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Diversity Gives Us Strength: Texas Folklife Statement Against Racism and Violence

Dear Texas Folklife Community,


Over the last several weeks, we have witnessed the injustices of racism, violence, and inequities that continue to plague our society and impact communities.  Our team expresses our deepest sympathy to the families and friends who have lost loved ones brought about by unjustified violence, and we are committed to the work for a more just nation in their memory.
Black Lives Matter and we must continue to strive for meaningful change and true equity. Texas Folklife is determined to stand up to racism, embrace diverse communities, and promote inclusivity through our actions and programs. 

Our state is rich in cultural traditions and artistic expressions, forged by a wide range of communities and voices, and Texas continues to draw strength from that diversity. We are committed to doing more to support the artists, collaborations, and institutions that embrace traditions while striving for a new and better future. As an organization, we have work to do in terms of representation, diversity, and championing the voices that enrich our state. We are committed to doing the work necessary to encourage transformation in our organization, in the spheres of influence we inhabit, and in the communities with whom and which we work.  

We would like to honor the space necessary for grief, reflection, and healing. The future will hold an opportunity to work together for the dignity of everyone as we live up to our highest ideals. As we continue to educate ourselves on what that may look like, we welcome you to be part of a dialogue about the role of folk and traditional arts in responding to this moment. 

We recognize the power and reach of our platforms, so please let us know if we can provide a platform for you that would contribute to this dialogue. Change requires participation and action, so we invite you to please let us know if you would be interested to be a part of an organizational working group we are forming on inclusion and improved equity and equality.  

On Behalf of the staff and board of Texas Folklife

Charlie Lockwood

Executive Director
Texas Folklife

Provided are some powerful messages and resources we recommend:

5 Austin Non-profits Supporting Racial Equity
Smithsonian NMAAHC Talking About Race Project
Why Black Music Matters While Cities Burn
American Civil Liberties Union
How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change
A Year of Anti-Racism Work
Undoing Racism Austin
League of Women Voters - Texas
List of Black-owned Austin-area businesses you can support
Black-Owned Businesses to Support in San Antonio
How to Support the Black Community in Houston Right Now
How to Support the Black Community in Dallas Right Now