We are filled with rage and sadness at the murders of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the unconscionably long list of other Black Americans who have been unjustly killed. These events are not isolated but part of a larger system of institutional racism, a system which so many cultural institutions, including HVSF, have helped to perpetuate.
At HVSF, inclusiveness is one of our core values, and our work is based on the idea that this theater, that Shakespeare, belongs to everyone. But in practice, this is far from the truth. As the white leaders of a predominantly white organization, we acknowledge that to be truly inclusive, we can and must do better. And we are grateful to those who will hold us accountable.
As an organization dedicated to the entire Hudson Valley, silence is not an option. Today we join with so many others in a commitment to the work of anti-racism — in ourselves, in our organization, and in our community. We are prepared to listen to and amplify the voices of our Black friends, colleagues, and partners. What we learn, however uncomfortable or difficult, will guide us to examine our current practices and initiate necessary changes towards a more equitable and inclusive culture.
In the theater, we tell stories to better understand ourselves, each other, and our shared humanity. For this to be more than just an aspiration, we must commit ourselves to dismantling systemic racism wherever we find it. This work is urgent. It belongs to all of us, and we look forward to engaging in it with you, together.
With this in mind, we would like to share with you a list below of organizations taking action to support racial justice in our community and throughout the Hudson Valley.
Davis McCallum & Kate Liberman
Black Lives Matter Hudson Valley:
The official chapter of the #BlackLivesMatter network in the Hudson Valley. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.
The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.
Showing Up for Racial Justice, Westchester Chapter:
Showing Up for Racial Justice, Hudson Chapter:
SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals working to undermine white supremacy and to work toward racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability.
Rise up Kingston:
Rise Up Kingston is a grassroots organization led by those experiencing racism, classism, and gender oppression on a daily basis.
Good Work Institute:
The Good Work Institute exists to cultivate, connect, support, and illuminate a network of people and initiatives working towards Just Transition in the Hudson Valley.
Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson:
Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson is a grassroots community organization that brings together the people most directly impacted by injustice together to fight around the issues that most deeply affect our community, and to challenge the systems of power that are at the root of these problems.