Meredith Lynn is the Assistant Curator and Director of Galleries at MoFA.
About six months ago we planned a family vacation to the beach to coincide with my husband’s birthday. We invited friends and family to join us, and we envisioned a real break from the stresses of work and home. When the pandemic hit, our plans changed. Although we were able to come down to the beach, it has become impossible to leave stresses behind. I initially planned to post about the challenges of remote teaching and the work I’m doing this summer to plan for next semester, but there are so many urgently important things happening right now.
A few nights ago, President Thrasher released a statement about police brutality and the protests that have erupted across the United States in response to the violent, oppressive, and dangerous ways people of color are treated by police in this country. President Thrasher strongly condemned the conduct of the police in Minneapolis and pledged his support to students who are suffering in response.
What President Thrasher did not mention is that racialized police violence is not a faraway problem. Since March, the Tallahassee Police Department has fatally shot three people, and two days after George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis, Tony McDade was shot and killed by TPD.
I’m incredibly proud to be part of the MoFA team. Through our platform of exhibitions and programs, MoFA has facilitated conversations about challenging topics such as gun control, climate change, and abortion. The Museum will remain a place for our community to process the issues that are most pressing to us, and I believe in the unique ability of art to communicate concepts and feelings that are otherwise impossible to articulate.
I personally believe that black lives matter. That indigenous lives matter. That trans lives matter. That queer lives matter. That the lives of people dealing with homelessness or economic insecurity matter. And that the lives of all of the students of Florida State University matter. More important than my person beliefs, however, are the ethics of the institution that I represent a very small part of.
If you have an idea for an exhibition, program, workshop, speaker, screening, or anything really that could help us all process or discuss issues of police violence, please email me at email@example.com. Many of our most successful projects have come to us through a student or community member, and I look forward to hearing from you.