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We Pledge to Take Action: Statement on the Black Lives Matter Movement

We honor and remember George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and the countless Black lives lost to police brutality and racial injustice. These heinous murders have shaken us to our core, and we stand in solidarity with the millions demonstrating to end the long history of systemic violence against Black communities in our country.

The de Young and Legion of Honor exist to serve our communities. In the wake of these brutal reminders of anti-Blackness, amplified by the global pandemic, we have been scrutinizing what that commitment means. It means processing and understanding our discomfort. It means having difficult conversations and listening generously. It means identifying and rooting out our complicity, and taking actionable steps to change the racist and unjust structures that we are a part of.

Last spring, people from across our organization came together to outline our vision for the next six years. In collaboration with our staff-led IDEA Committee (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access), we wove tenets of a more ethical future into our Strategic Plan. It includes employing a more diverse staff, reassessing our collecting priorities, rethinking our interpretive strategies of art, discussing the politics of heritage, developing exhibitions that challenge the traditional canon and promote diverse voices, and creating programs that build stronger connections with local communities.

We recognize that this is not enough. We pledge to listen to the multiple voices within our communities. We pledge to deliver an action plan further outlining the commitments we will take to dismantle the racist systems within our own institution in the coming weeks.

The eruption of pain and rage in recent weeks underscore the urgency of this work. It’s our responsibility to show up for Black communities right now—as we are, and as we improve. We must do better. We will.

In solidarity and justice,
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Black Lives Matter—A Message of Solidarity from Our Director, Thomas P. Campbell

Here are ways you can join us on this journey:

Reflect

What We’re Missing When We Condemn Violence at Protests (Vox)
Presumption of Guilt (Equal Justice Initiative)
The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism by Audre Lorde (BlackPast)
The Frustration behind the George Floyd Protests (The New Yorker)
The State is Failing Black People (The New York Times)
Minneapolis Activists Aren’t Surprised a National Movement Started There (Time)

Learn

The 1619 Project (The New York Times)
Code Switch: Fearless Conversations About Race (NPR)
The Bad-Apple Myth of Policing (The Atlantic)
Mapping Police Violence
The Road Not Taken Study (Othering and Belonging Institute)
A History of Race and Racism in America (The New York Times)
Opportunites for White People in the Fight for Racial Justice (Whiteaccomplices.org)
6 Ways to be Anti-Racist (Mashable
The Unbearable Grief of Black Mothers (Vox)
List of Anti-Racist Books (SF Public Library)

Support

5 Ways to Show Up for Racial Justice Today (KQED)
Ways You Can Help the Black Lives Matter Movement (Black Lives Matter)
75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice (Medium)

Local Organizations

A List of Black-Owned Restaurants in the Bay Area 
Anti Police-Terror Project
Bay Area Black Market (Black-Owned Businesses)
Black Out Collective
California Coalition for Women Prisoners
The East Oakland Collective
National Lawyers Guild S.F. Bay Area Chapter
Planting Justice

National Organizations

ACLU
Black Lives Matter
Black Visions Collective
Campaign Zero
The Equal Justice Initiative
Fair Fight
NAACP Legal Defense Fund