Our Statement of Solidarity

Dear Alice Austen House Friends and Family,

As a national site of LGBTQ history, we honor the life and work of Alice Austen, a Victorian trailblazing lesbian photographer. As an organization, we are actively working to center the voices of LGBTQ+ artists and thinkers.

This work is not done without the recognition of the millions of black trans and queer people who live at the intersection of white supremacy and homophobia, facing violence and discrimination at a higher level than their white LGBTQ+ counterparts. They fought with their lives for the liberation of the entire LGBTQ+ community, and without the work of black and brown activists, we as an organization would not be able to do our work today.

Today, The Alice Austen House stands in solidarity with the black community as they have stood with us before to fight for justice. We mourn the loss of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbury and every black person who has unjustly lost their lives at the hands of white supremacy.

We see you, stand with you, and most importantly, we are listening. 

The Alice Austen House fosters creative expression, explores personal identity, and educates and inspires the public through the interpretation of the photographs, life and historic home of trailblazing American photographer Alice Austen (1866-1952).  
We pursue this mission and work with integrity, dedication, scholarship and passion. This means modeling new ways of operating that address the inequities that exist in our communities – across race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and other identities. Thus, Alice Austen House is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in all of our programming and among our board, staff, volunteers, and patrons.

We support and thank those who are continuing to challenge and dismantle systematic oppression. We call for justice.

 “For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. Racism and homophobia are real conditions of all our lives in this place and time. I urge each one of us here to reach down into that deep place of knowledge inside herself and touch that terror and loathing of any difference that lives here. See whose face it wears. Then the personal as the political can begin to illuminate all our choices.”


“My Portrait, My Message” projects created by Staten Island middle school students

funded by Staten Island Foundation