Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

 

Since the tragic killing of George Floyd on May 25, our staff have been in deep listening mode — thinking and discussing internally how to most effectively act in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives in the pursuit of racial justice.

 

We continue to mourn the incessant violence enacted by police on the unarmed bodies of black citizens such as Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Rayshard Brooks and so many more. As our collective resistance grows, we are witness to the tactics of intimidation, escalation, and excessive force used by agents of the state against protesters. The broader systemic failure of these publicly funded agencies, allegedly tasked to serve and protect, is being laid bare.

 

We affirm that there will be no justice in this country until we acknowledge that all black lives matter and we begin to reshape our institutions in support of that belief. The scope of policing must be reduced, while the reach of social services, health care, education, and cultural activities must grow. The coming reinvestment in communities will require a critical anti-racist approach, if we are to move together towards justice. 

 

As a nonprofit organization at the intersection of art, science, and technology, we acknowledge that the nonprofit industrial complex, the arts sector, the production of scientific knowledge, and the development of technological innovation are all embedded within oppressive systems that have perpetuated white supremacy. As an historically white-led institution, we carry a legacy of privilege that must be examined, unpacked, and reorganized in order to move forward in service of equity and justice. Working with media artists who are experimenting with emerging technologies and new tools, our work is fraught with technological fetishism and obsession with novelty. With our gaze oriented towards the future, we can either blindly pursue creative innovation in service of inequitable resource accumulation, or we can choose to apply our creativity to reimagine a more just, inclusive world. Our call to action is clear.

 

We have begun a strategic planning process that will provide a framework for change in our organization, taking into account contemporary conditions: the growing momentum of the movement for racial equity in our home communities and the localization of activity due to the pandemic. As we embark on this work, we commit to the following actions:

 

Internal Actions

  • Address anti-blackness within our organization through learning about and implementing anti-oppression principles in board recruitment, hiring, training, program design, partnerships, curation, artist selection, and outreach.
  • Review the historical values of our organization and explicitly articulate our contemporary values, especially those rooted in equity, to guide future strategy.
  • Fund staff to participate in professional development around equity.

External Actions

  • Assess the needs of our communities to the best of our capacity through surveys and stakeholder discussions, specifically seeking feedback from artists and communities of color.
  • Bring the perspective and practices of our international work home with the development of local programming and partnerships.
  • Produce programming that builds skills, wellness, and community among artists engaged in movement work.
  • Leverage our resources and provide a platform for the creative, critical voices of change who are helping us to reimagine a just future.

As members of our community, we rely on your perspective and collective wisdom to guide us in our work. We invite your comments and reflections on the work we have done and the proposed actions above. Please be in touch and share your thoughts so that we may refine our efforts.

 

In solidarity,

Team ZERO1