On June 19, 1865, more than two months after the end of the Civil War, General Gordon Granger led Union troops to take control of Galveston, Texas and delivered news of the Emancipation Proclamation to the last remaining slaves in the Confederacy.
Although slavery ended 155 years ago in the United States, systemic racism did not. It continues to afflict American society in numerous ways, seen most horrifically in the brutal murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Armaud Arbery, and others killed because of the color of their skin. We honor those who have been murdered and otherwise harmed by our nation’s systemic racism and police brutality.
Arts for Learning Virginia stands in solidarity with our black and brown colleagues, artists, educators, families, and children. Yesterday at the annual meeting of our Board of Directors, the A4L board unanimously voted to implement a policy of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access in all aspects of our mission and activities, and at all levels of our organization. We are committed to working to build anti-racist, anti-bias practices into our organization, and as we do so, we are certain of two things:
We have much more work to do, and arts are part of the solution.
Arts for Learning is committed to the children, families, artists, and school communities in our region, to their health and wellbeing, to their freedom and agency, to their human rights, and to the full expression of their humanity through the arts. We are committed to offering programming that reflects and amplifies the communities and cultures in which we serve, as we work to fulfill our core mission of bringing the power of the arts to children in Virginia.
In the fight for racial justice, we resolve to examine and change our own organizational practices and culture. We know that means we need to do better, as we affirm, without equivocation, that
BLACK LIVES MATTER.
We value diversity and inclusion of all people. We welcome your perspectives, thoughts, and ideas, and invite you to write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.