This is a response to the Ithaca Voice article “City pool vandalized, ‘concerning’ racist note left behind” from the GIAC Board of Directors. It was not written by The Ithaca Voice. To submit letters to the editor or op-eds, please send them to Matt Butler at mbutler@ithacavoice.com.

As reported by The Ithaca Voice on August 8th, the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC) was targeted with a racist message, property damage, and vandalism at the Alex Haley Pool on Wednesday, August 3rd. In light of these hate crimes, the GIAC, Inc. Board of Directors is writing to deplore these racist and threatening acts and condemn the hateful language directed at GIAC, our staff, participants, and community members. 

While GIAC’s mission centers underrepresented and marginalized populations, GIAC is a community center that serves our entire community, and we know that racism hurts us all. We re-affirm our Anti-Discrimination and Diversity policies and continue with our work to confront and disrupt racism and to fight against oppression and intimidation in our community.

We acknowledge the feelings of vulnerability, fear, and anger that arise in response to racist acts and we will support the GIAC community in our individual and collective recovery from this reprehensible act. As evidenced by the resounding success of last weekend’s Gus Macker Basketball Tournament hosted by GIAC, we will continue to create safe spaces that bring people together in fellowship and fun. And, of course, we will continue to offer mission-driven programming for people of all ages and backgrounds.

GIAC will not allow bias and hate to erode our sense of belonging and engagement. At GIAC, we are “A Place to Be Me” where we celebrate our diversity and lift one another up in solidarity. We are GIAC Strong!

GIAC, Inc. Board of Directors