L.A. Conservancy Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
June 30, 2020—Today, the Los Angeles Conservancy strengthens its commitment to preserving and amplifying a more inclusive history that represents the diverse people of Greater Los Angeles. Since the death of George Floyd and public protests led by Black Lives Matter, we have been listening, learning, and reflecting.
We acknowledge systemic racism persists in historic preservation.
From George Washington’s Mount Vernon and the California Missions to historic house museums and designated historic landmarks, the field of historic preservation has often promoted a White narrative and failed to tell inclusive stories about historic places. Preservation has caused harm to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) by excluding their voices and connections to these places.
The Conservancy was founded in 1978 and has saved some of Los Angeles’s most iconic historic buildings. In recent decades, we have expanded our ongoing advocacy and education work to include places of cultural significance. We recognize this is a start and understand that there is more work to be done.
We commit to becoming an anti-racist preservation organization.
As the largest preservation organization in Los Angeles, we must ensure that our work better serves and reflects our communities. We commit to holding ourselves accountable in the following ways:
- Create an internal Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force dedicated to ongoing, transparent dialogue and examination of issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion with the aim of creating an anti-racist preservation organization, currently underway.
- Integrate a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens into our current strategic plan update.
- Conduct an organization-wide audit to ensure processes, projects, and policies reflect diversity, equity, and inclusion objectives.
- Expand outreach efforts in BIPOC communities and increase support for community-driven preservation.
- Increase the representation and engagement with BIPOC in our membership base, volunteers, staff, and board.
- Increase representation and visibility of BIPOC on our website, publications, and social media platforms.
- Create content, provide resources, and develop programs that confront issues of systemic racism in preservation.
Will this be enough? No, this is just the beginning. We will continue to listen and learn with a steadfast commitment to becoming a more just organization.
Thank you for your continued support.