June 5, 2020
As we continue to make our transition into a new physical space and a new institutional identity, we pause now to acknowledge our role in the academic community we serve and in broader society in light of the painful, unsettling, and emotionally roiling events of the last several days.
We mourn the tragic loss of life, specifically those lives brought most recently to unjust and premature ends: George Floyd, Tony McDade, and Breonna Taylor. We condemn the deeply-rooted structural inequality that has placed so many of our families, friends, and collaborators in untenably difficult conditions, without sources of income or reliable access to health care, childcare, education, and other fundamental resources. We reflect on these emotions as we struggle collectively to persevere through a global health crisis, which has itself laid bare so many of the systemic injustices flooding our conscience in recent days.
At the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College, we are committed to:
- asserting that all Black lives matter.
- engaging in difficult discussions about race, racism, socio-economic disparity, religious discrimination, gender inequality, and the often-flawed processes that inform the construction of knowledge and recognition of quality within the artistic spheres.
- rigorously examining the history of our museum and art museums in general to inform our future actions.
- amplifying voices of artists and cultures who have been conventionally marginalized by art museums.
- an unflinching and ongoing appraisal of the structural inequality within the museum sector.
- creating more, and more equal, opportunity within our museum.
- making the direct experience of art objects more accessible to more people.
In the months ahead, we plan to identify and share the specific actions we can take toward realizing these commitments.