An Open Letter to Arts Organizations Rampant with White Supremacy

Email response from Gina Gibney.
My initial email part 1.
My initial email part 2.
Photo from: https://venusjones.com/race-and-war-five-years-later/
  • Teach each other how to undo Anti-Blackness, Transphobia, Xenophobia, etc.
  • Call each other in. A white affinity group is not enough. Start talking white Accountability and Reparation.
  • If antiracism is not in your mission or your work — you are not an arts and social justice hub. Read that again.
  • With that, stop hiding behind your use of “equity” and “social justice”, without doing the work.
  • Share your power as much as you share the names and images of Black artists involved with your institution.
  • Drop the ego.
  • Pay your front line staff — who are artists — a living wage, not minimum or one dollar up from it, especially when you have an 8-million-dollar budget.
  • Listen to your Black staff. Pay attention to high turnover rates of staff of color. Pay people for doing labor in their exit interviews and advocacy efforts while educating you.
  • Stop Gaslighting. Instead, open up your processes and lead with transparency.
  • When a Black person tells you — actually when several Black people have told you — that you have white supremacy in your culture, LISTEN. Do not defend yourself. Change.
  • Get trained — People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond’s Undoing Racism Training is great for that. Get trained once and then get trained again, from somewhere else.
  • Move beyond theory. Don’t stop at the training.
  • Create abundance, rather than promote false scarcity.
  • Give your power away. If you thrive and rely on artists being dependent on you, you are not serving artists — you are promoting an abusive relationship with white supremacy and capitalism. If you are a non profit organization — focus on creating a future where you are no longer necessary.

I create. Founder and Artistic Director of Chinara Rituals.

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Nana Chinara

Nana Chinara

I create. Founder and Artistic Director of Chinara Rituals.

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