Between July 2014 and April 2015, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray and Walter Scott – all African American men – lost their lives at the hands of United States law enforcement, launching a national conversation on the disproportionate and inhumane abuses men and women of color in America endure. In response, the Coalition released a Front Page Dialogue on Race and Policing in 2015 to assist Sites of Conscience in leading community dialogues on longstanding issues related to racial profiling, systemic violence and the criminal justice system.
Five years later, the need for these discussions is even more urgent. In light of the global outpouring of grief over the recent deaths of African Americans in police custody, including George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks, the United States is once again reckoning with its brutal and inexcusable history of white supremacy and racial violence. As members of a global network of more than 300 historic sites, museums and memory initiatives in 65 countries, Sites of Conscience can support their communities at this time by facilitating constructive conversation on this ongoing crisis, addressing a range of topics related to race, whiteness, policing, slavery, allyship, justice movements, and many others. Here is our updated model for engaging staff and visitors in dialogue on race and policing which we encourage you to adapt and ground in the unique history that your Site of Conscience works to preserve and share.