Embrace Now the Discomfort and Difficulty of Change
The Arts Council stands unequivocally against the inequality, injustice, racism and other prejudice that infest our country, and in affirmative support of protests and other lawful actions that seek to eliminate, at long last, all vestiges of them.
We are heartened to see – in the wake of the horrific killings of George Floyd and others – the outpouring of statements, and demonstrable actions, in opposition to those infestations of our country. We are especially pleased to see statements and actions by several members of the local arts community. The arts and artists have a long legacy of activism and leadership in promoting positive change in our society and the world.
We all have important roles to play in the explicit identification, universal acknowledgement and proactive elimination of the factors – systemic and otherwise – that cause or sustain inequality, injustice, racism or other prejudice. The challenge is immense and difficult, because the vestiges extend so wide and so deep, and they have been with us for so long.
A key first step, therefore, is for each of us to embrace and own the great discomfort and difficulty of facing and addressing our earlier failures and neglect . . . with clear-eyed honesty and sincerity . . . without blame or defensiveness for the past . . . with unwavering commitment to change. If we don’t take that step now, the current outrage (and the momentum it has generated) will fade and dissipate. There will be no change.
W. Randy Eaddy
President and CEO
June 8, 2020