Two weeks ago, the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI) initiated Phase 1 of #ArtsGoBlack Campaign designed to express solidarity with all those protesting the horrific murders of countless members of our African Diaspora family by violent, racist attacks – all within 100 days. Phase 1 was a simple request: Put a black “curtain” on your website home page and other social media platforms with the phrase “I Can’t Breathe,” and place a link(s) to direct actions for your audience and membership base to act upon (ie. donate to #BLM or Protestor Bail Funds).
On Juneteenth, CCCADI officially launched Phase 2 #ArtsGoBlack Campaign for organizations that wish to take real action. If you want to join CCCADI, please visit artsgo.black and take the pledge. Once you have signed up, you will receive a toolkit for your use to let your constituents know that you are ready to end racism in the Arts and Cultural field as well as a questionnaire. This is everyone’s work so this is open to every organization, funder, agency, or business.
Melody Capote, CCCADI’s Executive Director had this to say, “As a daughter of the African Diaspora, I come to you, my colleagues in the nonprofit, arts and culture field, both presenters and funders alike, to say that solidarity and support in the form of written testimonials is appreciated but simply not enough. It is not adequate to say that you are not racist, to write a letter or adopt a resolution in favor of racial justice, if you are not willing to take real and concrete actions to end racism.”
Phase 2 of #ArtsGoBlack Demands and Principles
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Actions and Demands for arts and cultural organizations
1. Amend Your Mission – Every arts and cultural organization, especially those in communities of color, must amend their mission to address racial and social injustice.
2. Center Communities & Artists Of Color – Every arts and cultural organization must implement policies that ensure that communities and artists of color have meaningful engagement and opportunities in exhibitions, presentations and related activities.
3. Diversify Boards & Staff – Every arts and cultural organization must require diversity on the board and staff reflective of the populations they serve.
The undersigned, organizations committed to a vibrant, vital and relevant arts and culture ecosystem, reaffirm that indiscriminate murder to Black men, women and other people of color, cannot be tolerated in a civilized society and pledge ourselves to the following basic principles of human rights:
- It is not enough for an organization to support equality if they will not confront racism in word and deed.
- It is not enough for an organization to believe in racial and social justice unless action is taken to end racial and social injustice
- It is not enough for an organization to express solidarity with the black community without taking actions that actualize that solidarity.
- It is not enough for an organization to reject racism while supporting white privilege in its funding or program decisions.
- It is not enough for an organization to “care” about people of color without reallocating resources that move care into action.
It is time to create real change. It is time for each of our organizations to take concrete steps to end racism in the Arts and Culture field and hold ourselves and others in our organizations accountable. #BlackLivesMatter
About the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute – The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute is an arts, culture, education, and media organization that advances cultural equity, racial and justice for African descendant communities. For additional information please visit: https://www.cccadi.org/
Facebook.com/CCCADI / Twitter.com/CCCADI / Instagram.com/cccadi
CCCADI is most grateful for the support it has received from the following: FOUNDATIONS: American Express Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Carlos & Suzy Pagan Foundation, Ford Foundation, Hispanic Federation, Howard Gilman Foundation, New York Women’s Foundation, The New York Community Trust, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, Starry Night Fund, Time Warner Foundation; CORPORATIONS: BronxCare Health System, Con Edison, TahlPropp Equities, United Health Care PUBLIC: National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, New York State Assembly Member Carmen Arroyo, New York State Senator Kevin Parker, New York State Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez, New York City Council Member Diana Ayala, New York City Council Member Laurie Cumbo, New York Council Member Bill Perkins, and other generous individuals.
Photo credit: CCCADIs Ache Lavagem da Rua