Topic of Discussion: Black Lives Matter: Museum Responses and Their Actions
In this time of protest, many museums are issuing statements in support of Black lives. Some may be speaking the truth of this moment and others are missing the point. Some statements are tied to the mission of the museum and others are more general. Some museums may already be doing the work they speak of in their statements and for others, it is questionable. In these cases, we’ve seen workers and individuals, often people of color, call out the hypocrisy. For those of us who have written, reviewed, responded to, and questioned these statements, the NYCMER Peer Group Coordinators are collectively hosting a Book Club on Friday, June 19th at 4:30 pm ET. We selected June 19th, known as Juneteenth, because it is a day of remembrance, celebrating the true ending of slavery when Major General Gordon Granger and the Union army arrived in Galveston, Texas on June 19th, 1865, with news that that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863.
This Book Club will not be recorded and have a limited RSVP capacity, in order to provide a safe and brave space to discuss what these statements indicate about how museums in New York City are responding, acting in support of Black lives and dismantling their traditional white supremacy. To RSVP and participate in this Book Club, please complete this survey. In preparation for the meeting, the survey will ask you to identify and share 3 museum statements that stood out to you. If you are looking for a list of statements, we have assembled over 100 on this Google spreadsheet. The information you share is confidential; the Book Club moderators will use it only to develop the meeting. For the purpose of facilitating meaningful discussion, we are capping the registration to 30 spaces and will have a waitlist should there be additional interest.
Required Reading: Developing a Critical Reflective Practice: Educators’ Critical Self-Assessment by Melissa Crum and Keonna Hendrick
Optional Extended Reading: Chapter 8 of the Mass Action Toolkit – Changemaking through Pedagogy by Alyssa Greenberg, Anniessa Antar, and Elisabeth Callihan, including interviews with Alyssa Machida, Hannah Heller, Keonna Hendrick, Marit Dewhurst, Paula Santos, Nenette Luarca-Shoaf, Wendy Ng