The brutal and seemingly nonchalant killing of George Floyd by a police officer while other officers stood by is an excruciating but far too common occurrence in this country’s long and persistent history of devaluing the lives of black Americans….Racialized violence lays bare the remarkable inequities in our society. We have seen the manifestation of those inequities in other ways over these last several weeks, from the death toll from COVID-19 on communities of color and the most vulnerable amongst us to the historic loss of employment that has hit the lowest-wage earners—the individuals least likely to have a safety net—the hardest. It is essential that we not simply talk about these issues but that we act to address them.…The time to support this work is now.
– David A. Greene
President, Colby College
Earlier this week, Colby President David A. Greene issued a statement calling for reflection and action. He condemned racial violence and announced the College’s commitment to creating a multi-disciplinary inequality lab, with courses focused on inequality, research that illuminates the causes and solutions to addressing societal challenges, and engaged work in communities designed to facilitate positive change.
The Colby College Museum of Art and the Lunder Institute for American Art are united in outrage at the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, and many black Americans. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and all those engaged in the struggle for racial justice.
Working to advance equity and inclusion in the field of American art—and, by doing so, in the wider world—is core to our mission. We feel the urgency of national and campus conversations on inequality and are keenly aware of the unique responsibility that we have as an academic art museum—as a place where we can listen, ask questions, and challenge assumptions—to engage in this dialogue, and to act.
We affirm that the Museum’s commitment to multidisciplinary teaching and learning and our potential for deep engagement with students will be leveraged in this effort toward fighting racialized violence, injustice, and inequality.
Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator
Colby College Museum of Art
Lunder Institute for American Art