ACMi is first and foremost a community organization, with a deep and abiding commitment to informing, educating, entertaining, and connecting Arlington residents to each other, and to the wider world. We stand firmly with many others in our community in forcefully condemning the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery as the latest in a shamefully long list of Black and Brown victims of systemic racism, and the appalling actions it can enable and promote. Our hearts go out to our brothers and sisters of color whose pain, sadness, anger, and fear are both understandable and tragically unjust.

As a community that prizes tolerance, acceptance, and social justice, Arlington is by no means perfect and can certainly struggle to live up to those ideals. It is a testament to those values that hundreds have gathered along Mass Ave each evening this week to express their support for Black and Brown populations, and their abhorrence of brutality in all its manifestations. We are heartened and inspired by such collective action, but we recognize that the real work very much still lies in front of us. We must stay vigilant to ensure that those values are reflected in our daily interactions with each other, as well as in the behavior and operations we demand of government officials, agencies, and institutions.

This will not be easy, we understand, but at ACMi we stand firm in our conviction that we have an important part to play, and we embrace that role wholeheartedly. We will continue to be a source of congenial hands-on experiential learning around video production for Arlington residents, of course, but we will also redouble our efforts to foster constructive public dialogue and amplify the diverse voices of our community. And we will keep scrutinizing our own policies, procedures, and approaches to our work to recognize, and correct, any means by which we might inadvertently perpetuate discrimination or exclusion.

We are living through a tremendously challenging time, in which it is easy, and sometimes tempting, to see battle lines everywhere you look. As we move forward from here – and we will – you can count on your community media center to see bridges, and strive to build them.