We’re honored to know our community artist-in-residence, Daniel Bernard Roumain. As both an artist and an activist, Daniel speaks truth to power every day—this moment of deep civil unrest in our country is no exception. The Flynn stands in solidarity with the right to personal safety regardless of race and gender, and a commitment to Black men and boys.
We, as a dedicated group of artists, arts organizations, and places of education and learning, declare without reservation or restraint, that the presumed guilt of Black people—and specifically Black men and boys—in recurring encounters with errant law enforcement officers, has disproportionately led to summary, inhumane responses centered on fear, detainment, arrest, removal, or a growing, repetitive practice of unlawful and unnecessary deaths.
We acknowledge America’s historical propensity towards harm, injustice, and exclusion. We also witness America’s extraordinary capacity to heal, be just, include and embrace. We know that law enforcement is tasked with the difficult work of policing our communities as they uphold the law and their solemn oath to protect and serve. And we are aware and reminded of the distance and divides we face between our politics, as well as the constant struggle we face in finding agreement on what we most value.
However, as artists, educators, and learners, we are clear and committed to the sanctity of life, the promise of liberty, and the most fundamental and absolute right to personal safety regardless of race and gender.
Therefore, we proudly and boldly affirm our commitment to Black men and boys as a vital part of our American identity and families, and implore all of us to see in them your father, your brother, and your son—all living within one spirit of one nation engaged in a shared, everlasting pursuit of happiness and love.
Dr. Daniel Bernard Roumain
May 28, 2020