Statement Against Racism

June 2020

People around the country continue to stand with the Black community to denounce the senseless deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Rayshard Brooks, and to decry the violence perpetrated against generations of Black men and women before them, as well as those who continue to be victimized simply because of the color of their skin.

We at the Arizona State Museum condemn the hate crimes and social injustices that plague the daily lives of our fellow Americans of African descent and acknowledge the violence and indignity that the Black community has had to endure for more than 400 years.

It is a fact that racism exists. Admitting it, calling it by its name, and understanding the history of racism's insidious effects, are steps toward eradicating its myriad manifestations.

This country was developed and became rich as a result of forced displacement, genocide, and slavery. Members of Native American communities and the African American community continue to be greatly disadvantaged as a result of centuries of trauma.

Systemic racism persists and continues to be a contributing factor to the gaping disparities experienced by People of Color. It is also at the root of attempts to dehumanize immigrants, refugees, and the undocumented. In this context, it is also important to acknowledge the prejudices and barriers that continue to confront women and the LGBTQIAC community. 

We stand in support of all who work to combat the unseen forces that perpetuate inequality and injustice.

Moving forward into the new fiscal year, as we struggle to manage the uncertainty and scarcity that will result from new budget cuts and COVID-19, we at ASM will not be deterred from working with Native, Hispanic, and Mexican colleagues, tribal officials, artists, and tradition bearers to amplify their voices and help tell their stories--the good, the bad, and the real.

We remain dedicated to including first-person accounts, first-hand experiences, and descendant perspectives in our research and our teaching, as well as in the exhibits and programs we present. We will continue to strive to make ASM a place where you feel you can come together with your fellow citizens in safety, civility, and mutual respect.


Engage in Dialogue
The National Museum of the American Indian collaborated with the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience to create toolkit to help people facilitate new conversations with and among students about the power of images and words, the challenges of memory, and the relationship between personal and national values.

Talking About Race
The National Museum of African American History and Culture recently launched, "Talking About Race," a web portal providing digital tools, online exercises, video instructions, scholarly articles, and more than 100 multimedia resources designed to help us have constructive dialogues about race and racism.

Standing Together Against Xenophobia
The Smithsonian's Asian Pacific American Center has compiled resources for Standing Together Against Xenophobia. This includes addressing not only the hatred and violence that has recently targeted people of Asian descent, but also the xenophobia that plagues our society during times of national crisis.