The Wisconsin Academy decries the murder of George Floyd and subsequent harsh treatment of protestors demanding racial justice. We believe that Black lives matter, and we share the anger and anguish felt for the senseless deaths of so many Black Americans. Black Americans have been denied access to their liberties as well as their lives. This has to change. Only when Americans work together to directly address systemic racism will Black Americans, Indigenous Americans, and all people of color be able to enjoy the rights and freedoms to which we are all entitled. Until then, we cannot move forward as a nation.
Moving forward often means acknowledging mistakes and being open to learning how to correct them. The Wisconsin Academy turned 150 years old in 2020, and we recognize that our own history reflects behaviors we reject, ranging from religious and gender exclusion to cultural appropriation. As an organization, we will continue to acknowledge, discuss, and act to address these behaviors.
The Academy staff and board of directors, as well as our members, historically have not represented the diversity reflected in our state’s population. We commit to creating a more diverse, more equitable organization. The Academy will prioritize the inclusion of all races, ethnicities, and cultures in our organization and our work. We know we have much to do to make this happen. But we understand that the resiliency and legitimacy of our organization depends on its diversity and its commitment to making a more equitable and just Wisconsin and world.
Questions or comments about the Academy's renewed commitment to accountability, equity, and justice can be sent to Academy executive director Jane Elder.