We at INCUBATOR Art Lab wish to express our love and solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and POC, 2SLGBTQ+, and people living with disabilities who are subject to systematic and individual acts of racism, exclusion, and violence. We have been thinking about ways we can better support BLM and ways we are complicit in institutional racism.
We have made significant advancements over the last 10 years in building an accessible and diverse community of artists, scientists, and students in our lab. We endeavour to be a safe place, and to help vulnerable students grow into their ambition, find their voice, and find their place in the world. But we also see room for improvement in the diversity reflected in our programming, addressing systematic racism within our institution, and addressing racism and colonialism in art and science. INCUBATOR Art Lab can contribute to furthering anti-racism with the greatest impact through the following steps:
1) In our lab community: we will collaboratively develop a set of written policies to combat racism and increase diversity within our group rather than relying on good will and unwritten community standards. We will assess past programming and create more opportunities for engagement with BIPOC 2SLGBT+ artists and researchers. We will create metrics and accountability tracking for diversity in course content, programming, visiting artists, hiring practices, and third-party vendors and collaborators. We commit to team diversity and anti-racism training.
2) In our institutional community: we will take an active role in combating systematic racism within post-secondary education and at the University of Windsor through listening, collaboration, mentorship, committee work, and advocacy towards anti-racism, polyphony, and inclusion.
3) Within our local community: we commit to building long-standing and collaborative relationships with businesses and organizations that are led by Black, Indigenous, and POC, 2SLGBTQ+, and persons living with disabilities. We are committed to learning more about diverse local history through research, thematic programming, and knowledge sharing on and off site.
4) Within our research community: we will engage topically in projects that challenge racism and colonialism in scientific method. We will work to make visible the present and historical practices within the art/science and bioart communities outside of the Western cannon in collaboration with BIPOC 2SLGBT+ artists and researchers. We will learn from, educate and mentor the next generation of artists and scientists in our field upholding the spirit of equity.
We at INCUBATOR Art Lab are dedicated to exploring biotechnological futures rooted in love that integrate feminist and post-colonial perspectives; historical, agricultural, and indigenous knowledges; community engagement, sustainability; cross-species love, joy, gratitude; empathy and the acknowledgement of suffering. We see this revolutionary moment in history as an opportunity to address systematic racism in our society. We recognize our duty as an organization operating from a position of institutional privilege to actively participate in this transformation. We have and will make some mistakes along the way. We remain committed, and we welcome feedback, participation and support from all members of our community.