Diversity & Inclusion

We are very honored and humbled to have taken part in such an important press conference organized by Focus on Race Relations (FORR) that was held at the Capitol in Frankfort, KY on June 3, 2020.  JSP Program Director, Jeri Katherine Howell spoke on behalf of JSP board and staff and we would like to share our message with you here as well. A video of the full press conference is included at the bottom of this page.

JSP Press Conference Statement

We are thankful for each of you, this space, this day, and the relationships in this community. I invite you to take a moment to look around, and witness this connection. We acknowledge and thank the organizations here and acknowledge the work that has been done over decades to bring us here today. And we acknowledge the work that needs to be done that is brought to our attention in these moments.

To paraphrase artist/activist adrienne maree brown: We are living in the past imaginations of our ancestors. We, as future ancestors, must imagine the just and liberated world we want to exist, and work to make it true, even if we may not get to live in it.

  • Josephine Sculpture Park remains committed to advancing social justice and cultural equity. We envision JSP as a space where everyone feels safe and welcome, and a place to play, create, and heal together.
  • As such:
  • We stand in solidarity with the Black community, and the social justice organizations working to confront systemic racism, and wholeheartedly join voices against injustice, bigotry, and racial violence.
  • We pledge to listen to our neighbors, leaders, and artists of color, show up in partnership and solidarity with organizations working for racial justice, and offer our resources when appropriate
  • We stand with our community here today to show that acts of intimidation and terror, such as any portrayal of lynching, will not be tolerated in our community.
  • As 2 white women, mel and I will never understand the depths of pain and injustice that people of color have endured for so long,
  • We pledge to each of you to continuously educate ourselves on anti-racism and take supportive actions through JSP and in our personal lives. We hope you will help hold us accountable.   
  • We are hopeful that all the work that has brought us here together today, and the myriad motivations of why you are here right now, will result in positive change. We challenge others to identify ways that you can act in solidarity for a more just community, and country.

Let’s take the community connection here today into our lives, work, and relationships. Again, to paraphrase adrienne maree brown: “Our resilience in the face of challenge is built on the strength and quality of our connectedness.”  We look forward to working alongside you, day after day, to continuously build a better community, to continuously strengthen the quality of our connectedness, here in Frankfort and beyond. Please take care of yourselves, and let’s take care of each other.

Thank you to Mr. Ed Powe, founder of FORR and for everyone who showed up in support of building a stronger community together!

Additional Information about FORR Press Conference

“Lynching our Governor in Effigy – Symptom of a sickness greater than Covid-19”

Focus On Race Relations: Frankfort (FORR) invited the following Frankfort community organizations to join FORR in addressing this subject matter at a “Press Conference” to be held on June 3rd, 2020 at 11:30am, on the steps of the Capitol Bldg. (facing the Annex).

The City of Frankfort                                 Honorable William May, Frankfort City Mayor

Franklin County                                          Honorable Houston Wells, Judge Executive

Together Frankfort                                    Karen Armstrong Cummins, President

The Frankfort Ministerial Association  Rev. Lesley Whitlock, Representing Member

The Kings Center                                        Johnny Keene, Vice Chair, Board of Directors

The NAACP State Conference                  Marcus Ray, President

The Frankfort Immigration Assistance  Margaret O’Donnell, Founder / President

Josephine Sculpture Park                         Jeri Katherine Howell, Program Director

The Capital Pride Organization               Karen Hatter

Focus On Race Relations: Frankfort      Ed Powe, President

KY Governor                                                Andy Beshear

June 3rd is the 111th anniversary of the lynching of John Maxey, a black man that was lynched by a white mob on the Singing Bridge in Frankfort. Any portrayal of lynching in any way shape or form will not be tolerated by the good citizens of Frankfort. We will not be intimidated!

Ed Powe

President, Focus On Race Relations: Frankfort (FORR)


Full video including all speakers can be seen below:

FORR Press Conference June 3, 2020 Facebook Live Stream

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