Standing firm against hatred and intolerance

The Smithsonian community is resolute in our commitment to being a welcoming, inclusive, and safe place for all. Join Secretary Skorton, Monday, June 26 for an All-Staff meeting to discuss how we can fight fear and intolerance and lead the conversation about inclusion in America.


Smithsonian staff gathered Thursday, June 1 outside the National Museum of African American History and Culture to show their support after a noose was found inside the museum on May 31. (Video courtesy WUSA-9)

Over the past two weeks, the Smithsonian has experienced deeply troubling incidents at two of our museums—the finding of nooses at the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Late last week, markings—possibly meant to reflect another symbol of hate—were found on an elevator wall in the Quad. The markings were removed and the United States Park Police is now handling all three incidents. We appreciate and fully support the Park Police’s efforts and urge anyone with information to contact them at (202) 610-8737.

These incidents underscore the need for the entire Smithsonian family to stand together and to stand firm against hatred and intolerance. The Smithsonian is committed to being a welcoming, inclusive, and safe place for all. We will never waiver from that commitment.

With this in mind, Secretary Skorton is hosting an all-staff meeting Monday, June 26 at 10 a.m. in the National Museum of Natural History’s Baird Auditorium. It is important for us as a community to discuss how we ensure that such incidents do not adversely impact how we serve America and ways to best support each other when incidents like these occur. This meeting will also be an opportunity to gather your thoughts and suggestions on how the Smithsonian can lead conversations about race and inclusion in this country and around the world.

Joining Dr. Skorton for this conversation will be Lonnie Bunch, Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Kevin Gover, Director of the National Museum of the American Indian, and Johnnetta Cole, Director Emerita of the National Museum of African Art.

Following the conversation, the panel will take questions and comments from the audience. For those unable to attend in person, the meeting will be webcast on Prism; questions can be submitted to comments@si.edu.

UPDATE June 27

Watch the entire June 26 webcast below.

Posted: 12 June 2017
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