Our Statement on Racial Injustice
The Recreation Services department supports the Black Lives Matter movement and all it represents. We see a collective and urgent need to dismantle systemic racism by examining ourselves and working toward an equitable future.
For those who live with racial disparity every day, who repeatedly ask for change, who are tired of educating the rest of us – we are grateful for your resolve. We recognize that creating change requires a completely shared effort — especially against brutality and violence.
To our white patrons, participants and employees, we ask that you join our commitment to re-learn, re-think, show up, stand up, and speak up so that our friends and colleagues never have to make the statement, “We are tired of dying” again. It is our hope that BIPOC feel us united with them in the fight against injustice and racism.
Our Land Acknowledgement Statement
Lafayette was founded in 1826 on the land of the Lenni-Lenape, the original inhabitants of what is now Delaware, New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania and southern New York. Lenape communities have lived in harmony with the land for thousands of years, known for their peace-making and diplomatic skills. We are grateful that the Lenape remain our neighbors and active members of the Easton community. Colonial violence has displaced countless Lenape communities, and we recognize that settler colonialism continues to oppress indigenous groups across the Americas. The citizens of these nations are citizens of the United States and their languages, cultures, and history are a part of our shared story. Land acknowledgments help us remember these nations and the ancestors who took great care in nurturing the land that we all call home. We are grateful for their strength and resilience in protecting the land and aspire to learn from them. When we pause to recognize native lands and tribes, it creates a more complete story of a troubling history. However, recognizing structures of injustice is not enough to dismantle them; this passage is only a start in our collective pursuit of a more equitable and just society.
As a department, we are committed to raising awareness about the historical and cultural contributions of indigenous groups. A Land acknowledgment is a simple step, as is sharing that the Lenape Cultural Center is located in downtown Easton, and taking a moment to explain the meaning of Lenape symbols (e.g., Mising) or sharing the language (e.g., Wanishi, Hè).