ICA is committed to the work of anti-racism. We are also proud to showcase and support the work of black artists and makers. Like many cultural institutions, we have benefited immeasurably from black cultural production, but we need to do more to support the black community. In conversations over the last week our staff has encouraged the institution to recognize our flaws and our role in perpetuating systemic racism. We acknowledge that role and pledge to work within our organization to be more accountable and to commit to positive change. We are appreciative of our staff for being diligent about speaking to these issues, and for their work towards addressing how we as an institution can be more impactful in dismantling systemic racism.
In solidarity with the staff, we have agreed to be more accountable to our publics by taking these initial steps within our own institution.
- Pause for a brief period of reparative “inaction” as an entire institution, to rest and regroup, and to self-reflect and educate. No public programming or activity will take place during this time.
- Work with an independent firm to undergo anti-racism training for all staff in the next six months
- Build and repair relationships with the black community in Philadelphia, beginning with our neighbors in West Philadelphia, through community-driven programmatic and curatorial initiatives and regular meetings
- Engage in a dialogue within the university to re-evaluate ICA’s relationship to the Penn Police and to our colleagues who provide security at the museum
- Provide additional resources to expand our mentorship and professional development for all full-time staff with particular focus given to entry level/non-managerial staff and staff members of color
- Immediately establish a staff committee dedicated to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Develop a clear and thoughtful process for responding in a timely manner to critical events
- Provide conflict de-escalation training for staff
- Continue a regular internal discussion centered around anti-racist criticism, essays, literature, and other poetics
- Regularly report out on our activities and actions to the community
We recognize that real change will take time, that we have a tremendous amount of work to do, and that this work will be long term and ongoing. We accept that responsibility and will work as an organization to reflect the values that we aspire to live by. We also welcome your critical feedback on these actions.
John McInerney, Interim Daniel W. Dietrich, II Director