Many of us are in pain this week.
We are following the leadership modelled by Jonell Logan of the League of Creative Interventionists in Charlotte, who issued this statement, to clarify and reiterate where we stand as an organization.
We grieve George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Dreasjon Reed, and Tony McDade, as well as for the many other lives lost in the legacy of racist violence, which includes the 1979 Greensboro Massacre and the death of Marcus Deon Smith at the hands of Greensboro police.
Deaths across the country continue to mount from COVID-19. These deaths have disproportionately affected communities of color, both reflecting and worsening existing racism and social inequities. We mourn for the tens of thousands of lives lost, for our systemic failure to protect them, and for all the impacts of this horrible disease.
With so much loss, there are many questioning where their community institutions stand. We want to make Elsewhere's position clear: We condemn systemic, institutional and individual racism, we condemn violence against Black people and all people of color, and we stand with protestors and organizers in Greensboro, Minneapolis, Louisville, and across the nation who are fighting against racism and white supremacy.
Elsewhere's mission is to build collaborative futures. Collaborative futures must include equitable community transformation.
We reaffirm our commitment to this work by:
continuing to reflect on and critique the ways in which we, as a historically white institution, benefit from and perpetuate white supremacist culture,
educating ourselves, our stakeholders, and our audiences to help dismantle systems of oppression at all levels of our organizational structure, in our values, and in our actions,
creating space for communities to have the difficult conversations needed to make change,*
fostering creative action arising from these conversations,*
working collaboratively to transform our communities for the betterment of all people,*
leveraging our position as a cultural institution locally and nationally to support the transformative voices and work of our fellows, partners, neighbors, and communities,*
and building platforms for new leaders in and of our communities.*
This is a critical moment. We want you to know that Elsewhere is committed to joining you in this work, not just in this moment but as long as work remains to be done. It will take all of us to build the just and collaborative future we all deserve.
To get involved, make a contribution to justice organizations, and learn about anti-racism work see our growing list here.
The Elsewhere Team,
J. Sam Cone