Posted on June 5, 2020
We demand justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and the ongoing list of black lives taken through police brutality and hate crimes. The Durham Art Guild supports the black leaders, artists and partners within our organization and their families. We support our black friends and their families. We support the black lives in our community and across the nation. BLACK LIVES MATTER. BLACK FUTURES MATTER. BLACK IDEAS MATTER. BLACK ART MATTERS.
We dedicate space on our platforms this week (and moving forward) to sharing resources in support of black lives, with special attention to black artists in our community.
It is beyond time for us to speak up and take bolder action. The Durham Art Guild is committed to our role in dismantling systemic racism and white supremacy culture. We recognize that the people of color in our organization often bear more weight in moving this work forward and we are being mindful of that in this moment and as we move forward. DAG is prioritizing time to rework how we can best serve our black leaders, black artists, and other artists of color in our community. We will continue to listen, learn, engage and take action. This is lifelong work, and we are all in this together.
We understand that as an organization we have not done enough. We commit to holding ourselves and our community accountable. We encourage our community to help hold us accountable.
Stay tuned to this space, our newsletter, and our social media channels for additional resources and updates on our ongoing commitment to equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion.
UPDATE: Our next annual board and staff retreat is scheduled for late August, 2020 to recommit to and further advance our DEAI strategic planning. Many thanks to Racial Equity Institute, Organizing Against Racism Durham and Equity Paradigm for their trainings and thought partnership in recent years laying the essential groundwork for shared knowledge, history and language around systemic racism and anti-racism work.
UPDATE: From the staff and board retreat it was discussed that a lack of accountability mechanisms has been problematic and a hinderance to our momentum and more fervently advancing this work. Multi-layered accountability mechanisms are critical to ensuring that Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion are continually prioritized throughout DAG. A new intersectional Equity Centering team was assembled including all 3 DAG staff members and 2 board members to define and begin implementing these internal accountability mechanisms in November and December 2020. DAG board and staff also worked through a core values exercise and developed 3 core guiding values for the organization.
UPDATE: In the 2021 new year, the Equity Centering team has worked to secure funding for 6 months of next steps advancing DEAI strategy at DAG. As part of that road map we plan to finally move more towards outward, transparent and engaging communication with our community about the work we are currently doing, the accountability steps we are taking, and our core values. We also intend to move forward with a series of compensated community consulting and compensated community conversations so that our existing programs and continued efforts are helpful, authentic, and truly the equitable change that is needed.