GANYC stands with the Black Lives Matter movement and we condemn all police/military brutality against US citizens.
Tour Guides from the Guides Association of New York City (GANYC) are experts in our city’s history with a unique ability to see the entire city through that historical lens. We are well aware of our tumultuous past, a past that includes oppression, riots, and rebellions. Today we are witnessing and participating in a very difficult chapter in our city’s history, but one that pales in comparison to the injustices and hardships New Yorkers of color have suffered over the centuries.
GANYC tour guides represent one of the most diverse and multicultural cities in the world, and the contributions the African-American community has made to New York City is incalculable. As a profession, tour guiding needs to make efforts to better represent the diversity of the communities in which we lead visitors. The GANYC Executive Board is committed to fostering diversity in our ranks and helping to build a membership that is reflective of the multiracial and multicultural identity of our city. While some progress has been made, we acknowledge that there is much work yet to be done.
Protests have always been a means of expression, and we have the constitutional rights to assemble and to make our voices heard. However, we are also cognizant of the very grave health dangers created by large assemblies; we sincerely hope all protesters are taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves and others while the risk of COVID-19 is still present. We know, too, that there are people who would distort voices raised in protest to sow discord and to cause destruction; please do not let the opportunistic looting and destructive behavior of the few distract from the overwhelmingly peaceful message of the many.
In these very trying times, it is sometimes difficult to determine what actions individuals, organizations, or companies should take in order to address and, hopefully, eradicate systemic racism. One thing we can certainly do, however, is to simply listen -- listen to our African-American neighbors and friends, and try to sustain a supportive community that recognizes Black Lives Matter. GANYC is listening.