By Holden Hartle / Public relations intern, Butler University
Marcus Rodney Hatcher epitomizes what it means to be an underdog. Some may say that comes from his roots which are embedded deep into the Indianapolis concrete. He, just like his dad, and his dad, and the dad before that one, was born and raised in Indianapolis. For four generations the Hatcher family has made the Crosstown neighborhood their home.
Indianapolis sports teams haven’t always been known for winning championships. You can count on one hand how many championships an Indianapolis team won. The Pacers won American Basketball Association championships in 1970, ’72 and ’73. The Colts won a Super Bowl in 2007, and the Fever won its most recent championship in 2012.
But for some Indianapolis fans, the championship and the glamour are not the most important part of the game. Sometimes all someone needs are some grit and a community.
Sometimes, the most important work comes with engaging and building with community members. This is part of the core mission of the Public Allies program – where Marcus was able to help build his foundation in the community, outside of his neighborhood.
Marcus found Public Allies at a time when he said he “built a lot of character.” He had no working phone and no car. On a stroke of luck, Marcus spotted Duane Ingram getting out of his car. Duane was a part of the panel that interviewed Marcus at Public Allies.
“It’s now or never,” said Marcus’s father.
“Long story short, they hired me as their Americorps Public Ally – and the rest is history,” Marcus said.
Marcus takes pride in being an active member in his community. “The kids see me at Costco, they see me at Fresh Thyme, and they see me at Kroger. They see me working out in the neighborhood. They know Mr. Hatcher not only as a teacher in the neighborhood, but he’s going to come to our cross country meets. He’s going to come to our swimming meets.”
Marcus and his wife, Rhianon, bowl in a duo’s league. With one week left, they were in first place, but Marcus had to wear a knee brace and popped three Advil before he played. Even Lebron might have taken a “load management” day, but Marcus played and they won that final game.
“That’s just the pedigree I was raised upon,” Marcus would say.
You can now find Marcus at The Orchard School serving as the director of diversity, equity and inclusion.
PHOTO ABOVE: Marcus with his wife, Rhianon, and their two children.