Westover Condemns Racism

The Fisher and Erda families unequivocally believe that black lives matter. We are enraged and devastated by the murder of George Floyd and the many others who came before him who suffered unjustified violence due to the color of their skin. We recognize that the ongoing dehumanization of and violence against black communities is part of a larger problem of systemic racism in this country that started with the enslavement of black Africans and continues on today. We stand as allies with the black community in the fight against discrimination and with those sincerely working to effect positive and lasting change in dismantling racism.

Our families have made Westover home since the 1920s and we have worked hard to make it a special place for visitors who want to engage with the architecture, study its history, and enjoy the beauty of the gardens. However, we recognize that for many people, particularly African Americans and Native Americans, places such as Westover serve as reminders of a far grimmer and horrific past and that peace and respite are quite opposite to what they feel here. History cannot be undone, but we hope that in its truthful telling, there are opportunities for reconciliation and healing for people of all skin colors.

Our families are committed to telling the fuller story and to seeking ways to make Westover relevant in today’s context. We know there is hard work to be done, and so we are going to go dark for awhile to continue to listen and learn and engage with community members, academics, thought leaders, and anyone interested in productive ways to use our whole history to support real change and equality. We hold fast to an optimism that recent events will be the catalyst in bringing all Americans together in truthful conversations about our shared past and how we can move forward as a fuller, more just society. We want to be part of that.

We welcome your comments or thoughts at info@historicwestover.com.