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SECAC Statement of Commitment
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SECAC Statement of Commitment to Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

As an organization that fosters creative, scholarly, and educational dialogue in universities, colleges, community colleges, professional art schools, and museums, SECAC must strive to understand, dismantle, and resist the legacies of racism and white supremacy. This begins internally, with an acknowledgement of SECAC’s complicity in institutional and systemic racism, and a commitment to enacting substantive change. Together, we can imagine and create a better world, united in the pursuit of justice, equity, and transformation.

SECAC stands in solidarity with our Black colleagues, students, and broader community to affirm Black Lives Matter. We acknowledge that the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Elijah McClain, Breonna Taylor, and far too many others, are rooted in centuries of systemic anti-Black racism and violence, which are too often perpetuated in our disciplines, institutions, and organizations.

To become the welcoming and inclusive organization we envision, we must think critically about SECAC’s institutional history and practices. Founded in 1942, SECAC’s membership and leadership have not mirrored the rich diversity of the nation. SECAC, like much of higher education and the art world, has disproportionately elevated white artists, scholars, and arts professionals and white histories at our conferences.

The SECAC Board is committed to making organizational changes that value and include BIPOC in our mission and leadership. We will work to identify ways white supremacy has shaped our organization and confront implicit and explicit biases and racism that present barriers to this goal. In collaboration with members and future members, the SECAC Board will create an action plan of discrete short- and long-term goals that hold ourselves accountable. We will define measurable goals with regular reports and updates. This will require a commitment of time, resources, and critical acumen, as well as partnerships, and a great deal of listening and reflection about what must be changed within SECAC.

As a member organization that values the perspectives and anti-racist work of its constituency and potential members, we will schedule a community Town Hall during SECAC 2020 to help craft SECAC’s anti-racist action plan. A preliminary report regarding this plan will be made at the members’ meeting at the conclusion of the conference, and we will continue to invite collaboration and feedback as we implement the plan. We also invite you to share your confidential feedback and observations at any time by email to SECACaction@gmail.com, which reaches members of SECAC’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity Committee.