Our Commitment to Racial Justice

Statement from PlatteForum Staff and Board of Directors

“Black Lives Matter! PlatteForum stands against racist violence and systemic oppression in any form, and we support our youth and artists leading the way towards creating a world free of bigotry, hate and police brutality. We will continue being a safe space for free speech and dialogue and a creative megaphone for youth and artists from historically marginalized communities, where their lives and voices are valued and cherished.”

Last week, PlatteForum issued the brief statement above on social media in response to the protests against the horrific murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Atatiana Jefferson, Michael Marshall, De’Von Bailey, Elijah McClain and too many more before them. PlatteForum stands against police brutality and we are committed to advocating for racial and cultural equity. We have a duty and responsibility as a trusted organization to challenge these acts of violence and tyranny rooted in personal, institutional and organizational racism.

Over the last week, we took the necessary steps to develop actions that our organization will implement immediately to help dismantle systemic oppression and educate our public on the injustices which People of Color face on a daily basis. PlatteForum has always come from a place of sanctuary, love, and education through creativity when addressing social justice topics. Today and moving forward will be no different.

We invite our community to join us and become more deeply informed on these injustices, develop tactics to combat racism peacefully, and advocate for the communities our society has oppressed for far too long. We will stand up and stand together to make a better path for those who have been denied access in this country.

As a youth- and artist-focused, social justice arts organization, PlatteForum has always amplified voices of change. Our mission is to take part in making a better world where our youth and artists have no boundaries to success; if Black youth and artists are not thriving, our community is not thriving.

To that end, we commit to enacting the following policies and practices and will continue to evolve our actions as needed: 

  • Continue implementing our youth-developed, board ratified Cultural Equity Statement
  • Developing formal diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI) standards and accountability processes that will be used in all aspects of our programming and daily operations, as well as in the recruitment of board, staff, resident artists and high school ArtLab interns
  • Modifying our by-laws to require that no less than 51% of board members represent the communities we serve, ensuring future leadership will be held accountable to that a majority composition of board members identify as People of Color and LGBTQIA+
  • As staff and board leadership positions become open, every effort will be made to recruit and hire qualified individuals who represent the communities we serve
  • Relaunching our Artist/Activist lecture series in a virtual format, leading with Black artists and activists
  • Making our gallery space available, free of charge to coalitions, organizations and individuals supporting grass-roots anti-racism efforts
  • Researching and verifying every vendor and partner to ensure they match our values and operate with ethical business practices
  • Advocating for legislation that enacts robust and concrete, systemic change (as allowed by our 501c3)
  • Engaging in regular scheduled staff discussions on texts about anti-racism, white privilege, police brutality and systemic oppression to inform our programing, communications and daily practices
  • Curating and sharing a public, anti-racist resource list drawing from trusted community resources

PlatteForum acknowledges that DEI practices are an ongoing journey and require dedicated community action. We will not passively stand by and watch.

We implore everyone to join the growing anti-racist movement and develop your own action plan to create meaningful equity and justice for every member of our community. This is how we will take a stand. Stand with us!

In solidarity,

PlatteForum’s Staff and Board of Directors

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A free healing support circle for artists, happening every other Tuesday through November
Prototype Peace, Mackenzie Browning & ArtLab Interns, 2018