(BALTIMORE) The Banneker-Douglass Museum announced the formation of the 2021 Anti-Racism Coalition (ARC) to combat racism through educational training, exhibits, and visitor experiences.
The ARC is committed to dismantling systemic racism as it relates to criminal justice, economic justice, inequality in education, technology and the digital divide, police brutality, healthcare disparities, voting rights, and more.
Dr. David Fakunle, a member of the ARC, said the coalition's goal is to educate people to the depths of racism. "The series of workshops is really to provide that intimate detailed knowledge of what racism really is."
It successfully held its first training on April 20, “The Foundations of Racism: Defining the Roots of Bigotry and Discrimination Against Black People in America,” with over 180 people in attendance via Zoom. The next one will be held on July 27.
“These trainings provide a framework for the work that we must do to dismantle systemic racist practices that continue to disenfranchise and further subjugate Black lives today,” said Reverend Tamara Wilson, chair of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture (MCAAHC), in a news release.
The formation of this coalition follows a joint statement on racial injustice and social equity released earlier this year by MCAAHC and the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission (MLTRC). The statement iterates Maryland’s role in the long history of racial oppression in America with a list of actionable recommendations towards a more just society.
"I want this coalition to speak the truth," said Dr. Fakunle who is also chair of the MLTRC.
The ARC is made up of expert educators, community leaders, and activists who advise the museum and the MCAAHC.
The Banneker-Douglas museum serves as Maryland’s official museum of African American heritage and is a component of the MCAAHC, which is a unit of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives.