What is Old: Racism

The tab for Mindport’s blog reads “What’s New,” with an inherent hopefulness – hope that we are here, breathing, working, making and repairing things, and greeting and enjoying new visitors.

What’s not new, and what has not a shred of hopefulness in it, is racism, and the exclusion, injustice, inequity, and violence that accompany it. Racism is old. It’s old in this country; it’s old in this state; it’s old in this city and on this very block. It’s so old it’s inherent in those divisions of land and in the words used to describe them. But old is not the same thing as “natural” or permanent, and every day was and is an opportunity to choose and do differently. Black and Indigenous people, and People of Color have been up against racism, fighting for recognition of their humanity and the right to survive and flourish wherever they are, for a very long time. And it is long and tragically past due for the majority of white Americans to join them.**

At Mindport we have entered a major period of transition with the retirement of three long-time employees and projected changes to our funding in the years ahead, and now a pandemic that impacts much of our operation. We have been asking ourselves how to best be in our community and how to make sure that Mindport – a space that has long been focused on curiosity, learning, play, wonder, and delight- welcomes and includes everyone.

Now we are asking ourselves very specifically how Mindport can be actively anti-racist, as individuals who work here, as an institution, and as part of the Whatcom County community. What does it mean to be anti-racist in our internal structures and outward expressions, in our hiring, our programs and exhibits, and in the ways we spend our time, money, and resources?

We are committed not only to asking the questions, but to acting on the answers in daily practice. We will follow the leadership of BIPOC doing this work in our community and in the museum community at-large, and also welcome any input or feedback you may have. We will keep you posted on our steps.

We remain closed to visitors until Phase 3 of the Safe Start Plan for Washington, but please feel free to contact me: tallie@mindport.org (she/her) or 360-441-7162.

 

 

*Thank you, Lively Signs for offering your beautiful sign painting for free. We are sending those funds on to the Transwomen of Color Solidarity Network Fund. 

**Listen to local BIPOC activists, organizers, and community members speak at the June 6 Peaceful Solidarity Rally