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Black Lives Matter

June 30, 2020
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Dear Colleagues and Friends,

In the midst of a global pandemic that has disproportionately affected communities of color, racially motivated violence is a reminder that systemic racism still persists. Silence is not an option. The American Academy in Rome is in full support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and we stand in solidarity with all who are peacefully speaking, marching, and acting against racism and injustice.

The mission of the American Academy in Rome is based on equal access and the open exchange of ideas. As an institution abroad, we realize that it is ever more critical to represent the diverse composition of this country. The Academy redoubles its efforts to challenge, act, and hold itself accountable for the community it establishes. In support of this the Academy will:

• Continue to recruit candidates of color as Rome Prize Fellows, Residents, and staff, building on the increased representation of Black artists and scholars at the Academy in recent years.

• Place continued emphasis on the diversity of Rome Prize juries and identify more advisors and allies to assist Fellows in their lived experience in Rome.

• Enhance institutional conversations about race and all forms of bias, engaging in anti-racism training for members of the residential community and AAR staff.

• Continue active engagement with issues of race and inequity in our public programming, using our unique position in Rome to examine the Black American experience within an Italian and global context, and to interrogate our own complex history.

This work is part of the evolution of the American Academy in Rome. We reaffirm our commitment to fostering a democratic model in which all individuals are valued for their talent and vision.

Sincerely,

Mark Robbins, 1997 Fellow
President and CEO
American Academy in Rome