Children’s Museum apologizes for ‘Juneteenth Watermelon Salad’
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis apologized Saturday after a TMZ.com report about the “Juneteenth Watermelon Salad.”
TMZ.com headlined the article, “Indianapolis Children’s Museum | Happy Juneteenth … Try the Watermelon Salad!!! 😳.“
The website devoted primarily to entertainment news cited “a ticked-off patron” in its report. An unsourced photo shows the salad clearly labeled “Juneteenth Watermelon Salad” in what appears to be a refrigerated case.
Juneteenth — short for June 19 — denotes the day in 1865 when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to ensure enslaved people be freed. The day commemorating the end of slavery in the United States became a federal holiday in 2021.
News 8 asked the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis by email who supplied the salad, and whether it was still available. The museum responded with a statement, which cited the museum’s diversity, equity, access and inclusivity (DEAI) initiatives.
“As a museum, we apologize and acknowledge the negative impact that stereotypes have on communities of color. The salad has been removed from the menu. We are currently reviewing how we may best convey these stories and traditions during this year’s Juneteenth celebration as well as making changes around how future food selections are made by our food service provider.
“Our food service provider uses the food and beverage menu to commemorate and raise awareness of holidays like Juneteenth. The team that made this selection included their staff members who based this choice of food on their own family traditions.
“As we work to create a culture of empowerment and inclusivity, we know there will be stumbles along the way. As a museum, we have put a significant effort behind sharing the critical and diverse stories of a wide range of individuals. We also have placed a strong emphasis on expanding DEAI initiatives throughout the museum. We resolve to do better, and continue bringing all voices forward in our work.”
Leslie Olsen, manager of public relations, Indianapolis Children’s Museum