LIMA Members and the Long Island community,
We want to address the current situation and we wanted to take time to thoughtfully word our response. We also want to acknowledge that being able to take our time was a privilege we were able to take because of how removed some of this current unrest may feel to us geographically, professionally, or even personally.
This statement is not perfect, but we hope it will positively contribute to thoughtful, constructive, and essential dialogues.
Racism in the United States doesn't just happen at an individual level. It is structural and institutional.
There has been a lot of violence and discrimination against Black people, recently and to be clear, for hundreds of years in the US. This is currently on top of a global pandemic that is also disproportionately impacting Black and Indigenous people of color (POC), due to some of the same structural and institutional issues. Additionally there have also been targeted attacks towards Asian POC during this pandemic.
None of this is OK.
Museums worldwide have only recently been attempting to address their own past, and at times continuing, exclusionary histories and practices. As an association that serves one of the still most segregated areas in the nation, and whose members come from and work in an industry that is itself being impacted heavily by the economic effects of this global pandemic; we must work to be more inclusive and welcoming to all.
To do so we have to have meaningful and oftentimes challenging conversations. And we have to admit when we are in fact, not the voices to lead and teach outright, but to facilitate the dialogue of listening and learning. It can be hard to focus on what we can be doing, and sometimes it will feel impossible.
Our association is not perfect; our institutions and our towns across the whole of Long Island are not perfect; the same biases and bigotry playing out across the nation are also present here. But, there are lots of people and places doing the work, trying to make it better.
Some of the needed change should come from the work that museums strive to do; showing how humans are tied together. And some of that should come from HOW we do what we do – by being good to each other. Please know that even though we’re not all physically together, and we may not know when we will be, you’re a part of a community that is here to support you.
Now more than ever– please stay safe and please connect with us,
The Long Island Museum Association
LIMA P.O. Box 1063 Huntington, New York 11743 firstname.lastname@example.org