The Work Begins at Home
A Message from Lori Fogarty In Solidarity with Black Lives Matter
Dear OMCA Community:
The pain, despair, and trauma caused by the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and many others continues to be felt here in Oakland and around the country. The anger and despair are fueled not only by the reality that these horrors happen with sickening frequency and similarity, but also that they are manifestations and evidence of this country’s original sins of slavery, native genocide, and racism.
Systemic and structural racism are now laid bare, from the rates of illness and death from COVID-19, to the disparate impacts of the economic fall out, to travesties within the halls of power. And all too often, many of our institutions — museums included — have not spoken out, taken a stand, or have been silent and complicit, not holding our own organizations accountable for compounding these systems.
The Oakland Museum of California has been known as the “Museum of the People” since its opening in 1969 and, in partnership with our community, we have long been committed to values of equity, community, and inclusion. And yet we recognize we have not fully realized the vision to be of, by, and for all of the people.
At OMCA, we know the work begins at home. We are committed to do more to look inward and address how racist systems play out within our own organization.
We will examine our own structures and processes to be more transparent, to share leadership, and to center the voices of black people and people of color.
We will strive to listen to our community, lift up other voices at this time of need and service, and be a resource to respond to community needs to the best of our capabilities.
We acknowledge that we are learning, that we are struggling, and yet we are committed to taking the time and effort to do what is necessary to make change. We take this journey with gratitude, honesty, and humility, and we know we will make mistakes and stumble along the way. But we will try — and try again — to act with care, compassion, and courage.
We recognize as well the calls for action that are taking place across the country and urge you to consider uplifting these causes, from policy changes related to police accountability and brutality, to movements toward broader economic and social reform. We support, collectively and individually, these actions.
Please consider this list of OMCA staff-generated resources and take action with us now, however you’re able.
Black Lives Matter.
With respect and deep care,
Director & CEO