We, the staff and board of Centre for Artistic and Social Practice are dismayed and angered by the recent murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd in the United States as a result of state-sanctioned police violence, in addition to the recent deaths of D’andre Campbell and Regis Korchinski-Paquet here in Canada. We stand firmly in solidarity with Black communities globally and raise our voices against anti-Black racism and commit to challenging white supremacy. As an arts organization, we recognize the ways in which our galleries, museums, and collecting practices were forged in colonialism. As a publicly funded organization, we acknowledge and understand that we are inherently complicit within the established structures that sustain systemic racism.
As both an organization, and individuals, we will continue to hold ourselves accountable and acknowledge the myriad of ways that white supremacy is the bedrock of institutional racism that causes harm to Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour. We invite our members and visitors to do the same. We have always tried to ground ourselves with empathy and conscience to create and sustain a culture of inclusion and anti-oppression. We strive to create programming that reflects our commitment to supporting diversity, and we recognize that there are many other ways in which we can support and create space for the efforts of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour communities who have a long history of leading anti-racist, anti-colonial, and anti-oppressive initiatives. Given our location on stolen Indigenous land of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and the fact that we frequently collaborate with members of Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities, it is our duty as an artist run centre to commit to decolonization and anti-racism, while amplifying the voices of our communities who have been and are currently doing the work.
We strive to be actively anti-racist and stand against systems of oppression by continuously educating ourselves, supporting various forms of Black cultural production, being patrons of Black-owned businesses, holding space, and carrying forward the work being done by BIPOC communities.
We stand in solidarity with the efforts to support transformational systemic change for the positive. We wholeheartedly condemn police violence against BIPOC communities. We stand against racism and oppression, in all of its forms.
We would like to publicly commit, and continually re-commit, ourselves to consciously evolving as accomplices with BIPOC communities, where we continue to listen, engage, support, take risks, collaborate, continually question ourselves, and work to unlearn/relearn. We will continue to reflect and ask ourselves where we have ignored our privilege, or where we can use it to do better.
Support Local Black Owned Businesses:
Live Google Doc of Black owned Businesses in Hamilton: HERE