The Museum has established many long-standing formal and informal relationships with schools, cultural institutions, Lower East Side residents, community organizations, and local businesses. This work was beginning to take on a more intentional and formalized structure before the COVID-19 crisis interrupted those efforts. This type of connection-making allows our programming and staff to be more inclusive, strengthens our relationships with our neighbors, and helps identify alternatives to policing. To begin the work of cultivating local community relations, we have:
- Renewed our partnership with the American Indian Community House (AICH), exploring ways to collaborate on programs hat centers American Indian voices, histories and experiences, as well as shared use of virtual and physical space
- Reviewed our current strategies for calling 911 and engaging police
- Established a connection to a NYPD Neighborhood Coordinator to explore alternatives to policing
The long-term goals of the Community Relations Working group are to establish a coalition of local settlement houses and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) organizations through which we create a regular series of low-cost and/or free accessible programming, develop comprehensive de-escalation training and new protocols for police involvement, and build relationships with with BIPOC scholars and communities to support the expansion of more inclusive and accessible program content.