Message to Guild Members
Saturday, June 6, 2020
Posted by: Jackie Frend
The Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC
Dear Members of the Guild,
These past weeks have been challenging and painful to our country. Racial disparities and tensions have been pushed to the forefront. At times it becomes necessary for citizens to challenge these prejudices and the associated injustices committed against a person or people. The Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC, is fervently opposed to all forms of racism, bigotry, and hatred.
We support the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment and the right of people to peaceably assemble and protest. At the same time, we denounce the use of any tactic that damages buildings and defaces our city’s monuments/structures.
Further, the Guild expresses grave concerns over the extended perimeter that now surrounds the White House, and the militarization of the city of Washington, DC. As guides we provide connections to our guests about how the White House is a backdrop for peaceful civic engagement. Guides take people to places, like the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, where a theme of non-violence is celebrated. And the Guild has collaborated with the U.S. Institute of Peace and the National Park Service to create a “Peace Trail on the National Mall” which is a walking tour that encourages visitors to view the monuments through the lens of peace and reconciliation.
The Guild appeals to our leaders to hear the pain of your constituents and engage in meaningful dialogue that promotes equality, justice and inclusion. Only then can we achieve the dream that Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned for his children…that one day we live in a nation where individuals will be judged by the content of their character.
At our next Board meeting, scheduled June 11, we will be discussing these issues to determine how to have a broader discussion among our members and what the Guild can do to foster positive change in these turbulent times.
Board of Directors
Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC
Please Note: A provision of the Guild Code of Ethics reads in part: “9. A member of the Guild … does not share his/her personal views on controversial subjects such as lifestyle, religion, and politics.” This provision does not preclude Guild members from having a discussion among ourselves.