The board of the Fremont Arts Council (FAC) is deeply sorry for the racist imagery on display at this past weekend’s Fremont Solstice Parade. As the host of this community event we recognize our responsibility to make sure it is safe, welcoming and inclusive for all. There is no place for racism in our events or our community. We take full responsibility and apologize to the community for the lack of awareness that allowed this hurtful caricature to be in the parade; and for not having a system in place to report and respond to something that is so obviously inappropriate and offensive.

We are listening to all of your comments and concerns. We honor the outrage expressed and have compassion for the pain. We hear you. We will continue to listen and learn from what you have to say.

We, the FAC community, need to realize that when a Person of Color talks to you about their experience of racism, they are deserving of our utmost respect. It is time to let down our defenses, to listen, and work to understand.

We recognize that we must educate our leadership about institutional racism, and to provide a good example on issues of race. We will reach out to partner organizations working on these issues, and diversify our leadership and our artist participation.

The Fremont Arts Council is committed to providing a safe and welcoming atmosphere in which to make art and celebration. We’re proud of the thousands of artists and performers whose heartfelt contributions make the Fremont Solstice Parade a celebration for all. We believe that being a welcoming place for People of Color to join in making community art is imperative to the integrity and strength of our mission.

Although we host big events, the inner workings of the FAC is currently a very small group of hard-working volunteers. We welcome community support and compassion as we grow and move forward. We are looking forward to taking this painful event as an opportunity to galvanize and make meaningful and lasting change.

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