On Sunday, October 26th, Button attended a Twin Cities community meeting organized by TruArtSpeaks and hosted by Juxtaposition Arts, addressing our organization’s recent actions in the Twin Cities, specifically our announcement of a prospective Educational Initiative.
Button would like to publicly recognize the historical and social implications of our actions, as they reflect a larger narrative of organizational oppressive practices. We are incredibly thankful for the people who put this meeting together, and all the community members who attended and shared their questions and perspectives. It was an educational and humbling experience. Button would like to once again apologize for the harm and hurt that our actions have caused members of the Twin Cities spoken word community, and the way in which our proposed Initiative supported a culture of privilege and injustice.
During and after the meeting, we had a number of constructive conversations with members of the community about positive steps moving forward. As suggested by TruArtSpeaks, Button is committed to undergoing a racial equity analysis and social justice training, and continuing to better educate the members of the Button team. Additionally, we are taking steps towards better communication within the organization, so that we can avoid these kinds of failures. Personally, I took a number of actions in haste and without consulting other members of the organization, and I am dedicated to correcting that mistake in the future.
As the Director, I am excited to continue this positive and respectful growth in our actions and engagement with the community. As an additional and specific action to create more possibility for dialogue and transparency, I will be holding regular, open hours at the Button office in the coming months, for anyone who would like to voice their comments or concerns or otherwise engage in dialogue with Button and myself. The first opportunity will be December 5th from 6-8pm at Button’s office at 1219 Marquette Suite 100 Minneapolis, MN 55403. Please stay tuned for additional information and times.