guilty.

I’m black, so they’ll put me through crap,

Make me lie, put me in a trap.

Fear, my fear is represented

In tears.

My brain processing like gears.

We protest, don’t rest

Until we earn respect.

Unless my color is white,

I’ll fight for my rights.

But the rights of my brothers

And sisters, black or brown,

Don’t determine that you

Should hide, change your mind,

That you should force me to lie.

Doesn’t determine that you shouldn’t

See me—

That when you see me,

It’s not only me, but the

Figures that helped my


Those who’ve died, those

Who paid time for

Crimes they didn’t do,

Those who cried

For being forced to lie.

For the Exonerated Five

Who fought for their

Lives, rights, who had hope

That they might become

Free, fight.

For Trayvon Martin, whose

Life is never forgotten.

For all the black activists

Who fought

For every unjustified police

Brutality, death, killing,


For when they finally see


For when they see me

And not the color of my skin,

But for the girl within.


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Kathi Badertscher, PhD

Director of Graduate Programs at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
Kathi Badertscher, PhD, is Director of Graduate Programs at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Dr. Badertscher teaches a variety of BA, MA, and doctoral courses, including Applying Ethics in Philanthropy and History of Philanthropy. She has participated in several Teaching Vonnegut workshops and is a member of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library. Dr. Badertscher has been a guest speaker on ethics in philanthropy, including at the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners – Indianapolis Council; Association of Fundraising Professionals – Indiana Chapter; and Zhou Enlai School of Government, Nankai University, Tianjin, China. In 2019 she received IUPUI Office for Women, Women’s Leadership Award for Newcomer Faculty. In 2019 and 2020 she received the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Graduate Teaching Award.
Dr. Badertscher’s publications include “Fundraising for Advocacy and Social Change,” co-authored with Shariq Siddiqui in Achieving Excellence in Fundraising, 5th ed., 2022; “Insulin at 100: Indianapolis, Toronto, Woods Hole, and the ‘Insulin Road,’ co-authored with Christopher Rutty, Pharmacy in History (2020); and three articles in the Indiana Magazine of History: “A New Wishard Is on the Way,” “Evaline Holliday and the Work of Community Service,” and “Social Networks in Indianapolis during the Progressive Era.” Her chapters on social welfare history will appear in three upcoming edited volumes on the history of philanthropy, including “The Legacy of Edna Henry and Her Contributions to the IU School of Social Work,” Women at Indiana University: Views of the Past and the Future, edited by Andrea Walton, Indiana University Press, 2022 (forthcoming). Dr. Badertscher is also the Philanthropy and Nonprofits Consulting Editor for the forthcoming Digital Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, edited by David J. Bodenhamer and Elizabeth Van Allen, Indiana University Press, 2021. Dr. Badertscher is an active volunteer in the Indianapolis community. At present, she is a Coburn Place Safe Haven Board Member and a Children’s Bureau/Families First Brand and Marketing Advisor. Dr. Badertscher holds the MA in History from Indiana University and the MA and PhD in philanthropic studies from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

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