Persistent in Progress: A Timeline of Silver in the City’s Dedication to Social Justice

To understand the motivations behind the organization’s new Silver Linings Fund, explore how Silver in the City has advocated for social justice causes since opening in 2000.
Silver in the City_Mass Ave

This story was created in partnership with Silver in the City.

Most longtime Indianapolis residents can agree that the city has changed drastically in the past few decades. While Indy had been evolving for years when it hosted the Super Bowl in 2012, the city came alive — Georgia Street transformed into Super Bowl Village, the JW Marriott was built, and the related funding left a lasting impact on the cityscape. Since then, Indianapolis continued to develop — in sports with the establishment of Indy Eleven, Indy Fuel, and hosting of the 2020 NCAA Basketball Championships; in excursions with the opening of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and Pacers Bikeshare system; in gastronomy with the explosion of many new, now nationally and internationally renowned restaurants; and in arts and culture with a variety of galleries and exhibits dedicated to showcasing both traditional and emergent artwork. 

In recent years—especially in 2020 and 2021, we’ve seen an increased focus on corporate-social responsibility on both the local and national level, with organizations advocating for important changes around issues like racial justice, environmental sustainability, and accessible education and healthcare. Still, while the city has become more progressive and many businesses have spoken out regarding important causes, there is an organization that has advocated for causes it believes in since its founding in 2000—a time when few companies had corporate-social responsibility as a true cornerstone of their business strategy. This organization is Silver in the City, one of Indianapolis’ most beloved boutiques. 

This brief timeline outlines Silver in the City’s unwavering commitment to the values it has had since its establishment over 20 years ago. This dedication to social justice, beginning as a mission to “make everyone feel welcome,” led to the creation of the Silver Linings Fund, which supports grant applicants in pursuits of social justice.

July 2000

The first Silver in the City opened at 715 Mass Ave as a silver jewelry shop dedicated to making everyone feel welcome.

October 2001

The store moved to its current location at 434 Mass Ave. and expanded three-fold to include home furnishings, decor, and gifts.

March 2015

Silver in the City teamed up with CEO Josh Driver to launch his Open for Service campaign in response to Indiana’s RFRA legislation, encouraging businesses to sign a pledge that they are open to all. The store also participated in interviews on local and national media speaking out against laws that allow businesses to deny services to the LGBTQ+ community.

May 2015

A second location was opened at 111 W. Main Street in the Carmel Arts and Design District.

June 2016

Silver in the City pledged to donate a portion of June pride flag sales to Indiana Youth Group and has continued this to the present day for a total of more than $6500 in donations.

January 2017

Silver in the City held a donation day, with 100% of sales donated to Planned Parenthood—and raised $45,000.

May 21, 2019

Silver in the City held a second donation day, with 100% of sales donated to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, protesting restrictive abortion laws being enacted in Alabama. In a single day, the organization raised $60k, providing donations of $29k to each organization.

May 29, 2020

In support of Black Lives Matter and in protest of the killing of Black people by law enforcement, Silver in the City installed People>Property—a collection of over 270 BIPOC people’s names who were killed in acts of racism. The organization researched the story behind every name and created a database accessible by a QR Code on the installation. These boards covered the store windows until they were collected by the Indiana State Museum for their 2020 archives.  

Summer 2020

The store collected checkout donations for the Movement for Black Lives, donating over $7,200 in August 2020.

July 2020

 In celebration of the store’s 20th anniversary, the Silver in the City’s Silver Linings Fund was created. This fund — in partnership with Central Indiana Community Foundation – is dedicated to efforts addressing racial disparity in Central Indiana Communities.

January 1, 2021

The organization pledged 1% of sales to the Silver Linings Fund in order to be distributed through a bi-annual grant process.

July 2021

The first round of Silver Linings grants were distributed to seven local organizations working to address issues of food security, education, housing, and healthcare in communities serving a majority of Black, Latinx, and Immigrant residents.

September 2021

Silver in the City opened its second round of grant applications for grants to be distributed in early December.

October 2, 2021

For the Rally for Reproductive Rights, Silver in the City matched donations to Planned Parenthood of Indiana up to $10k — and hopes to do the same for the ACLU of Indiana to protect reproductive freedom for Indiana’s women.

November 2021

The 2nd Round of Silver Linings Grants will be awarded to local organizations.

December 1, 2021

The State of Mississippi will be challenging Roe v Wade at the Supreme Court, and the store will be matching donations made to the ACLU of Indiana up to $10,000.

Throughout its history, Silver in the City has maintained its commitment to standing up for causes it believes in and will continue to do so by empowering others in pursuit of a shared mission. As noted in the timeline, this central dedication to social justice has developed into the organization’s introduction of its “Silver Linings Fund,” Applicants can apply for funding that addresses issues of social inequity in Indianapolis. Applications for the second round of grants are open until October 31, with funds being distributed to winners in early December.

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