Center Statement on Event Cancellation
Upon further review and consideration, The Center has cancelled the March 28 Walk Away event. We strongly oppose censorship and fully stand by our commitment to free speech, but as our space use policy states, we reserve the right to cancel any event that promotes discriminatory speech or bigotry; negatively impacts other groups or individuals that use The Center; or conflicts with, or interferes with, Center-sponsored or produced programming. It has become clear that this event would violate all of these important policies.
In recent days we have learned that certain of the panelists announced for this event have made repeated, well-documented past statements that violate our mission, values and the spirit of inclusiveness for all individuals and identities that is core to our work and who we are. Our space is a place of safety and refuge for those most vulnerable among us, and we will do everything in our power to protect that. Permitting this event to proceed would make many of our community members feel unsafe and, among other things, interfere with their ability to participate in other Center programming.
We extend our deep appreciation and thanks to the community members that have reached out and brought this important information to our attention, and we deeply regret the hurt and harm this booking has caused. We take our responsibility as a place of organizing and activism very seriously, and that means we have and will continue to host events that are controversial. And as a non-partisan organization, we also understand that our community members hold differing political views. We support and encourage open dialogue around those views, but not when it interferes with our operations and programming, or threatens the well-being of our community.
The Center is committed to a comprehensive, transparent review of the processes that led to this booking, and how we can further improve our space use procedures and decision-making. We understand that the work to heal and rebuild trust begins today.