Friends of the Greenbelt Museum
The Greenbelt Museum is a partnership between the City of Greenbelt and the Friends of the Greenbelt Museum. The City of Greenbelt owns and operates the Museum, and the Friends of the Greenbelt Museum (FOGM), a 501(c)3 not for profit organization supports the Museum through fundraising, a membership program, strategic planning, and by serving in an advisory capacity. FOGM relies on membership dues and donations from people like you to continue to support the Museum. Your giving makes possible special projects like the expansion of the Museum to 10A Crescent, internship opportunities, special events, educational opportunities and much more. Please consider supporting the Museum today. Donations are tax deductible. To learn more, visit our support page.
Statement from the Board of Directors
of the Friends of the Greenbelt Museum
The recent killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement are a stark reminder of the pervasive and systemic racism still present in the United States today. We, the Board of the Friends of the Greenbelt Museum (FOGM), are saddened and outraged by these atrocities, and stand in solidarity with all those fighting for equality.
The Board of the Friends of the Greenbelt Museum supports the Black Lives Matter Movement and condemns police brutality - and the racist policies and systems that allow this violence to continue - within our own community and throughout the world. Yet, as an organization clearly in need of greater racial diversity, we must acknowledge our failures and shortcomings in adequately addressing the inherent racism and power imbalances that exist in our own work and have shaped the history of Greenbelt itself.
When Greenbelt was built by the federal government in 1937, both Prince George's County and the state of Maryland were deeply segregated. Original plans for Greenbelt included an area designated for Black families, but even a segregated area within the larger project was too controversial for local people and lawmakers, and that part of the plan was abandoned. Sadly, though Greenbelt was built by both Black and white workers, Black families were entirely excluded. Not until the late 1960s did the original core of Greenbelt begin to be integrated by Black families. This long history of systemic racism still permeates our community today.
As an organization that supports local history, we have a platform and a voice to not only educate ourselves and our community on this history, but to also speak out against oppression and in support of anti-racist practices and policies. We have a duty to our visitors and members to confront racism and social inequities in our own organization and community primarily through educational initiatives that explore Greenbelt’s past, present, and future.
The FOGM Board will continue to support the Greenbelt Museum’s initiative, established in 2012, to collect information, photographs, oral histories, and other materials that document the experiences of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) in Greenbelt. We need to do more and we commit to the following actions:
FOGM Board members and staff will participate in training on how to create a more inclusive and equitable environment and will evaluate how to make our policies and procedures more anti-racist.
We will implement race-conscious board recruitment and professional development opportunities.
Currently, there are two vacant board positions, and three positions that will become vacant in the next two years. The FOGM Board of Directors is working to develop recruitment strategies for BIPOC community members and cultural heritage professionals to fill open positions.
FOGM, in collaboration with the Greenbelt Museum, will establish an ongoing paid internship focusing on the history of minorities in Greenbelt.
FOGM will continue to support the Greenbelt Museum’s ongoing efforts to study, document, and share the history of race and racism in Greenbelt and amplify the voices of BIPOC researchers, scholars and speakers.
FOGM will continue to foster a more equitable and inclusive museum environment and encourage further discussions and education within the Greenbelt community around issues of race. More work, however, is needed in the fight against racial injustice. We invite you to join us as we continue learning, growing, and implementing change, and we welcome your ideas about how we can take a more active role in anti-racism work as an organization.