At BeachBind, we stand in solidarity with and support
Black Lives Matter and the BIPOC community.
June 19th, 2020
Dear BeachBind attendees, staff, and presenters:
On this day in 1865 in Galveston, Texas, Union Army General Gordon Granger announced federal orders proclaiming that all slaves in Texas were now free - two and a half years AFTER the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the US Civil War. Today is Juneteenth, a holiday - although not one even recognized by the United States government - that commemorates this occasion.
Today, 155 years later, BIPOC Americans are STILL not free from the oppression that this country's embarrassing and deplorable history is founded on.
The rope community is not immune from the systemic racism that has been prevalent for too long, nor is BeachBind. This is a public crisis. We all must - and can - do better to create an inclusive and diverse community. We don't have all of the answers right now, but we know that we must keep trying.
For our past and future attendees, presenters, and staff in the black community, we stand with you.
For a non-POC, considering this history and public crisis in juxtaposition to an event like BeachBind is a challenge. It may create cognitive dissonance that is difficult for even the best therapists. How can we justify accepting the privilege of attending this event when we have not overcome the harm caused by this oppression? What can we do? What can I do to face these facts?
Facing these conflicting thoughts is hard. We have to ask ourselves these difficult questions, think through these issues, and do this hard work.
Attending BeachBind is perhaps one of the more notable examples of privilege. Non-POC must acknowledge that while everyone has challenges, the color of their skin is not one of them, and non-POC have benefited - and continue to benefit - from a system derived from our nation's foundational oppression.
BeachBind welcomes all people from all walks of life, and will continue to encourage attendance from members of marginalized communities, including but not limited to, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, individuals of every body type, and individuals with underrepresented gender identities.
BeachBind's diversity and inclusion policy has always been one of zero tolerance for racism, hate, or discrimination of any kind. The event will not tolerate anything less than an atmosphere that shows respect and inclusion of all people, and makes everyone feel safe and welcome.
BeachBind and its organizers acknowledge that our past proactive efforts to increase diversity, while having some positive impact, have fallen short. We need to do better. We are working hard to identify actions that we hope will affect real change - both at the event and within the community at large. Some of the changes we want to affect and actions we are exploring are listed below. We welcome the help of our privileged attendees and have listed some examples as well.
This list is a starting point, not an end point. BeachBind, its organizers, and attendees must work to acknowledge their privilege. Real change must start there. We, as an organization, will continue to look inward so that we can better understand what outward actions we need to take to effectuate real change.
We will continue to strive to be better. We will do better. We cannot rest until we do.
All lives don’t matter until Black Lives Matter.
Yours very truly,
-Diana / Princess Yum Yum (organizer)
-Tara / Taijya (organizer)
-Lee / DireWo1f (organizer/co-founder)
-Meagan / l3gato (co-founder)
-VC / VanillaCaramel (communications coordinator)
Please reach out if you have any questions, concerns, or comments